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County officials unanimously approve plan to prevent another Astroworld tragedy

Houston officials are expected to vote on the four-point plan Wednesday.

HOUSTON — It's been one year since the deadly tragedy at Astroworld and now officials have a new four-point plan to make sure it never happens again.

The Harris County commissioners unanimously approved the plan put together by the Special Events Task Force. Most of the recommendations focused on communication and event planning.

The agreement requires events at NRG Park with more than 6,000 people to have a unified command center. The plan also requires a medical and security plan to be reviewed and approved before the event happens. It also streamlines the event permitting process.

"It simply will make us better. And it's a thing of moving forward, but also it's also a work in progress. But it is (a) great start. We looked at best practices from around the nation and management of events, and I think it's a great thing," Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said. "It gives the Chief of Police authority to review, approve or reject any security plan. That's important."

Houston City Council is expected to vote on the plan Wednesday.

RELATED: Little to no changes one year after Astroworld tragedy

Earlier this month, KHOU 11 News worked to find out what changed in the last year after 10 people, including a 9-year-old boy, died in a crowd surge during Travis Scott's concert.

Paul Wertheimer is an expert on crowd behavior and has years of experience working with governments in developing crowd safety laws. He doesn't like the proposed plan.

"Parents should be concerned and parents should be angry," Wertheimer said. "It will not prevent the possibility of a future disorder or disaster in Harris County or in Houston."

Wertheimer is the founder of Crowd Management Strategies. He calls the local and state response to the Astroworld tragedy "absolutely the worst" he's seen in his career.

Days after the incident, Gov. Greg Abbott formed the Texas Task Force on Concert Safety. By April, they'd released a nine-page report.

Wertheimer said the task force's plan is a failure with no specifics or timetables for changes.

"A high school class in Texas could have done better, quicker and at less cost," Wertheimer said. "The task force didn't even address the main cause identified of this disaster, and that's the crowd crush festival seating. You won't even find it in a word search on those pages."

Wertheimer said the plan still doesn't specify who calls the shots during an emergency. He also said it doesn't address crowd management.

"So, we're missing this key element, which was also a failure of Astroworld, and that is a requirement -- specific requirement separate from an event security plan -- of a crowd management plan. So, that's two strikes already," Wertheimer said.

Wertheimer added the agreement does not mention formal capacity for an event and, in his opinion, the only way to prevent further tragedies is new tough legislation and criminal charges.

But nearly one year since Finner vowed to "learn lessons from this," no one's been charged. Finner and his department only confirmed an investigation remains ongoing.

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