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De-Escalating Sports Venue Conflicts with the Right Tools

By Paul Hughes
January 14, 2014

f you’ve never considered the safety risks of a professional security officer, placing them in a sporting venue where they are significantly outnumbered is an excellent research lab. Because of the sheer quantity of people, the passion for their teams and the possibility of alcohol consumption, sports leagues, such as the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), recommend one security officer for every 250 visitors in a venue, while some high schools recommend one officer for every 50 students. Assigning the proper number of security personnel is a delicate balance of operational efficiency, cost and visitor safety, which makes proper equipment for the job an essential consideration.

There are a number of sensible options available for security officers to achieve “enhanced presence” with non-lethal tools. The tools should be appropriate for the officer’s role and improve the ability to perform their duties. Consider this: If your officers carry handcuffs, what other tools do they have to control an individual while attempting to cuff that person? If your answer is “nothing,” keep reading.

Tools for The Job

Distance + Time = Safety. For security professionals, this is an important equation, particularly when considering what tools are available on their duty belts. The tools should help maximize the time an officer has to react to a threat while keeping that threat at a safe distance. Here is a look at the benefits and drawbacks of tools available today to security professionals:

Enhanced Non-Lethal (ENL) – ENLs are an emerging category of economical tools that combine two or more non-lethal capabilities, as well as an integrated communication or alerting platform. For example, an ENL can combine pepper spray, a disorienting strobe light and a Bluetooth® communication module that automatically calls a central desk or field supervisor for support when it’s needed. Products in this category can engage a threatening person at distances of 10 feet and provide a security officer with an ability to remove a disruptive visitor without placing others at risk.
Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) – There is a significant difference between contact stun devices and neuromuscular incapacitation (NMI) devices built for law enforcement. Both are in the CEW category, but contact stun devices require your staff to get within arm’s reach of an aggressive visitor before they can engage them. Generally speaking, this is a poor tactic. If you are evaluating CEWs, understand that your security team may be deploying a CEW as a tactical tool in a situation that is edging out of control.
Batons – While batons have been in use for years, technology has improved their balance and striking power. The operating principle of a baton is simple: intimidation and/or the physical destruction of tissue and bones. Batons are low-cost and effective, but the chance your security officer may accidentally deliver a fatal head strike could be too much risk for your venue to absorb. Consider them, but understand that pictures of an effective baton strike could be the centerpiece of a plaintiff’s case against your staff, team owners and venue operators.
Pepper Spray – By some estimates, nearly 30 percent of security officer currently carry pepper spray as a defensive tool. Pepper spray is popular because, by spraying the active ingredient oleoresin capsicum (O.C.), it provides an inexpensive incapacitation capability. The risks associated with deploying pepper spray are generally low and can be overcome with excellent training and regular refresher courses. Training is essential to ensure proper aiming technique, because pepper spray deployed excessively (for two- to three-second bursts) can affect innocent bystanders.

Arming Sporting Venue Security Professional

When considering what devices officers need on their tool belts, here are some guidelines to ensure that your decisions are sensible, tactically sound and cost effective:

Collaborate with your security chief, stakeholders and C-Suite in defining the role of your security officers and the risks they face;
Enable your officers to meet threats with an appropriate response;
When possible, maximize the distance at which your security personnel can engage a threat;
Budget for annual training at minimum, but quarterly is preferred;
Review training materials to ensure they address risks unique to your venue; and
Enable thorough reporting of incidents, and include images and audio.

When choosing the tools for your security officer’s duty belt, remember that there isn’t a perfect tool for every situation. A smart strategy would be to encourage the use of products that provide a layered defense for your officer and protect your venue against frivolous lawsuits. By selecting the right tools, your officers will have more satisfaction in their job, resulting in lower turnover, less risk and reduced operating costs.

