At least for the time being, NFL teams visiting Minneapolis will no longer be escorted by police – a common practice throughout the league.
This comes after a Minneapolis police squad car got in an accident while escorting the Washington Redskins football team to TCF Bank Stadium Sunday morning.
According to KSTP, the state patrol report on the incident said the officer who was driving was ordered to move from behind the two buses to the front, but as she sped up to pass the buses on the grassy median she lost control and hit the guardrail, reports say.
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The bus came to a stop in front of the buses. The first bus braked, but the second bus rear-ended the first bus, police said. Redskins coach Coach Jay Gruden, who was on the first bus, described it as a terrifying situation, according to the Washington Post.
Now, the police department is taking a second look at its policy and has suspended its escort service. Minneapolis police spokesperson Scott Seroka released the following statement to KSTP:
"There is an internal investigation regarding Sunday's incident that prohibits us from commenting on it specifically. We can tell you that we are currently reevaluating the process and will not be providing any escorts until that reevaluation has been completed."
Using such escorts is common for NFL teams, both on the road and at home. Last year, a report said when the Minnesota Vikings travel for away games the team pays police about $300 for a special escort to the airport. The Vikings are pre-screened at their workout facility to avoid TSA checkpoints at the airport. The Vikings said the escort is necessary so the buses aren't compromised en route to the airport.
The Star Tribune notes that not only does the Minneapolis Police Department's current escort suspension include other NFL teams, but also all other teams in the NBA, NHL and MLB, which use escort service on a "case by case basis."
MPR News says NFL teams may still have the option of having the state patrol escort teams if Minneapolis police permanently suspend the service. The station adds the University of Minnesota sports teams get escorts from the university's police department.