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BC's Alumni Stadium Recognized with National Safety and Security Award


By Kathleen Sullivan | Chronicle Staff

Published: July 29, 2014

Boston College's Alumni Stadium was recognized with the Facility Safety and Security Award at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition held earlier this month in Indianapolis.

This award recognizes a facility that has performed above and beyond normal operations to demonstrate an innovative approach to enhancing safety and security. The chosen facility may also have resolved a significant safety/security issue or incident. A total of 13 sports facilities were recognized for their achievements in security. The conference, which was attended by 400 security professionals, was sponsored by the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi.

"This award recognizes the outstanding efforts and cooperative work ethic between and among numerous departments and organizations of Boston College in support of Game Day and major event planning.  It also underscores the importance of the strong relationships Boston College enjoys with local and state public safety, transportation and event management professionals," said Director of Public Safety/Chief of Police John M. King, who accepted the award on behalf of the University.

According to King, the key to Alumni Stadium's safety and security is the Unified Command Center, representing the BC Police Department, BC Emergency Management, local and state police, fire and ambulance services, Eagle EMS, contracted event management staff and representatives from Athletics and various University departments. Members of the UCC routinely meet in advance of major events such as commencement, the Boston Marathon, World Series, and the Super Bowl.

The strength of these relationships would become invaluable on April 15, 2013 in the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line. When the race was halted, several hundred runners were stopped at the BC campus (Mile 21) and were in need of shelter, medical care and compassionate support. Agency representatives set up a command post. Venue security was provided by the Boston College, local and State Police. St. Ignatius Church was used for shelter. Eagle EMS staff provided medical support and BC Dining Services provided food and water for the runners and public safety representatives for several hours until runners could be reunited with their families.

Other sporting venues honored with 2014 Facility of Merit Awards were: Common Wealth Stadium at the University of Kentucky (NCAA); Yale Bowl at Yale University (NCAA); Carmel Clay High School District (NFHS/NIAAA); Menomonee Falls School District (NFHS/NIAAA); Wicomico County Stadium (NFHS/NIAAA); Madison Square Garden (NHL); MetLife Stadium (NFL); Minute Maid Park (MLB); Red Bull Arena (MLS); Smoothie King Center (NBA), and Boston Athletic Association (Marathon/Endurance).