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Are Crowd Management Myths True?

Are Crowd Management Myths True?
October 22, 2013
by Jason Hensel

The British Psychological Society (BPS) Research Digest pointed out an interesting study today that has to do with crowd management. In “Psychological Disaster Myths in the Perception and Management of Mass Emergencies,” the researchers wanted to know whether public safety officials believed in disaster myths, such as crowds devolving into mass panic, that people often engage in criminal behavior during emergencies, and that survivors are shocked into a catatonic state of helplessness.

“Respondents endorsed the first two myths,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract. “However, they rejected the myth of helplessness and endorsed the view that emergency crowds display resilience. Despite these contradictions in stated beliefs, there was also evidence of ideological coherence: each model of mass emergency behavior (maladaptive vs. resilient) was linked to a model of crowd management (coercive and paternalistic vs. mass-democratic).”

Dr. John Drury, a social psychology professor at the University of Sussex in England, and his colleagues interviewed 115 police officers, 46 civilian emergency workers, and 120 football (soccer) match stewards. They also interviewed 78 students and 89 people in the general public for comparison purposes.

“Overall, there were positives to emerge from this study—the professional groups endorsed fewer disaster myths than the students and general public, and they recognized many aspects of psychological resilience exhibited by crowds in emergencies,” Christian Jarrett wrote for BPS Research Digest. ”On the other hand, it’s worrying that the professional groups endorse many aspects of disaster myths.”

Jarrett writes that the researchers know that the study’s quality is undermined because some of the beliefs were gauged by a single question.

“Also, it’s not clear how much the professionals’ survey answers would match their decisions on the ground in a real emergency,” Jarrett wrote.

If you’re interested in learning how you would react in a real emergency, consider attending the International Crowd Management Conference at the Plaza Marriott in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 10-13. There you will learn all aspects of crowd management, guest services, and the enhancement of the guest experience, as applied to creating a safe and secure venue.

Jets Fan Punched Woman In Face

Jets Fan Punched Woman In Face During Fight WIth Patriots Fans At MetLife Stadium (VIDEO)
Posted: 10/21/201

The rivalry between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots spilled off the field in an ugly scene at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. Following New York’s 30-27 win over New England, a man sporting Jets apparel appeared to punch a woman sporting Patriots colors in the face during an altercation captured in a video first obtained by Deadspin.

Although there is no sign of stadium security or police in the brief video filmed as fans exited the stadium, a team spokesman told the New York Daily News that the incident didn’t go unnoticed.

“We are aware of the situation and we do not tolerate that behavior,” the unnamed Jets spokesman told the News. “Parties involved were detained and this matter is now in the hands of the New Jersey State Police.”

Count at least one Jets fan among those hoping the guy who threw the punch — while wearing a No. 80 Wayne Chrebet jersey — is held accountable.

UPDATE 6:50 p.m. ET 10/21: The New York Daily News identified the man who appeared to throw the punch caught on tape as Kurt Paschke. The News interviewed Paschke’s mother, Colleen, who claimed her son was only attempting to protect her from aggressive Patriots fans.

“He’s the victim, really,” Colleen told The Daily News on Monday at her home on Long Island. “He was just concerned for his mother and himself.”

Fans need to show ID at high school football games

October 04, 2013
Looking to ensure safety at school events, officials are requiring anyone who attends a football game at a Hemet high school this fall to show a valid identification card before entering.

Those who don’t will be turned away.

The rule is being enforced by the Hemet Unified School District as a way to try to keep troublemakers out of games at Hemet, Tahquitz and West Valley high schools, said Lucy Dressel, the district’s director of safety, benefits and risk management.

The requirement applies to all adults and students from both the home and visiting schools.

“There are going to be certain individuals who are going to be deterred,” Dressel said. “Individuals who are up to no good normally don’t want to show ID.”

The policy was not triggered by an incident, officials said. The goal is to make sure students and visitors safe, they say.

