Security experts weigh in on mass gathering safety following Vegas massacre

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas has security experts talking about safety at large crowd events scheduled to take place in the Bryan-College Station area.

People running for cover during the Las Vegas mass shooting, Photo Date: 10/2/17

From Saturdays at Kyle Field, to thousands of concert-goers every April at Chilifest, there's no shortage of big local events in BCS -- but sometimes we take our safety for granted.

"If you've got somebody that has evil intent and they're serious about it, it's hard to prevent it," said Danny Davis, PhD.

As a professor at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service, and a former army ranger, Davis sees a lot of similarities between the Las Vegas concert shooting and the University of Texas Tower sniper attack.

The first mass shooting of its kind in America.

In August 1966 UT Student Charles Whitman went to the top of the clock tower and opened fire on the campus and surrounding streets.

"I guess the thing that really made me think about that was the fact that he was up high shooting down at a public venue just like back in '66," Davis said.

College Station Police Chief Scott McCollum says his department will work on their public safety strategy following the tragedy in Las Vegas.

"I'm sure this situation in it of itself is bringing unique challenges that we've never seen before. So we look forward to attending conferences and other meetings to where we'll be able to learn from the situation," he said.

Chief McCollum also offered advice to the public:

“Be mindful," said McCollum. "Understand the dynamics in an event and have a plan. There’s many different outlets on the internet to give you some understanding as to how to respond to any type of a mass shooting or mass casualty type situation -- it’s critically important that you develop a plan."

Davis says the one thing you can do to be prepared is be aware of your surroudings and the closest exits.

"You've got to be ready to run, hide or fight and if you do have to fight --you need to commit," said Davis.

College Station Police and other agencies routinely review their procedures.

Local law enforcement agencies were able to teach others after Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann was killed by an active shooter in August 2012.