Event Security Tips and Tactics For Public Safety Officers
Making a security plan for events, practicing it and changing it according to new technology is the only way to ensure execution.
Leverage The Benefits of Technology
Technology also plays a key role in security operations. The rise of social media, cameras and apps has made significant security enhancements possible in recent years, according to Connolly. In fact, he predicts that the traditional 9-1-1 call soon will be obsolete as the current generation relies so heavily on texting. Today’s networks and devices – plus the software to tie all of them together – have indeed gotten smarter.
Think about all of the screens that surround us: the ones in our homes, office buildings, sports venues and transit lines. These powerful communication tools should be optimized for life safety and as part of normal campus operations, as well as to increase protections during special events.
Thanks to computer-telephony integration (CTI) and robust middleware, every alarm, sensor and communication end point can be unified to ensure that key individuals, select groups or entire populations are able to read, hear and see what’s happening and do the right things in response, based on predefined protocols or modes and actions (i.e., if this, then that).
Whatever the situation – from the mundane blown fuse to a life-and-death scenario – information about it must be conveyed in real time to those most likely to be affected, as well as the people responsible for investigation, containment and remediation. Integrating disparate alarm and communication systems provides end-to-end situational awareness, automating day-to-day security and emergency operations plans.
Such interoperability also means that legacy technology investments don’t have to be ripped out and replaced. Controlling alarms and communication devices from a central point makes it easier and more cost-effective than ever to create a safety and security bubble over a single building or wide-area campus. Any threat or deviation from normal operations will trigger a real-time, detailed alert to onsite and offsite responders or other constituencies based on your predefined “if this, then that” scenarios.
Situational awareness like this creates time to prevent and/or respond to any number of potential threats. It also helps to reduce panic, confusion and communication breakdowns that can make the difference between life and death if an emergency unfolds. Remember, the human element Minninger mentioned as the weak link? This technology framework takes a campus and its emergency communications from reactionary and siloed to strategic and holistic through integrated alarm management and automated mass notification with built-in redundancy and escalation paths.
Personal situational awareness, as in “see something, say something,” continues to be an important part of event security, and is often the first step in alerting first responders to a potential problem. Don’t be afraid to call the police. Connolly encourages people to be “active fans” by looking out for themselves and their fellow spectators and community members.
“We’d rather people be proactive instead of passive if they see something suspicious,” he says. “Even if it turns out to be nothing, we are happy to check it out. We want and need you to be alert.”
Bunny Tharpe works for Status Solutions, which provides enterprise situational awareness and response management technology.