The Department of Homeland Security is warning of an increased threat of an ISIS inspired attack. With the nation on high alert of possible terror activity this weekend, it's hard to imagine anything big happening in Nacogdoches, but could it?
“We know most of these well-organized incidents are in larger metropolitan areas,” said Lt. Dan Taravella with the Nacogdoches Police Department. “That being said, we also know that we've heard of small towns you've never heard of until you see it on the news."
So should something happen, big or small, is Nacogdoches Police ready?
At large events, we are prepared for any number of things,” Taravella said. “Whether it's disruptive people, intoxicated people, people with different points of view having an argument, or something larger, we're prepared for it."
According to Taravella, NPD officers have all gone under special training to deal with large events like Freedom Fest.
“We do specific training for violent incidents, active shooter type things and large crowd event training,” Taravella said. “Overall, we're pretty well-rounded.”
NPD isn't alone in keeping attendees safe. They'll be working with the Nacogdoches Fire Department and Freedom Fest event staff, and they all have a plan intact for any situation that might arise.
"Our officers have an idea in a smaller town who and what is suspicious, what stands out in a crowd, and what things look different and when working with a large crowd,” Taravella said.
Nacogdoches PD wants everyone to enjoy the holiday weekend and not to worry.Should something happen, they will be ready to take care of it.
"We don't want everybody to be consumed with these thoughts,” Taravella said. “We want people to enjoy it. It’s a good time, we're going to have fun; just be aware of your surroundings."