Security a top priority for MHSAA football championships

Security a top priority for MHSAA football championships

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hundreds will be flooding the stands of M.M. Roberts Stadium on the Hattiesburg campus of the University of Southern Mississippi Friday and Saturday for the MHSAA football state championship games.

For an event this large, security will be a top priority.

"I’m not sure how many people are going to attend, but that becomes a big part of the planning process,” said Dr. Justin Kurland, manager of research and interscholastic security at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at Southern Miss.

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security is the global leader in safety and security training in relation to spectator sports.

“We’re going to be responsible for policing the World Cup in Qatar in 2022,” said Kurland. “We do trainings all across the country at the interscholastic, intercollegiate and professional levels for individuals that are involved in either some sort of security role or safety and security management.”

The organization works and researches the best possible ways for keeping the public safe during events such as the championship games this weekend.

Kurland says when it comes to safety measures for these events, there are several things that go into keeping people safe.

“Having an understanding of roughly how many tickets get sold can play a part in how the police and other first responders who are involved with aspects of traffic and private security and where they are going to be set up and where they are going to be placing individuals who are coming in their vehicles,” said Kurland. “There’s a complexity and context that is really important to understand when you’re dealing with an event.”

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