Houston Law Enforcement Discusses Security Prep for World Series

Houston officials discussed security measures being taken to secure Minute Maid Park where the Astros will square off against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Houston Law Enforcement Discusses Security Prep for World Series

Minute Maid Park in Houston.

HOUSTON — With the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros set to commence Major League Baseball’s Fall Classic this evening, Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard addressed security plans and preparation for upcoming games at Minute Maid Park.

During a press briefing yesterday, Slinkard said HPD will be working with MLB security, federal agencies, and other local law enforcement to keep visitors safe. Officials are asking fans if they see something suspicious at the park or elsewhere to say something.

“Social media platforms will be much more prevalent to inform citizens on issues pertaining to public safety and transportation, mobility, where to go, how to get rides, where events are,” Slinkard explained via KTRK-TV, an ABC affiliate.

Slinkard said the city is “no stranger to hosting major events.” NRG Stadium hosted Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5, as well as the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2016 and 2011.The city last hosted the World Series in 2005, which ended with an Astros loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Dodgers Stadium will host the first two games of the best-of-seven series tonight and Wednesday.

The series then moves to Minute Maid Park for at least games 3 and 4. If necessary, Game 5 will be played in Houston, and games 6 and 7 will be played in Los Angeles.

“Really, our threat evaluation and our intelligence gathering from a public safety/law enforcement perspective has gotten much more robust and our partnership with other agencies is much better. How we communicate across agency lines, I think that was evident during the Super Bowl and our Final Four,” Slinkard said. “We will have resources in place, both seen and unseen.”

As Slinkard explained, the World Series entails a unique challenge compared to a sporting event such as Super Bowl LI, which involved a 10-day operation for law enforcement that had been scheduled years in advance. The World Series offers no such lead-time.

“That short time frame does create a little bit of a challenge, but we’ve done it before and we’re up to the challenge,” Slinkard said.

Along with security measures on the ground, a limited no-fly zone will be in effect during the games.

“Temporary Flight Restrictions will be in place,” Federal Aviation Administration Spokesman Lynn Lunsford said in an email to the Houston Chronicle. “The TFR prohibit all aircraft, including drones, from flying inside it without specific authorization from the FAA. It will have a diameter of three nautical miles and extend from the surface to 3,000 feet.”

The newspaper also reported the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is planning to deploy two Skywatch platforms — crane-like machines to lift deputies into the air to watch crowds from above — to use at Minute Maid Park. Other security measures include utilizing bomb-sniffing dogs, as well as make its special response team available.

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