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Southside law enforcement officers share thoughts on Vegas shooting in light of upcoming NASCAR race

Sheriff, police chief say law enforcement agencies are prepared

HENRY COUNTY, Va. – At the end of the month, tens of thousands of people will be packed into Martinsville Speedway, much like tens of thousands of concertgoers were packed into the concert venue in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

But when it comes to being prepared for something like someone opening fire on the crowd, Henry County Sheriff Layne Perry believes local law enforcement officers have had the best training they can possibly have.

He credits the speedway's president for that.

"This spring, Clay Campbell donated a large sum of money that brought in, pretty much, world-class training for large-scale public venues -- the operation of how to move in large events tactically, how to do the threat assessments and things like that," Perry said.

Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassady said aside from the training, the huge law enforcement presence on race weekend is also a big part of why he believes law enforcement officers are prepared for any situation that may occur at the Speedway.

"I would say (the speedway is) not a soft target," said Cassady. "There's a lot of preparation that goes into these major events."

When asked if or how the mass shooting in Las Vegas may impact security come race weekend, Cassady said, "I'm not going to discuss any of that at this time. But again, I just want folks to realize that there's a lot of planning and concerns involved."

While both agencies believe they are already well prepared, as any law enforcement agency would, both agencies will certainly try to learn anything they can from the situation.

Perry said one aspect of the shooting that stuck out to him was that the shooter was outside the perimeter of the concert venue.

"We have long been patrolling the perimeter (of events), and we will continue to do that. But that's the thing we can immediately take from this as we're waiting for more information to come forward. But, everything we can (possibly) do, we will do," Perry emphasized.

He added that the speedway has always been very accommodating and given law enforcement officers anything they need to make the event as safe as possible.


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