Santa Rosa, CA – October 9, 2020 – Last week marked the third anniversary of the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch reflected on that event in announcing she has signed an expansion of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ten Bay Area counties to streamline a coordinated response in the event of a mass casualty crime incident.
The ten counties include Alameda, San Francisco, Sonoma, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, San Joaquin, Solano, Santa Cruz and Napa counties. The MOU allows any participating county impacted by a mass casualty crime incident to request shared resources and personnel from the surrounding counties. This is critical because a mass casualty event can quickly deplete county resources and victim or witness support staff, given the high number of people affected by suffering injuries, witnessing the incident, or experiencing the loss of a loved one. In such an event, the other counties would deploy staff and support to the affected county to ensure that there are sufficient victim and witness support providers available in the aftermath of a mass violence event.
District Attorney Ravitch noted, “We hope to continue building policies and procedures with our local partner agencies to ensure our county is ready should an incident of mass casualty ever occur in our area. When incidents involving many casualties occur, it is critical that counties have well-developed plans to share resources and support to the many survivors and their families.”
In recent years, there have been several tragic incidents ranging from the Ghost Ship Fire in Alameda County, the 2017 UPS shooting in San Francisco, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting just last year. The multi-county partnership was critical in the aftermath of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in 2019, for example, as participating counties sent support to the Family Assistance Center there.
Victim rights advocates were at the forefront of this effort. “The series of challenges we have experienced in 2020 have taught us that we cannot predict this type of crises we could face and that when a significant event happens we need our partners to work with us toward recovery,” said Dr. Gena Castro Rodriguez, Chief of Victim Services in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, who started the Bay Area Mass Casualty Planning Committee and played a key role in the MOU. “We are proud of the work we have done and will continue to do to collaborate, plan, practice and prepare for mass casualty crime incidents throughout the Bay Area. We hope that we will never need to exercise a critical response to a mass casualty crime, but if we do, we are ready.”
If you were impacted by the Gilroy Garlic Festival Shooting, The Santa Clara County DA’s Office’s Victim Services Unit, the American Red Cross and the County’s Behavioral Health Services have opened a Family Assistance Center to assist those people affected by the shootings at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. For information, please call The Family Assistance Center at (408) 209-8356.
If you were impacted by the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting, the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center staff are available to those affected. For information, please call them at (702) 455-2433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you were a California resident and were impacted by the Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting, the California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) may be able to help you pay bills and expenses resulting from this violent crime. For assistance, please fill out the CalVCB application for Las Vegas shooting victims or visit the How to Apply page.