14-Year-Old Shot Near Hillhouse High School in New Haven

14-Year-Old Shot Near Hillhouse High School in New Haven
By Ari Mason and Audrey Washington | Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014

A 14-year-old student was shot outside Hillhouse High School in New Haven after a basketball game on Monday evening, according to police, and extra police are expected today.

Police received the report of shots fired at Dixwell Avenue and Munson Street around 8 p.m. on Monday. The intersection is a few blocks away from the school, which is located at 480 Sherman Parkway.

There they found a ninth-grade high school student suffering from two gunshot wounds. Police said the victim was shot in the hand and a bullet also grazed his leg.

His injuries are considered non-life threatening and police said an ambulance brought him to the hospital for treatment.

The shooting happened just after a basketball game at the Floyd Little Athletic Center that had drawn a crowd of 2,000.

Spectators were in the process of leaving when the gunshots rang out and scattered, police said.

Responding officers surrounded the school and blocked off the Sherman Parkway at Henry Avenue and Munson Avenue. Police taped off the athletic center and an ambulance arrived on Munson Street to transport the victim.

Nine officers, including several New Haven police school resource officers, along with school security, were present during and after the game and responded to the incident, according to police.

Police have not identified any shooting suspects and are actively investigating.

Authorities said two adults were arrested, but the arrests were for interfering with police.

Police said they found a gun on the ground near where they made the arrests but have not been able to connect it to the shooting.

Former Tampa cop charged in movie theater shooting over texting

Former Tampa cop charged in movie theater shooting over texting had praiseworthy police career
Published January 15, 2014 /

A Florida sheriff says a retired Tampa police officer’s praiseworthy career doesn’t offset the severity of the charge that he shot and killed another man after an argument at a movie theater over texting.

Curtis Reeves, 71, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson on Monday. Reeves was ordered held without bond Tuesday pending another hearing.

As a police officer for more than two decades until his retirement in 1993, Reeves regularly received outstanding evaluations and numerous letters of commendation for his leadership skills and training he led for other agencies on gun safety and other topics.

Still, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Tuesday: “It didn’t matter what he had done previously in his life. You don’t shoot someone over a texting incident.”

As a police officer, Reeves was often praised for his problem-solving and ability to manage stressful situations.

“Captain Reeves not only has the ability to act decisively when necessary but has the foresight to initiate the proper course of action to avoid conflict,” a supervisor remarked in one job performance review.

However, early in his career, one supervisor noted: “Reeves has a tendency to be impatient in regards to legal matters and practices now in force … and may be abrupt with complainants in some areas of the city.”

In 1968, he was reprimanded for carelessly handling a city weapon.

“He must have just snapped,” said neighbor Joe D’Andrea, who described Reeves as a friendly, “stand-up” guy. “I’m trying to put all of this together.”

Pasco County Sheriff’s officials say Reeves initially asked Oulson to stop texting at the theater in Wesley Chapel, a suburb about a half-hour north of downtown Tampa.

Sheriff’s Detective Allen Proctor wrote that Reeves spoke to Oulson during the movie previews, then got up and informed management.

When Reeves returned to his seat “additional words were exchanged” and Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, the report said.

After officers read him his rights, Reeves told the detective that Oulson struck him in the face with an unknown object, and that’s when he removed a .380-caliber gun from his pants pocket. The report said Reeves fired the gun and struck Oulson once in the chest and that he “was in fear of being attacked.”

The sheriff said at a news conference that Reeves’ son — who was off duty from his job as a Tampa officer — was walking into the theater when the shooting happened. Nocco said Reeves briefly struggled with an off-duty deputy but released the weapon. The gun was jammed and unable to fire again.

Pasco Sgt. Steve Greiner was among the first officers in the theater. When asked about Reeves’ demeanor, Greiner replied: “He was very calm. He was seated in the chair, looking at the screen.”

At the hearing, Judge Lynn Tepper said she found the evidence significant enough to warrant the no-bond order.

