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Safety & Security Leaders Offer Recommendations For Tech And Event Staff Safety

October 20, 2017
by R.V. Baugus, IAVM
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By Russ Simons, Mark Herrera, and Dr. Lou Marciani

The recent events in Las Vegas have identified an area of public assembly facility event operations that involves technical production and event support personnel who need more direction, and we may not be providing all of the information necessary.

In our opinion, this issue requires an industry wide response, which is why we have joined together. This communication is intended to provide some initial direction to facilities of all types, including Arenas, Convention Centers & stadiums, as well as fairs and festivals of all sizes. You can expect that the issues surrounding information, training and response to recent events by public assembly professionals will be included in our continuing commitment to improvement in all areas of Safety and Security in our facilities and at our events.

Questions have been raised about the recommended protocols for technical production and event support personnel who are not regular staff at our facilities and events and how to improve their responses to an emergency situation.

An example is the procedure used to educate and inform visiting teams in many professional sports environments where a mandatory meeting is scheduled with the key staff representing the visiting team and emergency procedures for the facility are communicated using diagrams, maps, or other support information necessary (including rally points etc.) to ensure they know what to do in an emergency situation.

Event-based temporary technical production and event support personnel should be informed of this information through their internal chain of command, i.e., show producers and production managers.

Untrained technical production and event support personnel should never ever take any unilateral action in an emergency situation.

In an emergency situation, technical production and event support personnel should follow the direction of trained Facility, Fair, or Festival staff members.

It is our combined advice that everyone examine the information provided to show producers and production managers to ensure that there is clear direction as to how they, their staff and any sub-contract service providers should respond in an emergency.

We further recommend that everyone look closely at and identify any other areas where as an industry we may not be providing regular and repeated information to any untrained groups in our facilities, fairs and events on how to respond in an emergency. Examples include third party providers for food & beverage concessions, banquet and catering personnel, merchandise sales, not-for profit groups, specialty or one-off programs like designated driver booths and sponsor/partnership activations, and entertainment performers and support personnel.

Russ Simons is on the DHS Public Assembly Facility Sub-Sector Council, Mark Herrera is IAVM Director of Education, and Dr. Lou Marciani is Director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4)

San Francisco 49ers Experiment With TSA Pre✓ Technology

Artificial Intelligence, NFL, Technology October 23, 2017October 23, 2017 Jen Booton

The San Francisco 49ers became the second NFL team to launch a multi-year partnership with the parent company of TSA Pre✓.

Borrowing from the same technology that the Jets recently implemented to enhance the fan experience, the 49ers teamed up with IdentoGO by IDEMIA to launch a pilot program centered around fan biometrics.

To kick off the partnership, fans on Sunday heading into Levi’s Stadium to watch the Dallas Cowboys rout the 49ers were given access to expedited TSA Pre✓ enrollment opportunities outside Levi’s Stadium. It will be available at every home game this season.

Over time, however, the partnership will prove much more expansive, with the team and IdentoGO experimenting with a range of technologies to streamline fan entry into Levi’s Stadium and bolster security using biological identifiers such as retina or fingerprint scans.

The two will also partner on ways to use the technology to enhance fan rewards programs and other in-stadium experiences, including potentially implementing cashless and contactless payments for concessions and merchandise, as well as potentially using biometrics to identify and reward super fans or season ticket holders.

“We’re always looking for innovative ways to enhance security at Levi’s Stadium and IDEMIA’S IdentoGO technology complements our efforts as we strive to provide expedited entry for pre-approved customers,” Jim Mercurio, the 49ers’ vice president of stadium operations and Levi’s Stadium general manager, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with IDEMIA to jointly deploy the first-ever Trusted Fan Program which we plan on implementing in stages.”

The 49ers have previously implemented technology in hopes it would expedite fan entry. In September 2016, Levi’s Stadium partnered with Qylur Intelligent Systems to use self-service machines called Qylatrons that combined fan greeting, ticket-taking and bag security screening.

It’s unclear how (or if) the Qylatron will fit into the new technologies being developed by IdentoGO.

