Law Enforcement Discusses Safety/Security at Bills Games

Number of incidents steadily decreasing

Brendan Keany
September 17, 2019 - 3:26 pm

(WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)

ORCHARD PARK (WBEN) - For the first time in the history of the Buffalo Bills, the team won its first two games on the road to come home undefeated for a Week 3 home opener, and the expectation is that the atmosphere will be next level.

On Tuesday morning, Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard joined Andy Major of the Buffalo Bills to go over some things about security and safety for this season.

Howard says fans won't see many noticeable changes at New Era Field or the surrounding area for the time being, but fans should expect a solid police presence.

"The total number of law enforcement deputies, Orchard Park Police and other police officers is probably pretty close to 300 sworn law enforcement people that are on the grounds on game day with about another 300 private security people," said Howard.

The Sheriff and Major both noted that the initiatives to make the games more family-friendly, such as the one car, one space parking, the change from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. with the parking lots being opened and the changes to the RV and Camper Lot, have significantly decreased the number of serious incidents they're seeing at games.

"Not that long ago, we used to average almost 30 arrests per game; we used to average almost 140 ejections a game probably eight to ten years ago," said Major. "With all of the new programs, with all of the different things we've done to try to make it a better fan experience - safer, more fun fan experience - last year. we averaged roughly three arrests per game and about 46 ejections a game."

Of course, there are even more changes this year with the new policy for the Bus and Limo Lot, and Major added that the Bills had a great meeting with private lot owners where the Sheriff, BPI Security, NYS Police, Orchard Park Police, FBI, joint terrorism taskforce and others to make sure that the experience doesn't get too out of control beyond the limits of New Era Field.

"We don't want the issues to be leaving our lots and just happening in other lots - nobody wants that," said Major. "We just want fans to have a great time, to tailgate responsibly and be safe."

Listen to the full press conference below:

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