Ben White entered the United States Military Academy at West Point with the idea of making a significant contribution to the safety and protection of American citizens.
Part of that commitment involves a senior class project that brought White, three classmates and their instructor to the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi earlier this month. The West Point contingent spent an entire day studying the NCS4’s training and operations procedures.
The cadets’ objective was to acquire as much information about sports safety and security preparedness at NCS4 and apply that knowledge to an updated emergency management plan at West Point.
“One of the main reasons we came to West Point was to serve our country and protect the freedoms we enjoy,” said White, who serves as the class project manager. “This project is an extension of that. We all want to make a positive impact in some way and hopefully we’ll be able to accomplish that by applying some of the principles in place at Southern Miss to what we’re doing at the academy.”
Joining White for the NCS4 visit were fellow seniors Bryan Tauzer, Keith Hanna and Carmen Cuellar. Dr. Paul D. West, assistant professor in the Department of Systems Engineering at West Point, serves as the class instructor.
West, with 30 years of service in the U.S. military, noted that all West Point seniors are required to complete a two-semester capstone project that exhibits real-world applications. When the aforementioned seniors chose to design a new evacuation protocol for Michie Stadium, home of the Army football team, West set his sights on a trip to Hattiesburg.
“The reputation for the work being done at NCS4 had already been established,” said West. “So we thought what better place to learn more about sports stadium security? There are some very interesting and promising ideas being generated at the center and it’s obvious that all the right people are in place as well. The trip has been quite beneficial for all of us.”
Established in 2006, The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security was created to provide an interdisciplinary academic environment to further increase sport security awareness; improve sport security policies and procedures and enhance emergency response through evacuation, recovery operations and crowd management training.
“We were honored to have cadets from the United States Military Academy and their instructor as our guests at the National Center,” said NCS4 Director Dr. Lou Marciani. “We were able to share evacuation best practices, communication methodologies and simulation modeling processes during their time with us.”
For more information about the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security, call 601-266-6183 or visit www.NCS4.com
U.S. Military Academy cadets, from left to right: Michelle Cuellar, Ben White, Keith Hannah and Bryan Tauzer examine software applications with NVision Solutions representative Katie Hall at The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security on March 5, 2010. (Office of University Communications photo by Van Arnold)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.