School District to Restrict Carry-Ins at Football Games

by Matt Bise
October 2017

Copyright 2017 The Post and Courier
All Rights Reserved

Post & Courier (Charleston, SC)

In what is being called a proactive measure that is part of an ongoing safety initiative, the Berkeley County School District piloted a “Clear Bag or No Bag” entry procedure for those attending high school football games at Goose Creek High School starting with the game Friday against visiting Fort Dorchester.

The statement released by the district Oct. 2 said the new rule will take effect on Oct. 6 and would advance district security and safety measures.

“Implementing the ‘Clear Bag or No Bag’ entry procedure allows staff and on-site law enforcement to quickly and easily identify prohibited items thus reducing delays that result from traditional bag searches,” said Tim Knight, BCSD Safety and Security Coordinator. “We want our fans and guests to enter and enjoy our facilities with the peace of mind that we are taking proactive steps necessary to ensure their safety and the safety of their families.”

The statement does not mention a specific threat but said Goose Creek High is the best place to begin the new district wide safety initiative.

“As Goose Creek High School is currently our largest high school, it was the best location to pilot this new safety measure,” Knight said.

Each ticketed individual is allowed to carry one clear tote bag, not to exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches and a small clutch or wallet can be included in this clear tote if it does not exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. A clear tote bag is not required to carry small permissible items such as keys, wallets, cell phones, credit cards and cash.

“We prefer our fans and guests to attend events without carrying any bag; however, we understand that it is necessary for some individuals to utilize a non-clear bag for medically necessary items or equipment,” Knight said.

“We commend and applaud Berkeley County School District for their willingness to pilot a ‘Clear Bag or No Bag’ entry procedure and look forward to working alongside their leaders to continue to improve safety measures at district schools and facilities,” said Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis. “It is important that we consider all proactive measures and continue to explore all options available to us to ensure the safety of the students.”

In addition, the district wants to remind fans that once they have received clearance to enter the event, they will not be allowed to re-enter.

The Berkeley County School District will begin enforcing its “Clear Bag or No Bag” policy beginning Friday.

In Las Vegas, Concert Security Met a New Threat: Aerial Assault


It was a “watershed” attack, “one in a million,” an all-but-unforeseeable “black swan.”

In the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Las Vegas country music festival, event security professionals — many with years of experience thwarting bad actors in bustling crowds — are characterizing the ambush in darkly exceptional, almost fatalistic terms. But they are also reckoning with ever-changing threats in their field after the aerial assaults that killed at least 59 people and injured more than 520 on Sunday.

The specter of calamity is especially worrisome for open-air events in urban environments — including the Austin City Limits music festival, which begins Friday in a Texas park and is now undergoing renewed security assessments.

“There is no manual for this,” said Chris Robinette, the president of Prevent Advisors, a security subsidiary of Oak View Partners, a company that advises sports and entertainment venues like Madison Square Garden. “It is a dynamic process that requires promoters, venue managers, local authorities and other stakeholders to work together.”

Ever since the Sept. 11 attacks, standard security protocol at concerts, festivals and other large entertainment events has become increasingly sophisticated, mirroring the mainstream adoption of previously unheard-of safety precautions at airports around the country. Music gatherings — long bastions of ephemeral intimacy and relaxed inhibitions — have become the site of bomb-sniffing dogs, body scanners and high-definition closed circuit cameras, particularly in the wake of recent large-scale attacks on concerts including the Bataclan rock club in Paris and the Manchester Arena.


Las Vegas Shooting: Chaos at a Concert and a Frantic Search at Mandalay Bay

How one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history unfolded.

OPEN Graphic

Jeff Dorenfeld, a music business professor at Berklee College of Music with a focus on touring and festivals, recalled a time when concert security barely existed. “I was at Altamont,” said Mr. Dorenfeld, who went on to tour with Ozzy Osbourne and Boston, of the 1969 concert infamous for deaths and violence. “There wasn’t real security.”

But even with the gradual ratcheting up of protections, a new wave of mass casualty events has highlighted the ways determined attackers can wreak havoc by shifting their focus to the areas immediately surrounding venues.

