Chippewa County officials are prepared for mass casualty situati - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chippewa County officials are prepared for mass casualty situation at concert events


Chippewa County (WQOW) - As the nation copes with the tragedy in Las Vegas, law enforcement officials in the Chippewa Valley head to the drawing board to ensure safety at music festivals in the Chippewa Valley.

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk told News 18 his department works hand in hand with security at Country Fest and Rock Fest in Cadott.

He said his department met Monday morning to discuss Sunday night's shooting. Sheriff Kowalczyk said while the department takes note and discusses every 'big' situation like the one in Las Vegas, they don't have any immediate plans to change security out at the fest grounds but said there are plans in place for traumatic situations.

While he wouldn't say what those plans are, he said these discussions might lead to tighter control at fest gates moving forward.

"How can you prevent something from happening?" Kowalczyk asked. "I always say if you take away opportunity, things don't happen. So again, we spoke at length this morning as to if this would have happened at Country Fest, or Rock Fest, or any major event, where you have a number of people attending, what would our protocol be, what would we do and how would we handle it?"

Jason Aldean was performing in Las Vegas when the shooting happened. He is one of two acts already announced for Country Fest in Cadott next year.

Country Fest officials provided News 18 the following statement:

"We are devastated along with the rest of the world by the news from Vegas this morning. We all have friends, family, connections with artists & artists’ crews, festival organizers, and we are thinking of them and every person that was there as information comes to light about the series of tragic events. We are also focusing on what we can do to help. We understand there is a dire need for blood donation in Las Vegas, we are donating today and we encourage every one of you to do the same as quickly as you are able."

"Being a large venue, unfortunately we’ve had to discuss realities of worst case scenarios over the years given shootings at malls, schools, movie theaters, etc. It’s a sad, senseless reality. We have a multi-level action plan & safety measures in place and have for years. Most importantly: What matters most right now is uniting as a country, a community and as human beings, and offering any kind of support we can to those affected by this devastation."

RELATED: UW-Eau Claire graduate in critical condition after Las Vegas shooting

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