Ohio State's Police Chief has been recognized for his role in assuring the safety of visitors when the Buckeyes take the field on game day, according to an article from The Lantern, an Ohio State University newspaper.

Chief Paul Denton has been named the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety & Security (NCS4) Professional of the Year, after being nominated by the NCAA, the article says.

NCS4, established by The University of Southern Mississippi in 2006, focuses on research and training for sports event security, the article says. Each year it honors individuals, and entire sports facilities, at both the professional and collegiate level, for outstanding sports event safety.

Look for more NCS4 coverage next week on the Security Blog and in the September issue of  Security magazine.

According to NCS4's website, the Professional of the Year award, recognizes "a member of management in the field that has, over the past year, demonstrated outstanding leadership in addressing safety (and) security issues ... The recipient's contributions have set an example for others to follow.” This is the first year the award has been offered.

“I’m very humbled and surprised that I would be nominated or considered. It’s very much a surprise that I would receive that honor,” Denton said in the article, saying that the nomination was unexpected.

Denton said the “tremendous coordination” and strong relationship with the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Franklin County Sheriff’s office can be attributed to the successful control of the large crowds and demand that accompanies OSU athletics, according to The Lantern.

Denton will receive the award on Aug. 1 at the NCS4 National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.

Prior to becoming university police chief in 2006, Denton worked with the Columbus Division of Police for 28 years.