The convergence of sports security professionals from all over the country to USM’s Gulf Park Campus culminated Jan. 28, the final day of the 2016 National Intercollegiate Athletics Safety and Security Summit.
On the morning of Jan. 26, summit moderator Gary Gardner, director of NCS4 Lou Marciani and director of Championships Sharon Cessna, and Alliances with the NCAA welcomed everyone to the summit.
Host of the event Alison Crumpton mentioned USM’s new MBA program with emphasis on sport security management.
Carl Walter, industry solutions manager for ESRI with an emphasis on National/Homeland Security, attended the summit and said students entering the security management field need real world experience in geographical information system technology.
GIS is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present all types of spatial or geographical data. One can describe GIS as a layered map. The interface allows the user to click some of the many types of data to show on the map or grid at a time.
GIS would collect data from social media within a certain mile radius of the event, CTV footage and more for use by sports security officers. Security could use the data to help keep pedestrians safe during events such as nationally televised games.
Randy Tiblier, event manager with Swetman Security, managed the safety of the pedestrians on USM’s campus during the Mississippi State game this past semester.
“Athletics, marketing, UPD and Swetman Security — all of us — met weekly from June through August [to prepare for the game],” Tiblier said. “It was a collaborative effort.”
Some of the issues discussed at those meetings were strategizing over different what-if situations and scenarios.
“Sometimes dignitaries, such as congressional representatives, come to nationally televised games,” Tiblier said of one such scenario. “Our job is to ensure they are not bombarded.”
The Mississippi State game kicked off at 9 p.m., a time which could have been problematic.
“The highway patrol, the Hattiesburg and Laurel police departments and the Forrest County sheriff’s department all came down,” Tiblier said. “They helped out from education to numbers all the way to manning assigned posts.”
The game was a sellout. The Rock’s maximum capacity is 36,000. Roughly 50,000 people were on campus the day of the Mississippi State game.
Security, crowd management, emergency action planning and an array of briefs filled the National Intercollegiate Athletics Safety and Security Summit’s final day.