The safety and security of fans, staff, artists and athletes is top of mind in the world of sports and live entertainment venues. And building a prevention culture is everyone’s responsibility.
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The goal is managing risk to reduce threat, shoring up vulnerabilities, and minimizing consequences via smart strategies and a dynamic offense. Industry thought leaders will convene to discuss contemporary safety and security protocols and trends.
Panelist Timothy Lea, vice president of security operations for the Sacramento Kings, sees trends in the industry such as aggressive fan behavior, increased activations around the guest experience, staffing shortfalls and frictionless screening technology as some of the most pressing discussion topics for the group.
“I don’t feel there’s a single solution to solve complex security problems,” he said. “There are many approaches that can prove successful in reaching the goal of negating or mitigating risks in the security space.”
Panelist Adrianne Wynne, senior director of security for Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors, agrees. Wynne cites fan behavior post pandemic and how to create a prevention culture while facing industry challenges such as hiring and staffing qualified security teams as ongoing concerns.
“Prior to opening Chase Center, I was a part of the team that created the exterior and interior security plans for the venue and public plaza,” Wynne explained. “As we all know hiring and managing qualified building security officers and supervisors is critical in keeping your venue safe on a 24/7 basis. Another critical step is hiring and managing your security vendors (K9, medical, event security and PD) as they will be the eyes and ears you need to keep guests, players, artists, employees, and vendors safe while they are inside your venue.”
While everyone can agree that security is a priority, not everyone agrees on the approach. For example, according to Wynne not all venue security professionals are on board with frictionless screening.
“Everyone plays a role in ensuring the building they work in is safe and secure,” Wynne said. “When it comes to staying safe, always remember that Awareness + Preparation = Safety.”
Joining Lea and Wynne on the panel are Jessica Reid-Bateman, senior director of security and guest experience at SAP Center at San Jose, and moderator Mike Downing, chief security officer for Prevent Advisors.
Lea said the diversity of thought and experience among security professionals will inevitably lead to spirited discussions regarding approach. “I view this as a positive catalyst to drive progress that benefits the industry overall,” Lea said.
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In his current role, Lea heads the development, coordination and implementation of enterprise-wide security and crisis management strategies for the Sacramento Kings organization. Prior to joining the Kings, he spent 20+ years as special agent with the United States Secret Service, where his duties included the executive protection of the U.S. President and other world leaders; the development of global site security plans; and investigating complex financial crimes and protective intelligence threats.
“My vast experience coupled with continued learning and growth has greatly informed my perspective for my panel participation,” Lea offered.
Lea said that people love sports and entertainment and are willing to make the necessary social adjustments and sacrifices to enjoy these events in person.
He hopes conference attendees take away the knowledge that “proactive and diligent planning is worth the effort. Working in an industry that requires a careful balance of the appropriate level of security while highlighting the guest experience is a unique skill. Planning for success will more often lead to a successful outcome.”
For an industry that never sleeps. Lea said a prevention culture and planning is necessary for a good night’s sleep.
“I’ve often been awakened during the night as a result of an unexpected event,” he said. “However, I feel if I’m leading my team in the right way and proactively attempting to forecast and mitigate challenges that may arise, I can sleep pretty well at night.”