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Should ballpark security be a higher priority in baseball world?

Lexington LegendsA shooting at a Wild Health Field event in Lexington is raising concerns about ballpark security in that city–and raising concerns across the industry as well.

The shooting came at the tail end of an event at the ballpark, not at a game. Though Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers was a little critical about the security measures taken by the Lexington Legends (Atlantic League) for the event — before saying he was willing to talk with ownership about increasing security — there’s no indication there was anything out of the ordinary when it came to event security:

In a statement provided to LEX18, Lexington Legends owner Andy Shea said the field is safe for families, adding they have security personnel at all events, ensuring they follow safety codes. This includes on-duty police, and other marked and unmarked security personnel.

“In the interest of maintaining security, we cannot disclose all security measures taken,” Shea said.

So the issue may not be whether current security measures are adequate; the issue is whether they should be updated in these changing times. There’s no doubt we live in a gun-happy environment, where alleged robbers have no hesitation in bringing a rifle into a venue like Minnesota’s Mall of America and hold up multiple stores before being detained. This is clearly a societal problem, not a baseball problem.

But addressing ballpark security is a baseball issue. We expect security to be a topic of wide discussion this offseason for teams and leagues at all levels. MLB has done a pretty decent job at addressing ballpark security both in ways the public can see — only clear bags allowed, state-of-the-art security devices that don’t slow down entry too much — and in ways they can’t see, like strategic camera installations and plainclothes security personnel. Ballpark security really wasn’t part of the new specs imposed on MiLB by MLB when taking over the sport, but we’re guessing we may see some new guidelines imposed for coming seasons.

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