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  • Working NASCAR Races

    I just finished watching the NASCAR race, during one of the shots they showed a group of 6 deputies walking together. This question would be geared more towards the larger agencies who work these race. Normally how many officers does it take to put on the races not including private security? Are the officers working these races getting paid over-time? Do the officers who work inside the crowd inside the track have to be on for so long before they can work inside, and does the younger guys get stuck working traffic? It's gotta be a blast working them I'm sure, any good stories from working the races?
    Some people were just dropped on their heads as children more than the rest of us!

  • #2
    I think the track would hire the cops off duty. I think the cops would be from the agency where the track is located

    I would imagine working a NASCAR race would be a rather challenging assigment because most NASCAR fans are toothless, drunken, uncivilized idiots. If I ran a police department with a NASCAR track, I would set up DUI checkpoints at all exits after the race and fill several busses full of drunken yahoos. Spending $100 for a NASCAR ticket is not a license to drive drunk after the race
    Last edited by Guitar Cop; 09-04-2006, 07:04 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nebraska_deputy
      I just finished watching the NASCAR race, during one of the shots they showed a group of 6 deputies walking together. This question would be geared more towards the larger agencies who work these race. Normally how many officers does it take to put on the races not including private security? Are the officers working these races getting paid over-time? Do the officers who work inside the crowd inside the track have to be on for so long before they can work inside, and does the younger guys get stuck working traffic? It's gotta be a blast working them I'm sure, any good stories from working the races?

      Like any gig like this, its o/t. Usually we just sign up to work special sporting events. Whoever signs up first gets the o/t.

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      • #4
        How many guys normally work the races? Do they assign officers to the drivers?
        Some people were just dropped on their heads as children more than the rest of us!

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        • #5
          I'll try to answer all of your questions as they relate to my agency. Lowe's Motor Speedway is in my jurisdiction and I've worked nearly 15 NASCAR race weeks so I have a little bit of insight.

          #1, I won't say exactly how many officers work the track during a race event for security reasons, but I will tell you that my agency has about 140 sworn officers. If you're not working the road in the other parts of the city during a race, then you are working the track without exception. This includes detectives and those in special assignments. Add on top of that the hundreds of Highway Patrol officers that work the traffic, dozens of deputies that assist with some of the campgrounds, numerous federal agents that are working various assignments...you get the picture.

          #2, Race events are approved overtime for the officers working the track. This is included in the city budget and I'm not sure about the behind-the-scenes money exchanges, but I know that the money is paid directly by the city and not by the speedway.

          #3, The guys working inside the track vary from 25-year veterans to 5 day rookies. There are a few specialized patrols that are reserved for certain folks, but mostly the assignments are based on need and what team you work for. For example, you might have one sergeant and five officers working a particular section of grandstands. As far as traffic goes, we do very little of that because NCSHP is responsible for that. The only area we are responsible for is right around Concord Mills mall.

          #4, It's not a blast working them at all. I was a race fan before I started working here and that quickly went away after working a few races. Look at it this way, our city is typically about 65,000 people but during race week it goes up to over 200,000 normally. Add to that the fact that it seems about 199,998 of them are totally plastered and angry because Dale didn't win...you see what I'm saying. We deal with countless drunks, fights, falls, accidents, drunk drivers, domestics, camper fires, deaths (accidental and otherwise), larcenies, B&Es, and so on. I have plenty of good stories, but I'm too tired to type them now.

          #5, As far as setting up a bunch of checkpoints after the race, that would be excellent if we had about 300 spare cops to man them. It's already a traffic nightmare and we do good to keep up with the calls for service as it is. We are very aggressive in our DWI patrols however and every chance we get between calls we are usually stopping cars and arresting drunks if possible. We usually arrest so many drunks during a typical race weekend that they have a large bus complete with Intoxilyzer instruments and magistrates set up at a local high school. We take them there, have them blow, get them a bond, and then leave them for the DOC officers to load them on another bus and transport them to the jail. I'm not sure of the exact numbers, but I would guess we make over 50 DWI arrests on any particular race weekend.

