3 things you need to know about World Series security in Houston
HOUSTON – Houston police said the Final Four, Super Bowl and even the World Series 12 years ago were good training for what to expect during the World Series in Houston in 2017.
This will be the first time since 2005 that Houston has hosted the World Series, but Executive Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard, of the Houston Police Department, said recently hosting large sporting events like Super Bowl LI and the American League Championship Series have helped them prepare for this World Series.
"You can always learn something from each and every major event that you host," Slinkard said.
He said that technology is the primary difference between this series and the 2005 games. Social media will play a much more important role in communicating with the public than it did 12 years ago, he said.
Houston police are prepared for all safety measures:
Police said they are already working with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, as well as federal law enforcement, to make sure the more-than 40,000 fans inside Minute Maid Park and beyond are safe.
"Really, our threat evaluation and our intelligence gathering from a public safety/law enforcement perspective has gotten much more robust and our partnership with other agencies is much better. How we communicate across agency lines, I think that was evident during the Super Bowl and our Final Four," Slinkard said. “We will have resources in place, both seen and unseen."
Slinkard asked the public to remain vigilant and immediately report anything suspicious to police.
A major focus for police will be traffic and mobility:
Traffic is also something on which Houston police will concentrate. Slinkard said that hosting the ALCS helped officers identify some of the “pinch points” of traffic around Minute Maid Park.
Drivers can expect the same type of road closures around the stadium that they experienced during the league championship series.
"We'll have plenty of resources on hand, and we'll have resources both seen and unseen to protect the public and ensure a safe environment as people go to and for the events," he said.
Extra security will be placed downtown for residents and out-of-towners:
Some fans don’t mind the added security.
"It's very important to have the stadium secure, because the venue is that close to the World Series. You've got people from all over the world. Besides local Houstonians will be here and media. So, it's very important," Astros fan Rick Martinez said.
The Houston Astros will play their first two games of the best-of-seven series at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The series then moves to Minute Maid Park for at least games 3 and 4. If necessary, Game 5 will be played in Houston, and games 6 and 7 will be played in Los Angeles.
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