The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has increased the security threat level for the upcoming Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix from Level 3 to Level 2. The decision was made in response to the significant national and international importance of the event, which may require federal interagency support.
Security Level 2 entails the deployment of various security measures, including explosive detection canine teams, venue screening and field intelligence teams, cyber-risk assessments, as well as air security and tactical operations support. This move has been welcomed by local law enforcement, businesses, and tourism leaders who have been working to ensure the success of the event.
US Rep Dina Titus expressed her support for the increased security, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the safety of race attendees and participants. The state has also approved $331,000 to cover the costs for the Nevada National Guard to enhance Clark County’s security and emergency triage services during the race.
Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill has voiced concerns about the security threat surrounding the event, citing the massive footprint and expected crowd as factors contributing to the high level of risk. The inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix is expected to draw over 100,000 fans to the 3.8-mile racetrack, with a portion of it being on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Despite the heightened security measures, McMahill admitted that Formula 1 events are a significant challenge for law enforcement. The announcement of the increased security threat level coincides with Israel’s decision to launch a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip to target the Hamas terrorist organization.