“There was no particular incident from us,” West Valley Principal Alex Ballard said. “We just want to be mindful and create a safe environment for everybody.”

Hemet’s demographics have changed from a largely retirement-age community to a mixed ethnic community over the past 20 years. Crime rates have gone up and the police chief has enacted a plan to cut both crime and the fear of it by the end of 2014.

Insisting on ID will ensure that authorities know who everyone is if there is trouble, Dressel said.

“We want to make sure individuals coming in have ID and are who they say they are,” she said. “It’s an extra step to properly identify (people) as they come into the arena.”

Ballard said the policy means the district is taking steps to avoid trouble before it occurs.

“People who have (bad) intentions may not want to come in,” he said. “If someone trusts me with their kids, I have to ensure they’re safe.”

The school district is developing a formal policy, which will go before the school board on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

The policy would go beyond just football games.

“The Governing Board in its efforts to provide safe and regulated venues at all school or district events is hereby requiring all students and adults to possess valid identification as a condition for admittance to said venues (including but not limited to all athletic contests, school-sponsored dances, concerts, plays, musical performances, ASB events, club events, class activities, etc.,)” the proposed policy states.

The California penal code states that school administrators can remove anyone from campus for cause. Failure to leave is a misdemeanor and can lead to a fine or imprisonment.

Dressel said Hemet is following “quite a few” other districts in requiring the identification.

But a poll of a handful of Inland districts found that Hemet is the only one with such a policy.

Administrators from the San Jacinto, Murrieta, Temecula, Perris Union, San Bernardino and Colton districts said they do not require ID checks at football games.

“We have no such policy or plans to put something in place at this time,” said Steve Swartz, of the Perris Union High School District.

Rick Peoples, spokesman for the Riverside County Office of Education, said he is not aware of similar policies at other districts. The California Office of Education does not track individual district safety plans.

Thurston High School in Redford, Mich., started requiring students to show an ID to attend football games last month, after shots were fired as fans were leaving a game.

Dressel said the policy is an extension of the state law that requires anyone who visits a campus to show identification. During the school day, visitor’s ID cards are scanned through LobbyGuard, a system that checks names against the national sex offenders’ database.

At games, identification cards are looked at, but not run through any system. As long as someone has a valid ID, they will be admitted, Dressel said.

The policy also calls for bags to be checked at the gate and forbids re-entry to anyone who leaves the stadium. Ballard said people often are turned away at the gate if they are carrying alcohol or other banned items.

The state education code requires the Department of Education to create guidelines to help districts create a safe school environment, information officer Tina Jung said.

Districts take the guidelines to their local police departments to create safety plans for their schools, Jung wrote in an email

“Bottom line: It’s a local decision. If a school wants to check IDs at an extracurricular activity, it can,” she wrote.

Fans entering Hemet High’s Sept. 27 game against Moreno Valley didn’t seem to mind having to show their identification.

“They can ask for my ID, they can ask my age, they can ask what I had for dinner. There’s no problem whatsoever,” said Bill Woodie, who has been attending Hemet High football games since the 1950s.

“I don’t mind (showing my ID) if it makes it safer,” Brad Stockton said.

When purchasing tickets, fans were told they would have to show their ID at the gate, but were not given a reason why, they said.

“We were really shocked,” said Christian Ruddell, a former Hemet High athlete. “I’ve been going to games for years and this is the first time I’ve had to show anything. As long as it makes it safer, I’m OK with it.”

Dressel said some people chose not to attend West Valley’s home game on Sept. 20 when they were asked to show their ID, and that was just fine with her.

While there were some grumbles at the game sites, no one called her office to complain, she said.

The policy was tested at all three high schools during the past two weeks. Because it was not yet a formal policy, those lacking IDs were not sent away, though some left on their own.

Enforcement figures to get tougher when the Hemet schools start playing each other. Those games draw larger crowds and officials will be less likely to bend the rules.

