The Cross Insurance Center in Bangor has adopted a new security policy for all events at the arena and conference center that includes the regular use of metal detectors, a requirement that guests have their bags inspected when they enter the venue and a limit on bag size.
Bangor voters in next week’s election will be subject to the new security measures except for the bag size limit, according to the arena’s general manager.
While the center has already screened guests at some of its events — particularly concerts — the change is that it now plans to do so regularly for all types of events.
“To my knowledge, they weren’t using them that consistently,” General Manager Anthony Vail said of the metal detectors. “Now they are essentially part of security protocol for all arena and conference center events.”
However, Vail said that the venue could make some exceptions depending on what the organizers of events want for their guests. For example, one of the new rules is a limit on what size bags guests can bring to the arena. Under the policy, any bags that guests bring must be no larger than 14-by-14-by-6 inches. That’s about the size of a purse or handbag.
But the Cross Insurance Center will suspend that rule when it hosts local Bangor elections — such as the one that’s happening Tuesday — in case any voters happen to have a larger bag with them, according to Vail. It will also assess whether the other screening procedures are causing delays at the ballot box and adjust them if necessary.
“Voting is a right, and we have to allow access to everyone who wants to vote,” Vail said. “We will have security in place, but folks coming to vote may not be subject to the same measures.”
Under the new policy, staff will be able to turn away guests who decline to be searched or follow other parts of the policy.
In addition, the venue has banned a mix of items from being taken inside, including drones, selfie sticks, banners, hoverboards, skateboards, weapons, self-defense sprays, audio and video recording equipment, sealed packages, frisbees, smoking products and other objects that staff deem inappropriate. However, the venue may make exceptions for medical and religious reasons.
An explanation of the new policy is available on the Cross Insurance Center website.
Staff are also reviewing what security policies could be put in place during the Bangor State Fair that happens every summer outside the Cross Insurance Center in Bass Park. The fair this past summer included a new indoor area in the Cross Center.
Voting will take place Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center. Early voting is also taking place this week at the Cross Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but that ends Thursday.