Panthers: Security will be heightened at Sunday's game - | WBTV Charlotte

Panthers: Security will be heightened at Sunday's game

(Robert Lahser | The Charlotte Observer) (Robert Lahser | The Charlotte Observer)
(Jeff Siner | The Charlotte Observer) (Jeff Siner | The Charlotte Observer)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Security will be heightened Sunday at Bank of America Stadium for the Panthers game against the Washington Redskins, the Panthers announced Thursday morning.

CMPD also told reporters that Sunday’s game has been declared an Extraordinary Event.

There is a long list of items prohibited during an Extraordinary Event, including backpacks, aerosol cans, hammers, crowbars, chains, and cables. Charlotte’s Extraordinary Event Ordinance states that officers will not immediately arrest/cite someone simply because they are in possession of an item.

Instead, the ordinance says, officers will determine whether the person is in possession of an item while going to or from an activity in which that device is used for a legitimate purpose.

WEB EXTRA: List of items banned from 'Extraordinary Events'

“As always, the safety of our fans, stadium personnel, and the teams remain our first priority,” said Carolina Panthers Executive Director Lance Emory.

Sunday’s game will be the Panthers’ first home game since the terror attacks in Paris.

"Fans should expect to see an increase in security outside of entry gates. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will have a larger presence with more officers at the gates, on bike patrol, and patrons will see additional observation towers in the area," the Panthers said in a statement Thursday.

Emory encourages fans to arrive early and leave bags at home "if at all possible."

Trevor kale is going to the game Sunday. He told WBTV he welcomes the security.

“The security, hey, it is welcomed. You know what, if it is going to protect me, my friends, my family, that is what needs to happen,” Kale said.

Mike Phillips agreed with Kale. “Fans, the players, the coaches, everybody that works here or attends here deserves to be safe,” Philips said. “That is the best thing you can do right now. Secure it, because you never know what can happen and you don't take it lightly.”

Last week, the NFL acknowledged that it would be putting extra security in place.

“Following the events in Paris on Friday, we are closely monitoring events and have been in communication with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, which have informed us that there are no known threats against NFL stadiums,” NFL officials said in a statement. “The safety of our fans, stadium personnel, and teams at all NFL games is our priority, and security at our games is robust.”

Karl de la Guerra, with KDI Protective Services of South Charlotte, said he did not expect the NFL or local law enforcement agencies to divulge exact security plans.

“They do not want to tip their hand too much,” de la Guerra said. “They don’t want the bad guys to know exactly what they are looking for. However, there will be more going on behind the scenes than what you see at the front gate of the stadium.”

NFL officials said last week that fans would notice increased security and law enforcement presence, both inside and outside stadiums in the parking lots. That was directly referring to last week’s games.

It is important to note, the NFL has said no direct threat has been made here on U.S. soil.

Wednesday afternoon, de la Guerra told WBTV he believes that local security forces have learned from what is happening in Europe.

“Every time there is an attack, there is something to learn,” Said de la Guerra. “There is information we can take from these tragedies. We can take that information and use it to prevent a similar attack in the future.”

As a reminder, the clear bag policy requires that the bag you bring into the stadium be made of plastic, vinyl, or PVC and not exceed 12"x6"x12". 

The NFL has strongly recommend that fans do not bring bags with them to the stadium. Below is the NFL bag policy and helpful suggestions from the Panthers for fans attending Sunday's game:

  • Please try to arrive to the stadium a few minutes earlier than you typically do on game day.
  • We encourage patrons to leave all bags at home, but if you must bring a bag please limit the items you carry in the bag. If we are unable to see all items in the clear bags, or if the clear bag is larger than 12”x12”x6”, you will not be permitted to enter the Bag Check or Express lines.
  • The Carolina Panthers offer free clear bags at tents located at Graham Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, at the corner of Mint and Stonewall Streets, at the intersection of Mint and Morehead Streets, and near the practice field.
  • Purses and bags smaller than 4.5” x 6.5” are permitted after inspection at the gates. If the purse or bag is larger than 4.5”x 6.5”, you will not be permitted to enter the Bag Check or Express lines.
  • It is always more efficient to use our Express Lanes. Please remember to remove all metal objects from your pockets prior to reaching a screener. This will ensure a more efficient entry for all fans.
  • As we approach the cold weather season, please unzip your jackets and remove your hats as you approach the screeners. This will ensure a more efficient entry for all fans.

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