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Mangnuson, who is a Type 1 diabetic, always has at her side a bag stuffed with juice boxes, her glucose monitor and sugar tablets.
Despite the policy’s exception for medical needs, Mangnuson said it’s still a worry that she would run up against a security agent who doesn’t understand her needs.
International security consultant and retired Northwest Airlines Capt. Steve Luckey said he has doubts about the need for the new rules. The key to stopping terrorism doesn’t lie in searching purses, but spotting intent by monitoring the news and chatter, he said. Most important, he said, is training security personnel to spot unusual behavior. “The Israelis are masters at this, and they’ve never had a hijacking on El-Al” airlines, he said.
Luckey said the desire to tighten security in the wake of the Boston bombings is understandable, but apolitical sporting events and concerts haven’t been major terrorist targets.
“I think you get to the point where you restrict things and it’s negative, like taking your shoes off at the airport — it’s stupid, absolutely stupid,” Luckey said.
For now, the bag ban is unique to the NFL. At Minnesota Twins games, spectators can bring in purses and even food, which isn’t allowed at NFL games. “We have a lot of female fans and male fans who like to bring a bag to the game,” said Twins President Dave St. Peter.
Target Field, which opened in 2010, has higher-tech security cameras and monitors than the Metrodome. Dogs trained in detecting explosives regularly sweep the ballpark. “There’s no doubt that security is going to continue to be a huge priority,” St. Peter said. “To the extent changes are made, it will further restrict” things.
The NBA and the Minnesota Timberwolves ban backpacks, briefcases and duffel bags, but allow purses after an inspection at the entrance.
Luckey said businesses have to watch how far they go both for customer experience and effectiveness.
“In our culture, we’ve been pretty free and fortunate for many years, and vigilance has to be higher than it has been before,” he said.
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 @rochelleolson