FBI to increase its presence in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve

The FBI will bring in about 100 people from outside the Las Vegas area to increase its presence during New Year’s Eve, the agency’s local chief said Wednesday.

“I’m not going to go into the specifics, but I do have one message to anyone out there who thinks that they’re going to do anything to the citizens of this great community: Don’t try it,” said Aaron Rouse, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Las Vegas field office. “We’re not going to be in a position to allow you to.”

He said the additional personnel will be “in specialty positions.”

This year, New Year’s Eve will be designated as “SEAR 1,” or Special Event Assessment Rating 1. Last year’s celebration was designated as SEAR 2.

The designation comes from the Department of Homeland Security, with level 1 being reserved for events with large attendance and national attention, such as the Super Bowl. The level 1 designation brings with it additional federal security funding.

Rouse said law enforcement offices across the state are increasing resources to keep Las Vegas’ celebration safe.

The increased security comes after the Oct. 1 shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 500 others who were attending the Route 91 Harvest festival.

Rouse said the FBI regularly works with other law enforcement agencies and the casino industry to ensure public safety.

“Let me tell you some good news,” he said. “The partnerships that I talked about, it is something that you should really take some comfort in.”

Earlier this month, Nevada lawmakers approved a record amount of funding for New Year’s Eve security in Las Vegas, roughly tripling last year’s level. The new total approaches $357,000.

The extra money will help bring more than 350 Nevada National Guard troops to New Year’s Eve events around Las Vegas.

In addition, every Metropolitan Police Department officer will be on duty the night of New Year’s Eve.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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