NFL teams employ undercover cops to prevent abusive fans

Goal is to spot abusive fans that might be targeting those rooting for the visiting team

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HOUSTON - The next time you're at Reliant Stadium for a Texans game and see a fan of the opposing team, it would be wise to treat them well. You might be talking to an undercover cop.

According to the NFL, there are a handful of teams that employ undercover police officers to pose as rival fans by wearing the opposing team's jersey. 

The goal is to spot abusive fans that might be targeting those rooting for the visiting team.

"I think you got a lot of rowdy fans that mistreat people that come from out of town," Ravens fan Anthony Goggins said.  "It's an excellent idea so that you can try to curb that behavior.  You never know who you're talking to."

So far, the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are the only teams to admit to this practice.  Texans officials confirmed the team does hire undercover police officers for home games; however, they declined to confirm or deny if those officers wear opposing jerseys.

"I think it's a good idea," Cowboys fan Corey Hodge said.  "Because if you don't catch them, then they'll be at the games every week harassing people that pay good money to bring their families."

The NFL doesn't release numbers for specific teams but they did tell Local 2 that last season throughout the league, an average of 32 fans were kicked out of stadiums every game.  About six fans per game were arrested league-wide.

Texans officials wouldn't be specific but said the team was well below those league averages.

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