Caesars Creates Emergency Response ‘Civilian SWAT’ Teams for Las Vegas Properties

Posted on: October 3, 2018, 09:00h. 

Last updated on: October 3, 2018, 11:48h.

Caesars Entertainment has deployed its own armed emergency response teams to counter the threat of mass shootings and terrorism, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Caesars’ armed response unit is made up of former military and SWAT officers and hopes to neutralize threats to the company’s Las Vegas casinos before real law enforcement arrives. (Image: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, a day after the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Caesars VP for corporate communications, Jennifer Forkish told LVRJ that the teams provide additional security capabilities, proving a “stronger and more visible security presence and a rapid armed response if necessary.”

On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music festival from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, murdering 58 people and injuring over 800 more. It was the worst mass shooting in US history.

Though civilian, Caesars response unit is composed of highly trained former military and law enforcement officials who will be the first responders in the event of an active shooter situation at its Las Vegas casinos.

According to LinkedIn, the job specs include “documented experience in use of force decision making in an armed public-facing capacity.”

Casino Resorts Difficult to Evacuate

A report by Washington-based security consultancy AS Solution found the average duration of a shooting rampage is 10 minutes, while it takes law enforcement an average 12 to 15 minutes to arrive at the scene.

Moreover, since it’s almost impossible to evacuate a large Strip hotel like Caesars or Bally’s within ten minutes, it makes sense to have an armed unit on hand that can attempt to neutralize the threat before it escalates.

While prevention is better than a cure, if you get bitten by a snake, you want to have the antidote on hand,” one security professional told LVRJ.

Vegas Vulnerable

Las Vegas was identified as a possible target for a terrorist attack, long before homegrown mass murderer, Paddock, committed last year’s atrocity. Casino resorts have stepped up security since October 1, but they face a dilemma. Airport style security checks are at odds with Las Vegas’ famous open-door policy and there are concerns the city remains vulnerable.

Meanwhile,  MGM — owner of the Mandalay Bay and the festival land that became the scene of the massacre — is believed to be in the process of setting up its own armed response unit.

By scouring Linked In, LVRJ discovered the operator has recently hired at least nine former military and SWAT officers.