The Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and MGM Resorts and their shareholders have a big problem. It now appears that their mishandling of the situation or lack of preparedness when they discovered a shooter had fired upon one of their own security officers may have allowed the massacre to take place.
Having worked in the Casino industry for thirty years, though not in security, this lack of response is troubling. Security officers are an integral part of club operations that interacts in some way with virtually every department on an ongoing basis. They have protocols for everything, including an active shooter on property.
Every officer and security department manager is wired up with a radio, usually a speaker at ear level on the shoulder, at least that was the equipment in use when I was last working in the clubs. Each officer is in constant contact with the base that dispatches them to their assignments and reports back as dispatches progress or are completed.
Officer Jesus Campos, who was shot through the door of Paddock’s room, was unarmed, as are most of the inside officers at Mandalay Bay, those in black uniforms. He would have notified dispatch the status of the issue he had been sent to resolve or, depending upon how the events unfolded, that he had been shot and the location of the suspect. He apparently did this, notifying his dispatch. Mandalay Bay also employs, as many clubs do, armed plainclothes officers. For some reason the decision was made that they would not engage the shooter.
The problem may have been one of not having a viable, effective response drawn out for implementation. Their response protocol may have been similar to any college campus gun-free “safe zone,” to hide in place and wait for the police to respond. If all or most of their officers responding were unarmed or outgunned, they may have determined that sending them to the floor could have provoked a situation inside the hotel and opted instead to “leave well enough alone” and wait for the cavalry.
The threat, as they may have determined, was isolated to one room, one floor. They may have chosen to let things stay that way until the police got there, not realizing the extent of the offensive threat and having no way to ascertain the shooter’s intentions to harm the public outside.
The Mandalay Bay protocols should have included those possibilities and they should have the ability to intervene in deadly situations such as this one. Most casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere used to have primarily armed officers before things went corporate. Then distant bureaucrats in far away places, with politically correct boardrooms started making decisions. Often those decisions went against the instincts of those working the jobs on a day to day basis.
Every casino in Las Vegas and elsewhere needs to wake up and take immediate corrective action. They need to have a real ability to respond and mitigate this kind of threat, if only to be able to confine, obstruct or delay as they wait for police to arrive. They should consider rearming and upgrading their arms to provide them with that ability.
Many casinos employ special units trained although likely not equipped for this type of incident. Whatever the reason for the security failures in the case of Mandalay Bay, they must be remedied immediately and other casinos need to conduct similar reviews. Certainly we can expect another similar attack to take place in the future.
If preparations and corrections are not made now, just as with officer Campos and the guests inside Mandalay Bay as well as those within range outside, they’re all at the mercy of a madman or terrorists. Allowing your guests to be sitting ducks is not an acceptable response. It doesn’t work on a college campus and it doesn’t work at massive Las Vegas strip properties. The Mandalay Bay massacre horrifically demonstrated that fact.
Just as with the gun debate at large, disarmament in the face of an armed perpetrator only leads to people getting killed. If officer pay has to go up to attract qualified candidates or their training or standards have to be adjusted, then that is what must happen. This is the time to prepare for the next event and the clock is ticking.
Another situation that is handled as poorly as this one was could seriously harm not only a lot of innocent people, but seriously impact the Las Vegas tourist industry and economy. They must do whatever needs to be done and quickly.
Thank you for reading and sharing my work – Please look for me, Rick Wells at https://www.facebook.com/RickRWells/, https://gab.ai/RickRWells, https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickwellsUs and on my website http://RickWells.US – Please SUBSCRIBE in the right sidebar at RickWells.US – not dot com, and also follow me on Twitter @RickRWells.