New Se­cu­rity Pro­to­cols Im­ple­mented For Congress

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - BASEBALL VS. TERRORISM - By Mark Humphrey

SPRING­DALE — James T. Hodgkin­son, 66, of Belleville, Ill., died fol­low­ing a shootout with Capi­tol po­lice af­ter he opened fire about 7:06 a.m. June 14, 2017 on sev­eral mem­bers of Congress and oth­ers prac­tic­ing on a base­ball field at Alexan­dria, Va.

Speak­ing about the in­ci­dent af­ter a send­off he hosted for ap­pointees to var­i­ous mil­i­tary acad­e­mies in­clud­ing for­mer Farm­ing­ton cor­ner­back Ja­van Jow­ers and for­mer Gravette wide re­ceiver Daniel Hunts­man, Con­gress­man Steve Wo­mack, R-Rogers, said the at­tack serves as a re­minder that peo­ple who are pre­dis­posed to com­mit­ting a ter­ror­ist act will use high-pro­file events — in­clud­ing sport­ing events, con­certs, and those type of venues where a lot of peo­ple are gath­ered — to try to fur­ther their ob­jec­tive.

“Peo­ple that are pre­dis­posed to com­mit­ting those kinds of acts choose lo­ca­tions that go right to the heart of the soul of Amer­ica and ob­vi­ously sports is one of those com­mon de­nom­i­na­tors that unites a lot of us,” Wo­mack said dur­ing an in­ter­view at the Har-Ber High School cafe­te­ria in Spring­dale on June 2.

New se­cu­rity pro­to­cols were im­ple­mented for mem­bers of Congress af­ter the shoot­ing.

“We’re com­ing up on the one-year an­niver­sary of that shoot­ing, and I had re­ally, re­ally dear friends of mine that were im­pacted by it, not the least of whom was Steve Scalise,” Wo­mack said. “It has changed a lot of the pro­to­cols in Wash­ing­ton any­more when a num­ber of mem­bers (of Congress) are to­gether there’s usu­ally some kind of se­cu­rity de­tail close by or at least lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are alerted.”

Even though Wo­mack wasn’t present at Simp­son Field in Alexan­dria, Va., when the shoot­ing hap­pened, the in­ten­sity of re­call­ing the event was ap­par­ent. He rubbed his chin and clutched his chest dur­ing the in­ter­view.

“Yeah, it both­ers me, and it trou­bles me that we have to have all these se­cu­rity pre­cau­tions up at all the ball­parks and Ra­zor­back Sta­dium and those kinds of places,” Wo­mack said. “It’s trou­ble­some, but it’s the world we live in.”

Democrats and Repub­li­cans played their an­nual Con­gres­sional base­ball game for char­ity the day fol­low­ing the shoot­ing with the Democrats win­ning, 11-2.

The game, which pre­vi­ously sold be­tween 8,000 and 9,000 tick­ets, played at Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als ballpark, drew a record crowd of 24,959 and raised more than $1 mil­lion for char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions.

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