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Stepping Over the Line

Stepping Over the Line

When does security go too far?

Of course, security is needed at any venue, indoors or outdoors, to ensure the safety of patrons at a sporting event, concert, convention or any other gathering involving smaller to larger groups of people.

Trust me, I’ve been to literally hundreds of sporting events and concerts over the decades ranging from smaller college gymnasiums to baseball stadiums and concerts featuring more than 80,000 people (Billy Joel and Elton John together being the first for me featuring such a mass of humanity), and I’ve walked through so many security turnstiles that I couldn’t even place an estimate on how many I’ve gone through.

In the aftermath of 9/11, security measures were increased at airports, tunnels, government buildings, stadiums, pretty much anywhere that volumes of people would be traveling on a daily basis.  

And of course, as we navigate through year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the chilling uptick of mass shootings taking place here in the United States, security measures have gotten even stricter at these and other buildings/venues, which is totally understandable.

In fact, at a few concerts that my wife and I have attended in the past year, she has had to carry a clear bag into the venue, which makes it easier for event security to see what’s in your bag and leads to expedited entry and is especially beneficial for mass gatherings. Fine by me!  

To be honest, I really haven’t had any problems or incidents with security personnel over the years, that is until last weekend.

My family went to a Major League baseball game on Saturday. It was a really hot, sunny day, sweat pouring down our burning faces as we waited on a long line to get into the sold-out stadium.

We looked at the team’s security policies in advance and knew that my wife could bring her regular handbag into the stadium, rather than a clear one.

But what we did not know in advance, and I’m sure the thousands of other ladies on the cumbersome lines did not know, was that they were going to have to open their wallets for security to rummage through before being allowed to enter.  

Now, believe me, I understand that all bags have to be inspected and all pockets have to be emptied before even being allowed to walk through the detectors. But wallets?

Call me crazy, but that could be a security vulnerability in itself, or even an invasion of privacy. Just think, my wife’s credit cards were exposed, and in a split second, a security guard could snap a pic of her card number(s), driver’s license, or any other critical form of ID. Who knows, her identity could have been stolen in those few seconds that the guard was going through her wallet.

Needless to say, my wife was shaken a bit by this experience with stadium security, and it got me infuriated before I had a chance to sit down with the family to enjoy a baseball game!

Thankfully, we still enjoyed the game, and the home team won, which capped off the day!

But we left the stadium still wondering, did security step over the line? That’s a line I would never think of crossing.



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