Questions raised about security changes at Las Vegas hotels

LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas Strip is already one of the most secure tourist destinations in the world but the 1 October shooting showed what's in place cannot stop everything.

There are questions about how resorts and police work together and what may change.

After the MGM Grand Hotel fire in 1980, new codes were put in place putting Las Vegas on the forefront of fire safety.

It was a direct response between tragedy and prevention.

The hope is what happened here could lead to the same response. If the massacre at the Route 91 music festival showed anything, it was cooperation.

As the shooting unfolded, strangers helped strangers. Police and fire worked hand in hand. And in the crucial moments, a Mandalay Bay security guard played a vital role 32 floors above.

But what about hotel security on the Strip?

"Arming people is not the solution," said Gary Schofield, who was a deputy chief with Metro police until his retirement in April. He was also the first leader of the department's tourist safety division.

"There's a very robust effort. Has been between the chiefs of safety and the chiefs of corporate security on Las Vegas Boulevard. But there's subtle little differences as to how different operations are run," he said.

Every resort is different. All have armed security. Some more than others. The casinos all have cameras, but not all the hotels do, largely because of a building's age.

And while Schofield says Metro has solid relationships with each individual property, getting the properties on the same page themselves is an ongoing challenge.

"Not everybody's consistent," Schofield said. "Consistency in training, consistency in tactics. Consistency in how they respond to an event. It could depend on the resort that you're going into." 

Schofield hopes something could be done at a county level to force resorts to get that consistency.

It's happened before.

"The community came together to enhance fire safety. The community has done a good job on public safety, but we have to keep pushing the ball forward," Schofield said. 

8 News NOW reached out to all the major resort companies on the Las Vegas Strip, but none could comment.

UNLV is trying to set up its own center for tourist safety to take lessons from these tragedies, and try to educate.


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