The City of Edmonton has begun a complete security review of Commonwealth Stadium, as well as other sport and festival venues, after Saturday night’s incident where EPS officer Mike Chernyk was attacked while on traffic duty.
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Roger Jevne, the banch manager for facilities for the City of Edmonton, said they already “check-in” after every game to see how things went, but this review will be more robust.
“Given the severity of the incident at the last game we’ll sit down with the city security, police services, our other civic services and review the plans again just to say are we doing everything that we should be doing? Are there additional steps that we might want to take?”
“It’s just a chance to review our overall emergency preparedness plans, see if they’re robust,” Jevne said. “Do we want to tweak any of them? We’ll take time to do that and do that thoughtfully and thoroughly and certainly in advance of the next Eskimo game in a couple of weeks we’ll have finished the review of the stadium.”
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At Winnipeg’s Investors Group Field, crews are installing concrete barriers as a response to the attack in Edmonton. Jevne confirms that’s part of Edmonton’s review.
“We’ll look at it. We need to get buses in and out, make sure we can get emergency vehicles in and out as required, so we’ll look at what layers of additional physical barriers will be appropriate and we’ll make some decisions over the next couple of weeks in advance of the next game.”
Currently Stadium Road is closed for every Edmonton Eskimos home game to allow easy access for pedestrians to get from the LRT station to the stadium. That perimeter around Commonwealth Stadium will also be part of the review, but Jevne said they need to be careful about drastic changes.
“We don’t want to overreact and make it impossible to get in and out of the area.”
Jevne said “everything will be on the table” when it comes to reviewing policies. The Edmonton Police Service as well as city security, transit and roadway departments will be able to weigh in on possible changes.
“It’s not like we only have one chance here,” Jevne said. “We’ll continue to tweak the plans as circumstances dictate.”
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The Eskimos next home game will be a busy night for events. Not only will they play the Toronto Argonauts at Commonwealth Stadium at 5 p.m., the Oilers will play host to the Ottawa Senators at Rogers Place at 8 p.m.