Kyle Field might be quiet now, but not for long.
“A typical home game is going to be at full capacity, I mean, it’s going to be full,” said Texas A&M University Police Lieutenant Allan Baron. “The parking lot will be full; the stadium will also be filled with security and emergency personnel.”
On September 8th, the home of the 12th man will be one full house; and the 87,000 anticipated guests will have one thing on their mind: football.
Exceptionally large crowds draw exceptionally large concerns.
"We are worried about weather, fires, and terrorist activities; whether it is an explosive device or an active shooter," said Mike Caruso, Texas A&M Associate Athletic Director and Director of Events and Game Operations.
To say Mike Caruso carries a lot of weight is quite an understatement. He’s in charge of preparing Kyle Field for each Aggie home football game. Furthermore, he oversees nearly all of the stadium's functions, including: ushers, ticket offices, ticket gates, concessions, security, parking, traffic around the stadium and first aid.
Knowing the threat is real -- and Aggieland isn't immune -- Mike Caruso and emergency responders are always communicating while practicing a game plan of their own -- it’s a plan that's tested with -- or without a full house.
"We have a plan in place, and what we’re doing is providing a make-believe incident that would happen at Kyle Field and we're seeing how we would respond to it,” Caruso said. “With so many emergency responders and agencies involved in the operation, and also taking into account the number of people inside the stadium, it’s crucial everyone is on the same page.”
You always want to be prepared for any situation, and by doing this, it gives us an opportunity to meet and discuss different types of scenarios with other police departments locally, private security personnel, fire departments, support services throughout campus who support Aggie game day operations,” said Baron. “Having all of these resources in the community and knowing how we would utilize them will help alleviate any potential issues.”
It's a plan these men hope will never be utilized -- but in preparing for the worst -- will ultimately protect their home and those inside.
As police and first and responders to try and provide a safe and secure environment so they can come in and enjoy the festivities and come in safe and leave safe.