School administrators and staff members routinely attend high school football games, along with security guards. Hemet police officers patrol at Tahquitz and West Valley and Riverside County sheriff deputies cover Hemet High, which is outside city limits.

Hemet High is at Tahquitz on Friday, Oct. 18, and at West Valley the following week. West Valley is at Tahquitz on Oct. 25.

Dressel said teams that that will be visiting Hemet will be contacted and asked to tell their fans to bring IDs to the games.

Jeff Snyder, longtime athletic director at San Jacinto High, which plays at Hemet on Nov. 8, said the policy was brought up at a Mountain Pass League meeting, but a formal notice has not been delivered.

Antisocial behaviour

University of Birmingham (UK) News Release
October 2013
Putting the boot in! Sports scientists look into antisocial behaviour on and off the pitch
Athletes participating in a team sport like soccer, rugby, or hockey, who behave in an anti-social way on the pitch, are also antisocial in their interactions with other students at university, according to research published by University of Birmingham sports scientists in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.
The researchers also found that team players behaved in a ‘pro-social’ way towards teammates – encouraging and helping others on the team – and that this was greater in sport than in their interactions with other students.
The research team asked over 700 members of sports teams from three English universities about their feelings and actions while on the pitch, compared to their interactions with their peers at university.
The findings show that being part of a team engenders a sense of ‘team spirit’ in the form of positive and encouraging behaviour towards one’s teammates, but at the same time, it can bring about a negative attitude towards one’s opponents. Antisocial behaviours such as breaking the rules and physical intimidation were more frequent toward opponents in sport than toward other students at university.
The researchers also looked at why team sport athletes may increase their antisocial behaviour when playing sport. In the study they found that athletes have a higher ‘ego orientation’ in sport – they tend to define success as performing better than others – and secondly that they score higher in ‘moral disengagement’ – they use justifications that make them feel less guilty when behaving badly towards other athletes. It may, in part, be due to these attributes that we observe higher antisocial behavior in sport compared to other contexts.
Dr Maria Kavussanu, lead investigator from the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, said: ‘Although antisocial behavior is higher on than off the pitch, those players who are more antisocial while playing sport tend to also be more antisocial in their interactions with other students. Importantly, being part of a sport team leads one to act positively toward the members of the group.’
For further information, contact: Catherine Byerley, International Media Relations Manager, University of Birmingham, Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8254, Email:
Twitter: @news_ub

NFL bans off-duty officers’ guns in stadiums

NFL bans off-duty officers’ guns in stadiums
Police say they received an internal memo on September 11 that the NFL banned all off-duty police from carrying in any NFL facility

By Monica Volante, 10/7/13

CLEVELAND — A new NFL policy will prohibit off-duty Cleveland police officers from taking their guns into FirstEnergy Stadium.

FOX 8 spoke to the president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association who says he is disappointed in the new regulation.

“A police officer is never happy to give up his service weapon, especially when we have the right to carry it, you know, 24 hours 7 days a week and we’re upheld by our oath too to protect and serve the public on or off duty,” said Jeff Follmer.

Follmer says Cleveland officers have other duties both before and after Browns games where they are required to be armed to fulfill their duty to protect and serve the public.

Police say they received an internal memo on September 11 that the NFL banned all off-duty federal, state and local law enforcement officers from carrying weapons in any NFL stadium or facility.

Fan hit by falling spectator at Hammerstein Ballroom

Fan hit by falling spectator at Hammerstein Ballroom concert sues over injuries
Yosef Allen, 24, was left with ‘severe and permanent’ damage after fan fell off balcony, landed on him
Comments (2)
By Dareh Gregorian / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013, 4:05 PM

One minute he was enjoying the music, the next he was flattened by a falling concertgoer.

In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Yosef Allen, 24, says he suffered “severe and permanent personal injuries” at a Justice show at the Hammerstein Ballroom when a fellow fan fell off the second balcony and landed on him on the ground.

