A key component in protecting critical infrastructures such as stadiums and arenas is the effective training of staff members. Training has been defined as “an educational, informative, skill-development process that brings about anticipated performance through a change in comprehension and behaviour.” Training should centre on incident management strategies, risk management practices, safety and security plans, policies, protective measures, and business continuity and recovery principles. Basically there are three things management wants employees to understand: 1) what management wants them to do, 2) why management wants them to do it, and 3) how management wants it done. According to the National Centre for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4), training should be conducted at three main levels: sport security command group (multi-agency leadership team), supervisory leaders and event security staff.
Most of your training should be directed toward effective communication and cooperation among the various agencies represented in the sport security command group (CG). The CG is composed of specialists from five distinct areas: sport facility management, police, emergency management, fire/HazMat and emergency medical services. They should be trained in basic concepts relative to multi-agency collaboration, risk assessment, planning and response/recovery principles. The expectation is that the leadership team will be knowledgeable and skilled to coordinate the development of a sport event security management system at their respective venue, including security operations, planning and implementation. The main responsibilities for the supervisory staff are enforcing the policy and procedures, overseeing the training program, and evaluating personnel. For an effective security plan to achieve its objectives, a qualified and trained event staff is essential. The following outline provides an overview of each staff position:
• Parking Attendant: ensures the ingress and egress from facility parking areas. They generally perform the following duties: vehicle screening, pre-event parking lot sweep procedures, control traffic flow and parking pass/credential control measures.
• Gate Security: prevent unauthorized entrance to the venue and will perform the following duties: keep prohibited items out of the venue; secure perimeters around the venue; conduct security inspections; and verify tickets/credentials.
• Ticket Taker: verify tickets (tearing or scanning) and credentials when turnstiles are not in use.
• Usher: maintain a safe, orderly environment, and guide spectators to their seats.
• Concessions/Maintenance: maintain a clean and safe venue, sell food, beverage and merchandise, and respond to spills and incidents.
• Field (Playing area) Staff: maintain a safe and orderly environment and prevent unauthorized entrance to playing area. They will normally observe and report problems in crowd, protect the field, resolve problems for teams, and evacuate playing area if necessary.
• Security Force: police officers and/or security guards employed to protect physical (facility) and human (people) assets.
Volunteers are an essential addition to event staff for major sporting events, typically representing more than 50 percent of all event personnel. For example, it is projected that 71,000 volunteers will be recruited for the London 2012 Olympics. The integration of full-time staff, part-time staff, temporary workers and volunteers is critical to the success of the event. There must be an understanding of roles and responsibilities. When determining the number of staff required for an event, several factors need to be considered, including 1) anticipated attendance, 2) number of events (for example, multi-sport vs. one-time event, 3) level of knowledge and expertise required for each specific role, 4) scheduling of shifts for personnel, 5) staff composition, i.e. full-time, temporary, and volunteer, and 6) potential threats.
Sport organizations should conduct exercises to test plans and promote awareness of staff roles and responsibilities during an incident scenario. An exercise is a focused practice activity that places the participants in a simulated situation requiring them to function in the capacity that would be expected of them in a real event. Next, developed necessary plans and policies and trained their staff members, they should consider testing their operational plans to assess their level of preparedness. Exercises improve readiness by evaluating operations and plans and reinforcing the concept of teamwork. Exercises help facility managers to:
• Clarify roles and responsibilities
• Improve interagency coordination and communication
• Reveal resource gaps
• Develop individual performance
• Identify opportunities for improvement
Posted by Mike Ball. Posted In : Sporting Event Security