NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — This Friday, Benton and Bryant High Schools will play each other for the 45th time at the Salt Bowl.
After a false alarm caused a frenzy last year, they’re tightening up security.
“Since the incident last year with War Memorial Stadium, our local sheriff and police chiefs in Saline County are developing a plan. Of course, the stadium has made new changes to their security protocol,” Salt Bowl Committee member Shane Broadway said.
Awareness is also heightened because the Little Rock FBI office alerted officials about an alleged school shooting threat.
“It kind of just emboldens the plan we’ve already put in place. And, we will do a walkthrough this week with law enforcement and so obviously that will be a topic,” Broadway said.
Some new rules include no weapons, coolers, noisemakers, or hanging out in the common area after using the facilities. Also, only clear bags and totes are allowed in.
Kickoff is at 7:30 but fans can arrive early because metal detectors will be in use.
Fans should also know there will be resource officers, Arkansas park rangers, along with local law enforcement agencies monitoring activities.
“I know a lot of Arkansans carry pocket knives, they’re not allowed inside. Make sure you take that out and leave it in your car or leave it at home. We don’t want to have to send you back to your car and we don’t want to take it from you,” State Parks Public Information Coordinator Meg Matthews said.
There are many levels to their security measures, so some of them won’t be disclosed so their efforts are compromised.
“Law enforcement is here if anything happens, but we don’t want to impede any kind of fun that’s going to be happening. So, plan on coming down, having fun, and know that we have a lot of people looking out to make sure that nothing goes wrong,” Matthews said.
For all of the protocols and details on what gates you can enter, click here: https://www.wmstadium.com/events/event/83/