The National Sports Safety & Security Conference (NCS4) opened in New Orleans to a packed house and two outstanding keynote presentations.

Sue Armstrong, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Infrastructure Protection, National Protection and Programs Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security, discussed how the spectator sports culture of awareness and responsibility combined with a secure structure and compliance programs have been key to advancing risk mitigation and preparation across many sectors, especially spectator sports. "DHS critical infrastructure has applied best practices and standards across many sectors. There are many shining examples of collaboration between the spectator sports and government," noted Armstrong.

Mike Helton, President of NASCAR, discussed sports, safety and security during his keynote presentation. He outlined how NASCAR has implemented processes during the prior 6-7 years that have helped NASCAR catch up, while at the same time created an awareness to stay vigilent and continue to advance their security and safety programs. "A significant part of our growth has been improving our relationships with local law enforcement by bringing expertise together. Groups like NCS4 helps us do a better job. Further, new technology has helped with communications and mass gatherings," said Helton. NASCAR has implemented evacuation and emergency preparedness standards for other industries.

More information on the conference to come.