HATTIESBURG, MS (THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI) – Janet Napolitano, United States Secretary of Homeland Security, will address a sold-out audience when the inaugural National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition gets underway Monday, Aug. 2 in New Orleans.
Napolitano is scheduled to speak from 4-5 p.m. on the opening day of the three-day conference (Aug. 2-4) at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel. The theme of her speech will be, "Government's Role in Balancing Safety and Security." National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is set to follow Napolitano with his address, "Balancing the Fan Experience with Security & Safety." The conference is being hosted by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.
All security vendor spaces have been reserved for the conference, which will feature exhibits from security companies across the United States. In addition, the attendee list has reached the pre-conference goal of 300. That list includes police departments from universities such as Kentucky, Utah and Auburn; representatives from the City of Detroit Police Department; several major professional sports organizations and the Georgia Dome, to name a few.
"We are very fortunate to have Secretary Napolitano speak to our attendees at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition," said Dr. Lou Marciani, NCS4 director. "The sold-out conference is a reflection of the growing interest in sport safety and security from the sport venue security personnel, first responders, manufacturers and league security officials. We are looking forward to her remarks relative to balancing sport event security and the fan experience."
The conference officially kicks off at 3 p.m. on Aug. 2 with opening remarks by Southern Miss President Martha Saunders. The comprehensive conference will also include a number of panel discussions moderated by collegiate and professional security experts. Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré, renowned for coordinating Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, will deliver the closing speech at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4.
Established in 2006, The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security was created to provide an interdisciplinary academic environment to further increase sport security awareness, improve sport security policies and procedures and enhance emergency response through evacuation, recovery operations and crowd management training.
For more information about the national conference and exhibition call 601.266.6183 or visit www.NCS4.com/conference