Old Settlers Days increases security in response to Las Vegas shooting
ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) -- Old Settlers Days is two weeks away, but security measures are already underway in preparation for the large crowds.
Organizers say they have had to make changes in response to recent violence.
"People want to go to an environment where they feel safe. That's where they have fun, they're able to relax. We want this to be that environment for them," said Rockton Police Department Deputy Chief Matt Hollinger.
Hollinger says his department, along with Lions Club Members and security personnel are doing their part to keep visitors to Old Settlers Days safe.
After the deadly shooting at a Las Vegas music festival last year, some artists added higher security requirements to their contracts.
"Some of the new measures that you're going to see this year will be specific to the front gate where you're gonna have metal detectors introduced this year with inspections," said Hollinger.
"You'll see those safety precautions and you might even feel them a little bit as you go through our gates, but we hope that that's not the focus," said Old Settlers Days Marketing Director Monique Weaver.
The number of security officers staffed on the grounds will depend on what day it is and what performer is lined up for that night, but no matter what day it is, visitors will feel a heavier police presence.
"We're a very visible group. Whether it's security personnel or police personnel - bright yellow shirts for security and of course the uniforms for police. This does make it very easy for people to report suspicious behavior and report suspicious items and get that information right to us," said Hollinger.
"The safety of our guests is a big concern. We want to make sure that they feel safe to come down and enjoy this event," said Weaver.
Rockton police will also have a new command post with advanced radio communications and cameras to monitor the crowd.