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Law enforcement preparing for ‘multiple scenarios’ during track championships

Tiffany Eckert
Hayward Field is the main venue for Oregon22.

With thousands of athletes and spectators converging on Eugene next month for the world track championships, public safety officials are planning for one of the largest security events that Oregon has ever seen.

Andre’ Le Duc with the University of Oregon is chair of the Safety and Security Committee for Oregon22. Le Duc told the Oregon House Interim Committee On Economic Recovery and Prosperity on Wednesday that the university is used to big events, such as football games that can draw more than 50,000 people. But the track championships are on another scale altogether, meaning public safety resources need to be ready to act on a moment’s notice.

“When we run other large sporting events, we have a lot of those things that are on standby," he said. "Because of the size, scope and scale of this event, we are not going to be on standby. We will have active command posts. We will have unified command between the various local law enforcement and state police.”

Le Duc says the event will also use private security guards at some venues, including Hayward Field. Planning for the security and safety needs at the event has been underway since last August.

"We do know that resources will be stretched," said Matt Garrett, who's overseeing the state's management of the event through the office of Gov. Kate Brown. "We are planning multiple scenarios where we may have incidents at multiple sites."

One lawmaker on the committee appeared uncomfortable with the idea of discussing security concerns in a public hearing.

"I would respectfully suggest and request that this committee not go any further than we already have in this public setting," said Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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