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Bengals Stop Security Pat-Downs

October 1, 2005

CINCINNATI (AP) _ The Cincinnati Bengals scrapped plans to have security guards give pat-downs to fans attending Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans when local officials refused to foot the bill.

The team, which had hired a private security firm to conduct the searches outside Paul Brown Stadium, announced Wednesday it would follow an NFL mandate to perform the searches.

But the Bengals pulled back Friday when Hamilton County commissioners complained that the team billed taxpayers $60,000 for the additional security. The Bengals lease the county-owned stadium.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said the pat-downs could be construed as unlawful if they’re taxpayer-funded.

Bengals executive Troy Blackburn said the team will meet with NFL officials and local authorities next week to resolve the issue of who pays for the security guards. Searches could start at the next home game, Oct. 23, against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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