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National Hockey Leagues Cunningham Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 02:52pm | By: Alison Crumpton

Dennis Cunningham, Executive Vice President/Director of Security for the National Hockey League (NHL), will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2018 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition on July 12-14 in Louisville, KY. The award is presented annually by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the long-term accomplishments and contributions of an individual who has earned the respect and admiration of professional colleagues in the sports safety and security community. The award was developed to commemorate exemplary talents and contributions demonstrated by an individual's dedication, loyalty, ability, and integrity.

Cunningham has been the Executive Vice President/Director of Security for the NHL since May 1993. He oversees all security, training, investigative and arena management needs for League internationally and throughout North America. His responsibilities are broad and include structuring and implementing security arrangements for premier League events such as the All-Star Game, Stanley Cup Playoffs, World Cup of Hockey and Olympic participation.

“There is no better recipient in the sport security industry to receive this recognition,” said NCS4 Director Lou Marciani. “Dennis's long-term accomplishments serving the National Hockey League and the New York City Police Department, has earned him the highest respect and appreciation within the sports safety and security community. His contribution to the profession during the post 9/11 era were guiding points for the safety and security industry. He also was very instrumental in establishing the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi.”

Appointed to the New York City Police Department in 1967, Cunningham has served in a variety of command, management, and administrative positions. From 1973 to 1986, both as Sergeant and Lieutenant, he served in specialized units within the Organized Crime Control and Detective Bureaus as a Detective Squad Commander.  Promoted in 1986 to Captain, his assignments included the Personnel and Internal Affairs Bureaus. 

In 1987, he was temporarily assigned from the Police Department and designated the Inspector General for the New York City Department of Investigations overseeing all internal investigations within the city's prison system. In 1989, he returned to the Police Department and was promoted to Deputy Inspector. From 1989 to 1993, he served as the Commanding Officer of the Special Investigations Division wherein his command responsibilities included the Terrorist and Joint Bank Robbery Federal Task Forces, Major Case Squad, Arson and Explosion Unit, Special Fraud Squad, as well as citywide Career Criminals Apprehension and Investigative Units.

“One of the nicest things about receiving this Lifetime Achievement Award is that it has caused me to revisit my personal and professional past and in so doing to appreciate all the wonderful people that I have met who have helped and mentored me, as well as the lifelong relationships that have been made on that journey,” said Cunningham. “I am truly grateful.”

A graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Dennis earned a BA in Criminal Justice and a Master's Degree in Public Administration.  He is also a graduate of the 117th Session FBI National Academy and the Police Management Institute, Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He has served as a consultant and guest lecturer on Sports Security Management.

Professional affiliations include National Law Enforcement Associates, Inc., American Society of Industrial Security, FBI National Academy Associates, American Academy for Professional Law Enforcement New York City Inc., International Association of Chiefs of Police.

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