For fans of the Philadelphia Phillies who may have found themselves stuck waiting in long lines to enter Citizens Bank Park at times this season, the cause has not simply been the increased crowds due to increased interest in a winning ball club.
There has been an increased emphasis on security at the ball park. That increased vigilance has a direct correlation with increased incidents of public violence around the country in a number of settings including workplaces, movie theatres, places of worship, and more.
Last month, the Phillies organization was awarded a SAFETY Act designation by the United States Department of Homeland Security. This special designation came as recognition of the club’s increased commitment to fan safety in the ballpark during not only Phillies game, but also concerts and other special events.
“Security is paramount at Citizens Bank Park,” said Salvatore DeAngelis, Phillies Director, Operations/Security per a mid-April press release from the team. “The safety of our fans, employees and players is of the utmost importance. The recognition by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security took place after an almost three-year process and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts.”
Over the last handful of seasons, the Phillies have incrementally undertaken a number of security measures in and around the ballpark. They have installed magnetometers at the gates and static crash-rated bollards (operable barriers) near the ballpark, along with portable anti-ram barriers on closed streets.
“We have 40,000 people in the park on any given night,” DeAngelis said per Adam Hermann of The Philly Voice. “We want anyone coming to our games to feel safe.”
Fans now notice explosive detection canine teams at all vehicle entry points and routine canine patrols at gates. There are counterterrorism officers and mounted police units all over the facility, and improved security collaboration with law enforcement. This includes increased police resources, regular exercises and drills, and ongoing training for club personnel.
The SAFETY (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies) Act was part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, part of the immediate response to the 9/11 terror attacks. It provides incentives for the development and deployment of anti-terrorism technologies by creating systems of risk and litigation management.
PHILLIES WILL ALSO HAND OUT AN HONOR
On Sunday, May 19 prior to the home game against the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies will honor Andy Sealy. The 39-year-old from Delaware County made national news back in 2017 when she held a “goodbye party” for her breasts after she had found out she had breast cancer and needed a double mastectomy.
The Phillies will be specifically honoring Sealy for her extraordinary commitment to “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” and she will take the field that day as part of Major League Baseball’s Honorary Bat Girl program. All 30 teams have selected an individual for their team honors, most of which will take place on Mother’s Day. Since the Phillies are on the road that day, Sealy is being honored on May 19.
“I speak out on my disease as often as I can,” said Sealy per an official May 7 press release by the team. “Statistics say my median life span is three years. I don’t follow statistics…never have! I am no longer working, but I am grateful for every breath. This is my NEW NORMAL. THIS is metastatic breast cancer.”
MLB has partnered with CrowdRise by GoFundMe to host a fundraising contest for each of the Honorary Bat Girls. The winner of the contest will receive a trip to the 2019 World Series. MLB will donate all funds from the contest to SU2C and Komen.
Phillies fans can support their honoree, Andrea “Andy” Sealy, by making a donation to benefit Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) and Susan G. Komen at this link: VOTE FOR ANDY SEALY.
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION:
- RIP David Montgomery: We have lost a beloved friend
- Phillies chairman and minority owner David Montgomery passes away at age 72
- Big days from Eickhoff, Hernandez help Phillies to series win over Cardinals
- Don’t look now, but Cesar Hernandez is batting over the .300 mark
- Chase Utley: “I’m torn” on the issue of bat-flips