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NCS4 Distinguished Leadership Award Named in Honor of Milton E. Ahlerich

Thu, 07/25/2019 - 09:37am | By: Alison Crumpton

Milton E. AhlerichAs part of the 2019 National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition held earlier this month in New Orleans, officials announced that The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) Distinguished Leadership award will now be called the Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership award.

“The National Center, in conjunction with advisors, have decided to honor a great leader in our profession, Milton E. Ahlerich, former Vice President of Security for the National Football League,” said NCS4 Director Lou Marciani during the annual awards luncheon. “Moving forward, the official name of the award will be the Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership Award.”

The Milton E. Ahlerich Distinguished Leadership award recognizes a professional in the field who over the course of his/her career has constantly contributed to sport safety and security. To warrant this highest honor, the recipient’s service, commitment, ingenuity and integrity have elevated the profession to new levels. The award recipient is selected by a panel of subject matter experts on behalf of the NCS4 and given annually at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition.

Ahlerich graduated from Kansas State University in 1968, was a commissioned officer with the United States Army, and served the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 25 years. He served the National Football League (NFL) from 1996-2011. Ahlerich managed the security for the NFL during the turbulent 9/11 period. In 2010, Ahlerich received the Distinguished Leadership award at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference for his safety and security efforts.

In February 2002, Milt oversaw the first major sporting event in the United States - Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, where new security measures were implemented such as background checks, credentialing, and evacuation plans. He also helped establish the NFL’s Safety and Security Best Practices, which became the sports security industry’s blue print for success. Under his leadership, the NFL was also the first league to attain the Safety Act in 2008.

In addition, Ahlerich assisted The University of Southern Mississippi with the establishment of The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) in 2007. He helped establish the Advisory Board and encouraged NCS4 to establish a National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition.

“We owe much to Milt, as he’s been a pioneer in the sports security industry leaving a lasting footprint, and he was also instrumental in the creation of our Center and our National Conference,” said Marciani.

Past recipients of the Distinguished Leadership Award include:

2019 Recipient:

Dane Dodd, Vice President - U.S. Security Operations, Command Security Corporation 

Previous Award Recipients:

Peter Ciaccia, President, Events & Race Director, TCS New York City Marathon, 2018
Russ Simons, Chief Listening Officer/Managing Partner, Venue Solutions Group, 2017
Jeff Miller, former SVP/Chief Security Officer, National Football League, 2016
Paul Denton, Chief of Police, The Ohio State University Police Division, 2015
Paul Turner, Director of Event Operations and Security for the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium, 2015
Rick Fenton, Vice President of Corporate Security, Ilitch Holdings, 2014
Dennis Cunningham, Executive Vice President, Security; National Hockey League, 2013
Dan Mullin, Senior VP, Department of Investigations - Major League Baseball, 2012
Mike Rodriguez, Director of Security - United States Tennis Association, 2011
Milt Ahlerich, Vice President for Security - National Football League, 2010
Thad Cochran, United States Senator for Mississippi, 2010
Bennie Thompson, Congressman Representing the 2nd District of Mississippi, Ranking Democrat, Committee of Homeland Security, 2010

For more information about National Conference, visit and for more information about the awards visit