California Police Prepare Security Plan for Coachella
- By Sydny Shepard
- Apr 15, 2016
When someone thinks about Coachella, the popular music festival set over two weekends in Indio, California, security usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Music, dancing and fashion are big topics of the event but mass notification and access control usually are not at the forefront of the minds of the attendees. For police, however, they’ve been thinking about Coachella security for over six months.
Due to recent world events in Paris, Brussels and even closer to home in San Bernardino, Indio police are taking extra precautions to ensure that the attendees are at no more of a threat while at the event than any other place they would normally be.
The event sells over 100,000 tickets for shows spanning over a two-weekend time period, so big crowds are unavoidable. Police say they aren’t worried about the amount of people attending, in fact, they believe that because of the crowds the event will be easier to secure.
“In some ways, bigger events are protected better because they occur at a particular time at a particular place,” director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, Brian Levin said. “That allows authorities to allocate personnel at key times.”
The Indio Police Department will be teaming up with other local law enforcement to remain adequately staffed for the event. They will be patrolling the perimeter of the event as well as placing themselves within the event to look out for suspicious activity. They will also be patrolling shuttle stations, local hotels and even throughout the city.
This year, police will be implementing a mass notification system via smartphone texting. Authorities will be able to send text alerts to festival-attendees and the general public in the area containing important information about traffic, safety, weather and emergency situations. Users of the app, Nixle, can text “Coachella” to 888777 to sign up for the service.
“We really want everyone to get in tune with the pulse of what’s going on,” said Sgt. Dan Marshall, Indio Police spokesman. “Our number one concern is public safety.”
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.