latest headlines

Ahead of Houston music festival, police discuss security, use of drones

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 11:00 AM
By: Gerald Hanks, Rare.us

The recent massacre at an outdoor country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip raises concerns about security for a number of large outdoor musical events, including Houston’s upcoming Day for Night Festival slated for December.

>> Read more trending news 

Omar Afra, the organizer of Day for Night, said his group will heighten its security for upcoming events.

“Given what happened ... we’ve got to have more secure points and that means not just inside the festival grounds, but again on the perimeter of the festival grounds, and that means more personnel,” Afra told KTRK-TV.

“We’ve been speaking with the Houston Police Department and our security contractors to really get an understanding of what we can do to make this the safest environment for our attendees.”

Unlike the largely outdoor Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, Day for Night will be hosted at Post HTX, also known as the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office, a “1.5 million square foot hybrid indoor-outdoor space,” according to the music festival’s official website.

The event will feature concerts by Nine Inch Nails, Justice, St. Vincent, Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Solange Knowles.

The new security measures may be a sign of things to come for outdoor festivals across the country.

For large events such as these, the debate arises as to whether or not police-controlled drone aircraft should be used to spot potential security risks. Former Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland spoke out in favor of using such drones at large events.

“I see no reason why commercial vendors are allowed to fly large drones over large crowds and outdoor events here in Houston, but the law enforcement community doesn’t use that same technology,” McClelland said, according to KTRK-TV.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo also spoke out about the potential uses for drones.

“When you talk about drones in this country in the hands of law enforcement, it invokes a lot of privacy issues, it invokes a lot of fear, and it invokes a lot of backlash,” Acevedo told KTRK-TV.

RELATED: CBS responds to an employee’s insensitive remark about the Las Vegas shooting victims

RELATED: Day For Night music festival announces 2017 lineup