COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ahead of Saturday’s highly anticipated match between Ohio State and Penn State, OSU Police are ensuring fans that safety is their top priority.
Police leaders say they will be on high alert and are asking fans to do the same.
At the last home game, there was an incident where a man was caught flying a drone over the stadium during the game – which is not allowed.
Police Chief Kimberly Spears-McNatt said this is an ongoing investigation.
We know the man caught flying the drone was not a registered pilot and he did not register his drone.
Spears-McNatt said this arrest was a collaborative effort between OSU police, Columbus police and other agencies and they are fortunate enough to have the resources to recognize this.
She said the no drone rule is for the safety of everyone in the area.
“If the drone goes rogue or it is out of line of eyesight, if it falls or something happens, then, you know, one, we’re concerned about inducing panic or someone getting hurt. And so just for the safety, because it’s our number one priority that, you know, we do not allow drones flying on campus on game day,” Spears-McNatt said.
This is also the first home game since the Israel-Hamas war broke out. In the last week there have been several protests around the city about the war.
The chief said at this time they do not know of any planned protests around the stadium or have heard of any credible threats. However, she said they are prepared for any situation.
“If someone does, it’s not the first time we’ve had protests come to campus or at the stadium.
And so, we just make sure that we’re respectful of everyone’s rights, understanding everybody’s feelings and making sure that everyone can have a safe space to address, you know, free speech and protect their first amendment rights,” Spears-McNatt said.
Spears-McNatt is encouraging fans to speak up if they see something out of the ordinary.
She said this weekend and every weekend they are working with local, state and federal partners to ensure it is both fun and safe.
“You just never know what information you may have. And we want to make sure that we have the best fans in the land. We want to make sure everyone has a good experience. And so, if you see something that you feel may seem suspicious, it doesn’t hurt just to reach out to law enforcement, to let us know. It could end up being nothing, but it is something more that we need to look into,” Spears-McNatt said.
OSU police also want to remind fans to arrive early and give themselves time to get through traffic and around road closures.
Also, if you have a mobile ticket, make sure to download it before coming to the campus area.For more information on road closures click here.