Using Security Dispatch Software for Large Sporting Events in 2020

2020-07-23 18:01:00

The safety of visitors and staff on game day is paramount and the use of security dispatch software is an essential tool for that vital mission. The venue of a large sporting event can create challenges for security personnel. Effective communication and data exchange through modern dispatching software mitigates many of those challenges. 

Professional security managers are aware of the vast responsibility that comes with keeping a stadium or other sporting venue safe. They also know that security often extends well beyond the gates, seating, and concession areas and includes the often-unseen portions of the event location. Corridors, utility rooms, loading and storage facilities, business offices, VIP sections, and a host of other areas are equally as important in the overall security plan. Often, security providers are responsible for off-site asset protection as well which may include hotels, expo halls, and motorcades. The use of security dispatch software is an important part of managing the multifaceted world of sporting event security. 

Security Dispatch Software is in Use Long Before the Game Begins

Prior to fans, athletes, and vendors filling the stadium, the use of security dispatch software is well underway. Depending on the venue, event type, and safety protocols, its use will have likely benefited the security team for at least several months prior to game day. One of the considerations of venue security that is aided through the use of dispatching software and computer aided dispatch systems is determining projected attendance based on ticket sales and prior events. Accurate estimates of crowd size allow security manages to plan for staffing requirements, zone/section assignments, and other contingencies.

Officer patrol rounds, also known as guard tours, are another important aspect of preparation in which security dispatch software can assist. Some security providers increase their patrol frequency or add check-in locations as the day of the event gets closer. Dispatchers and supervisors using security software can track officer check-ins, note any special or unusual circumstances, and include photos in the patrol officer's log. Alerts can be set up in the security dispatch software system to immediately identify any missed check-ins and verify both the officer’s safety and ensure the tour is properly covered. This can be especially beneficial on the day of the event as an officer on rounds may be diverted for an in-progress incident. Security dispatching software can help manage incomplete tours and coordinate their completion once high priority incidents have been addressed. 

A robust security dispatch system will also include historical information from previous events. Being able to identify potential issues before the venue begins to become occupied can help in determining an appropriate course of action. By cross-referencing identified patrons with prior records, vital information can be added to operation plans and threat assessments. This process can be repeated, often with more accuracy, for event staff as their identities are more readily available. Security dispatch software can either be integrated with or work in complement to access control programs to ensure proper identification and appropriate area accessibility for each staff member.

Security Dispatch Software’s Role in Response Times on Game Day               

Getting officers to an incident as quickly and safely as possible is often the key to reducing the potential for disruption to the event. Security dispatching software offers a variety of benefits that improve response times and overall incident management. Using mapping technology, dispatchers can identify officer locations and determine the appropriate unit to assign to a call for service. In addition to location, dispatchers can also determine who is available and if any officers with special equipment or skills are needed.

Sporting events have occasionally been known to cause tensions to run high. Fans can be overly passionate about their team’s role in a game. While security professionals are usually able to use their interpersonal communication skills to quell an unruly fan, there are instances when other action must be taken. It may seem unlikely, but this is where an advantage of security dispatching software can come into play. From the security operations center, dispatchers can identify the potential disturbance, determine officer response based on proximity, and fill in any gaps which resulted in officers leaving their zones to address the issue. Additionally, dispatchers can relay information to field units via new mobile technology including the closest exit to allow a timely escort of the disruptive patron. Finally, subjects involved in the disturbance can be entered into the security records management system (RMS) to be used as intelligence for future events if needed. 

Security Dispatching Software After the Event

Nearly every entity involved in a major sporting event will conduct some sort of review of their actions. Athletes and coaches will watch footage of the game and look for strengths and weaknesses. Event promotional staff will evaluate ticket, concession, and merchandise sales to improve marketing strategies. Security managers will complete an after-action report to review their member's performance and look for ways to improve safety measures.

Information for the security after-action report will come from a variety of sources. One of the most detailed of those sources is the modern security dispatching system. Automated activity logs can pinpoint officer locations throughout an event and provide detailed summaries of incidents. Knowing the location, type, duration, and the number of officers assigned to incidents can assist in future planning. It can also aid in conducting critiques of the security team's overall performance.  This includes measures of positive performance and will allow for thorough evaluations of officer's actions which are worthy of accolades. Ultimately, the goal of reviewing the actions taken by officers, managers, and dispatchers is to enhance the security provider's policies and procedures and maintain a safe and secure event. State-of-the-art security dispatching software increases the details of that review thereby improving the mission of a safe venue.