Reeves faces life in prison if convicted. He only spoke once during his court appearance, to say “Yes, ma’am” to the judge when she asked him if he could afford to hire his own attorney. Reeves appeared in court via a video link from the jail.

Reeves’ attorney, Richard Escobar, argued that his client should be released because of his ties to the community.

Escobar said the probable cause document was “quite weak” and that Reeves was defending himself.

“The alleged victim attacked him,” Escobar said, adding that Oulson threw something, possibly popcorn, at Reeves. “At that point in time he has every right to defend himself.”

The judge said that throwing “an unknown object does not equal taking out a gun” and shooting someone.

The suspect’s appearance in court comes as another allegation has surfaced regarding a previous confrontation over texting. The Pasco County Sheriff office told that they are investigating allegations from another moviegoer who claims Reeves confronted her over text messaging during a movie shortly after Christmas.

Escobar said Reeves has lived in the Tampa Bay area almost his entire life. Reeves has two grown children.

Reeves’ application to join the Tampa Police Department shows that he served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1963 as a machinists’ mate on a submarine. After an honorable discharge, he worked as a truck driver and as a warehouse worker.

Neighbors said Reeves and his wife moved to a rural subdivision in Hernando County about 10 years ago.

Everyone in the neighborhood knew Reeves was a retired police officer, said D’Andrea, the neighbor.

“He was a stand-up guy in the neighborhood,” D’Andrea said.

Reeves and his wife were friendly with the neighbors, often attending house parties, said D’Andrea. The couple also owned a motorcycle and enjoyed taking long rides.

Reeves was instrumental in establishing the Tampa Police Department’s first tactical response team, that agency’s spokeswoman said. He retired in 1993 and later worked security at the Busch Gardens theme park. He also served on the Crimestoppers board of Hernando County.

Devon Detrapani and her husband, Joseph, were friends with the Oulsons and the men worked together at Sky Powersports, a motorcycle and off-road vehicle dealer.

Chad Oulson was the company’s finance manager and a hard worker, Detrapani said. He rode dirt bikes on the weekend, but his true love was his baby daughter, Lexi.

“They are awesome parents,” said Devon Detrapani. “They love that little girl so much.”

Detrapani said Oulson was texting with his daughter’s daycare on the afternoon he was shot. She said Oulson was a kind man with no anger issues.

“He is a very nice guy,” she said. “He would give the shirt off his back to help someone.”

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche and the Associated Press contributed to this report

Seven die in shootout during pre-Olympic Russia militant sweep

By Ludmila Danilova, Reuters
MOSCOW, Russia — Three Russian servicemen and four gunmen were killed in a shootout in southern Russia on Wednesday during a sweep for militants ahead of next month’s Sochi Winter Olympics.

Russia’s National Anti-terrorism Committee (NAC) said the dead gunmen included a man accused of carrying out a car bomb attack in the city of Pyatigorsk late last year which killed three people.

Russia is on high alert following two suicide bombings in southern Russia last month that fueled security concerns before the Olympics, which Islamist militants waging an insurgency in the North Caucasus have threatened to attack.

President Vladimir Putin has staked a lot of personal and political prestige on the success of the Games, which open on February 7, and has put security forces on combat alert in Sochi.

The NAC said in a statement that a group of militants had been trapped in a house in the village of Karlanyurt in the Dagestan region of the North Caucasus. Five officers were also wounded in what a spokesman called a special operation.

Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala, is about 385 miles east of Sochi. The mostly Islamic region is plagued by bombings and shootings that mainly target police and state officials as part of the militants’ fight to create an Islamist state.

At least 34 people were killed last month in suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd. Putin ordered safety measures to be beefed up nationwide after the attacks.

About 37,000 personnel are now in place to provide security in Sochi, which is on the Black Sea and on the western edge of the Caucasus mountains, and the International Olympic Committee has expressed confidence the Games will be safe.