The unidentified fan was apparently fine – witnesses said he was smiling and flashing metal fingers after the fall – but Allen was “horribly injured” with back, neck, and head injuries, said his lawyer, Glenn Faegenburg.

“He absorbed the impact,” Faegenburg said of the freak Oct. 21, 2012, accident.

Allen initially wasn’t planning on seeing the Grammy-nominated French electronic music duo, but went after a pal’s girlfriend backed out at the last minute, leaving him with an extra ticket, Faegenburg said.

Allen, who’d been working as a customer service rep at B + H Camera, suffered multiple fractures in his spine and extensive ligament damage in his knee that required two reconstructive surgeries, the lawyer said.

In total, he missed almost six months of work – and his mind doesn’t feel as sharp as it used to, Faegenburg said. “The speed with which he can call up words has been affected,” the lawyer said.

The concertgoer, who’d fallen approximately 30 feet, left under his own power, the lawyer said.

The suit charges the popular midtown venue with “permitting concertgoers to be unruly; in permitting excessive amounts of alcohol” and “failing to furnish proper guardrails on the upper levels and balconies” and seeks unspecified money damages.

The falling fan, who has not yet been identified, is also a target of the suit. He’s named as “John Doe.”

A rep for Hammerstein Ballroom, Dian Griesel, said the venue “has never had such a bizarre incident before and it has safely hosted concerts produced by the big promoters for over 17 years.”

She said the matter is “in the hands of the respective insurance companies involved with the event.”

Read more:

Fight in parking lot- Charges v. Cowboys game

Story and video.

Monster truck crash kills 8, injures dozens in Mexico

By Catherine E. Shoichet and Nelson Quinones, CNN
updated 11:45 AM EDT, Mon October 7, 2013

(CNN) — A “monster truck” spun out of control and mowed down spectators at an event in northern Mexico, killing at least eight people, including four children, officials said.

Video of the incident at the Extremo Aeroshow in Chihuahua, Mexico, shows a massive red truck running over an obstacle on a dirt course and then swerving into the crowd as audience members scream.

The driver told authorities he passed out after hitting his head, a state prosecutor’s spokesman said.

State Gov. Cesar Duarte told reporters Sunday that it was possible the truck’s driver drank alcohol before Saturday’s deadly crash.

Blood tests were conducted and prosecutors will determine who was responsible, Duarte said.

The crash injured dozens of people, Duarte said. On Sunday, 28 of them remained hospitalized — 12 of whom were in critical condition.

The city’s mayor, Marco Quezada Martinez, told the state-run Notimex news agency that he has ordered an investigation.

CNN has not been able to reach a lawyer representing the truck’s driver.

Officials said the Extremo Aeroshow was suspended after the incident.

According to the event’s website, the show included aerobatics, skydiving, hot air ballooning, motorcycles, fireworks and monster trucks.

Bags basically banned from NYC Marathon

Bags basically banned from first NYC Marathon since Boston Marathon bombing
John Matisz – September 29th, 2013

Better safe than sorry, right?

The 2013 New York City Marathon, scheduled for November 3, recently sent a memo to runners outlining the various safety measures that will be taken in the post-Boston Marathon bombing era.

The memo promises the boost in security presence will have “minimal impact” on runners’ experience at the world-class event.

In short, organizers advise you to leave your bag at home.

Trust me, they really want you to.

Highlights from the security update:

As an overall point, all baggage will be inspected (“To speed access and avoid longer lines, we strongly recommend against bringing a bag.”)
Those marching in the Parade of Nations are forbidden to carry a bag (Also: “Spectators … carrying bags will be subject to bag inspection.”)
Anyone who wishes to enter the nearby health expo, Marathon Eve Dinner or other specialty venues will be subject to a baggage check
Some parting wisdom: “If you see something suspicious taking place on or before race day, make sure to report that behavior or activity to local law enforcement; in the case of emergency, call 9-1-1.”

