Foxborough, Massachusetts, Police Chief Bill Baker, who previously worked in law enforcement in Maine, speaks to CBS 13's Lexie O'Connor about working with the New England Patriots at Foxborough's Gillette Stadium. Credit: CBS 13

Police lay out security plans for New England Patriots home games days in advance, and while players and fans are concentrating on what’s happening on the field, law enforcement officers remain vigilant.

And the man in charge of that security — Foxborough, Massachusetts, Police Chief Bill Baker — comes to that post from Maine, where he served as an officer in Cumberland and police chief for five years in Westbrook. Baker sat for an interview about his job with WGME, CBS 13.

The importance of Baker’s work came was put in perspective by the news that police have apprehended a man who alleged sent messages threatening to carry out an attack at Sunday’s playoff football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

“The Steelers game will be packed, and that’s when I plan on killing Steelers football players and fans before taking my own pitiful life,” one of the man’s messages allegedly said, according to multiple news reports.

The Patriots played their own playoff game Saturday night, defeating the Tennessee Titans without any major security incident.

Most NFL football stadiums like the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium and the Steelers’ Heinz Field have the capacity to hold nearly 70,000 fans apiece.

“When you think about it, it’s a little bigger than the whole population of Portland transplanted into a single building in Foxborough,” Baker told CBS 13.

That means Baker and his team have to be thorough and careful. It’s a job Baker, who still has family in Maine and vacations every summer on Peaks Island, said he relishes.

“The Patriots have always been my football team and football has always been a favorite sport … to watch, so to end up the end of my career the police chief in Foxborough ministering to the needs of the Patriots, it’s a pretty cool way to end your career,” he told CBS 13.

Baker said sometimes fans from Maine will recognize him at the games.

“I could be walking along behind the team bench and someone in Section 121 will scream out my name and get my attention and I’ll be able to go over and say hello,” he told the station.

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Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.