25 police officers needed near stadium, study says

March 27, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

It will take about 25 police officers and two emergency medical technicians to safeguard the area around the proposed Redskins stadium in Laurel on game days, a preliminary study shows.

The review, conducted by the Anne Arundel County Office oBudget and Finance, estimated the annual cost at $34,000.

What the study didn't indicate is who will foot the bill.

"That hasn't been worked out yet," said Walter Lynch, the Redskins' project manager for the stadium, on Friday. "It's just too early for any comment."

Jack Kent Cooke has proposed building a 78,600-seat stadium on the western edge of Anne Arundel County, next to the Laurel Race Course. His organization is expected to file the paperwork to start a county zoning review within the next two weeks.

About 25 police officers would be needed to control traffic on each of 10 game days, at an estimated cost of $3,125 per game, according to the report by Wayne R. Greksa, an analyst with the county financial office.

Mr. Greksa estimates that one paramedic and one cardiac rescue technician also would be required, at a combined annual cost of $2,730.

These estimates do not include security personnel for the stadium and its grounds.

Mr. Greksa assumed the Redskins would pay for stadium security, either by hiring private security guards or by paying for uniformed off-duty police, such as those patrolling Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

However, Mr. Lynch said it has not been determined who will provide or pay for stadium security.

The county estimate also does not include police coverage for the neighboring jurisdictions of Laurel or Prince George's or Howard counties. Neither does it include Maryland State Police or U.S. Park Police officers, who patrol the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

The level of police supervision is likely to change as planners decide which roads would be improved for stadium traffic.

Mr. Greksa's estimates relied on an Anne Arundel Police Department study of staffing at three NFL stadiums similar in size to the proposed Laurel facility.

The study looked at Rich Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills; Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs; and the Pontiac Silverdome, home of the Detroit Lions.

A survey of these stadiums indicates that crime would probably drop during football games in Laurel, the police study said.

It also noted that county police, with 555 sworn members, could not spare on-duty officers for traffic duty "without jeopardizing regular district and beat responsibilities." Volunteer reserve officers or crossing guards could be assigned to traffic duty, the study said.

Mr. Lynch said the Anne Arundel police have indicated that a sufficient number of off-duty officers will be available on game days to handle traffic.

"They didn't see a problem at all with that," he said.

The police study said planners should encourage the use of mass transit to reduce the need for satellite parking, which would in turn reduce hazards associated with pedestrian traffic.

Mr. Lynch said the Redskins are considering satellite parking lots. However, none of the lots would be within walking distance of the stadium, he said.

Instead, shuttle buses will move fans between the stadium and remote park-and-ride lots.

The police study said the department would have to develop procedures for protecting visiting dignitaries. If events such as the NFL Pro Bowl, World Cup soccer or the Olympics were to come to the stadium, additional plans might be needed.

New county laws may be necessary to govern unlicensed vendors and ticket scalpers, the study found. A noise-abatement law might also be needed if concerts or other events are scheduled.

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