Threats possible at football games, authorities say

TCU authorities say they are alert to the possibility of a bomb threat at a football game and have Fort Worth Bomb Squad officers on duty.But they also say it is not always possible to prevent suicide.

A University of Oklahoma student committed suicide Oct. 1.

The Dallas Morning News reported Joel Henry Hinrichs III died after he detonated an explosive device near the Sooner football stadium during a game. No others were harmed by the explosion.

TCU police officers and security personnel are always alert for anything outside the ordinary, but it is difficult to prevent someone from doing something harmful to himself or others, said Steve McGee, chief of TCU Police.

“You just can’t stop everybody,” McGee said.

The security policy at football games will not be changed because of the Oklahoma incident, McGee said.

The police already have a contract with the Fort Worth Fire Department Bomb Squad. Two bomb officers, as well as private security officers, are present at every football game, McGee said.

He said the goal is to look for anyone suspicious. A person wearing a puffy jacket on a hot day is a good example of someone suspicious, McGee said.

“We do our best to be vigilant,” McGee said.

If a bomb or explosive device is found, the police will secure the area and call the bomb squad. McGee said it is best to use the well-trained bomb officers immediately.

If a student is found with a bomb or a weapon, he or she would be arrested and charged with criminal and student misconduct, McGee said.

The Dallas Morning News reported Hinrichs was a 21-year-old engineering major at OU.

Jonathan Weldon, a senior electrical engineering major at TCU, said it is not difficult for someone to build a bomb, and it is easier for an engineer to do.

“Someone who is as knowledgeable as an engineer has an easier time,” Weldon said.

David Kessler, a junior English major, said he would still attend football games even if he thought there might be a threat from an armed student.

“There’s so much paranoia about terrorism and such that even the slightest threat sends people into a panic,” Kessler said.

Kessler said he thinks the current security measures at football games are fine.

He said football stadiums should not be turned into “security-tight venues like the airport.