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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An effort is underway to make sure Phillies fans stay safe in South Philadelphia with a protective barrier. Fans could soon be seeing those changes around the stadium.
Deputy Police Commissioner Dennis Wilson, who is in charge of Special Operations and Homeland Security for Philadelphia, says truck attacks are about as simple as they come.
“You don’t need an elaborate plan or an elaborate tool. You use a vehicle, a knife, start a fire – that seems to be the trend right now,” said Wilson.
That’s why he’s in favor of a new plan to surround Citizens Bank Park with a protective barrier.
“Any time you can put a hard, fixed object between civilians and someone that may have ill intent, we’re all in favor of that,” said Wilson. “Permanent bollards is a lot nicer than putting a trash truck across the street.”
“The entire bollard link will follow the curb line,” said Sal DeAngelis, the head of security for the Philadelphia Phillies.
DeAngelis has been planning the barrier for about a year.
“We noticed both domestically and internationally different events where vehicles have been used to cause harm and we are looking to mitigate that risk with our bollards,” said DeAngelis.
Those bollards would run every few feet and block potential vehicles from entering the sidewalk that surrounds the stadium.
“We can have tens of thousands of people come to events here at Citizens Bank Park and there are plenty of pedestrians on our sidewalks and we just want to make sure everyone who comes onto our footprint is as safe as possible,” said DeAngelis.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson has sponsored a bill giving the green light for the project.
“The bill is necessary because we are looking to put bollards in some right of way spaces,” explained DeAngelis.
The project could start in just a few months.
“We’d like to start construction late summer,” said DeAngelis.
The Phillies won’t say how much the barriers will cost, but the councilman’s office says they will be privately funded.