Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NFL safety strategies

A recent article in Security Magazine by Jeffrey Miller of the NFL highlighted some of the recent development they have developed over the past couple years to make games/stadiums safer. the NFL Best Practices for Stadium Security is the guideline used by the NFL for each club to execute inside and outside their stadiums. the guidelines cover facility hardening, electronic monitoring, threat assessment, gate procedures, and other concerns. They supplement the guidelines with unannounced stadium security reviews and give a detailed rating to each club on how well they adhered to the guidelines.

The NFL also developed a Fan Code of Conduct. The code highlights unacceptable conduct for fans as a way to minimize potential problems. The Best Practices for Fan Conduct is supplemented with an independent review of the practices. This is accomplished in part with a fan survey with the results helping to create a rating as well. The text messaging system allowing fans to communicate concerns instantly with security also has been working well and the NFL highlighted receiving 7,299 messages in 2009. This is the Fan Code: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d809c28f9/article/nfl-teams-implement-fan-code-of-conduct.

Tweet Patrol in England

In England they are testing a new system where the power of social networking and location broadcasting to make cities safer. The program is called Voice Your View, allows pedestrians to record their opinions about their surrounding via their cell phones or strategically situated kiosks. The data is sorted and shared with city planners and the public via a web page. This information can allow people to help record criminal behavior or other concerns and easily notify a broad range of individuals.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tragedy in Cambodia

Over 330 die in stampede at Cambodian festival
By SOPHENG CHEANG, Associated Press Sopheng Cheang, Associated Press

.PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Thousands of people stampeded during a festival in the Cambodian capital Monday night, leaving more than 330 dead and hundreds injured in what the prime minister called the country's biggest tragedy since the 1970s reign of terror by the Khmer Rouge.

Some in the panicky crowd — who were celebrating the end of the rainy season on a sliver of land in a river — tried to flee over a bridge and were crushed underfoot or fell over its sides into the water. A witness who arrived shortly after the stampede described "bodies stacked on bodies" on the bridge as rescuers swarmed the area.

Ambulances raced back and forth between the river and the hospitals for several hours after the stampede. Calmette Hospital, the capital's main medical facility, was filled to capacity with bodies as well as patients, some of whom had to be treated in hallways. Many of the injured appeared to be badly hurt, raising the prospect that the death toll could rise as local hospitals became overwhelmed.

Hours after the chaos, the dead and injured were still being taken away from the scene, while searchers looked for bodies of anyone who might have drowned. An Associated Press reporter saw one body floating in the river, and hundreds of shoes left behind on and around the bridge.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, in his third post-midnight live television broadcast, said that 339 people had been killed and 329 injured. He described the chaos as the biggest tragedy to strike his country since the communist rule of the Khmer Rouge, whose radical policies are blamed for the deaths of 1.7 million people during the 1970s.

He ordered an investigation into the cause of the stampede and declared Thursday would be a national day of mourning. Government ministries were ordered to fly the flag at half-staff.

Authorities had estimated that upward of 2 million people would descend on Phnom Penh for the three-day water festival, which marks the end of the rainy season and whose main attraction is traditional boat races along the river.

The last race ended early Monday evening, the last night of the holiday, and the panic started later on Koh Pich — Diamond Island — a long spit of land wedged in a fork in the river where a concert was being held. It was unclear how many people were on the island to celebrate the holiday, though the area appeared to be packed with people, as were the banks.

Soft drink vendor So Cheata said the trouble began when about 10 people fell unconscious in the press of the crowd. She said that set off a panic, which then turned into a stampede, with many people caught underfoot.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith gave a similar account of the cause.

Seeking to escape the island, part of the crowd pushed onto a bridge, which also jammed up, with people falling under others and into the water. So Cheata said hundreds of hurt people lay on the ground afterward. Many appeared to be unconscious.

Philip Heijmans, a 27-year-old photographer from Brooklyn, N.Y., who arrived at the scene half-an-hour after the stampede, walked up the bridge to see hundreds of shoes and pieces of clothing, then a body, then more "bodies stacked on bodies."

