Enhanced security measures taking center stage at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In the South Bay, Friday marked day one of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. The weekend will bring 40,000 jazz fans to Downtown San Jose's Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

With the music, there will be enhanced safety measures to match.

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If you're in Downtown and reach wrap-around fencing, you're in the right place.

The three-day San Jose Jazz Summer Fest is in its 30th year. Beyond live music, enhanced security measures are taking center stage.

"We've added additional layers of perimeter security," San Jose Jazz executive director, Brendan Rawson said.

"Some changes to bag checks and how people are entering the festival," are just a few changes Rawson mentioned. "It's kind of a big concern for folks this year."

Rawson said visitors can expect fewer entrances and extra emergency exits. In addition, San Jose Jazz will have help from private security companies, San Jose Police and San Jose Fire.

Just as these agencies have planned ahead, so have long-time festival-goers.

"We kind of talked about it," Greg Price told ABC7 News. "We were thinking about if something happened, how we were going to get out? Where we were parking the car?"

These are questions Price said he's never needed answered before. He's also the Ambulatory Support Services Director at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and saw first-hand the response needed after the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.

"All of us had to put on a command center and be on alert," he explained. "We actually have precautions we've taken at the hospital today. So, everyone's prepared, in case."

San Jose resident and festival attendee, Veronica Giles said she's prepared from head to toe.

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"I could look cute everywhere else, but the shoes," she said. "I want to be comfortable first of all, walking around here. Because I want to see all the acts that I can see. And if I have to get away and do something, at least I got some shoes that can run."

For now, she's trusting security and putting fear aside.

"I try not to have that affect me so much that I can't come out to something like this and enjoy it," Giles said.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo posted the following message to Facebook:

"To ensure that the tens of thousands of music lovers enjoy a safe and fun San Jose Jazz Festival, our San Jose Police Department has been working collaboratively with the festival organizers to implement additional security measures. With SJPD's support, we will not allow the recent violence that has terrorized our nation to undermine our collective passion for coming together to celebrate what makes us a successful multicultural community. Jessica and I look forward to enjoying a great Jazz Fest w/ our neighbors."

The festival runs through Sunday.
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