Industry Focus

Are We All in on Security

I suppose it’s only a matter of time before another obscene, violent act will make headlines across the world. I do not wish for this, but these days it seems to be one wave after another. Is there any amount of security that can stop a random act of violence?

The latest, at least at the time of this writing, is Las Vegas.

As with any media organization, the Security Today team went to our website to list the latest updates and conduct our own interviews with security experts. Some experts were not allowed to go on the record about best security practices but firmly held that an incident like this, at a large Las Vegas music venue, could not have been stopped.

I stopped and wondered how something like this might be prevented.

Well-known Las Vegas developer and billionaire Steve Wynn said his Wynn Resorts Ltd. has a policy of checking in on hotel guests who don’t leave their rooms and ask not to be disturbed for more than 12 consecutive hours.

Whether or not that “do not disturb” policy would have prevented Mandalay Bay officials from discovering what was happening we may never know, but surely it would have been a good effort. Some years ago while staying in a San Francisco hotel, I fell very ill, and on the second morning, the hotel staff checked in on me, brought some soup and scheduled a doctor’s visit nearby.

It made a difference in my case. With this situation, and in Las Vegas, who knows?

The Las Vegas gunman was known to some of the Wynn staff, and they describe his actions as stunning and unexpected.

Boyd Gaming officials would not speak to the fact if the gunman had been a customer of theirs, but did say, “As far as security— we have robust security in place, but are reviewing and heightening security measures as necessary.”

Security is a big deal in Las Vegas. Wynn said he began studying how he could make his properties more secure for guests in 2015. He said there are security staff members located throughout the properties, in every conceivable place, observing people. The entire workforce from housekeeping to room service and people in the tower were trained to observe to identify and pre-empt any kind of terroristic or violent action. As for the “do not disturb” policy:

“We certainly wouldn’t invade the privacy of a guest in room. But let’s put it this way: The scenario that we’re aware of would have indicated that he didn’t let anyone in the room for two or three days. That would have triggered a whole bunch of alarms here and we would have, on behalf of the guest, of course, investigated for safety and it would have been a provocative situation.”

Does this come down to having hotels guests and their luggage being screened? Possible, I suppose, but it seems impractical that metal detectors would be deployed at hotel entrances. However, terrorism is very much on the mind of every casino/hotel owner, so it will be interesting to see what changes are implemented from here on out.

It all boils down to this: “If you see something, say something.”

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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