Here’s the memo, in full:

Marathon Security Update

Marathon Safety

As you make your final preparations with only 37 days to go before race day, we want to briefly update you on some new race-week protocols.
The safety of runners and spectators has always been New York Road Runners’ highest priority. We are fortunate to work in close collaboration with the NYPD and our federal, state, and city agency partners to ensure the safety of all of our events.
This year, NYRR has partnered with one of the world’s top security firms to conduct a top-to-bottom analysis of our existing internal security program. We are confident that their recommendations will further strengthen our already comprehensive security plan. There are a number of visible security enhancements in place for this year’s race, as well as several behind-the-scenes security elements. It is our goal to be sure that we are implementing the needed security features while causing minimal impact on your race-week experience.
There are a few changes throughout race week that you and your family should be prepared for: Baggage Inspection

This year there will be more baggage inspection areas. All bags and items entering Marathon venues and events are subject to inspection by NYRR, contracted private security personnel, venue personnel, and the NYPD. To speed access and avoid longer lines, we strongly recommend against bringing a bag.
Venues that will have some type of inspection/restrictions will include, but will not be limited to: • Marathon Opening Ceremony Presented by United Airlines
Delegates marching in the Parade of Nations will not be able to march with bags. Spectators (standing and in bleachers) carrying bags will be subject to bag inspection. We suggest one bag per guest, no larger than the size of a woman’s purse.
• ING New York City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo , Marathon Eve Dinner , Blue Line Lounge presented by Tata Consultancy Services
Any person entering these venues will be subject to baggage inspection. To speed your access, we strongly recommend that you do not bring a bag. However, you may bring one bag per guest, no larger than the size of a woman’s purse.
• Grandstand Seating
Spectators with bags in any Central Park grandstand will be subject to baggage inspection before entering the bleacher seats. We suggest one bag per guest, no larger than the size of a women’s purse. Please note that no strollers will be allowed. Family Reunion

This year, everyone entering Family Reunion will be subject to baggage inspection and screening. We anticipate that this may cause some delays, so we recommend that runners make prior arrangements to meet family at a predetermined location away from Family Reunion. Please visit for a comprehensive list of restaurants near the finish-line area.
Family Reunion will be located on Central Park West between West 60th and West 66th streets, with entry points on Broadway from 61st to 65th streets, depending on the last name of your runner. Family Reunion will be open from 12:00 noon to 5:30 p.m. A detailed map of Family Reunion will be available on . If you choose to meet in Family Reunion, we recommend that you not bring large bags, strollers, or other bulky items.
It is recommended that friends and family arrive at Family Reunion approximately 20-30 minutes after their runner’s anticipated finish time. Please keep in mind that it can take 30-45 minutes after crossing the finish to exit Central Park.
Friends and family can track their runner on race day with the free ING New York City Marathon Mobile App Presented by Tata Consultancy Services. TrackMyRunner™ Web and Track My Runner™ SMS will also be available to track up to three runners on any non-smartphone. We will make announcements when these offerings become available. For more details, visit . Friends and family can also call the Runner Information Hotline (800.496.6193) on race day if they’re unsure of a runner’s whereabouts after the race; they must know the runner’s race number. Prohibited Items

In order to ensure the safety of all Marathon participants, spectators, and partners, there is a list of items that runners will not be allowed to bring to the Start Villages or run with on the course. There have been some additional items added to this list this year (e.g. no Camelbaks® or hydration vests allowed), so please review the link provided with enough time to plan appropriately.
We are lucky in New York City to have some of the world’s best law enforcement partners in our corner. Still, we can all play a role in keeping our community safe. If you see something suspicious taking place on or before race day, make sure to report that behavior or activity to local law enforcement; in the case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
Thank you for attention to these very important matters. We will continue to keep everyone apprised of any new information, and the most up-to-date information can always be found at . We can’t wait to see you on race day!!

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