NCS⁴ NEWS e-newsletter | October 7, 2021

Are You In? We Saved You a Seat at Our National Conference!

Don't Delay — REgister now and book your HOTEL to guarantee your spot.

Register now and join us for the 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition – our first in-person event since the pandemic began. The conference is set with a full exhibit hall featuring the most exhibitors and sponsors ever, new technologies, a packed agenda, breakouts, lots of networking, and more! We are so excited to get together with friends and colleagues to reconnect, reflect, and inspire.

General sessions cover broad topics with panel discussions relevant to sports safety and security professionals in today’s ever-changing landscape, while breakout sessions allow participants to engage with panelists and attendees on key issues.

In addition to keynote speakers, an awards luncheon, interactive panel discussions, and breakout sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to explore emerging technologies and network with peers during the conference. A social reception planned for the event's first evening allows practitioners, industry partners, and exhibitors to gather in the Exhibit Hall to network with friends and colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere.

Check out the agenda, register for the conference, book your hotel room, and stay posted for updates! We hope to see you in Phoenix to Reconnect, Reflect, and Inspire.

NCS⁴ Connect members, please contact Sara Priebe at sara.priebe@usm.edu to request the discount code.

Retired Chief of Police and gubernatorial candidate for Michigan, James E. Craig, to receive champion of change award

Chief James E. Craig

Chief James E. Craig, former head of the Detroit Police Department and current gubernatorial candidate for Michigan, will be recognized during the National Conference.

Chief Craig will receive the Champion of Change Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated their ability and commitment to bring about positive change in the sports safety and security industry. Through progressive leadership, this individual’s achievements have made a difference to organizational effectiveness and led the organization forward into the future.

Craig has spent 44 years in law enforcement, starting out with the Detroit Police Department in 1977, moving through the ranks in patrol and investigative positions with the LAPD, and serving as police chiefs in Maine, Cincinnati, and Detroit. During his lengthy career, one of Chief Craig’s primary objectives has been to reduce violent crime and build strong community partnerships.

Sports Facilities to Receive Recognition with FACILiTY of Merit Awards

A total of seven sports facilities will be recognized for their leadership in addressing safety and security issues at the National Conference.

The Facility of Merit Award recognizes a facility that has performed above and beyond normal operations to demonstrate an innovative approach to enhancing safety and security. The chosen facility may also have resolved a significant safety/security issue or incident.

“We look forward to recognizing these outstanding facilities and their management teams for their innovative work,” said Dr. Stacey A. Hall, NCS⁴ Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management.

Each league or organization selects the criteria and makes the determination as to who will be recognized. Facilities being recognized include:

  • Denver Colfax Marathon (Marathon/Endurance)
  • McKinney ISD Stadium and Community Event Center (High School)
  • Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium, University of Texas (NCAA)
  • Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MLS)
  • Fiserv Forum (NBA)
  • FirstEnergy Stadium (NFL)
  • Rogers Place (NHL)
Are you ready to take your career to the next level? NCS⁴ offers applicants the opportunity to sit for the CSSP exam at the conference with no testing fee!

The CSSP examination will be offered to eligible candidates on Tuesday, November 9, during the 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition. To be considered eligible to take the exam, individuals must complete and submit their CSSP Application, including the application fee, by September 1, 2021, to allow enough time for the NCS⁴ Certification Department to collect and process all supporting documentation. Approved candidates will receive a notification of test eligibility before arriving at the conference. Find out more about CSSP and how to register for the exam now.

The event is set with the most exhibitors and sponsors in conference history!

In addition to the exhibitors below, Technology Showcase Sponsors 24/7 Software, Axis Communications, Johnson Controls, Patriot One Technologies, and Robotic Assistance Devices, Inc., will exhibit their technologies in the foyer between the general session hall and the exhibit hall.

Register for a Free Cybersecurity Webinar Next Week

The NCS⁴ is hosting a three-part Cybersecurity Webinar Series to discuss recommendations and best practices for cybersecurity and mitigating risk which begins next week. The webinar series is presented in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and NCS⁴’s Technology Alliance. The webinars are aired live and are free to attend.

"With technology rapidly changing, it has never been more important for organizations to protect networks, systems, hardware, and data from cyberattacks,” said Daniel Ward, NCS⁴’s Director of Training & Exercise.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which provides the public with a trustworthy source for reporting information on cyber incidents, received 791,790 complaints for all types of internet crime — a record number — from the American public in 2020, with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. This represents a 69 percent increase in total complaints from 2019.

With a large number of fans, communities, and organizations heavily invested in sporting events, venues have become an ideal target for cybercrime. Cybercriminals are very attuned to global sporting events and take advantage of the spectators’ and industries’ reliance on technology. These damaging attacks often lead to financial losses, information theft, and reputation damage.

Session one of the series entitled An Overview of Cybersecurity Threats and Best Practices is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. (CDT) and presented by Scott Breor, CISA’s Associate Director, Office of Security Programs, Infrastructure Security; and Mark McIntyre, CISSP, CCSP, Microsoft’s Senior Director/Chief Security Advisor, Security Solutions Area.

In the session, panelists will discuss cyber threats and the unified work necessary to strengthen the security, resilience, and workforce of the cyber ecosystem at sport and special event venues and infrastructure. Panelists will also identify best practices and recommendations for maintaining cyber hygiene and prioritizing risks.