He counted about 40 in all, with about 200 rescuers in the area. Some Australian firefighters were on the scene_ it wasn't clear why they were in town — who were checking pulses before loading bodies into vans.

Cambodia is one of the region's poorer countries, and has an underdeveloped health system, with hospitals barely able to cope with daily medical demands.

Koh Pich used to host a slum community, but in recent years the poor have been evicted to make way for high-rise and commercial development, most yet to be realized.

Toddler Dies at Staples Center

LOS ANGELES (AP)—A toddler has died after falling 50 feet from a luxury suite at the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Golden State Warriors in the Staples Center arena.

Police Sgt. Frank Alvelais says early Monday that the boy, believed to be 2 or 3 years old, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he died. The boy’s name hasn’t been released.

The boy fell from the third level top tier of the luxury suites several minutes after the Lakers beat the Warriors 117-89 on Sunday night.

Witnesses told the Los Angeles Times the boy was moving his arms, legs and head before paramedics took him out of arena on a stretcher.

Young Fan Policy- England

Everton Football Club has introduced a new policy to protect the safety of our junior supporters.

It has come to the attention of the Club that a small amount of young children are entering the stadium unaccompanied by an adult for the duration of the match or for the hour preceding kick off.

This issue was brought to light by the matchday stewards who are employed for the safety of the crowd.

From 10 November all children of 11 years of age and under attending a fixture at Goodison Park must be accompanied by a responsible adult. The Club also suggests that all other junior ticket holders are accompanied to matches by a responsible adult.

This policy has been introduced purely as a duty of care to our younger fans in the event of a stadium evacuation or a serious incident.

Adam Green, Everton’s Head of Safeguarding, said: “In order to maintain the safety of young patrons, we insist that any person 11 years of age or under be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.”

Everton is committed to the on-going training of all its 500 matchday stewards to help ensure that children and vulnerable adults who enjoy visiting Goodison Park on a regular basis are safeguarded.
Major-event security a worry, union claims
Sun November 09, 2010

SHONKY operators in the private security industry are failing to provide adequate safety at major events, a union claims.

The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union said one-third of security workers who were surveyed either worked for contractors that operated with unsafe staffing levels or knew of companies that did.

The union's state secretary, Jess Walsh, said yesterday up to 40 per cent of Victorian security guards had also reported being assaulted on the job.

"Some of these rogue companies are so understaffed and their guards so undertrained that they can't even protect themselves, so how can they protect the public?" she said.

One security worker with 10 years' experience said he worked at the MCG during a blockbuster AFL match this year and was shocked at the lack of manpower and organisation of the security guards on duty. He claimed patrons could "bring anything into the ground".

"They are putting public safety at jeopardy, they are putting their guards and the public in danger," said the guard, who declined to be named. "They don't have enough numbers to satisfactorily monitor gates and most of the guards I worked with had very little experience."

A representative of the company that runs security at the MCG declined to comment.

The union launches a new code of practice today aimed at driving out shonky operators.

Ms Walsh said the Safeguard Professional Code would identify reputable operators.

Training Parking Attendants

NFL Teams Host Anti-Terrorism Training Sessions for Stadium Parking Professionals
Posted by: Helen Sullivan http://www.parking.org/
From: The International Parking Institute
Date: 11/10/2010

NFL teams are being encouraged to participate in the training in First Observer, a government-funded Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) national security program that uses parking professionals and others as foot soldiers in the war against terrorism.
"First Observer has become a very important initiative for us," explains Shawn Conrad, CAE, Executive Director of the International Parking Institute (IPI), the largest trade association of parking professionals and the parking industry. "There are now close to two thousand First Observer-trained parking professionals and we anticipate that number to grow exponentially over the months ahead." IPI was instrumental in developing the parking-specific First Observer training module and next week will receive TSA's Partner of the Year Award.

According to Jeffrey Miller, the National Football League's director of strategic security programs, "We are eager to provide NFL personnel with access to meaningful training opportunities, and from the positive feedback I've received, the First Observer program fits the bill."

