Security expert breaks down safety at Orlando venues, parks

ORLANDO, Fla. — As one of the most popular spots for outdoor events in Orlando, security expert Zach Hudson said that Lake Eola, on any given day, could be considered a “soft target” for terrorism.

Hudson pointed out a particular spot near the International Bridge, where foot traffic could get jammed up from three different directions.

“These are all choke points. You have hundreds of people who would pass through a particular area like that. That’s a choke point,” Hudson said.

It rings true for theme parks too, where security has increased in the last two years.

Guests still may not see an actual screening until after being in a packed parking lot, and then on a tram with dozens of people.

And Hudson said the same type of scenario that played out in Manchester could play out at the Amway Center, as Church Street is often shut down for crowds to gather before concerts or games.

“Anyone in a crowd in this area would be susceptible to an attack. It’s a soft target,” said Hudson.

He said in addition to monitoring demeanor or clothing to spot a suicide bomber, watching body language can help spot a shooter.

“I would look for somebody that’s constantly touching a certain place on their body,” said Hudson. “People who carry guns have a tendency to want to touch that gun with the inside of their arm.”

Hudson spotted a fixture at the Amway Center that some may not think twice about.

“Trash cans close to entrances are always problematic,” he said.

He said it’s a prime location to stash bombs where people would gather in a line.

He said screening for weapons at the doors of venues isn’t always enough.

“It’s not just inside the venue, and of course we saw that last night, it’s (also) outside the venue,” said Hudson.

He said in the future, there may be security checks at theme parks, concerts and sporting events before attendees even park their vehicle, and bag checks at closed-off streets.

Karla Ray,

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.