The National Center for Spectator Sports Security and Safety (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi recently received two grants from the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security for use in ongoing training practices.
A $75,000 grant has been awarded to help fund a pilot program for sports security supervisor training. Individuals who complete the program will receive a National Certificate for Sports Security Supervisor Training endorsed by the NCS4.
“A major gap in training sport security personnel is the administrative staff responsible for the overall safety and security of the sport venue,” said NCS4 Director Lou Marciani. “This grant will provide the essential curriculum components necessary to prepare one for this leadership role.”
Robert McDavid, program director at NCS4 and the grant’s coordinator, said the training program will increase awareness of the knowledge, skills and capabilities critical for effective security management of sport venues and build a sustainable preparedness among multiple disciplines responsible for college sport venue security management.
Some of the training’s objectives include:
• Provide quality, consistency and accessibility of training regarding the capabilities to identify and prioritize hazards, assess vulnerabilities and determine risk.
• Develop a list of critical tasks to be carried out to prevent occurrences, reduce loss of life or serious injuries and mitigate significant property damage.
• Translate sport event missions and operations to “action plans” for effective security management and disaster incident response.
• Development of a standards-based tool for a personnel certification system for key event personnel responsible for security management of intercollegiate athletic events.
“Effective security management is imperative at sporting events due to the potential for mass casualties and catastrophic economic impact,” said McDavid. “The University of Southern Mississippi in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Homeland Security continues to lead the nation through the development of comprehensive security planning and training to protect its citizen at sporting venues across the nation’s university campuses.”
Another $85,000 grant has been awarded to help identify and test the essential competencies needed for a professional sports security director. The goal is to establish essential duties and responsibilities of a sports security director that will address the challenges of homeland security in the sports industry.
“The essential responsibilities for the safety and security of an intercollegiate athletic event lie in the leadership of the athletic department,” said Marciani. “This grant will research the necessary competencies necessary to address this gap. It is the intent of this grant to develop the roles and responsibilities needed for this leadership role.”
Rickey Bradley, project coordinator at NCS4, has outlined some specific goals as director of the competencies grant.
• Address the fact that the threat is real and the stress the importance of mitigating, preparedness, response and recovery operations from a threat
• Sport security planning (game day)
• Sports event incident management (developing a building teamwork to communicate and effectively resolve any issues in the event of a threat
• Sports venue risk assessment
• Staff training for sport event security
“This particular grant is not only important to sporting events nationally but globally as well,” said Bradley. “Our national security level is at an all-time high and has been threatened many times in recent years and sporting venues are at the top of the list when it comes to identifying the next possible threat on human lives.”
Established in 2006, the NCS4 is the national leader in addressing potential threats and risks to safety and security at sporting events. The United States Department of Homeland Security has identified sports stadiums and arenas as potential targets of terrorism. Through research, education and innovative solutions, the NCS4 strives to enhance the level of preparedness at sporting venues nationwide.
For more information about the national center visit www.NCS4.com or call 601-266-6183.
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.