          #6, We usually don't assign officers to the drivers. The sport is known to be "fan-friendly" and it's the drivers responsibility to take care of themselves. We do, however, on occasion provide security for dignitaries such as high ranking politicians or celebrities.

          I hope that clears up some of your questions.

          Gibbmusic
          Okay, just how big were those two beers sir?

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          • #6
            Gibb

            If you work for Cabarrus County I gotta say you guys rock. I went to Charlotte a few years ago and stayed in the in field all weekend. There were deputies everywhere and they were all really cool. I seen some of the best looking female officers I have ever seen. I talked to several and told them that I would love to work down there but there was no way I would work that race. Like you said everyone is drunk and I was no exception but I never seen any problems in the in field.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Guitar Cop
              I think the track would hire the cops off duty. I think the cops would be from the agency where the track is located

              I would imagine working a NASCAR race would be a rather challenging assigment because most NASCAR fans are toothless, drunken, uncivilized idiots. If I ran a police department with a NASCAR track, I would set up DUI checkpoints at all exits after the race and fill several busses full of drunken yahoos. Spending $100 for a NASCAR ticket is not a license to drive drunk after the race
              Michigan International Speedway pays the departmental OT, AND hires off duty guys in uniforms. The event goes usually from early Friday through Monday morning when the stragglers finally leave, and extra shifts are required during that time. ALL the departments in the area are 70 guys or less. They have to work together, and hire others from outside the counties for manpower boosts. By counties I mean that MIS actually sits straddling Jackson and Lenewee counties, about half on each side so there are often questions regarding venue and authority. The parimeter parking lots/camp grounds are about 50/50 as well. The media says that the speedway is in Brooklyn, MI but no part of the speedway is closer than about 2 miles to the village. On race day the traffic backs up for roughly 20 miles or more.

              I have a buddy I went to the academy with who got me on his department part time just to work the race weekends. It gets pretty crazy there, but in actuality, the NASCAR fans are very well behaved with the exception of a few drunks. You can expect lots of BBQ offers, and they are constantly trying to get you to have a beer with them. In contrast, the INDY fans are complete asses and usually destructive. I can not stand the INDY fans, and we would give them ZERO tolerance before we stuffed em.
              Fighting the good fight, one beer at a time.

              "Defense aint for no nice people." Neamiah Warrick, first year starting Saftey, Michigan State University 2006

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              • #8
                wsco234, I actually work for the city of Concord. Cabarrus County helps out with some of the patrol duties there, but mainly they are assigned to work off-duty in the campgrounds outside the speedway, several of which are outside the city jurisdiction. They have their hands full enough with the hundreds of fans that go to their jail over the weekend.

                Lawhog, you are correct about the Indy fans. We had Indy races here before one threw a tire into the stands and killed some fans. The Indy fans were generally angrier and less civilized, which was a shock considering most people consider NASCAR to be the "redneck" sport. Don't get me wrong about my comments, I agree that proabably 98% of the NASCAR fans are very good people. Even though we have 200,000 fans at the track and a good majority of them are drinking alcohol, we usually only have several dozen troublemakers that we have to snatch up. The percentage is comparitively low, but it's enough to keep us hopping all week.

                I'm just glad we're not a public safety dept. that would have to respond to medical calls. I bet we have 3 or 4 people that die of heart attacks each race weekend. The reason is simple, you take an overweight person in not-so-good health that hasn't walked further than their fridge for a year...and then park him about a mile from the track, have him drink beer for hours, then have them walk up several hundred stairs to their seat in 90+ degree heat. I think you see why the poor ticker just gives out.

                Gibbmusic
                Okay, just how big were those two beers sir?