In Las Vegas, the gunman, Stephen Paddock, executed his killing spree from a towering window at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino — around 400 yards away from the festival site — well outside the usual security perimeter of pat-downs and metal detectors that is created for such events. He slipped the hotel’s own security apparatus, and chose an open-air target that is by definition vulnerable from a high elevation.

“We have to go back to Lee Harvey Oswald on the book depository to conjure a similar scenario,” said Steven A. Adelman, vice president of the Event Safety Alliance, by telephone Monday afternoon, referring to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. “This really is unique.”

Louis Marciani, the director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security, struggled to imagine how a similar assault might be prevented in the future. “There’s no way that any good operation would have caught that,” he said of the shooting. “We’ve now got to go back to the drawing board.”


The Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2011. The 2017 festival begins on Friday. After the Las Vegas shooting, the Austin police chief said, “Whenever you have an incident occur you always have to be concerned about copycats.” Credit Ben Sklar for The New York Times

Las Vegas Village, the site of Route 91 Harvest Festival, is owned by the same company — MGM Resorts International — as the hotel where Mr. Paddock opened fire. It is likely that there was at least some preplanning between the two facilities before the festival took place. (MGM has not commented.) But even if Mandalay Bay were on high alert last weekend, snaring Mr. Paddock would most likely have required a level of screening that far exceeds current practices.

“You’d have to have X-ray machines and magnetometers at every single entrance,” said Mr. Adelman. “No hotel does that.”

Festival organizers could choose to avoid locations near the sorts of tall buildings that can offer gunmen cover and a clear vantage, but Mr. Adelman suggested that other loopholes would then emerge. “Do you not hold festivals near hills or tall trees?” he wondered. “Do you ban trucks?”

Mr. Dorenfeld offered a similarly rueful hypothetical. Does every festival now have to be like Bonnaroo, “in the middle of an open field?” But he stressed that procedures are constantly evolving. “I go to these festivals and I look around and I’m so impressed,” he said. “Security is really good and it’ll just get better.”

For the people behind Austin City Limits, which will bring 75,000 music fans to Zilker Park in Austin, Tex., this weekend, the question of how to keep people safe is now freighted with even more pressing urgency than usual.

Security professionals and some event promoters have called for expanding the perimeter around so-called soft targets, and for increased coordination between venues and neighboring businesses.

Following the Las Vegas shooting, the producer of the Austin festival, C3 Presents, released a statement detailing a “layered security plan that includes elements that are seen and unseen,” and that will include “an enhanced security and law enforcement presence inside and outside the festival.”

The company also announced that it would offer refunds to any fans concerned about safety.

The Austin police chief, Brian Manley, said on Monday: “It’s not that it’s a threat that we are not aware of, but whenever you have an incident occur you always have to be concerned about copycats — someone that looks at this as an opportunity.” In a news conference, he added that officers had already visited condos on the park’s north side that partly overlook the festival grounds.

Chief Manley struggled to buoy his tone while speaking to would-be festival attendees, though he urged them to continue to “do the things that we enjoy.”

But he ended the news conference with an unvarnished caveat. “We live in a world now where you cannot protect against every single threat,” he said.

Police announce they’ve arrested Panthers fan for assault

Frank Schwab,Shutdown Corner Fri, Oct 13, 2017

The Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department worked quickly to arrest a man seen in a shocking video sucker punching another fan during Thursday night’s game.

The CMPD announced Friday evening that Kyle Adam Maraghy was charged with simple assault and was being brought to jail.

The video of a Panthers fan punching another fan during the game went viral on Friday. The team announced Friday it had identified the perpetrator in the video and was working with the CMPD. The authorities said on Friday afternoon they had a suspect.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a video of violence in the stands of an NFL game. It is reassuring that the team and law enforcement took the incident quite seriously and worked rapidly to make an arrest. Hopefully that deters the next NFL fan fight in the stands.

