Police, city finalize review of Edmonton sports venues after attack
City staff, along with the Edmonton police disaster and emergency operations panel, have completed a review of Edmonton Eskimos game-day procedures.
The review was launched after the Sept. 30 attack that saw EPS officer Mike Chernyk struck by a car and stabbed while on traffic duty.
Some minor changes will be made, but nothing resembling the new concrete barriers that were installed in Winnipeg outside of Investors Group Field.
“We’re all concerned. We’re all upset about what happened Sept. 30,” EPS Insp. Regan James said.
“That’s caused us to take a better look at the way we do business and I think what you’ll see is some subtle changes but we already had a pretty robust security plan in place… There might be some minor tweaks but we’ll adjust each time we need to adjust.”
“You may see a little bit more police presence on the outside but in terms of robust numbers, you’re not going to see a whole lot more because there already was quite a few police members outside there during ingress and egress.”
James said once the game starts, officers move inside the stadium to monitor things there.
The major venue adjustment that fans are still getting used to is outside Rogers Place arena for concerts and Oilers games.
James said that change came after monitoring movement of fans all last season.
Now, at the end of an event, 104 Avenue is closed for 30 to 40 minutes.
“It’s to get those people out of there quickly and efficiently. It’s a crowd-management tactic to move those people more quickly.
“I think the patrons are certainly more happy. They’re getting out of there, they’re getting to their cars, they’re getting home. It’s late at night. They’ve been to their fun. Now it’s time to get home.”
Annual reviews of other venues for sports and festivals will continue.
Both new procedures will be in practice on Saturday. Not only will the Eskimos 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.
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