Central Point, Ore. — This is one of the largest events happening this year in the Rogue Valley. Thousands of people are expected to attend concerts each day of the festival. With that many people and moving parts – how do you keep everyone safe? The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has a whole operation behind the scenes you might not know about.
“This is a big event and we have 20,000 people here and there’s a lot of logistics and so where we’re at right now is in the sheriff’s command center,” said John Vial, Jackson County Roads and Parks.
This is where all the behind the scenes action is in regards to keeping thousands of concertgoers safe.
“Security, traffic control, all the elements that the local government is involved with,” Vial said.
This tent is where incident command leaders meet and debrief each morning.
“This is the different traffic control plans, sign placement at every intersection,” Vial said.
There’s even an on-site 911 center, so dispatchers can monitor any emergency calls pertaining to the festival.
“We don’t bury the main 911 center with a bunch of calls,” Vial said.
Jackson County said with tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting in 2017. Local crews are working around the clock to make sure nothing like that happens here.
“Should we have a large emergency and an evacuation of this area is needed, there’s a variety of ways we can evacuate. We can evacuate people using Peninger Road to go to Upton Road,” Vial said.
Needless to say, crews are preparing for anything.
“There’s a heightened amount of security at this event. You will see a greater presence of law enforcement than last year. And that is on purpose,” Vial said.
Incident command will be on-site for the rest of the festival.
As always, if you’re at the event – if you see something, say something. You can always talk to anyone in a black security shirt. The sheriff’s office also has several deputies making rounds at The Expo.