Pomona Fairplex invests $200,000 into new command center, upgraded security at L.A. County Fair

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- More than 1 million people visit the Los Angeles County Fair every year. A crude reality is that in light of ongoing mass shootings, many people have a fear of large crowds.

The Pomona Fairplex invested $200,000 into this new command center to have a broader view and approach to public safety, said Miguel Santana, the president and CEO of Fairplex.

"We made a decision to really strengthen our overall command response, not just in the event of a mass shooting, but in any situation that may occur," said Santana.

During a large event, this command center is filled with people from several different agencies working together to monitor everything from traffic, parking and cameras on the fairgrounds.

"We increased the number of cameras we had before," said Santana. "We can see traffic patterns in the surrounding neighborhoods, a lot of the major freeways. We can actually see people coming in and the number of admissions that are happening at any given time."

Barry Gillies, the director of property operations at Fairplex, said they also have the ability to notify attendees in the event of an emergency.

"If we have to activate notifications grounds-wide, it can be anything from a shelter in place to an area evacuation to a full-grounds evacuation," said Gillies. "All that would occur here out of the center."

Santana said preventing a mass shooting and preparing to respond to one is part of what they do.

"With every mass shooting that takes place somewhere around the country or world, we try to understand the dynamics," said Santana. "And we actually run drills on a regular basis so we're prepared to deal with it."

Santana said he feels a responsibility for the safety of the people who come to the fairgrounds to celebrate and have a good time.

"I take this as the most important job that I have and this is why we made this huge investment," said Santana. "It's to make sure that we're being as proactive as possible and ensuring the safety of our guests."
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