Miller is encouraging all NFL teams to take advantage of this free, government-sponsored training. "We appreciate the foresight of the International Parking Institute in bringing the First Observer program to the attention of the NFL," said Miller. Two teams have already completed training and Miller predicts that many others will be scheduling First Observer training in the months ahead.

Administered by 'Team HMS' and launched earlier this year at the International Parking Institute's annual conference and Expo in Las Vegas, the parking-specific module of the First Observer program is offered classroom style for organizations, online, on site, customized, as well as train-the-trainer sessions. More information on the training is available at IPI's Web site at http://www.parking.org/ and organizations that want to schedule a free training session may contact IPI Deputy Director Henry Wallmeyer at wallmeyer@parking.org or 540.371.7535, ext. 21.

Many program participants are trained by Jeff Beatty, the only American to have served in all three of the nation's most elite counter-terrorism organizations, having served in the military's Delta Force as an assault troop commander, as a special agent advising the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and as a CIA Counter-terrorism Center case officer in the Europe and the Middle East.

Can a one-night, anti-terrorist training session make a difference? "Yes," explains William Arrington, general manager, Transportation Sector Network Management/Highway and Motor Carrier Division at the Department of Homeland Security, who, along with Beatty, conducts First Observer trainings throughout the United States.

Arrington explains that the training arms parking and other front-line professionals with the skills they need to address five critical security areas: on-street, surface lots, garages/decks, special events and shuttle operations. The training enables these professionals to identify a potential threat, provides background on different terrorist groups and their patterns of operation, gives an overview of weapons, and details case studies of terror situations. First Observers build the skills to report potential situations using a concise, accurate and simple communications process. The program follows the National Preparedness Guidelines of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Transportation Security Administration this month will honor the International Parking Institute (IPI) with its 2010 Partnership Award for IPI's involvement in developing First Observer's parking-specific training program. IPI is the largest and leading association of parking professionals, and the First Observer program has become an important initiative for the organization.

The recent failed car bomb in a parked car in Times Square and the discovery of the alleged bomber's getaway car in an airport parking lot are vivid reminders that parking professionals are key players on the front lines in the fight against terrorism. With thousands of vehicles entering parking facilities each day and the possibility that any of them could be carrying terrorists or devices made by terrorists, IPI members and partners play a critical role.

IPI's Conrad says: "We look forward to working with other sports teams and stadium managers as we drive home the message that national safety is everyone's responsibility."

According to Conrad, very few members of the public understand the role that parking professionals play in everyday life. He explains: "The front-line parking professional may greet you at the stadium, but a parking consultant probably worked side by side with the stadium architect and the city economic development team to ensure that parking dovetails with facility and area transportation needs."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Avatars to the rescue

SportEvac is creating a program that will populate a model of a facility with thousands of avatars who each have their own individual actions to test emergency exiting during various scenarios. The system would allow programmers to set the parameters and then see how people might actually respond.

Euro 2012

What will happen with Serb supporters? Whether they are protesting the government or EU candidacy, there is no excuse for their fans acting so poorly. If If the UEFA wants to really set an example, the team could be excluded from moving forward. Such a stiff penalty will help show other hooligans that if they cause problems, their teams are going to be punished.

Halloween in Madison

Halloween celebrations in Madison, Wisconsin have been extremely dangerous. In 2006 450 people were arrested and there was $350,000 spent on policing to protect the crowd and private property. The party would draw close to 200,000 revelers and they would end up smashing windows, looting, setting fires, etc... all in the name of fun. The Mayor turned the event into Freakfest and closed off the main street. They charged party goers $5 each, limited the number to 80,000 and had a budget of $400,000 for the event (80% dedicated to security). The event has evolved and is not as dynamic as it was before the corporate and government involvement. However, the number of arrests and amount of damage has been significantly decreased. Arrests in 2009 were down 89% from 2005 numbers. Thus, while some might complain government sold out the event to corporate marketers, the key is there are fewer injuries, the crowd is more contained, and there are fewer arrests. All around a better choice in my book.

Sneaking into stadium in the open

Sometimes coming right in is the easiest way to avoid a security program.

