Purdue says it does not have plans to implement metal detectors at athletic venues for the 2019-20 season, unlike other local universities such as Notre Dame and Indiana University.
Notre Dame announced the initiative in April 2019. The measure, first used in January 2019 at the NHL Winter Classic in Notre Dame Stadium, is set to go into effect this fall with the football season.
The university became the third D-I school in Indiana to adopt such measures, after IU and Evansville University started using metal detectors in 2017. Metal detectors have also been recommended for use by the NCAA and outside firms ESG and MSA Security.
Purdue spokesman Tim Doty and Senior Associate Athletics Director Tom Schott confirmed that the University has no plans to follow other universities’ lead. Both cited satisfaction with Purdue’s current security measures as reasoning behind the decision.
“The university has a very high level of security in place at athletic events and has received high marks from outside safety consultants in recent years — particularly regarding Ross-Ade Stadium,” Doty said in an email. “Large numbers of people are working in full view of the public as well as behind the scenes to make sure all those on campus are safe during these sporting events.”
Purdue University Police Department Captain Song Kang also brought up logistical questions in defense of the decision to not use detectors. Among these questions were the cost of the devices and the labor involved to move, store and staff the detectors on game days.
The University isn’t ruling out additional security measures entirely. Kang noted that the subject is still under discussion and the policy may be revised in the future.
“You can’t put a price tag on the level of safety,” Kang said. “If we were finding guns on people all the time, that would be something we would consider.”
The last change to security measures occurred in 2017, when the University instituted a “clear-bag” policy and prohibited re-entry to athletic venues.