National Safety and Security Summit held on USM's campus
HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Thursday morning, more than 60 athletic officials from across the country come to the Pine Belt to discuss how to keep civilians safe during sporting events. Athletic officials attending the 4th annual safety and security summit Tuesday learned about safety measures schools can use to make sure things don't ever get out of hand.
“What happens if there is an incident that would occur at one of our games or after school that might result in mass casualties,” the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) Director, Dr. Lou Marciani asked.
This is something the NCS4 safety group wants to prevent, being that there have been 183 school shootings since 1990. “We've have had instances where guns have been brought to our athletic events and maybe some drug paraphernalia, different things like that,” District Athletic Director for St. Louis, Miss. Public Schools, Teron Sharp said. These kinds of incidents, forced athletic officials to come together, so they can think of a way to keep the unwanted company out. “It really beings with risk assessment of your environment,” Marciani said. “Whether it is an event or a season is coming up. Then planning to test those plans, and then from there really implementing them. Then at the end of the day, a post review of where you are.” Marciani says it is important schools and athletic venues to have a plan in place prior to something catastrophic happening, which is something NCS4 participants agreed with. “I think the number one question that's always asked is does everyone know his or her role, and does everyone know what responsibilities are attached to that role,” a participant from Charlotte, N.C. Keena Powell said. Because in the end, knowing your role could guarantee the safety of your school and members of the community. Officials will conclude this summit Thursday at noon.