By all indications everything went according to script during a game-day test of video surveillance by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.
On Saturday, Nov. 21 the center served as a test lab for two major video surveillance companies in conjunction with the Southern Miss-Tulsa football game at M.M. Roberts Stadium. A set of seven scenarios were scripted beforehand and a group of “actors” participated in the exercise designed to test the video technology and emergency response time.
“We successfully completed evaluating our sport security laboratory protocols,” said NCS4 Director Lou Marciani. “In addition, based on the feedback from subject matter experts, we successfully conducted impartial assessments and validations of two video surveillance solutions based on the needs of the sports security community.”
Surveillance industry giants Avigilon and Pixel Velocity supplied the 12 high-definition cameras used in the lab test. Five security experts served as subject-matter evaluators for the test which began at 3 p.m. and concluded during the first quarter of Saturday night’s game.
Those involved in the evaluation process included the following:
• Michael Rodriguez, director of security for the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament
• Ted Hayduk, senior solution architect with Flagship Solutions Group
• Joel S. Downing, director of security for the National Basketball Association
• Danny Lawless, Tulane University campus police officer
• Dan Morrissey, systems engineer with ADT Security
Despite the rainy conditions that prevailed throughout the test, NCS4 representatives, test evaluators, campus police officers and other area law enforcement officials were able to detect and monitor “suspicious” activity included in the scenarios. Saturday’s exercise served as the launch of the national lab at NCS4 in which sophisticated testing of that nature will be conducted on a regular basis.
“We had a little down time because of the weather but you can’t plan for that,” said NCS4 Program Director Robert McDavid. “I think everybody involved got what they wanted from the test. We had everything well planned and the execution was just about perfect. Now that we’ve got this first test under our belts, we can continue to move forward with training and strategies for sports safety and security.”
Established in 2006, the NCS4 is the only sports security training organization of its kind in the United States and remains the recognized leader in addressing potential threats and risks to the safety and security of sporting events. Through research, education and innovative solutions, the center continues to enhance the level of preparedness at sporting venues worldwide.
University of Southern Mississippi Chief of Police Bob Hopkins, left, observes the split-screen monitor used during the video surveillance test conducted by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security during last Saturday’s football game at M.M. Roberts Stadium. At right is Joel Patterick with Pixel Velocity. (University Communications photo by Steve Rouse)
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.