Details on sessions two and three of the series will be announced soon.

Now Scheduling Select DHS/FEMA-Funded Training Courses

The NCS⁴ is currently offering four safety and security courses in face-to-face format. Each course is designed to be interactive and allow individuals to become more confident in their ability to identify, prevent, and manage incidents. The key principles that individuals will learn range from risk management, evacuation messaging, threat prioritization, and communication. Each class is being presented in a face-to-face format that requires 8 hours each day for two consecutive days.

You can learn more about each of these courses by visiting the NCS⁴ website or by clicking on one of the following courses below:

These courses represent a cooperative effort between The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Security and Safety (USM/NCS⁴) and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center (TEEX/NERRTC), a member of The Texas A&M University System.

If you are interested in attending or hosting a training course, please email us at NCS4train@usm.edu.

CISA Releases De-Escalation Series for Critical Infrastructure Owners and Operators

CISA is pleased to announce the publication of the De-Escalation Series for Critical Infrastructure Owners and Operators. CISA developed this four-product series to help critical infrastructure owners, operators, and employees to recognize the warning signs of someone on a path to violence; assess if the situation or person of concern is escalating, or if an emergency response is needed immediately; de-escalate the situation currently taking place through purposeful actions, verbal communication, and body language; and report the situation through organizational reporting to enable assessment and management of an evolving threat, and 9-1-1 for immediate threats.

The De-Escalation Series follows the Employee Vigilance Through the Power of Hello to help critical infrastructure owners, operators, and staff identify and navigate suspicious activity or potentially escalating situations to safely dis-engage and report to local law enforcement or their organization’s multi-disciplinary threat management team.

For more information and to access the product, visit: cisa.gov/publication/de-escalation-series. For questions please email central@cisa.gov.

NCS⁴ Staff to Present to Professional Organizations

Michael Finley

Michael Finley, NCS⁴'s Curriculum Manager, will present How to Plan, Assess, and Mitigate Event Risks to the Mississippi Recreation and Park Association on Wednesday, Oct. 20. Utilizing national infrastructure framework guidelines, this session will deliver steps in planning for, assessing, and mitigating potential risks for venues and events.

Brooke Graves, MSCJ, NREMT

Brooke Graves, MSCJ, NREMT, NCS⁴'s Senior Training Manager, along with Jeff Steele, Associate Athletic Director/Facilities and Operations with Auburn University, will present Risk Management Planning for Recreational Sports and Tourism Events to the Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA) on Monday, Oct. 25. This presentation reinforces the importance of having plans in place for sports events and tourism professionals to posture themselves better to respond to various incidents from various potential sources, including infrastructure logistics, criminal acts, and fan behavior.

ICYMI: Industry Report

The NCS⁴ recently published an industry report on Spectator Perceptions of Safety and Security Practices and Technologies.

The purpose of this survey was to gauge sport spectators’ perceptions of safety and security practices, including those related to COVID-19, as the sports industry prepares to return to full capacity stadiums and arenas. Understanding spectators’ perceptions of safety and security practices, their sense of safety, and related technologies while attending events can help venue and event directors plan accordingly to ensure the optimal spectator experience. Click the button to view the report.


49ers Welcome Visual Edge IT AS Organization's #CyberFit Delivery Partner

The San Francisco 49ers announced a multi-year partnership with Acronis, a global leader in cyber protection, to serve as the team's official cyber protection partner which will be supported by Visual Edge IT. Through this partnership, the 49ers will access innovative cyber protection solutions to safeguard data, applications, and systems to optimize data management and defend cyberattacks. Read more

Sparta Prague fans handed Rangers trip safety warning as Czech government issue 'aggravated situation' advice

Sparta Prague fans are being warned against travelling to Glasgow for the Europa League clash with Rangers. Midfielder Glen Kamara was targeted by fans throughout the group stage clash by the 10,000 crowd of school children. Read more

Why was Raiders vs Chargers NFL game delayed? Fans bemused after lightning scare at SoFi Stadium

SoFi Stadium, one of the newest crown jewels of the NFL, was built to be impenetrable. Unfortunately, the stadium designers, who wanted safety to be the top priority, overlooked one aspect of mother nature. After a lightning strike was spotted in the area, the NFL delayed the game by about 30 minutes, unleashing quips, jokes, and complaints across the nation in one united cacophony. Read more

Security tightened around White Ferns in England after 'not-credible' threat

Security has been boosted around the White Ferns ahead of their one-day women’s cricket international in England after a “not-credible’’ threat. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has confirmed the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) “received a threatening email relating to NZC’’ prompting security alerts. Read more

Man Utd ramp up security with new spiked steel gate at training ground to deter protestors

Manchester United have bolstered the security at their Carrington training ground with the introduction of a spiked steel gate. The Red Devils have seen fans stage protests both at Old Trafford and their training ground in recent months. Read more

Timberwolves name Aura official digital security partner

Minnesota Timberwolves has announced a new partnership which names Aura the official digital security provider of the NBA side. The collaboration, sourced and negotiated by Excel Sports, further establishes the security provider as the season presenting partner, which sees in-arena and on-court Aura branding and designation as the team’s official jersey patch partner. Read more

Suspect in custody after shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington that injured 4 people

Four people were injured — including a 15-year-old boy who was critically wounded — in a shooting at Timberview High School in Arlington on Wednesday morning, and a suspect was taken into custody about four hours later. Read more