National Guardsman Sneaks Into Michigan Football Game Carrying Two Rifles
by Ian Casselberry • Oct 23, 2010 3:08 PM EDT

It might be a good thing that the Michigan football team doesn't have another home game until November 6, because the security staff at Michigan Stadium apparently has some details to work out.

A National Guardsman was able to make his way onto the field during the Michigan-Michigan State on October 9 packing two M-16 assault rifles. Security let the 42-year-old man into the stadium, presumably believing he was part of the honor guard that raises and lowers the flag in the south end zone. He did not have a ticket to the game.

The man's weapons were checked, however, and found to have no ammunition. He gained access to the field through the stadium tunnel.

A member of the honor guard noticed the man's presence on the field and notified campus police that he was not a part of their group. Police then questioned him and escorted him out of the stadium.

U-M police spokeswoman Diane Brown said the man admitted he used his uniform (and a military vehicle) to gain access to the game.


A similar incident happened the prior week in Lousiville.
Saturday U of L game against Connecticut first use of stadium since security breach
by Mike Colombo
Posted on October 23, 2010 at 7:58 PM
•Police: Two men get onto field during U of L football game, one with a gun

(WHAS11) Saturday marked the first game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium since two men dressed in security uniforms, one of them armed with a gun, snuck onto the field during last week’s U of L and Cincinnati football game.

The men were quickly spotted and arrested, but has the incident changed security at the stadium?

There is definitely real security at the stadium now, since two men who dressed the part were able to get in and down to the field. The university said the incident has brought heightened awareness to security.

The way fans were filing in to the stadium Saturday for the Connecticut game, is the same way Elgin Bullock and Chris Scheitlin entered last Friday night’s game. Police said the two men were dressed as security guards, complete with handcuffs and one of the men even wearing a holster with a loaded gun attached. One of the men arrested actually owns his own security company.

When questioned by police, the men said they had contracts with U of L and were working security for the game a lie that got the men arrested and charged with criminal trespassing. The incident, however, is bringing a new sense of vigilance to U of L game security.

Associate Athletic Director Kenny Klein said that for each game, security, both uniformed and undercover, from LMPD, the state police and campus police are used to insure safety and security on the field and in the stands. He said the incident hasn’t resulted in a security overhaul, but definitely a closer attention to detail. “We have a lot of security measures in place and this probably gives us another check to be prepared for,” said Klein. “There’s certainly a heightened awareness given that situation happened.”


Stadium attack stopped in Yemen

Security forces say they thwarted a bomb attack in southern Yemen
By Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN
The attack was to target a sports stadium
A regional soccer tournament is set to take place at the stadium next month
Yemeni officials insist the country is ready to host the competition
(CNN) -- Yemeni security forces have thwarted a plan to bomb a sports stadium in the southern city of Aden, scheduled to host the Gulf Cup soccer tournament next month, officials said Sunday.

Aden Security Chief, Brigadier-General Abdullah Giran said a suspected member of a separatist movement was caught placing a bag that contained about 1,800 grams of dynamite in the vicinity of Al-Wahdah stadium.

Giran declined to say when the incident took place.

The Gulf Cup soccer tournament, scheduled to start November 22 and run through early December, will host teams from Iraq, Yemen and six Gulf States.

The Yemeni government is eager to show it can maintain order as several of its neighbors have voiced concern the country might not be secure enough to host the competition.

Ahmed al Eisi, head of the Yemeni Football Association, is touring the region to invite sports ministers to attend the opening of the games, according to Saba, Yemen's official news agency.

"He affirmed all stadiums and facilities are ready for the championship, and the trip aims to kill all doubts and bids about the possibility that Yemen will be unable to host the championship," Saba said.

Also Sunday, a hearing was held in Aden for five suspects accused of blowing up explosives in a sports center, according to the news agency. It was not immediately clear when the attack, which Saba said killed four people, took place.

Yemen has become a key battleground for al Qaeda since a local affiliate calling itself al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was established in 2009.

Over the weekend, security forces there swept into Shabwa province, a region thought to be a haven for al Qaeda. More than 1,000 soldiers and security officials were reported to be involved in the operation.