Boston police are mobilizing for this weekend’s Red Sox-Yankees series with the largest crowd-control force of any recent sports event, says the Boston Globe. The deployment plan addresses shortcomings that contributed to a fan’s fatal shooting by police last October. The plan, obtained by the Globe, calls for 876 officers and commanders to be on duty for each of the three games starting tonight: 558 from Boston and 318 more from the State Police, the state Correction Department, and several other police departments.
When the Red Sox beat the Yankees to win the American League championship last October, thousands of fans overwhelmed the 334 police officers assigned citywide. As police tried to control the surging crowds around Fenway Park, several officers fired pepper-pellet guns, killing 21-year-old Emerson College student Victoria Snelgrove and injuring two other fans. The department has been training officers to control crowds without using any ”less-lethal weapons” like the pepper-pellet gun that has been shelved since Snelgrove’s death. An officer said the drug, gang, special operations, horse, canine, and bicycle patrol units have all been receiving extensive additional riot control training at a department firing range for several weeks. They have been practicing ”crowd control without weapons,” he said, using officers armed only with batons and pepper spray to push crowds back.