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                • #9
                  I get the joyous duty of working the race this coming weeked. Richmond International Raceway is somewhat unique in that it lies inside Henrico County about three blocks from the Richmond City limits and the back side of the track is only a mile or so from Hanover County, so all three jurisdictions plus the State Police have a hand in traffic control.

                  Henrico County Police handle the inside of the track, but I can't tell you how many they have posted. They have about 500 officers, and if you aren't working the street, you're probably at the track.

                  I think RIR pays OT for the grounds and the track itself. My assignment is getting traffic in that morning, and it's scheduled as my regular shift.(I'm in traffic, not patrol)

                  As far as the comments about NASCAR fans, we have fewer problems from 200,000 of them than we do for rap shows a tenth of that size, so you do the math.
                  Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.

                  Ronald Reagan

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                  • #10
                    I concur with the last comment

                    Over the last 6 months there have been 17 club shootings in my jurisdiction

                    17 at hip-hop style clubs

                    0 at country western bars

                    Not saying its always that way but the rednecks better get to shooting if they wanna keep up.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Andersondeputy
                      I concur with the last comment

                      Over the last 6 months there have been 17 club shootings in my jurisdiction

                      17 at hip-hop style clubs

                      0 at country western bars

                      Not saying its always that way but the rednecks better get to shooting if they wanna keep up.
                      I agree that the hip hop activities are more violent, but they have nicer teeth at the hip hop activities. Some even have expensive "grills"

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                      • #12
                        With the exception of all the drunks and traffic it sounds like it would be a good time working the races . I just thought it would be fun to work at least one race. After seeing the group of officers walking together I figured some people on here would have some insight on work the races. The closes raceway we have to here is down in Kansas City. As close as I have come so far to meeting anyone with NASCAR, other than watching the races on television, is pulling over a couple of pit crew members for speeding. Maybe some day I'll be able to attend a race in person and see first hand.
                        Some people were just dropped on their heads as children more than the rest of us!

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                        • #13
                          I usually work the Homestead race every year, but I guess I'm luckier than some of you here...it's not my city, so I don't have to deal with a lot of the BS. I work an EOD K9 and we get called down there each year to do sweeps before the track even opens to the public each day. Then we remain on standby the rest of the day, should a dog be needed for anything. The best part of the whole deal is that because we may needed anywere on the property, we get NASCAR credentials that allow us to go anywhere on the facility..and I mean anywhere, at anytime, all weekend. Now THAT's fun.

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                          • #14
                            Oh the joys of working NASCAR... We get to work two races a year plus one INDY race also at RIR. Like RPD above said, our agency has over 500+ officers. The weekend of the races everyone is working. Either the road or the race. All leave is cancelled at those times.

                            Plus side is that it is all OT. If you work both the Busch and Cup races you will probably get somewhere north of 30 hrs of OT. Down side is you are working that 30 hours in about a 35 hour time frame. RIR pays for the OT.

                            The worst part about it is that the RIR track is more than five miles from the closest interstate exit. So all 100,000+ fans get to sit and yell at us on secondary roads for hours at a time. I would agree with others, the Nascar fans are generally a very good crowd and respectful.

                            Cool thing is (depending on where you are assigned) the interaction you can have with the actual drivers/crews. Many folks have pictures with their favorite drivers or some type of souvenier from the crew.

                            So any of you all coming to RIR this weekend, enjoy yourself and try not to run over anyone at Gate 4 please. I don't need a limp.....

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                            • #15
                              I live 10 miles from Sears Poi .... I mean .... Infineon Raceway, however, I work elsewhere. I go to the races mainly because I like being there and taking pictures, but secondly, because I'd rather be tailgating after the race in the parking lot (BBQing) versus sitting in traffic on the highway trying to get home from work.

                              I always see the CHP and Sonoma County Sheriff's Departments working the races, and I know the other local PD's that aren't working the races directly, account for heavier traffic after the races.
                              I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

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