A look into the new security protocols for RPS sporting events

Superintendent Jason Kamras says the new protocols were successful and safe.
Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The first sporting events and after-school activities with new security rules wrapped up before the holiday weekend.

Now, the school system is assessing what works and what does not. Superintendent Jason Kamras says the new protocols were successful and safe.

The season-opening football game between Huguenot High School and Thomas Jefferson High School was canceled due to a threat. Kamras could not give any additional information on the threat, coming up two weeks after it happened. It was big enough to make the division change entirely the process of attending RPS events.

Though inconvenient, Kamras says the additional pre-game screenings are necessary now. This is especially true with everything the division has been through in the past few months.

“Coming out of the scare that we had leading up to that first football game of the season with Huguenot, we took a minute to step back and try to figure out how can we ensure that our kids get to keep playing and be kids and enjoy the competition, but also make sure that we keep everybody safe?” Kamras said.

The new rules mean no bags in games, not even clear ones. All tickets must be bought beforehand, and you can only use yours once to get into the game. Everyone must also walk through a detector or be screened with a hand wand.

“If you leave, you won’t be able to come back after the game. There’s no opportunity for folks to stick around and mingle. We need everybody to clear the premises as quickly as possible,” Kamras said.

The detectors and wands were already purchased before the school year, but Kamras says there will be more security staff now at games.

While it changes the fan experience, Kamras says it’s about focusing on the game and not worrying about safety. He says it is a team effort.

“We have additional care and safety associates to manage this whole process. We’ve also asked for additional help from RPD and from the sheriff’s office,” Kamras said.

Everyone has to follow it for the foreseeable future, and even coaches and teams visiting from other divisions have to follow the new rules when at a Richmond game or event.

“I am 100% committed to doing everything humanly possible to keep our kids, our families, our staff safe. And so, while this may be a little bit inconvenient, it is well worth the protection that it provides,” Kamras said.

The rules are not just for football games, as they apply to every sporting event in RPS and other ticketed activities.