A team with more members than any football team that will play on the field at Amon Carter Stadium is present at every home football game, but most people would not give anyone on this squad a second look.
It is the group of security officials that roam the parking lots, locker rooms, press box and bleachers.
Campus police chief Steve McGee said 17 out of 24 of the university’s police officers work every home game. With three more assigned to patrol campus, very few days off exist when the Horned Frogs play at home.
The university also hires 75 to 80 police officers from the city of Fort Worth, in addition to keeping four emergency medical technicians, eight Fort Worth firefighters, a bomb squad and dozens of people from Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), also known as “yellow shirts.”
Associate Athletic Director Ross Bailey said a Fort Worth police officer would be paid about $35 per hour to work the game. He declined to comment on the total cost of the added security, saying his office typically does not release financial information.
Bomb-sniffing dogs will sweep the stadium on the day of the game shortly before the gates open to the fans. All the security is there as a precaution, which is a testament to the TCU fans, McGee said.
“We are very fortunate we have very few incidents and very, very few arrests,” he said. “It is a tribute to our fans. That’s not to say they aren’t having fun, but they don’t cross the line.”
The typical week of a home game starts with a meeting that includes directors from the athletics department, police department, food services and any other group involved in game day operations, Bailey said.
The group discusses the different promotions going on at each game, expected attendance and anything else that varies from game to game, he said.
For example, Bailey said for last season’s matchup with BYU, the athletic department decided to increase security because of the magnitude of the game.
Campus police officer Randy Cagle said police made one arrest and issued 10 tickets at the SMU game, the most tickets they have written in three years.
Cagle attributed the incidents to the proximity of the schools and the number of opposing fans at the game. He said the department does not write as many tickets at other games in part because of how far all the other Mountain West Conference schools are from Fort Worth.
During the games the police chief will position a police officer at each locker room to make sure nothing gets taken, Bailey said. NCAA rules mandate that alumni and recruits also stay out of the locker rooms.
As for during the games, Bailey said each touchdown scored presents a possibility for a celebration gone wrong.
“We tense up a little bit, because you’re dealing then with that immediate adrenaline rush,” he said. “People may not think as sensibly at that time as others.”
Students often complain that the police do not allow them to rush the field. McGee said a large crowd rushing the field would pose a safety threat.
“There was a small contingent of TCU fans (at Clemson), so you can let 500 people on the field and it’s not going to destroy the field and it’s not going to be a crowd issue,” he said. “If you have 30,000 of your home crowd storm the field, you’re going to have people hurt.”
Cagle travels with the football team and said he has had good-natured arguments with opposing fans and has been offered food at tailgates at home games.
McGee said officers are encouraged to befriend fans in order to build a respectful relationship with them. He said if a fan knows the officer, the fan is more likely to show respect.
100 Contemporary Services Corporation “yellow shirts”
75-80 Fort Worth police officers
17 TCU police officers
8 Fort Worth fire fighters
4 Emergency Medical Technicians
1 or 2 bomb sniffing dogs
1 bomb squad