The extra security at Chaifetz will be in place for sports, concerts and other events, beginning with Friday night’s Billiken women’s basketball game, according to a release on the university’s website.
“Using metal detectors at major venues is increasingly becoming a best practice, with the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues installing them at their respective stadiums in 2015,” the release stated. “Several other facilities that Spectra manages have added them as well.”
Chaifetz is managed by Spectra, a venue-management company with a client list of more than 200 convention centers, theaters, ballparks, fairgrounds and stadiums in North America.
“We believe that the security plan we have in place is sufficient to protect students, faculty, staff and guests who attend our events,” said Eric Hess, SIUE athletic communications director.
All games are monitored by uniformed police officers trained for “hostile intruder incidents” inside and out, he said. Security is stepped up for special events.
“We do not have metal detectors, and it has not been recently discussed as far as I know,” said Ranodore Foggs, McKendree’s director of public safety. “Although we will continue to reassess should there be a need in the future.”
McKendree prohibits firearms and lets the public know with decals posted at all building entrances. Foggs said the university hasn’t had any weapons-related incidents at the convocation center during his five years on the job.
Lindenwood spokesman Chris Duggan noted that Chaifetz hosts NCAA Division I basketball games, which draw large crowds that include non-students and people from out of town.
“That’s a completely different scenario (from Lindenwood) in terms of the size and type of crowds,” he said.
Chaifetz General Manager Jeremy Huelsing said security guards already have been using hand-held metal detectors at the arena’s five public entrances to keep people from bringing in weapons.
Walk-through systems lower the chance of human error in detecting weapons and speed up the process of getting people through entrances before games and other events, he said.
“(Walk-through systems) are less invasive,” Huelsing added. “You don’t have a security guard standing in close proximity, wanding you on the front and back sides.”
At Chaifetz, people won’t have to remove their shoes and belts like they do with airport security, according to the SLU release.
“But they will need to empty their pockets of metal objects, including cellphones and keys, before entering the building,” it stated.