Security increased at Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

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Security increased at Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (KTRK)

It's opening weekend at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Last night's crowd topped 92,000.

On Friday, just 51,870 people passed through the gates, many of whom saw Leon Bridges perform on what HLSR described as Black Heritage Day.

"To be honest with you, the security here has been on point," said Tim Le, a longtime volunteer gatekeeper.

Many of those attending have mentioned the police presence, in light of the world in which we live today - a world where everyone is asked to be vigilant about looking for those who might be planning something sinister.

"They do have a lot more staff so, I feel real good about coming," said Vickie Edmondson, who added any concerns she had about safety were calmed by that police presence she encountered on the grounds of HLSR.

Just last year, the crowd was spooked. You might remember the scene on March 15, 2017 as eyewitnesses recorded video of the chaos. People swore they heard gunfire here, though no shooter was ever found.

"I'd say this is about as safe as a place as you can be right now," said security officer Carl Miller.

Miller spent 35 years as a police officer in Roman Forest. He says working an event like this is different now from just five years ago.

"Five years ago, we didn't have crazy people running around with guns trying to shoot everybody," Miller said.

Rodeo officials say they've increased the police presence on foot, a combined effort of officers and deputies from the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff's Office, METRO Police Department and the FBI. They've added mounted patrols. They watch from vantage points, high in the sky. They've also upgraded lighting and fencing to increase security.

You'll have to go through metal detectors or be wanded before being granted entry. So far, officials say they have not come across anyone trying to get any guns past security, only knives. Officials say the only knifes allowed past the entrance are those shorter than the palm of your hand.

They reiterate that it's incumbent upon those attending to help spot signs of trouble. They urge you to say something if you see anything suspicious.
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rodeo houstonhouston livestock show and rodeosecurityHouston
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