AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thousands of fans braved the rain to watch the Longhorns take on Texas Tech Thursday night. Behind the scenes, law enforcement has been working around the clock to make sure everyone is safe.
“Throughout the past couple of years there’s been heightened awareness and concern from oversees,” says Chief David Carter, with the UT Police Department. “And we stay pretty dialed in on issues of intelligence to understand if there’s a threat picture.”
He says long before the Paris terror attacks the department has been reviewing plans and preparation in response to if a major incident were to happen.
Since the attacks, they’ve reviewed how the terrorists operated and have applied it to their training.
“One of the things that’s happened since Paris is that we looked at specific tactics that the terrorists were using and we looked at our skill sets and we looked information we had,” said Chief Carter. “We also examined the partnerships and relationships we had with other law enforcement because all law enforcement have to come together to resolve any kind of issue.”
He says there are over 200 officers working the Thanksgiving game, but wouldn’t got into further detail on the exact numbers.
On Thursday night, they were also on tactical alert, which means all officers working were in uniform.
“Really it’s about having us be in full state of readiness so we can move and act quickly, that’s number one. However, high visibility is also important,” said the chief.
He says there is no specific threat to the stadium or Austin, but that they’re ready to respond if that changes.
Several fans say they’re just focused on the game.
“I’m not the worrying type,” said Longhorn fan, Gilbert Escamilla. “I don’t worry about anything I don’t have control over, I hope everything is fine.”
“I definitely hope there will be beefed up security at the stadium, just simply because there’s more people packed in a confined space,” said Ryan Lepper, a loyal Longhorn who’s been tailgating for 15 years. “I’ll be honest, I don’t really think about it. Terrorism is there to terrorize you, and it’s not something that worries me”
Chief Carter says one of the most important lines of defense is the fans themselves. Anyone who sees something suspicious is urged to tell a nearby officer or report it through a text message.