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19 November 2015

Major sports events security focus of INTERPOL meeting with NCS4

NEW YORK – Identifying opportunities for collaboration on major events security within their respective capacities was the focus of a meeting between representatives of the University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) and INTERPOL.

Discussions focused in particular on cooperation in the area of law enforcement research, training and capacity building between INTERPOL’s Project Stadia and NCS4 tied to sports safety and security. The meeting with the NCS4 National Advisory Board was held at the National Football League headquarters in New York.

“The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security is proud to partner with INTERPOL. We look forward to collaborating with INTERPOL in its creation of a global platform of excellence and good practices,” said NCS4 Director Dr. Lou Marciani.

“By bringing together best practices, successes and lessons learnt by member countries which have successfully hosted major international sporting events, Project Stadia seeks to equip future hosts with global law enforcement expertise they can draw on to enrich their own operational security preparations,” said Michael O’Connell, INTERPOL Director of Operational Support and Analysis, and Head of Project Stadia.

“INTERPOL’s Project Stadia gives the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security an opportunity to play a role in offering INTERPOL’s member countries a repository of best practices. The gathering of relevant research and knowledge as well as training will provide for the enhancement for effective safety and security planning and operations at both national and international sports events,” said Dr. Gordon Cannon, Vice President for Research at The University of Southern Mississippi.

“Project Stadia aims to develop partnerships with national or international institutions, entities and organizations which are recognized with concrete background and experience in the field of sport safety and security, sport legislation and cybersecurity. These partnerships are a valuable asset in establishing INTERPOL’s a global platform of excellence and of global best practices,” said Khaled Hatem, INTERPOL Specialized Officer with Project Stadia.

The meeting was also attended by representatives from US national sports leagues, venues, associations and organizations, as well as law enforcement agencies which included the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

“With the meeting taking place the same week that the Stade de France in Paris was targeted by terrorists, it reinforces the necessity for police to be well equipped and trained in their response to this type of tragic incident. Through Project Stadia, INTERPOL together with NCS4 will enhance policing capability in this regard,” concluded Mr O’Connell.

Established by INTERPOL and funded by Qatar, Project Stadia aims to create a centre of excellence and good practice platform to help INTERPOL member countries in planning and executing physical security and cybersecurity preparations for major sporting events.