The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi, along with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Nascar, U.S. Olympic Committee, Division I College Sports and other professional leagues, gathered in New York recently to show their commitment to strengthening safety and security at America’s venues.
Former National Basketball Association star Earvin “Magic” Johnson accepted the role as Honorary Chair of NCS4’s National Certification Development Commission at a time when safety and security in spectator sports, on and off the field, is paramount.
NCS4 is working closely with eVerifile, a leader in workforce risk management solutions, to develop new certifications designated for all professional, collegiate, high school and amateur sports organizations, with the intention of addressing preparedness, prevention, response and continuity efforts at sports venues.
“I became aware of NCS4’s efforts through Magic Johnson Enterprises’ ownership in eVerifile and was immediately intrigued by the effort,” says Magic Johnson.“As an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, I am increasingly aware of the variety of threats that could potentially impact spectator sports events.”
The venue certification, Sport Event Security Aware (SESA), indicates that a sport organization has engaged in planning, developing and implementing effective and sustainable sport event safety, security and incident management systems.
NCS4 will also create a professional certification program for sports venue security personnel. The goal of this certification program is to ensure that individuals responsible for the secure and safe operation of sports venues and events have the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform their duties.
“I am pleased to have a hand in leading this critical effort to establish and raise the certification levels for personnel and venue operations that are responsible for hosting sports events and standards,” noted Johnson. “Threats such as crime, possible terrorist acts and weather-related incidents must be addressed through comprehensive planning followed by the implementation of a solid security management program. The NCS4 program aims to do just that.”
As further evidence of his personal interest in this area, Johnson is currently working with NCS4 and eVerifile to implement certifications at Dodger Stadium.
“As a society, we need to elevate the importance of knowing who is staffing the venues, organizations and communities that touch America’s families, be it full-time staff, temporary workers or volunteers,” explains Mark Wilson, CEO of eVerifile. “We have an identity crisis in America that’s cutting across every aspect of society, from venues that attract thousands of people to youth organizations that have been a part of our heritage for generations. With Magic Johnson’s involvement and the participation of the leagues, we can, first and foremost, secure our venues and set the tone for other organizations to follow suit.”
The Commission, comprised of a broad spectrum of safety and security representatives from law enforcement, professional, collegiate and high school organizations, emergency management, fire safety, affiliated industry organizations, and government agencies is charged with developing the national voluntary certification standards. They will approve the eligibility criteria, certification scheme, examinations and other essential certification decisions.
About The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security
The University of Southern Mississippi's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security is an outgrowth of a grant initiative funded by the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Established in 2006, NCS4's vision is to become a valuable national resource center that demonstrates development of security infrastructure systems and processes that will model solutions supporting multiple sport venue environments. Learn more at www.ncs4.com.
eVerifile, founded in 1999, specializes in understanding the unique security needs of companies in various industries. Offering services such as workforce safety and security assessments, compliance education, and credentialing, eVerifile helps companies improve their safety and security while meeting compliance requirements. eVerifile is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). Learn more at www.eVerifile.com.