September 21, 2014  

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Sports Safety and Security Conference Set for July 8-10 in Indianapolis

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Officials with the National Center for Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi are making final preparations for the 5th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition set for July 8-10 in Indianapolis, Ind.

The conference will feature security experts, panel discussions and vendor exhibits at the spacious JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. NCS4 Director Dr. Lou Marciani notes that Indianapolis was an obvious choice to host the fifth edition of the national conference.

“Indianapolis is considered the amateur sports capital of the country. Because of the emphasis on sports of the city it was perfect for us to engage with the community - there all centralized in Indianapolis,” said Marciani. “We're able to strengthen the conference this year with the support of the facilities and expertise of those attending. We’re talking about strong people in sports security.”

Indianapolis is home to the National Collegiate Athletic Association offices; the National High School Federation; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and several professional sports organizations.

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,” said Marciani. “Interest in sport safety and security exists in professional and college settings, as well as, high school and marathon events.

The conference and exhibition will offer 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. 

Established in 2006, The National Center for Spectator Sports and Security specifically focuses on research, education, and outreach in sport event security, providing an interdisciplinary academic environment to further increase sport security awareness, improve sport security policies and procedures and enhance emergency responses through evacuation, recovery operations and crowd management training.

To learn more about the 2014 conference, visit: http://www.ncs4.com/conference/