’We’re certainly not going to live in fear.’ Charlotte Pride organizers discuss safety measures for two-day festival after mass shootings

Safety concerns in wake of mass shootings

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - After two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend, public safety is on the country’s mind.

As Charlotte prepares for the last of the summer festivals and public events, organizers are trying to think of ways to make their events safer. One organization doing just that is Charlotte Pride Week.

Charlotte Pride organizers said the best way to make sure the event goes smoothly and safely is to be prepared.

Not only does Pride partner with law enforcement agencies but they go through their own training to allow everyone to have fun instead of worrying about public safety.

“Tragedies like that, they do occur,” said Charlotte Pride communications director Matt Comer. “The best you can do is prepare and be aware. Put in plans, policies, practices, training in advance.”

The more-than-two-dozen Pride Week volunteers, staff members and board members go through a training called “Stop the Bleed.” This is the second year Charlotte Pride has participated in the program, which teaches a basic form of first aid on how to stop bleeding if someone was shot or seriously injured another way.

“Our job as event staff is to make sure people have fun, but we also want our event staff to be prepared," Comer said. "We’re certainly not going to live in fear of what may happen, but we want them to be prepared.”

CMPD will be there to make sure everything goes smoothly, saying in a statement that there’s an operation plan in place to ensure safety.

“The department has coordinated an operations plan that is intended to ensure the public safety of attendees during the Charlotte PRIDE Festival. An enormous amount of advanced planning and coordination has been committed to keeping the festival a safe event. We won’t expose specific security measures but attendees should expect to see an appropriate police presence in addition to community engagement from officers during the event.” the CMPD statement read.

WBTV’s security analyst, Karl de la Guera, added festival goers shouldn’t be scared but instead prepared.

“No one needs to be paranoid in our society, this is a very large country with millions of people but we do however as a society, as individuals, each and every one of us needs to be aware of our surroundings," said de le Guerra. “That liability to protect yourself, while it falls on you as an individual it also needs to fall on the institutions you happen to be at.”

Event staff not only prepares for security risks but also the risk of dehydration and bad weather, which are the more likely dangers at an outdoor festival.

To find out more about Charlotte’s Pride Week, click this link.

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