by Ian D Scofield
Many jurisdictions have large events that bring large numbers of people together. Even small towns have parades and large towns have sporting events, conferences, and concerts. In recent years, these events have become targets for attacks of all kinds. This raise a large amount of concerns about safety and security.
Law enforcement hasn’t always played a major role in the planning and protecting large-scale events. To do so, you will need to equip officers with special skills. Ones to analyze large event plans and look for security flaws and ways that security can be improved.
While you don’t need to equip every officer with these skills, having at least one or two officers prepared to assist can make a difference in the safety of local events.
Here are some of things to consider when assisting in planning an event.
The number one thing that you need to keep in mind is that safety of everyone present takes priority over everything else. Yes, you probably know this but it is so important that it deserves being repeated.
Advise the event planners that have a clear set of rules will make the event safer, but it will also help officers who respond to calls at the event enforce the rules. Rules, including what can and can’t be brought in, should be posted online so that people can access them before the event.
Credentialing is an important process that should be worked on with any team that you are dealing with. A credential is more than simply an access pass. It is something similar to an ID badge that lets officials know where they can go, who they are, and what they do. In order to get credentials, the individuals should go through some form of screening.
Event screening has been important in recent years. Private security, event companies, and customer service teams have been implemented at entry points to ensure items are not being brought in. A lot of the people who are posted at these points are not properly trained though. Part of the problem with this type of screening is that not everyone’s bags get searched thoroughly, or even the same way.
At a major attraction over this last few days I noticed as we went through security that some bags were simply opened and had a flashlight peered into them, while others were thoroughly searched. The laxest of screeners simply felt the outside of the bag. You can see how this could be a problem.
Having an extra emphasis on event critical infrastructures such as power, water, and networking. Consult with the event management to see how security for these areas can be improved. These areas alone being compromised can be a disaster but they can also lead to a bigger disaster. Plus event planners may not have the same considerations as you do as an LEO.
After an event incident such as the recent shooting in Las Vegas, you need to have a plan to help with medical help. Have plans with local hospitals and medical facilities for how many patients they can take during an attack, what services they can provide, etc. This will help to make a disaster run smoother.
Plan to work with other agencies and those who are on site. While security officers might not be able to help with some of the dangerous parts of response, you can use them to help communication with the event, or to set up a quarantine. Others should also be informed of plans such as federal agencies, nearby jurisdictions and other such entities.
Cyber-attack is a new threat that could be encountered at a major event. Speak with the event staff to make sure any technology that could be used to harm people is secure from cyber-attack. This could include fireworks controls or temporary infrastructure controls.
Something else that you need to keep in mind is that many events have traditions and must haves. You will have to work with these kinds of events in order to create unique solutions to allow the traditions to continue. Make suggestions and be creative.
No matter how much planning you put in, you need to make sure that there are contingencies for the worst-case scenario. That way you are prepared for everything, including the small stuff.
These are just a few things to keep in mind. Event security and event planning is a multi-tiered process that takes a lot of knowledge. There are classes, and research that can be done to further your knowledge and improve your ability to help the citizens you serve. It can also lead to new roles in your department and personal growth. Both of which are important.
Take this into account and develop a plan for events in your jurisdiction. Ensure that your department also has response plans in place should something happen at an event. Doing all of this will help you to better prepare for an emergency or attack that might happen at an event in your area. Stay safe out there.
About The Author:
Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content. Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.
Did you just get a job as a law enforcement officer or are you trying to get one?
Law enforcement is a very rewarding career, one that can enhance your life and benefit you greatly. Preparing for a job in law enforcement shares some similarities to other careers. At the same time it has unique challenges to overcome.
Let’s take a moment to examine how you can prepare for a job as a law enforcement officer.