Established in 2006, The University of Southern Mississippi's National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS⁴) is the world's leading academic research institution focused on addressing sports venue and event risks and threats. The NCS⁴ is partially underwritten by grants from the DHS and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its mission centers around three key pillars -- Training, Research, and Outreach.
The NCS⁴'s national and international training programs focus on risk management, incident management, emergency response, evacuation and protective measures, crowd management, and crisis communications. In addition, professional development certifications are available for all staff levels and educational degree and certificate programs are provided through the USM's nationally recognized College of Business and Economic Development.
The research and educational mission of NCS⁴ is accomplished by working in close partnership with industry professionals, researchers and academics, and national and international government agencies. The NCS⁴ is home to the National Sports Security Laboratory where the world's leading research experts in sports and entertainment safety and security pursue a greater understanding of current and future challenges.
The NCS⁴ also offers industry engagement opportunities through its annual conference and forum events. These events provide an excellent arena to network with peers and share best practices and lessons learned to effectively address evolving security challenges.
How We Began🔗
The idea for NCS⁴ emerged from a 2006 doctoral dissertation1 about the standards required for effective security management at university sport venues. Building upon this fundamental research, NCS⁴ is now an international research and education center for sports safety and security. NCS⁴ collaborates with professional sport leagues and venues, intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics, marathon and endurance events, and international sporting events along with professional associations, private sector firms, and government agencies. Its partnerships bring together professionals from government, industry, public safety, private enterprise, and academia to explore lessons learned and share ideas about best practices, strategies, training and certifications, and technology solutions for sport safety and security challenges. Today, NCS⁴ is the nation's only academic center devoted to the study and practice of spectator sports safety and security.
Why NCS⁴ Matters🔗
Since its inception, the NCS⁴ has played a critical role in helping the ever-growing U.S. sports industry with its safety and security efforts through cutting-edge research, thought leadership, professional development, and sponsorship of conferences and industry forums.
The NCS⁴ promotes industry best practices and delivers quality training programs. Furthermore, the NCS⁴ conducts product reviews, exercises, and operational research to assist the practitioner identify innovative security solutions.
The NCS⁴ team has extensive experience in sports management, homeland security, emergency management, law enforcement, professional development, research, education, and training. Combining operational perspectives with collaborative research and education, NCS⁴ contributes expertise in translating lessons learned into best practices, professional competencies, research, and tested and validated technology solutions in safety and security.