But, underlining the danger of attacks, security forces said on Saturday they had arrested five members of a banned militant group in southern Russia and defused a homemade bomb packed with shrapnel.

The main spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, whose responsibilities include looking into bombings and other attacks, appealed to civilians on Tuesday to be more vigilant and help avert the threat of “terrorist” attacks.

Super Bowl security takes shape

Super Bowl security takes shape
By Jane McManus |, January 2, 2014

NEW YORK — On Thursday, the NFL will begin construction of a double chain link and jersey barricade fence nearly 4 miles long. Ultimately, it will encircle MetLife Stadium and a 300-foot buffer in all directions, as well as the Izod Center and the power station that feeds them both, and the fence will serve as the security perimeter for the nation’s biggest game, the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.

“The NFL has been thinking about the security of the Super Bowl since its very beginning, but particularly after 9/11,” said Frank Supovitz, NFL vice president of events. “It is a Level 1 national security event as designated by the federal government.”

It’s been that way since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This year, the Super Bowl visits the New York/New Jersey region for the first time, but with some stringent security procedures that have been worked out and perfected since those horrific events.

For example, the power station will be inside the security perimeter, unlike last year in New Orleans, which was an issue during the blackout in the third quarter.

“The stadium itself undergoes a transformation into a more secure environment,” Supovitz said. “There’s a VACIS, or vehicle and cargo inspection system. It’s basically an MRI for shipped stuff that’s in an undisclosed area near the stadium. That’s where any truck that delivers anything for the Super Bowl will be screened. They have to be on a manifest, they have to be inspected. They’re approved, and then they can drive into the perimeter.

“Most everything that needs to be in the stadium on game day needs to be there by Friday. Golf carts, generators, fuel, literally anything has to be in that perimeter, has to have been inspected.”

On game day, there will be seven access points for fans and staff, and they involve going through one of 130 total magnetometers at one of seven welcome pavilions the league will erect around the perimeter.

All the parking lots are outside the perimeter, so ticket holders’ cars don’t have to undergo the same scrutiny. Fans will be limited in what they can take into the stadium, just like during the regular season this year. Each ticket holder can have a clear plastic bag for personal belongings but no backpacks or large purses.

“[The Level 1 designation] requires us to take some extraordinary steps in terms of screening not just people coming to the game, but the people who are working at the game,” Supovitz said. “Everyone undergoes FBI background checks. I’m actually in the process today of going through all the credential applications we’ve gotten so far, and we’ll get 20,000 of them. Not all of them on game day, but it’s 20,000.

“Every one of those members of the staff, whether they’re at Radio City Music Hall [for an awards show], of staff at media day at the Prudential Center or staff at the Izod Center for [the pregame party] NFL on Location, are background-checked by the FBI.”

Those are just some of the events the league is staffing in the area before the main event.

There are 80,000 fans expected at the game, plus an estimated 400,000 who could hit the region for pregame parties and other happenings. It’s impossible to secure everything, but with its offices on Manhattan’s Park Avenue, the NFL is making security one of the priorities.

It is, after all, a home game for the league.!

SEC fines four SEC schools for fan behavior

Sports Xchange
December 20, 2013

The Southeastern Conference slapped four schools with fines totaling $60,000 on Friday for violating conference policies during the regular season.

Mississippi State and Mississippi received the largest fines — $25,000 each — for the actions of their fans. Missouri and Auburn were fined $5,000 each.

Mississippi State’s fine was the second for violating the league’s artificial noisemaker policy. Bulldogs fans traditionally bring cowbells to games but are only allowed to ring them at apporpriate times. The first fine came in 2010.

Ole Miss was punished for its fans rushing the field after a 27-24 victory over LSU on Oct. 19. The Rebels were a repeat offender, having committed a similar violation of field access policy in 2012.

Auburn and Missouri were penalized for their fans going onto the field after division title-clinching games on Nov. 30. Auburn beat Alabama 34-28 when a last-second field goal attempt was returned for a touchdown to win the West Division. Missouri secured the East with a 28-21 victory over Texas A&M.

