POSTED: Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 10:37am
UPDATED: Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 11:16am
Baton Rouge, LA (NBC33) — Tiger fans will notice a few more people around the stadium this fall: police officers.
LSU is increasing its security and changing some of the ways it keeps everyone safe.
Cpt. Cory Lalonde, a spokesman for the LSU Police Department, said Friday the university continuously reviews its safety procedures for all sporting events.
"Before each season, we look at what we did last year, and what worked, what didn't work, and what are some of the things we can change and can improve upon," he said.
He pointed out that there are no specific threats against Tiger Stadium that are leading to the increased security measures. But before this season, a bombing in Boston changed the way security experts look at sporting events.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, security checks were implemented for people entering stadiums.
"What happened with the Boston Marathon," Cpt. Lalonde said, "that brings new elements to light, that now you have to start looking at the open-air events. And not only the things that go on inside the venue, but things that go on outside the venue."
Just like Les Miles putting new plays in his offense, LSU PD is changing the way it protects fans on game days. There will be more SWAT officers patrolling the parking lots and green spaces, as well as more bomb-sniffing dogs. The open nature of pre-game tailgate parties makes them fun for fans, but also potential targets for those wishing to do great harm.
"We've had them here in the past," Cpt. Lalonde pointed out, "it's just that we're increasing the numbers of those particular specialties in law enforcement on campus."
LSU teams with the Baton Rouge Police Department, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, and Louisiana State Police to put hundreds of officers in an around the stadium for every football game.
"After every home game, representatives from all those agencies that are involved meet, and they look at what happened that particular weekend," Cpt. Lalonde said, "and see if there's anything that needs to be changed or can be changed within that timeframe for the next home game."
Now they are also working with the rest of the SEC to come up with conference-wide safety measures. Police chiefs from all 14 SEC schools met in Baton Rouge this summer. They formed an executive committee which will meet next week to begin discussing common standards and best practices.
"That would benefit everybody," Cpt. Lalonde said. "That would benefit the departments, benefit the fans that go to those particular schools, and that travel and go to other SEC schools. So they'll kind of all know what to expect."