Recent events in Las Vegas have increased inquiries about Balloon Fiesta’s Public Safety preparedness.
First, and foremost, our thoughts are with the victims and families impacted by the events in Las Vegas.
Incidents like this always provide pause for our public safety team to test and review our approaches to see what can be expanded and improved upon in advance of this year’s event. As a standard course of action, our team is working with many law enforcement agencies including the Albuquerque Police Department, Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque field office.
The Balloon Fiesta Public Safety Team coordinates a multiagency presence at Balloon Fiesta Park that includes more than 20 federal, state and local law enforcement, first responder and government entities to ensure that the annual event is the safest in New Mexico. To that end, Balloon Fiesta is investing in additional resources at all public gates as well as park and ride locations with security personnel checking bags and purses. With the exception of uniformed law enforcement officers, no firearms are allowed at Balloon Fiesta Park.
Applying lessons learned from other international events and situations, our coordinated public safety effort has taken steps to limit access of vehicles on Balloon Fiesta Park and specifically the launch field. Officials are also working with pilots on specific measures to ensure balloon chase vehicles are secured and are not accessible by unauthorized persons.
The Balloon Fiesta Public Safety Team coordinates efforts, seen and unseen by the public, to ensure Balloon Fiesta is the safest place to be.