Security At Sports Venues Focus Of New Lab Facility

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi has opened a research lab to examine safety and security risks for sports venues.

sports facility management
The new National Sport Security Laboratory (NSSL) at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) in Hattiesburg, MS.

The new National Sport Security Laboratory (NSSL) at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) has opened in Hattiesburg, MS. Located on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in the Trent Lott Center, this new laboratory is aimed at developing NCS4’s vision to be the world’s foremost academic research institution that addresses sport safety and security risks and threats. Since its inception in 2006 at the university, NCS4 has worked to address the evolving security challenges of the U.S. sports industry through quality training, research, technology assessments, certifications, and professional development. A number of sports facility management professionals are involved via the lab’s Advisory Council.

Red Hawk Fire & Security, LLC, a Boca Raton, FL-based provider of life safety and security solutions, is providing resources and integrated systems expertise as a charter donor for the command and control center at the new NSSL facility. This lab is designed to test, evaluate and showcase vendor neutral safety and security solutions as well as to assist the training, research and development needs of venue operators and security professionals at sports settings globally.

“Red Hawk is well-equipped to bring our practical, hands-on experience integrating systems at several prominent stadiums and arenas to enhance the efforts of NCS4 as they do the important work of responding to this significant community safety concern,” said Rick Tampier, Red Hawk senior director sales and product strategy.

Daniel Ward, the director of the National Laboratory and Training Center, describes the new facility as a living laboratory that gives students, academia, industry and government a place to research and learn. “The center incorporates cutting-edge technology which provides the university with capabilities to gather, process, analyze, display and disseminate planning and operations data for research and training,” he said.

The NSSL’s new center now connects to the numerous sport facilities on the University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus. This enables researchers and solutions providers to immerse themselves in a real-life sports safety and security environment.

“Connecting our athletic facilities as part of our laboratory provides amazing opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Lou Marciani, NCS4 director. “They will be able to work with professional, intercollegiate, interscholastic and marathon sports organizations and facilities to test theories, translate lessons learned and best practices into real-world solutions while also building the sports safety and security profession for the future.”

NCS4 recently earned accreditation for its Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP) certification program from the American National Standards Institute Personal Certification Accreditation Program (ANSI). CSSP is the nation’s first professional security credential designed for those responsible for the planning and overall security operations of sports venues and events.