Football authorities act to snuff out growing pyrotechnic trend

Football authorities act to snuff out growing pyrotechnic trend – where children are used as ‘mules’ to smuggle flares into grounds

By Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED: 18:10 EST, 2 December 2013 | UPDATED: 18:10 EST, 2 December 2013
Children as young as eight have been used to smuggle flares and smoke bombs into English stadiums.

Football authorities have launched an offensive in an effort to halt the rise in pyrotechnic devices being set off by fans inside football grounds.

The trend has taken hold in the last two years with young children used as ‘mules’ to smuggle dangerous devices through the turnstiles on behalf of adults.

Research proved many match-going fans are unaware of the extreme dangers, and the authorities have reacted by launching a campaign aimed at stamping it out.

Only eight pyrotechnic incidents were recorded across England’s top five divisions in 2010-11 but last season there were 172 and there were 96 in the first three months of this campaign.

These include the smoke canister hurled towards the pitch that struck an assistant referee on the head during Aston Villa’s game against Tottenham. Fans have received shrapnel wounds inside English grounds and others have suffered lung damage after smoke inhalation.

James Maddocks, an eight-year-old Everton fan and season-ticket holder, was treated for burns to his neck after he was hit by a smoke bomb thrown by Everton fans during the Merseyside derby at Anfield in May.

‘Pyrotechnics are not innocent fun,’ said Cathy Long, head of supporter services at the Premier League. ‘They can be dangerous and there are victims.’

The Premier League, the Football League and the FA launched the campaign to educate fans after finding that most of those asked in a survey who had experienced flares and smoke bombs at games wanted more to be done to tackle the problem.

Posters will appear inside grounds and in programmes to inform supporters that many of the popular flares burn at 1,600C, the melting point of steel, and that smoke bombs are designed for open spaces not the confines of a football stand.

Those caught can face jail and be banned from football. Last month, a Manchester United fan was hit with a three-year banning order and a suspended jail sentence for setting off a smoke bomb at The Hawthorns on the final day of last season.

Read more:

Brazil creates special riot force for World Cup

Brazil creates special riot force for World Cup
By The Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil has created a special riot force to help police control demonstrations expected during the World Cup later this year.

Col. Alexandre Augusto Aragon heads the elite National Security Force. He tells the G1 Internet portal that 10,000 riot troops selected from state police forces throughout Brazil will be deployed in the 12 cities hosting World Cup games June 12-July 13.

Violent street demonstrations broke out last June protesting corruption, poor public services and a host of other complaints. The protests coincided with the Confederations Cup, a warm-up tournament for the World Cup.

The Black Bloc anarchist movement has announced plans for demonstrations for the World Cup, starting with the opening match on June 12 in Sao Paulo.

2014-01-03 13:56:29 GMT

No extra Sochi security following Volgograd attacks – Zhukov

No extra Sochi security following Volgograd attacks – Zhukov
Sport Business International
2 January 2014

Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov has revealed that there are no plans to introduce extra security measures in Sochi for the 2014 winter Olympic Games despite apparent terrorist attacks in Volgograd over recent days.

At least 29 people have been killed in two separate incidents. The Games will run from February 7-21 in Sochi, about 430 miles from Volgograd.

“Concerning the Olympic Games in Sochi, all necessary security measures are provided for, and extra security measures in light of the act of terrorism in Volgograd will not be taken, because everything needed is done,” said Zhukov, who is also chairman of the advisory board for the Sochi 2014 organising committee, according to the R-Sport agency.

The report added that several areas in and around Sochi would be put under “lockdown” from January 7 to March 21.

In other news, the Russian cabinet has approved almost US$50m (€36m) in extra subsidies for the Games’ organising committee. No reason was given for the injection, but state reports have indicated that the funds will not be put towards infrastructure.

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