Security heightened at Roberts for rally - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Security heightened at Roberts for rally

Reporter: Alex Shabad
Web Producer: Mike Mardis

With thousands of people expected to be in attendance at Roberts Stadium Tuesday night, security is a very important issue. Local law enforcement has been working with the secret service to ensure everyone inside the event will be safe.

Yellow tape, orange cones and multiple law enforcement agencies outside Roberts Stadium were among the first signs of the big visit.

"It's a huge deal," Kelli Danaway, a volunteer, "It's all national eyes and whole world looking at Evansville, Indiana tonight."

With crowds of people comes the need for more security, so authorities began planning early for Senator Barack Obama's visit to the area.

After just hearing of the news Monday, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams said, "We'll just treat this as a curve ball and hope we hit it out of the park."

Williams said his staff will just have to work a little faster in planning, but also said the building is in a good location and he's confident things will move smoothly.

"We're close to the hospitals, close to the airport and close to major roadways," Williams said, "So we can get people in and out for an emergency situation."

Senator Obama is bringing his wife Michelle and high profile musician John Mellencamp with thousands expected in attendance.

"People are going to be excited," Sergeant Jason Cullum said, "People chanting, we're just watching for someone a little boisterous wanting to be confrontational with people."

There will be about 15 deputies at the event, along with 25 police to secure the outside of the building. The Secret Service will secure the inside.

Authorities said Roberts Stadium is easier to secure than some other buildings because it's far away from everything and has limited entrances.

"Anytime you have less entry exits it makes building easier to secure the issue we will have here is parking a lot bigger and a lot more people," Cullum said.

With orange cones leading the way and the man-power to back them up, authorities expect the situation will be under control. The Obama headquarters said they've also had to tell several people they can't bring bags inside the building for security reasons.

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