Fenway Park increases security amid reports that Las Vegas shooter researched venue
When the Red Sox come home Sunday to face the Houston Astros in Game Three of the American League Division Series, there will be increased security at Fenway Park in the wake of reports that Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock researched the ballpark and other concert venues, officials said.
“We are aware of the media reports” about Boston, Red Sox spokeswoman Zineb Curran said Thursday in an e-mail. “While there is currently no credible threat to Fenway Park according to public safety agencies, the Red Sox have been working with city, state, and federal officials on increased security measures for postseason games at Fenway Park.”
Boston police said in a statement that there “is currently no known threat to the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region related to this incident. . . . The BPD has and will continue to take proper security measures to protect all public venues and gatherings in the city.”
Officials at several hotels in and around Kenmore Square near Fenway did not respond to requests seeking comment on increased security in the area. An employee at the Verb Hotel on Boylston Street said by phone that Boston police came by Thursday and spoke with the general manager, adding that “there are protocols in place right now.”
Further information about the security protocols wasn’t immediately available.
Max Abrahms, a political science professor at Northeastern who specializes in security and terrorism, said copycat attacks are a real phenomenon.
“The fact that this guy used this particular mode of killing could well spur other people to carry out a similar act in other cities,” Abrahms said.
He pointed to the aftermath of the Bastille Day attack in Nice in 2016, when a truck was used to run over civilians gathered along a public promenade. In December of that year, a truck killed 12 people gathered in the Christmas market in Berlin.
“People often think that terrorist and mass shooters are very innovative and creative in their mode of attack,” Abrahms said. But “some people will probably look at this attack and view it as a success and try to replicate it.”
Tom Nolan, a retired Boston police lieutenant who now teaches criminology at Merrimack College, said in a phone interview that Fenway Park is “a national model for safety.”
“They have plainclothes police, uniformed police, their own private security, every [bag] is searched,” Nolan said. “Typically what happens at Fenway is, you get drunks who are fighting and acting out. That’s the extent of the disruption. . . . Anyone who has tickets to the game [Sunday] should feel that they’re going to be as secure as they can be.”
In addition, Nolan said, surrounding hotels are not as tall as the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, where Paddock opened fire. But no place, Nolan added, is ever completely secure.
“The bottom line is, there are limits to what law enforcement can accomplish,” Nolan said. “If someone brings 30 long guns into a hotel room to do what this individual did in Las Vegas, how do you prevent something like that?”
City Councilor Josh Zakim, who represents the Fenway neighborhood, said by phone that he has “a lot of confidence” in the Boston police amid the reports linking Paddock to the city.
“They are very much on top of it,” Zakim said. “I think the Boston police and the Red Sox and the other public safety agencies are certainly doing what they think is necessary to keep us safe.”