ST. LOUIS – After a weekend of gun violence in downtown St. Louis, the Cardinals are working with several first responder agencies to ensure fan safety.
The team hosted an active threat training session Wednesday at Busch Stadium.
Between 80 and 100 officers from different police agencies reported to Busch Stadium to prepare for different emergencies they hope to never encounter.
The drill included simulated emergencies inside the ballpark. Police, fire, and EMS practiced tactical moves, hostage negotiations, and for a mass casualty event.
Bommarito Automotive Group SkyFOX flew over the area as officers were getting ready.
03Eleven Tactical organized the exercises. Sgt. Brian Rossomanno of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office owns the company.
“It was kind of a dynamic event that we really wanted to present to the first responders to see, kind of just evaluate what their response looks like,” he said. “What protocols do they have in place for something like this.”
Rossomanno said the goal was to see how the different agencies would respond and work together if there’s an emergency at Busch Stadium.
“When you’re talking about thousands of people in panic mode, really the best way to work through it is to just stay mission focused, understand where the problem is, where you need to be, and just work your way there as best as you can,” he said.
Philip White just bought a ticket for a game later this month. He said a drill like this helps put fans at ease.
“They feel safer because of the metal detectors, the number of police officers, the involvement of the Cardinals staff and taking it serious,” he said.
Although this had been planned months in advance, the drill comes after a violent weekend in the city, with 15 shootings that left 18 people injured and five dead.
“Given recent events even here locally and around the world, in terms of active shooter events—because that’s what this exercise was, it was an active shooter exercise—that mandates that we do something,” Rossamanno said. “We can’t put our heads in the sand on this kind of stuff.”
Rossamanno said they do plan to have more active threat drills in the future.