LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Department of Homeland Security has raised the security rating for the Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix to Level Two, according to Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus. That means additional security support during the upcoming race weekend.
Titus said she pushed to increase the rating from Level 3 to Level 2 for the past year.
“This is serious, and it is hard to provide security,” Titus told the 8 News Now Investigators. “Because, again, it goes down the Strip, circles around past a lot of hotels, through the tourist corridor. It’s not confined to a track like it is, say, in Austin and Miami. Very different set of circumstances. And we don’t want this to go bad.”
The Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix is scheduled for Nov. 16 to 18, and the 50-lap race will take place in the resort corridor on a 3.8-mile track. A portion of that track, just over one mile, will be on Las Vegas Boulevard, one of the most famous streets in the world. It’s expected the event will draw more than 100,000 fans to Las Vegas. The paving work is nearly done, and the finishing touches are being put on the grandstands.
At an event in August, Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill said, “The threat is huge” because the race has a big footprint and encompasses so much of the tourist corridor.
“F1 is, quite frankly, a nightmare for me,” he said.
The state has already approved $331,000 to cover costs for the Nevada National Guard to provide supplemental security and emergency triage services to Clark County during the race.
The Department of Homeland Security has five levels of security ratings for special high-profile events, with Level One being the highest and five the lowest. Level Two is defined as a “significant event with national and/or international importance that may require some level of federal interagency support.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security fact sheet, assistance can include explosive detection canine teams, cyber risk assessments, venue screening and field intelligence teams, and air security and tactical operations support.
Titus plans on introducing legislation in the near future to help clarify the process the federal government uses to identify situations that require elevated security. Currently, she says, the formula is too subjective.
“Next time around I won’t have to just lobby on the side,” Titus said. “They’ll be something in law that shows this is what qualifies for Title One, Title Two, Title 3. This is how much money is set aside and available. I think that’ll help standardize the process for the future.”
Las Vegas Grand Prix, Inc., provided the following statement:
“We appreciate the work of Rep. Titus and others in securing additional resources and support from the Federal government. The safety of all who attend and work at the Las Vegas Grand Prix is of the utmost concern and priority. We are working in close coordination with all and look forward to putting on a fantastic race and secure event for all.”