News – The Rebel Yell Surrounded by a black perimeter security fence and rows of storage containers, the Thomas & Mack looks more like a battlefield than a basketball arena that is the home of the Runnin’ and Lady Rebels.
The T&M will also house 5,000 to 7,000 journalists, 1,200 guests and two presidential candidates for the final presidential debate, hence the increased security.
“Every single law enforcement agency in Southern Nevada is involved with the debate,” said Ray Suppe, executive director of customer safety for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
“Every single” might sound like a hyperbole, but it stresses the coordination of many local, state and national agencies to secure the area around UNLV for the arrival of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The Secret Service will escort both candidates from the airport to the T&M via motorcade. Multiple roads will be closed, including parts of the I-15, I-215, E. Russell Road, Tropicana Ave. and Maryland Parkway between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Oct. 19, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
“Our local law enforcement is running this event similar to the way they would run a New Year’s Eve event,” Suppe said.
LVMPD will still handle most of the patrols around the city, while UNLV Police will maintain normal patrols in the campus area.
“[LVMPD is] the big agency in town,” Suppe said. “We immediately brought them on to the planning team. They’re all professionals. They do this for a living.”
According to Lieutenant Jeff Green, most parts of the campus will be open leading up to the debate; however, Green recommends that students stay away from the perimeter fence.
“Don’t jump it. Don’t climb it. Don’t try to get around,” Green said.
Several access points along the fence will be patrolled by guards while media will have a specific entrance to …