Portland venues addressing security concerns following Mancheste - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland venues addressing security concerns following Manchester attack

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After the attack at a concert venue in Manchester, England, Monday, people have been talking about security. It is number one priority for any large venue, and that’s no different here in the Rose City.

The first big event at the Moda Center since the Manchester attack will be a concert on Friday featuring Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. While there have been no specific threats to any venue or public space in Portland, security is still top of mind.

Danny Dwyer will be at Friday’s huge concert at the Moda Center, and the local DJ for 98.7 The Bull said fans have reached out with their safety concerns.

“The Soul 2 Soul World Tour is the biggest tour of the summer. They’re saying that when you get that many people coming to an event like this, you want to take extra precaution,” he said. “We’ve had a few people call in concerns wondering what’s going to happen, what’s in place, are we going to be protected?”

Dwyer said the Moda Center always does a good job when it comes to security, and he is just hoping nothing happens like the incident in England.

“That attack was sickening to me,” he said. “I mean to see the little kids there, they went to enjoy their biggest idol ever and there’s a lot of people who are going to be coming Friday night to go see Tim and Faith. I’m a huge fan and I just want to make sure everyone is safe.”

Officers with the Portland Police Bureau will be at Friday’s concert, and while specific security measures at the venue are generally kept confidential, leaders at the Moda Center said they do have a plan in place and that more specific security information is expected a later in the week ahead of the concert.

Not far away at the Oregon Convention Center, interim executive director Matt Pizzuti said nothing is changing in light of the attack in Manchester. Instead, Pizzuti said security has been an ongoing conversation and the top priority for many years.

“Which entrances we allow people to come through, where our staff enters, how our staff are badged, how they’re identified, where we allow contractors to come in and out of the building - all of that has been an ongoing process from day one,” he explained.

In recent years, Pizzuti told FOX 12 the Convention Center has also beefed up its network of security cameras, added staff for large events, and hired third-party security companies to add to its own in-house security presence.

Employees wear badges at all times, and PPB officers are regularly at convention center events.

“Just having that presence in the lobbies and presence in the building that says, ‘Hey, we’re paying attention and we’re going to make you feel very comfortable while you’re here,’” Pizzuti said.

He added that workers at the convention center also take the phrase “see something, say something” very seriously, which had led to a few arrests.

“That’s happened a ton in the last few weeks actually,” Pizzuti noted. “We’ve had a number of individuals that have come in the building and have not belonged here, and we’ve been able to intercede and intercept before they’ve caused an issue.”

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