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January 30, 2018

For Eagles crowds, Philly police commissioner vows stronger deterrent than Crisco

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross isn't leaving safety to chance on Super Bowl Sunday.

Speaking at a press briefing Tuesday, Ross signaled his confidence that when the Philadelphia Eagles take down the New England Patriots, police will have a firm plan in place.

"We will be ready. Will be out there with a sizeable contingent of officers. And we will make every effort to [have people] know that we are about business, but we are also about the business of allowing people to celebrate as long as it's done peacefully," Ross said.

In the run-up to the NFC Championship game, Philadelphia's preparations became a national spectacle as plainclothes officers lathered traffic poles with Crisco to keep fans from climbing them after the game. 

Crisco's marketing department ended up getting more out of it than Philly cops, who received some free "thank you" cookies from the company. Eagles fans certainly had no problem overcoming the Crisco. 

Ross said Tuesday the city is stepping up its game. 

"We will be doing some other things relative to trying to keep people off certain objects, but I don't want to go into a lot of detail, because you already know what they are," Ross said. "I just don't want to tell you how they're changing, but I will tell you that there will be some small variations to what we did last [time]." 

"Speaking of which, on the lubrication front, Crisco was only marginally successful," said one reporter. "Have you found something slimier and slicker?"

"Uh, we think so," Ross replied. 

"So you've got a whole east laboratory working on this?" the reporter continued. 

"Yeah, we've got some brilliant people working for us," Ross joked. "No, but rest assured, whatever we do, it will be safe to anybody, any animal, any child, anything, but it will be effective."

Ross admitted he doesn't particularly understand why people climb poles, but acknowledged that it "invariably happens." 

"Look, I can't tell you that there won't still be attempts, but I just would suspect that some of them will be far more difficult than they were with the Crisco attempts."

Beyond the matter of grease, Ross said he encourages all drivers to avoid Center City at the conclusion of the game, particularly on Broad Street down to Locust. Police will be present in full force, win or lose, he said. 

"We would anticipate those crowds to be significantly larger than they were, because we've never won a Super Bowl," Ross said. "But we're going to change that on Sunday."