Campus Safety: University Police Experts share critical safety tips during Football Season.

Football season is an exciting time on college campuses. The fans, excitement, and camaraderie can make for a great day. But with a large influx of people coming onto campus, there can come opportunities for danger, both unintentional and not. For a
football team to be successful, they need to communicate and know each other’s every move. This also holds true with police enforcement coordinating and responding appropriately to incidents that may occur.

Preparedness and an increase in security and situational awareness are essential to keep people safe. Special events, students, activities, and student organizations make for a different policing environment than one in a city. Implementing incident or
emergency management protocols can help event staff, students, fans, law enforcement, and first responders take the correct precautions to improve response times in a crisis, no matter how big or small.

Teams and Police are Taking Advantage of Technology in New Ways

Drones can provide different field views, imaging, and information that the coaching team and security can look at immediately. For athletes, it could mean preventing a play from happening again. For security, drones and other surveillance become the eyes, ears, and boots on the ground. Additionally, you can put technology in a dangerous situation while watching in real-time instead of allowing a person to walk into an unsafe environment.

Just as football teams review footage to improve, police do the same to evaluate their performance on game day. Reviewing footage allows the police force to determine how they handled situations, confirm they followed their decision-making model, and if their overall tactics were appropriate. They can then use it as training material for the newer officers on the force.

Officers don’t know the people attending games, much less their mental health conditions, intentions, or possible alliance with a terrorist organization. In short, spectators are a mystery. That’s why placing officers on the interior and exterior of the football stadium, on traffic detail, and the surrounding tailgating lots is paramount to keeping the campus safe.

Officer Tips to Ensure Safety on Game Day for Students

Most fans think about football, tailgating, and who will win on game days, which makes suspicious activity easy to forget. But it’s imperative for everyone to keep their eyes and ears open by doing the following things:

  • If you see something, say something (from unattended bags to suspicious vehicles to out-of-control crowd members).
  • Be of a clear mind and stay responsible.
  • Always have an exit route in case of an emergency.
  • Stay with friends and don’t allow anyone to leave alone.
  • Read the critical safety messaging provided by campus police.

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