DALLAS -- Confident that a thorough security plan for the
Cotton Bowl was developed before a deadly explosion outside the
University of Oklahoma's football stadium last week, authorities
said no drastic new safeguards will be made for Saturday's game
between Texas and Oklahoma.
But authorities warned that security personnel around the Cotton
Bowl will be more alert in response to the blast, which
investigators say was caused when explosives attached to a
student's body detonated within 100 yards of where more than 80,000
fans were gathered inside Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
"That's one of things we drilled into the heads of our
officers," said Dallas Deputy Chief Jesse Reyes. "To be vigilant
about suspicious-looking persons or suspicious-looking vehicles or
anything of that sort."
Joel Henry Hinrichs III, 21, died Saturday when the device
attached to his body exploded about while he sat on a bench outside
George Lynn Cross Hall on the campus in Norman, Okla., officials
said. The blast could be heard inside the stadium, where Oklahoma
was playing Kansas State.
University of Oklahoma President David Boren said Tuesday that
authorities continue to believe that Hinrichs did not try to get
into the stadium and that he acted alone.
Reyes said Dallas police have been talking with FBI
investigators to learn more about the explosion, so that officers
patrolling the game can watch for similar signs or evidence
Saturday. Officials said the day of the Texas-Oklahoma game draws
about 250,000 fans and visitors to the State Fair of Texas, which
takes place outside the Cotton Bowl and serves as the backdrop to
"The more information we have regarding the incident the better
we are able to prepare," said Reyes, who oversees security for the
Reyes said canvassing the stadium with bomb-sniffing dogs and
explosives experts has been a routine part of security for the
game. Visual surveillance -- from cameras to officers stationed on
elevated platforms -- was also increased throughout the fair this
year, though Reyes said he couldn't reveal specifics because of
Fans attending the game are screened using an electronic hand
wand when entering Fair Park and again before entering the Cotton
Bowl. Bags are subject to searches at both entrances.
Fair organizers contract a private security firm to take tickets
and screen fans at the entrances. Fair spokeswoman Sue Gooding said
no new security measures will be taken in response to the blast
since security was already dramatically heightened after the Sept.
11, 2001, attacks.
"In light of the recent incident, it makes us more aware that
the precautions we put in place are valid," Gooding said.
At the University of Oklahoma, Boren said security for future
home games will be tightened. He said security personnel will more
thoroughly search bags fans bring to the stadium, and for the rest
of the season the school will suspend a policy that allows
spectators to return after leaving at halftime.
Additional officers, both uniform and undercover, also will be
scattered throughout the stadium.
Cameras are positioned at locations throughout the stadium and
on the university's campus, but Boren said none of them captured