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Off Duty Cops with guns at NFL games. Your thoughts?

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Surely they are a better judge of that than some off duty cops, and the fact they turned them down, the NFL seems to me to have expressed their thoughts on it.

Yup... which is basically what I said.

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The police chief in the town I grew up in shot himself in the foot. While in his office.

I'm not sure he would make things safer.

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Okay, I can see that. I guess I approached it from a different angle. I guess I was looking at it as off duty cops just wanting to be able to have their piece with them rather than the NFL looking at it and/or promoting it as another safety feature. Having said that, I'm probably being naive not to think the NFL would take that angle.

I would have less of an issue with this as 1.) These people would actually be hired to be protecting and therefore would provide more of a measure of a protection (granted, minor, but still more) vs. people who were paying attention to the game rather than security issues. And 2.) Uniformed officers wouldn't have the effect that maybe you're being spied on discretely. And 3.) Uniformed officers would be obvious sources of support IF something bad went down and no one is going to panic if they see and officer with a gun vs. an off duty officer who looks like a civilian.

I'm sure you don't think that any visible officer = police state. At the same time I would agree that too many officers at any event tends to look like a police state. So the question is this: What is the right number at an NFL game?

Well, I was saying that I would view the infringement as negligible and really more of a perceived infringement rather than actual.

I mean if I'm driving down the road I tend to obey the laws for the most part, but I might be a little sloppy and certainly I'm not the most careful I could possibly be. But if I happen to notice a police officer behind me you can bet I'm on my best driving behavior. Is that an infringement of my rights? Not really... (but if said officer followed me around town as I was driving I could certainly perceive it as targeting me or harassing me).

Again, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I think you'd agree that having no visible police force/security at games is not ideal either. So, what's the happy medium? At what point does security/police become too much? I'd guess that this is different for different people. Should we only have security at the lowest level so that the person with the lowest acceptable visible security stops feeling infringed? Or are we willing to say to some people: Sorry, your infringement is perception, not reality. "I'm sorry if you feel like you can exercise all your rights, but we need some level of security and until someone is actually detained for booing, well, deal with it."

Okay, I can accept that that your opinion, and I don't totally disagree with it. I think we're more on a difference of degree than anything else... unless I'm miss reading you and you'd advocate for zero security or the very least possible security to make sure the most sensitive individual doesn't feel infringed.

Fine and well-reasoned points. Rather than thread some replies through your post, I'll just make a couple points here:

  • I wouldn't want zero security at games. That's not reasonable, and actually not desirable. There has to be some muscle on site in the event that any part of the crowd gets out of control, and can't be calmed down by ordinary means. They could even be armed and uniformed, but I would want them stationed under the stands and out of site, on call to respond in the exceedingly rare event they're needed. To me, that would be the happy medium: invisible to fans, but present to respond to those very rare police emergencies. I just don't think the security has to be uniformed and armed and proactively out in the open, visible to people as they watch games, unless there is a documentable history at certain venues of ongoing violent disruptions that routinely need to be put down by cops. That's not the case at the vast majority of stadiums (or even any that I can think of). The worst we see are small fights in the stands, drunken fans being overly belligerent and obnoxious, or knuckleheads running onto the field. We don't need a visible armed police to deal with those. Bouncers can easily handle those people.
  • The driving-down-the-road analogy is inapt, I think, because (a) there's a century-long and well-documented need for police on the road to keep people from being a dangerous menace while driving and to follow up on incidences like accidents, while there's no record of that need for just sitting in a stadium and watching a game; and (2) the physical difference between you in a car and a cop in a car is not as intimidating or threatening as the difference between you in a seat and an armed cop standing 10 feet away. You have a better sense of security and privacy in your car, which makes the police presence less onerous and more acceptable.

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Fine and well-reasoned points. Rather than thread some replies through your post, I'll just make a couple points here:

[*]I wouldn't want zero security at games. That's not reasonable, and actually not desirable. There has to be some muscle on site in the event that any part of the crowd gets out of control, and can't be calmed down by ordinary means. They could even be armed and uniformed, but I would want them stationed under the stands and out of site, on call to respond in the exceedingly rare event they're needed. To me, that would be the happy medium: invisible to fans, but present to respond to those very rare police emergencies. I just don't think the security has to be uniformed and armed and proactively out in the open, visible to people as they watch games, unless there is a documentable history at certain venues of ongoing violent disruptions that routinely need to be put down by cops. That's not the case at the vast majority of stadiums (or even any that I can think of). The worst we see are small fights in the stands, drunken fans being overly belligerent and obnoxious, or knuckleheads running onto the field. We don't need a visible armed police to deal with those. Bouncers can easily handle those people.

That's how it is at Michigan games. The cops are there, you just don't know it. And next time you are at the game, take a good look up high at the top of the suites.................snipers, not easy to spot sometimes, but they are there.

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That's how it is at Michigan games. The cops are there, you just don't know it. And next time you are at the game, take a good look up high at the top of the suites.................snipers, not easy to spot sometimes, but they are there.

I don't know whether Michigan Stadium has been prone to sniper attacks, but if they are out of the way and not visible to fans, that's the best way to deploy that.

In the end, my objection would be to a show of force where none is warranted. That's basically telling your fans, "We know you're animals, and we don't trust you."

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I don't know whether Michigan Stadium has been prone to sniper attacks, but if they are out of the way and not visible to fans, that's the best way to deploy that.

In the end, my objection would be to a show of force where none is warranted. That's basically telling your fans, "We know you're animals, and we don't trust you."

Does anyone know if they are also at ford field/Tiger Stadium/Joe Louis? Just curious. I think it's a great idea honestly. Similar to manned police staff in civilian clothes. No panic, but safe.

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