Security Technology Executive

SEP-OCT 2018

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6 SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE • September/October 2018 • www. SecurityInfoWatch.com MY POINT OF VIEW By Steve Lask y, Editorial Director • slasky@Southcomm.com Steve Lasky If you have any comments for Steve regarding this or any other securit y industry-related issue, please e-mail him at slask y@southcomm.com. W hen you think critical infrastructure in an urban setting, sports stadiums don't usually come to mind. That is, of course, unless you're in New York City. The local sports arenas have been security partners with the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau since the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Both Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets in Flushing, and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx could provide potential bad guys – foreign and domestic – prime targets for mayhem and high casualty counts. While the Mets are entitled to have the occasional bad day in Citi Field, John McKay and Sara Bollock real- ize that is not an option for their team. McKay, the Executive Director of Security for the National League Mets and a former Lieutenant with the NYPD for 24 years, who, along with Bollock, the Director of Ballpark Operations at Citi Field, head a collaborative effort to ensure the safety and security of baseball fans, players and staff who congregate in the 41,000-seat stadium for 81 home games each year. Protecting the home turf at Citi Field takes a coordi- nated effort with the Met's security staff of more than 250 full-time and seasonal contractors, the New York City police and fire departments, NYC's Counterterror- ism division, along with service personnel and staff working games inside and out of the stadium. "The good thing with us is we have always put a high value on security here (at Citi Field). We have learned to look at what we've seen happen at other stadiums like in the UK at the Ariana Grande concert," says McKay, referring to the suicide bomber who blew himself up outside near the entrance of the Manchester Arena during Grande's event in May 2017. The blast killed 23 people including the bomber. "Then there was the soccer match in France where bombers tried to enter the stadium but couldn't because they were padded down and detected with (bomb) vests preventing them from entering the venue. They also blew themselves up outside. We use those events and the video as training to show the people out front that you are important. The people that work the gates must understand that they are on the front line and are our eyes and ear on the outside. Now once those fans get in (Citi Field) then it is our responsibility." Video surveillance and facial recognition are two of the many advanced technologies employed at Citi Field. Bollock explains that there are IP-cameras set up around all of the stadium entrances to help track people that have landed on the Mets' infamous "Blacklist," or commonly known as DNAs (Do Not Admit). " We will get a notification here (in the Command Center) if we get a (facial) match and the operator will call the supervisor down in the Rotunda who will approach the individual, ask for identification and if it is a match then the NYPD gets involved. So, basically we only have a few seconds from the point of when they come into our view and then questioning them," says Bollock. McKay and Bollock say that being able to bring all their security technologies into a unified platform has been a huge advantage for the security staff, citing the that the previous systems that run video surveillance and access control on separate networks were a handi- cap. Citi Field recently upgraded and meshed security technology operation with Genetec's Security Center platform, allowing it to provide an interoperable and blended approach to its IP-based security networks. " When you are on an open platform and you have access control, cameras all tied to together, it allows you to add on from there. Like NEC for example, we are working on developing an employee facial recognition (system) at the back of the house for day-of-game work- ers. If they are not scheduled to work that day and try to scan in, that hit will tie back to access control. It's excit- ing stuff for us and we now feel the sky is the limit when it comes to building out our future security solutions. We are able to bring almost anything we can think of to life," says Bollock, whose staff has also just added a solution known as Live Earth that delivers real-time situational awareness by unifying all systems, devices, sensors and data streams on a single interactive map. Citi Field has prepared for the worst-case scenarios having learned lessons from past experiences and heed- ing the best practices of others, with the ultimate goal of ensuring Mets fans are safe at home. Mets Fans Safe at Home Me and Mr. Met just finished our security assessment of Citi Field.

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