29 injured after safety barriers collapse in French soccer stadium

At least 29 people were injured, including five seriously, when safety barriers collapsed at a French Ligue 1 game between Amiens and Lille on Saturday, local authorities and match officials said leading to the match being abandoned.

Television pictures showed dozens of Lille supporters falling on top of each other after a barrier at the Stade de la Licorne broke seconds after Lille scored in 15th minute of the local northern derby match.

Police sources said the total number of injuries were still to be determined, although a provisional count in a statement by local hospital services put the number at 29, including five seriously.

READ MORE: 17 dead after stampede in Angolan soccer stadium

“In light of the events, and given the fact that about 20 were injured, three of them seriously, it has been decided that the game would not resume,” match delegate Noel Mannino had earlier said.

Safety at French soccer stadiums has improved drastically since 1992 when 18 people were killed after a stand collapsed at the Armand Cesari Stadium before a French Cup game between hosts Bastia and Olympique de Marseille.

Amiens president Bernard Joannin, whose stadium opened in 1999, told a news conference that there had been no signs of any problems with the barrier and appeared to put the blame on hardcore ultra fans from Lille.

READ MORE: Explosions near Istanbul soccer stadium kills at least 29

“There was no problem with the barrier,” Joannin said. “The police services warned us of about 200 ultras that were extremely irritable in the area reserved for the Lille supporters. They rushed in a disorderly fashion – more than 500 of them – on to this barrier which was in perfect condition.”

Local French media reported that there has been construction at the stadium, but that was limited to the roofing at the other side of where the accident happened.

Nathalie Boy de la Tour, president of the professional football league, told BFM TV that the stadium had passed safety norms.

READ MORE: 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster: 96 Liverpool soccer fans ‘unlawfully killed,’ jury finds

Several Lille supporters speaking on BFM described a scene of panic and criticised the conditions of the stadium.

“It was like a boat sinking,” Lille supporter Esteban said.

Lille chief executive, Marc Ingla, said on Twitter that Joannin’s comments were “irresponsible.”

“Our supporters are irreproachable and professional football demands the best organisation,” he said. He questioned the way the Lille fans had been welcomed and the security conditions.

The local prosecutor said he had opened an investigation into the incident.

© 2017 Reuters

Las Vegas shooting: Bodycam footage shows first response

Las Vegas shooting: Bodycam footage shows first response

By Holly Yan, Madison Park and Darran Simon, CNN

Updated 5:17 AM ET, Wed October 4, 2017

(CNN)Every detail of this indiscriminate mass murder seemed meticulously planned.

The selection of a hotel room overlooking a music festival, days before the attack. The cache of 23 weapons inside the gunman’s Las Vegas suite. And thousands of rounds of ammunition — plus an ingredient used in explosives — inside the killer’s home and car.
The latest revelation came Tuesday afternoon when police said gunman Stephen Paddock set up cameras inside his hotel suite and in the hallway. Police are not aware whether the devices were transmitting — the FBI is investigating their use — but the Clark County sheriff told reporters he thinks the shooter might have used them to watch for people approaching his room.
One camera looked out the peephole on the suite’s door.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives disclosed that Paddock had outfitted 12 of his rifles with a legal device called a bump-fire stock, which enables a shooter to fire bullets rapidly, similar to an automatic rifle.
Authorities released the first body camera footage of police responding to the shooting. It captured the rapid staccato of the gunfire at a fairly close range.
Officers were seen hunkering down behind a wall. “Go that way, get out of here! There’s gunshots coming from over there,” one officer is heard yelling at civilians. At one point, they were next to a patrol vehicle on Las Vegas Boulevard, where one officer was shot, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said.
No one knows why Paddock morphed from a retired accountant to the deadliest mass shooter in modern US history. His relentless gunfire — police say he fired for nine to 11 minutes after the first 911 call — on country music fans at an outdoor concert left 58 people dead.
Why officials aren’t calling this ‘domestic terrorism’
Another 500 people are still trying to recover from injuries — everything from gunshot wounds to stampede injuries suffered when 22,000 people tried to flee the gunman’s aim.
So far, police believe Paddock acted alone — which could make the motive harder to determine.
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