Another 22 metal detectors are on their way to Pinnacle Bank Arena.
They’ll arrive in time to be used at Miranda Lambert’s Oct. 11 concert and, four days later, for the Guns N’ Roses show.
The new detectors will be identical to the six CEiA PMD2 detectors that have been used at the arena and Pinewood Bowl since June 2018. Their purchase, for $140,000, completes major arena security acquisitions.
The arena, which opened in 2013, has 36 doors, including backstage and staff entrances. A total of 35 metal detectors were to have been purchased when the machines were put into the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency budget a couple years ago.
But a year of using the six detectors reduced the number of new machines needed to cover the entrances.
“We’ve reassessed where we’d like to see them,” said arena manager Tom Lorenz. “Now the total we’ll have in the building is 28. What that covers is not just entry doors for the public but other non-public entrances that we have staff go through. What we’ve found is that for some areas, one detector can cover two doors. That’s particularly true for the northeast entrance (at the top of the ramp).”
The CEiA PMD2 detectors are state-of-the-art-devices that scan and light up in four zones, showing the approximate location of metal objects on concertgoers.
“They work great,” Lorenz said. “The settings are excellent. It will point out a large metal object, like a weapon, but allow a set of keys or a phone to go through in a pocket. If there is something metal, the lights show exactly the area to be wanded. It’s much better for the public, much less invasive than wanding.”
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In 14 months, a “handful” of handguns have been screened by the detectors. But there have been no threatening incidents.
“Nebraska is a concealed-carry state,” Lorenz said. “We occasionally find someone who is exercising that opportunity. We have that discussion with them at that point and they take it back to a vehicle.”
Each of the new detectors will be augmented by a “divesting table” that sits next to the devices. Keys, phones, change and other metal objects will be placed in baskets that will slide down the table to be picked up after the concertgoer has gone through the detector.
That should further speed up the entry at each gate. And the 28 detectors should largely eliminate the long lines that at many concerts stretch from the arena doors across the street and sometimes, as at the Cardi B show, down the nearby blocks.
“That was one of the key reasons for choosing this particular brand — the high flow rate” Lorenz said. “Together the flow should be much faster and get people in the building quicker."
The detectors will be used at concerts and other events set by the arena. The University of Nebraska has not used the six detectors for men’s and women’s basketball games. Nebraska Athletics will determine whether the detectors will be used at the games.