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EDC will include strong police presence

Katie Crowther

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EDC will include strong police presence

CREATED Jun. 7, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Electric Daisy Carnival begins Friday night at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The party has already started for a lot of visitors. But with the fun, also comes risk.

The reputation of the EDC was tarnished a few years ago, after two drug-overdose deaths. Last year was the event's debut in Las Vegas, and there were no major problems. Metro wants to keep it that way. About 500 officers - some in uniform, and others undercover - will be at the speedway for EDC. Private security teams will also help monitor the area.

"A huge crowd, coupled with very loud music, doesn't make our job easy," says Metro Office Bill Cassell. "One of the biggest challenges we face is being able to hear each other through our radios, and communicating. That's why this year, we've adopted small-team tactics, where officers will be walking around in small groups for back-up in any situation."

Police will be enforcing a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal drug use. To help their cause, they have an offer for carnival-goers. There will be bins at entrances, so attendees can get rid of drugs with no penalty, before coming in.

"It's kind of a no questions asked thing," Cassell says. "If you have drugs on you, instead of getting caught and going to jail, you can surrender them and still be let in to the event."

Cassell says anyone trying to stay on speedway property during off-hours, or sleep in their vehicles, will also be busted. "No one can camp at the speedway, or sleep in their cars in the parking lot," Cassell says. "They also can't pull over nearby on the side of the road, or in nearby parks. We will be watching, and cracking-down on that. People need to have places to stay lined-up."

Action News did some checking, and found that most hotels - both on the strip, and downtown - are already at, or near capacity for this weekend. Some last-minute rooms on the strip are going for more than $700 a night due to the high demand.

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