Despite recent incidents at local football games, Red Lion security and staff make sure their students and guests feel safe on Friday nights.
Events that occurred at a Friday night football game brought into question whether or not schools have enough security for the games. Two people were injured during a shooting Sept. 9 at William Penn, causing the school to have their home football games every Saturday afternoon.
When Red Lion played them in York, a police officer accompanied every bus going into York. This included the football bus, marching band bus, and cheerleading bus to ensure that all Red Lion students would enter the stadium safely.
Red Lion already has 13 staffed personnel and four regional officers at the games. The staffed officers take several precautions to make sure students and their families are safe during the games. It has been years since they had any major issues during the events.
Although there have been few issues, Officer Marc Greenly believes everyone should stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings, and if they suspect anything or if they feel threatened, always have an escape plan or go to an officer for help.
“We’re quick to respond to the minor stuff so it doesn’t become major stuff,” Greenly said.
Officers look for anything out of the ordinary, like arguments, and hope that the event staff reports to them if anything is said.
“With the world were living in today, bad stuff is happening everywhere, whether it’s local violence or the stabbings that happened out in Minnesota, you can’t stop everything from happening,” Greenly said.
York City has had a bad reputation for the past few years due to its crime rate, which leads people from the surrounding community to believe that the shooting that occurred at the game was “typical.” According to CityData.com, York’s crime index was higher than the U.S. average from 2004-2014.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people think ill of the city because it’s the city and because they have shooting once or twice a month, or maybe even more than that,” Greenly explained. “The guys that were arguing weren’t even from the city; one of them was a Red Lion kid and the other was from Reading. So to me it’s sad the city gets the knock when it wasn’t any of their students doing wrong.”
Due to these changes in security and extra precautions, students said they feel safe while attending the Friday night games.
“When I’m at a football game I feel safe,” senior Brianna Gonzales said. “There are lots of teachers, adults, and officers that are there if anything were to happen.”
Junior Sarah Simms agreed, saying, “I feel safe because the officers walk around the game the whole time.”