November 24, 2014  

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National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security Readies for 2014 Conference

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With four successful conferences already under their belts, officials at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi expect the fifth edition to be even bigger and better.

The 5th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition is set for July 8-10, 2014 in Indianapolis, Ind. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Business of Sports Safety and Security.”

“The security function’s role is now more than ever a business one as security has become a core function of finance, law, marketing and operations. Interest in sport safety and security exists in professional and college settings, as well as, high school and marathon events,” said NCS4 Director Dr. Lou Marciani. “The conference and exhibition provides a wholesome environment for sport venue security personnel, event services, first responders, manufacturers, government agencies and league security officials to learn more about security/safety technologies, services and education.”

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans will be a keynote speaker at the conference presenting: “How the Boston Marathon Bombing Changed the Game of Sports Security.” Evans, then department superintendent, had finished the 2013 marathon and was called back after the bombs exploded to be the lead investigator in the case. His talk will focus on his past experiences, and he will offer recommendations for the future.

In addition, William Hewitt from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will discuss unmanned aerial systems, looking at their security implications and commercial potential.

Two pre-conference activities will take place on July 7 including a National Forum and an Intercollegiate Athletics Symposium. During the Symposium, the first annual Intercollegiate Athletics “Best Practices Guide” will be presented to help universities and colleges, athletic conferences, bowls, and the NCAA when developing and implementing their sports facilities event security and safety plans. 

Following the Symposium will be the National Forum titled “Threat of Terrorism at Sporting Events: A Discussion of Terrorism’s Changing Face and Broad Impact.” Moderated by James Ammons from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the forum will provide opportunities for attendees to increase their terrorism knowledge and awareness, as well as examine the unique security challenges posed by sporting events.

Among the many events scheduled to enhance discussion during the three-day conference are the following:

  • Golden Eagle Award Presentations
  • Symposium: Intercollegiate Athletics First Annual “Best Practices”
  • National Forum: The Threat of Terrorism at Sporting Events
  • Welcome Reception at the NCAA Hall of Champions
  • Sport Venue Tour Breakout Sessions
  • Awards Luncheon

For more information on the conference, visit http://www.ncs4.com/conference/.