USM Hosts National Conference Intercollegiate Athletics and Safety Summit

Paris, San Bernardino, the Boston Marathon bombing, we never really know when the next act of terrorism or mass casualty event will happen. That’s why more than 100 college officials from all over the country are teaming up at USM’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. News 25’s Kirsten Durand has more from the first day of this summit.
From your local high school football game to the Super Bowl and everything in between, sports play a big role in American culture. As we look at what’s going on in the world in terms of terrorism, safety is a top concern. That’s why Chris Pohl, the associate athletic director at the University of Arkansas, is joining up with more than 100 other university officials at USM’s Gulf Park campus to get a game plan for new ways to approach safety and security at intercollegiate sporting events. “We’ve had suspicious packages. We’ve had suspicious people at our events and clearly those are all the kinds of things that we have to be ready to respond to,” said Pohl.
Thankfully, none of those suspicions led to anything major but you can never be too prepared. The tragedy at the Boston Marathon claimed three lives and injured hundreds. Director of National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security USM Lou Marciani said, “You take the lessons learned from Boston and you bring them to another setting, like intercollegiate athletics. We have over 106 million people attending intercollegiate football games a year.”
As the numbers add up, so does the need for safety. “You have to be proactive, you have to anticipate, you have to be cognizant of what’s going on in the world and think about your own backyard and figure out how to make it safe for folks,” said Pohl.
The summit will continue at USM’s Gulf Park campus over the next two days.

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