The Las Vegas mass shooting has raised many questions about security at festivals here in the Coachella Valley, where hundreds of thousands come together at the Empire Polo Grounds every year for Coachella and Stagecoach.
Indio police tells KMIR‘s Patrick Price, they’ve already been in contact with festival promoters on how to make next years events even safer.
"Of course you can’t predict the future. All I can say is that the planning and the thought is no object, whatever time that we have to spend to making a safer event, we do," said Sergeant Dan Marshall with Indio Police Department.
Nearly eight months before Coachella and Stagecoach 2018, there’s talk of more fortification on what’s already an air tight safety operation.
The cost for keeping festival goers safe is in the millions, with Golden Voice utilizing hundreds of law enforcement officers during the events from several different police agencies but the majority of the planning happens before anyone steps on the Empire Polo Grounds.
Every year, police simulate a possible dangerous scenario like last year when they found an unidentified package that detonated, killing several officers. Again, that was a drill but it’s given officers and security staff a chance to prepare for the worst.
"Anything that we can think of that could possibly happen all the way from a mass type of food poisoning to a natural event, we try to plan for," said Sergeant Marshall.
He says any and everyone who enters the polo grounds is searched, including artists, go through metal detectors and body searches in hopes to keep a deadly shooting from ever happening here in the Coachella Valley.