A heavier presence and traffic regulation are just some of the measures Boston police are taking to ensure that the World Series runs smoothly and safely, the department said in a security briefing Wednesday night.
“We’ve enhanced the security package around the stadium,” said Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel P.Linskey outside Fenway Park. “We’ve just put some more officers out for visibility. Obviously, we’ve got a lot more foot traffic, a lot more vehicular traffic, so we’ve expanded our footprint around Fenway Park.
“Our officers are out doing what they do—engaging the crowds, making sure we move traffic, moving people, and making sure anything that is out of order is addressed immediately.”
Just before the start of Game 1 at Fenway Park between the Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday night, a sea of fans buzzed with excitement and moved fluidly through the area. Boston police and emergency vehicles were woven into the crowds of beards and B’s entering the park and surrounding establishments.
Linskey said the department is not expecting massive crowds during the first few games.
“The team has a lot of work to do, they’ve got four games they’ve got to take in the series,” he said. “Until we get four games, we don’t anticipate large crowds. We know people are going to be here and then with the time of night most people want to try and get home, and try to get back to work in the morning because they’re going to be doing this for a couple of days.”
Traffic will be regulated around the Fenway area, he said. After fans get inside the stadium, police will restrict traffic in and around the area so vehicles will not be anywhere near the ball park.
Police could be seen throughout the moving crowds Wednesday, and at MBTA stations around the Fenway area. Special Operations police vehicles, along with standard police cruisers, cut off streets and flashed blue lights while officers directed heavy traffic in the area.
The department has specific procedures when dealing with “unattended packages,” which are common at big events like the World Series, said Linskey.
“A lot of times ... someone leaves their pocketbook, someone leaves their backpack behind, they’re gone for five minutes, it causes some concern, and we just have to mitigate that,” he said. “And we’re asking if there is something like that and the officers ask you to step back, you know, work with them. Those things go on all the time at special events, and they’re not out of the ordinary and it’s not a big deal.”
Linskey said the commanders plan to meet Thursday afternoon to discuss what went well Wednesday and what needs to be adjusted for later games in the series.
“We’re working with our partners, whether it’s federal or state agencies,” he said. “We’re all taking and exchanging information, making sure we can ensure fans have a safe and event-free night tonight.”Derek J. Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.