HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A seminar at Southern Miss next week could change the way that safety and security issues are handled at hundreds of marathons across the United States.
The National Marathon Safety and Security Summit, which will take place on the Hattiesburg campus Dec. 16-18, will develop new procedures for crowd management, emergency action plans and risk and threat assessment.
It will be hosted by USM's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) will will feature input from marathon event administrators, law enforcement officials and emergency managers from all over the nation.
It was organized after the NCS4 Advisory Board received feedback on current safety and security issues facing marathons following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
"Last year in marathons, we had 541,000 people cross the finish line," said Dr. Lou Marciani, director of NCS4. "We had 1,100 marathons in this country this past year, so there's a lot of runners, a lot of city agencies. There are sponsor brandings to worry about and there's certainly the protection of the runners and those operating the event," he said.