ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Phil Melcher’s resume reads like an action hero’s: Special forces, green beret, over two dozen missions in Central and South America in support of U.S. counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism and counter insurgency efforts, and deputy chief of security at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
For the last four months, he’s been the director of security for the St. Louis Cardinals, the job he says he always wanted.
Melcher brought security in-house instead of contracting it out and wrote new policies and procedures, saying security is the one area where plagiarism is welcomed.
“I took a Department of Defense anti-terrorism class and modified it and made it a Cardinal class, and it worked out very well,” he says.
Melcher’s new training classes have been taught to everyone on staff, including the front office. He says watching for intoxicated fans is one thing, but the staff has been taught to look at everyone. For instance, if a fight is occurring and everyone has their cell phones out recording.
“If you see someone that isn’t doing that, that’s just kind of looking at their watch or something like that, that may be a set up to see how quick our responses are, how many people we send to respond to the incident, because that’s all part of that pre-planning,” he says.
Pre-planning that someone may be engaged in who wants to commit a crime, or worse, an act of terrorism at the stadium.
Melcher says the team is working to get the stamp of approval from the Department of Homeland Security. That stamp of approval is called the Safety Act Accreditation.
“They accredit different types of security technologies and things like that, and facilities and companies, that they are at a certain standard that the Department of Homeland Security approves of,” Melcher says.
Melcher believes the recent stray bullet that struck a fan in the elbow was fired from outside the stadium, saying it was pristine. Had it been fired inside, he says the woman would have sustained more damage.
Among the new policies being developed is one on how to handle drones flown into the stadium.