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Protecting Patrons: URI steps up security at Ryan Center

URI announced Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, that it’s requiring that patrons get checked with metal detecting wands before they go inside the Ryan Center for basketball games. (WJAR)

The University of Rhode Island is stepping up security at the Ryan Center.

The university announced Wednesday it’s requiring that patrons get checked with metal detecting wands before they go inside the arena for basketball games.

“I definitely think it's a good idea. I think it adds more safety to an already really safe campus,” said sophomore Jennifer Roth.

URI already uses hand-held metal detectors during concerts.

The general manager of the Ryan Center, Leah Becki, told NBC 10 News the university decided it was time to start using them during basketball games as a preventative measure.

”There was no specific event that made us take that next step,” Becki said. “We looked at standards in the industry, how the industry's changing a little bit and we just knew this was our next step.”

URI is asking fans to arrive at the Ryan Center early so they have enough time to go through security. They're also reminding students that big bags and purses aren't allowed in the arena.

“I’ve never really felt unsafe on campus, but I think added protection will put everybody else's minds at ease and there's really no negative outcome that could come from it so I think it's a really good idea," sophomore McKenna Horner said.

The general manager said due to limited space in the lobby, metal wands were deemed the best way to screen people.

"We want them to come here, have fun, enjoy themselves and not have to worry about anything.” Becki said.

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