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Security & emergency agencies' cooperation addresses unique sports and stadium security challenges
SIA and NCS4 alliance is just the latest step in the sports security’s profession move toward creating even greater collaboration between security and public safety agencies
On event days, representatives of emergency response & security agencies
are together and running sports venues as a unified group

In the world of sports security, alliances are bringing together personnel and agencies that once only talked to each other during an emergency.

Consider the recently announced agreement between the Security Industry Association (SIA) and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4). This memorandum of understanding (MOU) is designed to foster collaboration in addressing the unique security challenges facing stadiums and other sports venues and how best to use security technologies to up the security ante.

SIA and NCS4 stadium security partnership

“SIA being the leading trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers gives NCS4 the capability to collaborate on identifying current and new products and services that address the future industry needs,” says NCS4 Director Lou Marciani.

NCS4 has developed best practices and training programmes including certifications for sports security professionals. As venues have begun installing cameras and made increasing use of metal detectors to screen fans as they enter the ball park, this new deal will help ensure that security directors are installing the right kinds of equipment for their sport.

As part of the agreement, the two organisations plan to develop a series of quarterly webinars, create presentations, speak at each other’s events, promote each other’s activities and programmes, publish articles in each other’s publications, and eventually develop joint vendor-neutral guidelines and best practices for stadium events.

This alliance is just the latest step in the sports security’s profession move toward creating even greater collaboration.

SIA gives NCS4 the capability to collaborate on identifying current and new physical security products and services that address sports industry needs
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a standardised approach
for security personnel & emergency responders at mass gatherings

Emergency personnel planning for incident management

“I would have to say that [collaboration] has become the operating norm,” says Paul Turner, Director of Event Operations & Security for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. “Whereas in previous days a venue would have some police and some fire personnel and medical personnel assigned to that venue and they would just be like another resource that would be onsite. Now the intent is for everyone to do integrated planning where you have a group together of police, fire, medical stadium operations even federal agencies that are all part of building your event plan and then you’re doing unified command.”

In this new era, on event days, representatives of all these agencies are together and running the venue as a unified group. Gone are the days when a venue operator would call for help after an incident occurred.

“We’re operating in a regular mode and if an incident presents itself then we’re commanding that incident,” says Turner. “It’s not like you have to bring a whole bunch of people together to deal with a particular incident because you’ve been running that event.”

The development of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) provided security personnel at venues with a standardised approach to incident management. Developed by the Department of Homeland Security, the programme facilitates coordination between all responders including all levels of government with public, private, and nongovernmental organisations.

“More and more mass gatherings are being managed under that kind of a structure,” says Turner.

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