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NCS⁴ NEWS e-newsletter | November 4, 2021

Bidwill to Welcome Attendees to Phoenix in Opening Remarks

Announcing Michael Bidwill, Owner and President of the Arizona Cardinals, who will welcome and provide opening remarks to attendees at the 12th Annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition! Bidwill runs the Arizona Cardinals franchise – the oldest in professional football and has been in his family since it was purchased in the early 1930s by his grandfather, Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Bidwill. In addition to his prominent role with the Cardinals and within the National Football League, Bidwill has established himself as one of the most influential leaders in the greater Phoenix community where he has been a passionate advocate for economic growth and development.

Nine Individuals to be Awarded Friends of NCS⁴

A total of nine professionals will be recognized for their contributions to NCS⁴ during the annual conference.

The Friends of NCS⁴ Award recognizes professionals whose contributions have been invaluable to the advancement of the Center. The NCS⁴ staff and leadership nominate individuals who have been a resource to the Center’s goals and activities during the past year.

“We are grateful to each of these recipients for the invaluable leadership and assistance they provide,” said Lauren Cranford, MPH, CHES, NCS⁴ Director of Operations. “They have each gone above and beyond in helping us to further the mission of NCS⁴.”

Individuals being recognized include:

  • Scott Dickson, Associate General Manager, Jerome Schottenstein Center, The Ohio State University
  • Steve Georgas, Deputy Chief (Retired), Chicago Police Department
  • Billy Langenstein, CSSP, Director of Security Services, National Football League
  • Michael Nishi, Chief Operating Officer, Chicago Event Management
  • John Pepper, CSSP, Sergeant, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
  • Tim “Tuba” Smith, Director, Festivals and Strategic Events, C3 Presents
  • Gary Stevens, Director of Student Activities, Thornton Academy
  • Jesse Watkins, Director of Operations, TEEX/National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center
  • Amanda Wright, Owner, Wright Consulting

Congratulations to this year's winners!

Thank you to all of our exhibitors and sponsors for making the event possible!

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

The Fall 2021 issue of GAMEDAY SECURITY magazine is now available!

We are excited to present our Fall edition of the Gameday Security magazine. In this issue, you will learn about various topics and challenges at the forefront of our industry, including cybersecurity, conflict resolution, crisis communications, and litigation issues.

At this time, we are preparing for our 12th Annual Conference at the luxurious Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, November 9-10, and I hope to see you there. With an excellent lineup of speakers and the most exhibitors and sponsors in conference history, it is sure to be a rewarding experience and opportunity to enjoy time with our colleagues.

We are incredibly fortunate to provide critical resources for the advancement of event safety and security, and you can locate such resources at www.ncs4.usm.edu.

To our readers - thank you for your continued support of the NCS⁴.

If there is anything we can do for you or your organization, please let us know. We are ready for 2022, and we hope you are too!

Best Wishes,

Stacey A. Hall, Ph.D.

NCS⁴ Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management

NCS⁴ Completes First Virtual INTERPOL Project Stadia Course

During the week of October 25, NCS⁴ delivered the first virtual course for INTERPOL Project Stadia. The course, Safety and Security Management for Major International Sporting Events, had 20 participants from countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Brazil, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Senegal, and Turkey.

The course covered planning and incident management, decision-making, crowd dynamics, and crisis communication. It also provided case studies and a capstone exercise. The course aims to benchmark and strengthen law enforcement and international standards in sport venue safety and security in the face of security risks associated with major sporting events: violence, disorder, cyberattacks, and terrorism at the hands of criminal groups or lone wolf actors.

Safety and Security Management for Major International Sporting Events is one of six courses developed by NCS⁴. The courses are scenario-based, grounded in academic research, and developed by international experts on the subject matter from police, public safety, emergency management, fire services, international sports federations and associations, event management, government, and academia. Each course is designed to enhance the knowledge, skills, and capabilities of police commanders and incident management leaders responsible for policing and managing safety and security at major international events.

The partnership between INTERPOL and NCS⁴ has seen the two organizations develop capacity-building initiatives, particularly in support of INTERPOL’s Project Stadia, which has been working to implement a comprehensive curriculum to assist member countries in meeting the demands of hosting international sporting events.

Established by INTERPOL in 2012 and funded by Qatar, Stadia is a 10-year project that will contribute to policing and security arrangements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar and will leave a lasting legacy for the world’s law enforcement community.

The NCS⁴ Conducts Operational Exercises of Patron Screening Solutions

In an effort to improve patron experience, many venues have begun exploring weapons detection systems in hopes of reducing wait times without sacrificing safety or security. To assist the sports and entertainment industry in better understanding these solutions and the operational considerations with their deployment, the NCS⁴ has been conducting operational exercises of these technologies.

In October, the NCS⁴ assessed Patriot One Technologies’ PATSCAN and Evolv Technology’s Evolv Express. Each solution was deployed in an operational environment and subjected to rigorous performance tests based on advertised capabilities, industry best practices, and existing standards. Exercise outcomes will be available on the NCS⁴ website in late November. These reports will provide product information, exercise methodologies, exercise outcomes, and evaluator feedback to assist practitioners in developing a more complete understanding of product capabilities and application.

On October 19, the NCS⁴ conducted an Operational Exercise of Patriot One Technologies’ PATSCAN on opening night of the Climate Pledge Arena.
The NCS⁴ conducted an Operational Exercise of Evolv Technology’s Evolv Express® on October 27 at Lower.com Field during a match between the Columbus Crew and Orlando City Soccer Club.

Operational Exercise Program Overview

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) conducts operational exercises for products. An operational exercise provides a basic competency test for existing products and processes. As part of the operational exercise, the NCS⁴ assembles a team with the requisite expertise, identifies appropriate sites for the exercise, generates relevant scenarios, and simulates end-user interaction to provide constructive feedback for developers and interested parties. By design, the demonstration and exercise allows experts to observe stated capabilities in an operational or simulated environment.

The NCS⁴ is an impartial body and does not endorse any products or services. Participation in the Operational Exercise program does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement from the NCS⁴.

For more information, please contact Daniel Ward at Daniel.L.Ward@usm.edu or 601-266-5999.

NCS⁴ Staffer and Associate Present Risk Management Planning to Association

Pictured are Jeff Steele and Brooke Graves for their presentation to Sports ETA.

Brooke Graves, MSCJ, NREMT, NCS⁴'s Senior Training Manager, along with Jeff Steele, Associate Athletic Director/Facilities and Operations with Auburn University, presented Risk Management Planning for Recreational Sports and Tourism Events to the Sports Events and Tourism Association (Sports ETA) on Monday, Oct. 25. The presentation reinforced 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.

NCS⁴ Collaborates with Southern Miss Sports Marketing Class

Sports Marketing students and NCS⁴ staff during the presentations

NCS⁴ staff visited a Sports Marketing class recently to hear pitches from students about their ideas on marketing the Center.

Dr. Chris Croft, Assistant Professor of Sport Management, assigned the project to students earlier this semester. The students were to conduct market research about NCS⁴ and develop marketing strategies to present to the Center. Nine groups of students presented the top five suggestions from their projects to classmates and the NCS⁴ staff.

Sports Marketing student presentations

Shout out to Dr. Croft for collaborating with NCS⁴ Executive Director and Professor of Sport Management, Dr. Stacey A. Hall, to bring this project to fruition, as well as to the students for their hard work on this project and a job well done on the presentations. Thanks also goes to NCS⁴ staff who assisted by presenting to the class and attending the final presentations.

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.

ICYMI: 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.

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.

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