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Last week, we had the opportunity to present at the ASIS North Texas Chapter Monthly Meeting on specific issues that security teams face when hosting a major event like a Super Bowl or NBA All-Star Weekend. Once a location is chosen as the home for an upcoming large event, security measures start to be discussed due to the sophisticated nature and size of the arena and crowds attending these events. Security design and planning principles are the backbone to a successfully protected event that will incorporate many different parties and stakeholders, all of which need to work together to ensure the safety of the participants.
While representatives from many industries were in attendance, such as guard-force providers, local and federal law enforcement, and corporate security members, one of the hot topics discussed throughout the day were the current events of effective threats seen all across the news as of late. Whether potential attacks are by organized groups such as domestic or international terror groups or even less refined parties like those in Baltimore or Ferguson, a threat can happen at any time and at any place. With the proper steps taken early and timely planning, a venue can decrease its vulnerability.
Security consulting providers, with experience consulting large-scale professional sporting events and designing physical site security, crowd safety and security systems for newly constructed stadiums, can mitigate risk and define processes for best practices to incorporate all internal teams while continuing to educate and improve the preparedness within the ‘Emergency Operations Plan’.
As the world of security expands more and more into the virtual side with the popularity of social media growing by the day, monitoring of these networks becomes just as important. Gathering social media information with regards to user traffic, disturbances near event sites and crowd control during the event is just as important. The ability to have all this information readily available and to have it in a predictive manner is paramount to stopping these potential disastrous events from occurring.
Coordination is critically important and large venues and major events require a well-designed and documented emergency operations plan with defined roles and responsibilities for all groups and entities.
Patrick M. Markham is regional vice president of the Guidepost Solutions’ Security and Technology Consulting practice. He has more than 20 years of corporate, law enforcement and consulting security experience and has worked on all aspects of security program development including vulnerability analysis, risk assessment, development of policies and procedures, conceptual planning, electronic systems engineering, and competitive procurement of systems and implementation oversight. Patrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.