Sports and Security

NCS4 conference topics range from Boston Marathon bombings to high school games
 - 
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

 

HATTIESBURG, Miss.—Open-access sporting event security was an especially hot topic at the recent fourth annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition.

That topic came in the wake of the bombings at the April 2013 Boston Marathon. “There are different challenges, same principles,” NCS4 Director Dr. Lou Marciani told Security Director News

The NCS4 July conference drew a record number of participants and exhibitors to its conference, Marciani said. More than 500 professionals, including venue personnel, league officials, technology representatives and first responders, attended the three-day conference in Orlando, Fla., last month. That turnout, MarcianI said, proves that there’s a need for those at all levels to learn and grow where sports security is concerned.

Forums and roundtable discussions covered issues involving pro and collegiate sports and, for the first time, high school sports.

Speaker William Evans, the Boston Police superintendent who led the response to the April bombings, got an excellent reception from the crowd, Marciani said. [For an SDN interview with Evans, click here.] Evans’ take on the necessity of training and planning for worst-case scenarios was phenomenal, Marciani said.

Pat Williams, senior vice president of the Orlando Magic spoke about the importance of leadership in sports security and safety.

Another highlight, Marciani said, was a speech from Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit.” who addressed how the culture of sports security can be changed from “the way we do things in silos,” he said, to being more collaborative and efficient.

Bomb threats, training, certifications and gate screening were among the other topics on the agenda.

NCS4 is based at the University of Southern Mississippi.