[star]The American Mind[star]

October 13, 2006

Visiting Team Getting to Lambeau Field Now More Complicated

When visiting football teams play the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field they stay at the Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, WI roughly 30 miles away. For years the Brown County Sheriff's Department escorted the teams' buses to Green Bay. The practice of them stopping traffic outside their jurisdiction (Appleton is in neighboring Outagamie County) may shake up visiting teams' travel plans to the consternation of an Appleton hotel manager:

[Brown County Sheriff's Capt. Randy] Schultz said he plans to ask the state Legislature to allow the escorts much as funeral processions now are permitted. And he also said he has asked two hotels in the Green Bay area if they would house visiting teams and "both are substantially interested."

This is no solution to Jay Schumerth, manager of the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, who notes all NFL teams contract to stay at the hotel and have done so since it opened in 1982.

"We've spent a lot of years building up our reputation, and then you hear something like this and it's like a kick in the teeth," Schumerth said.

According to Nancy Peterson-Bekx a former district attorney the escorts the sherff's department is doing violates Wisconsin state law:
Peterson-Bekx said Tuesday she was unaware of the stir caused by an opinion she has aired several times over her career as a police trainer. "The problem is the law is very clear on what an authorized emergency vehicle can do," she said. "And escorting a bus for an NFL team is not one of those circumstances.

"The potential problem, of course, is that if someone is going with the green light and plows into them, that caravan is entirely in the wrong from a legal point of view. The civil liability would be incredible."

Law enforcement officers may violate traffic laws only in an emergency situation, according to state law.

I'd like to think that since the escort has been occurring since 1982 that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but we live in a litigious society with people suing for much less than a car accident from an improper police escort.

"Forget the Police Escort"

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Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 02:40 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)