September 16, 2014  

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Nation’s First Sport Security Professional Certification Awarded

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During the 2014 National Sports Safety and Security and Exhibition July 8-10 in Indianapolis, security professionals received their CSSP certification, including, from left, Mark Bodenschatz, Elli Voorhees, Diane Mack, Rich Powers, Barry Stanford, James Mullin, John King, Don Paisant, Paul Turner, Debbi Fletcher, Marie Counts (on behalf of Vinny Bocchino) and Michael Patten.

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi awarded the Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP) certification to some of the top professsionals in the industry during the 2014 National Sports Safety and Security and Exhibition July 8-10 in Indianapolis. It is the nation’s first professional security credential designed for those responsible for the planning and overall security operations of sport venues and events.

The following individuals received their CSSP certification:

• John King, Director of Public Safety, Chief of Police, Boston College
• Don Paisant, Chief, Public Safety Department, SMG New Orleans
• Paul Turner, Director of Event Operations & Security, AT&T Stadium
• Brian Higgins, Director of Public Safety, Chief of Police, Bergen County Police Department
• Debbi Fletcher, Director of Emergency Management and Continuity, Indiana University
• James Mullin, Police Captain, Bergen County Police Department
• Barry Stanford, Senior Director of Security Operations & Intelligence, AEG Worldwide
• Michael Patten, Assistant Chief of Police, Yale University Police Department
• Rich Powers, Senior Vice President, Risk Services, American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc.
• Brian Gard, Director of Emergency Management, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
• Diane Mack, University Director, Emergency Management, Indiana University
• Mark Bodenschatz, Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations, Penn State University
• Vinny Bocchino (deceased), University of South Carolina, Division of Law Enforcement and Safety.

The purpose of the CSSP certification is to assure that individuals have the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform their job.

“Individuals who become CSSP certified show that they are leaders in their field,” says NCS4 Certification Director Elli Voorhees. “Becoming certified is a career choice that indicates that an individual meets a high standard of performance and shows a dedication to personal and professional growth. Individuals who hold leadership roles in the safety and security industry set the standard for employers, their organizations and their brand. These 11 CSSP certified individuals are contributing to the advancement of industry standards in sports security and general public safety.”

To become CSSP certified an individual must meet minimum education and experience requirements. They must also take the CSSP exam, which tests a candidate on the six identified knowledge domains: Business and Facility Management, Facility Planning, Emergency Management, Legal and Regulatory, Crowd Management, and Security Principles and Practices. Candidates who successfully pass the exam are eligible for certification. 

The CSSP certification lasts for three years and can be renewed by fulfilling ongoing requirements (professional contributions). For more information about CSSP, contact Elli Voorhees at Elizabeth.Voorhees@usm.edu or visit http://www.ncs4.com/cssp.