How aquarium security, Chattanooga police team up to provide protection
The Tennessee Aquarium was in the middle of chaos Saturday night, when two people were shot outside of the Riverbend Festival.
The aquarium was closed at the time; but, Wayne Jackson, the security manager, says that didn't stop police from reaching out quickly.
"As soon as it happened we were notified by the police department. They gave us updates as to what was going on so we could protect our employees," Jackson said.
Aquarium security relies on a strong relationship with the Chattanooga Police Department to keep visitors safe, especially when events like Riverbend bring big crowds of people to the downtown area.
"We have a great relationship with the police department," Jackson said. "Any time there's an incident or something they believe may be a problem for us they communicate that to us."
Jackson says the aquarium security team is equipped in a unique way to handle situations that do occur during normal hours. About 80% of the team are EMT's or paramedics, so they are prepared to handle situations outside of the norm, like the shooting on Saturday night.
"If that had happened during normal operating hours our staff are trained to handle that type of situation," he said.
Still, security officials regularly make updates to protocol to keep people safe.
"After any event that goes on downtown, whether it be the Ironman event a week or so ago, or Riverbend, we will sit down and we will talk about and evaluate what went on during the week and what we can do to make things better next year," Jackson said.
Police say a 14-year-old was charged in the shooting of the two people outside of the Riverbend Festival. The teen is charged with two counts of Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony.