University of Southern Mississippi program focuses on stadium security
| 01.02.2008 | 09:10:50 | Views: 4530 | ID:
January 2 '08 The University of Southern Mississippi's Spectator Sports Security Management program has announced the beginning of the first CENTER for Spectator Sports Security Management which focuses on interdisciplinary work related to the research, education, outreach and protection of stadiums during events. The new program helps to close a gap in collegiate sport event security according to Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson (D), the New York Times reported.
According to the university's program website, the CENTER will help to provide a mechanism for building security awareness and improving security standards; enhancing the emergency planning and coordination capabilities; and to help research, develop, train and certify improved programs to increase colleges and universities' capabilities to protect fans and athletes.Thompson told the Times, "What we found is that there's a need for athletic administrators, campus police, emergency medical service, for all those people to have training." Department of Homeland Security's Bill Flynn, the director of protective security coordination division added to Thomspon's sentiments: "We've seen attacks overseas in resorts, hotels and arenas ... soft targets and commercial facilities become more of a target opportunity." To push the Mississippi program, DHS awarded $3.5 million in federal security grants. The Times reported that the school is using some of that money to "conduct 95 training seminars around the nation to train and certify security professionals. ... The program can also help to certify retiring federal agents and military personnel for second-career security jobs in the private sector." The program's Director Lou Marciani told the times there were "significant" opportunities for professionals and students to increase their experience and knowledge in stadium security. "In our lifetime you say Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts being ushers," Marciani told the Times. "The new usher is the first responder. ... Sixt-two percent of N.C.A.A. schools use an outsource company to manage their security. So the question is, 'Who are these people coming in to manage their security?'"
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