August 23, 2023
In today’s environment, security at public and semi-public events is top of mind for a lot of individuals due to seemingly endless reports of violence (gun violence and otherwise), as well as riots and medical events occurring at such events. As a police officer for over a decade in New Jersey, I’ve witnessed many of these types of events in my professional career, but I have even seen such events in my personal life.
Recently, I attended a comedy show for comedian Bill Burr in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a civilian and ticket-purchasing attendee. As with previous similar events that I’ve attended, the venue required cell phones and smartwatches to be locked into a bag secured by the venue so that the audience could not access their phones during the show. While most don’t mind the break from their cell phones to enjoy the show, I recognized that it did pose some level of threat to security since the vast majority of the people in the event space cannot use their phones to contact police or even record audio or video of some type of alarming event taking place. I witnessed this first hand at this event, as one person had some type of medical event that required them to leave on a stretcher and a group of others that were removed by security personnel for creating some type of problem. I was not close enough to either of the events to determine whether or not the venue employees were utilizing body cameras, however, I know that it would definitely be beneficial if they were.
Event security is of paramount importance to ensure the safety and well-being of attendees. Body cameras have become an invaluable tool for security personnel, enabling them to document incidents and provide evidence when needed. However, the applications of body cameras extend beyond mere documentation. There are several unique ways in which event security staff can utilize body cameras and body camera footage to enhance their effectiveness and improve overall event security.
Body cameras equipped with real-time video streaming capabilities can serve as a proactive surveillance tool. Security personnel can monitor the live feed from multiple cameras strategically positioned throughout the event venue, enabling them to detect and respond to potential security threats promptly. This constant vigilance acts as a deterrent, preventing incidents before they escalate. Additionally, security staff can communicate with each other through two-way audio integrated into some body cameras or radios, facilitating swift coordination and response to emerging situations.
Body camera footage can be a valuable resource for training new security personnel and evaluating the performance of existing staff. By reviewing recorded incidents, supervisors can identify strengths and weaknesses in security protocols, procedures, and individual performance. Footage can be used to highlight areas that require improvement and to reinforce effective practices. It also allows for comprehensive debriefing sessions, enabling staff to learn from past experiences and enhance their skills. Ultimately, body camera footage contributes to continuous training and development, leading to a more competent and capable event security team.
The primary purpose of body cameras is to document incidents and collect evidence. However, security staff can leverage this footage in unique ways to enhance event security. By capturing incidents from different perspectives, body cameras provide comprehensive documentation that can aid law enforcement and insurance companies in investigations. Furthermore, security personnel can utilize the footage to identify patterns and trends in security breaches, enabling them to implement targeted preventive measures for future events. The footage can also serve as a valuable reference for post-event analysis, especially in a case where the venue does not allow access to cell phones, and debriefing sessions, facilitating improvements in security strategies and procedures.
Body cameras can contribute to enhancing the overall guest experience by ensuring a safe and secure environment. Security personnel equipped with body cameras can quickly respond to guest inquiries, concerns, or incidents, providing timely assistance. This personal interaction creates a sense of reassurance among attendees, fostering a positive perception of event security. In the event of disputes or complaints, body camera footage can be used to resolve conflicts by providing an objective account of the situation. This transparency and accountability promotes trust between event organizers, security personnel, and attendees, ultimately leading to a more enjoyable and memorable experience for guests.
Managing large crowds effectively is a critical aspect of event security. Body camera footage can be used to analyze crowd dynamics, identify potential bottlenecks, and optimize crowd flow. By reviewing the footage, security personnel can gain insights into crowd behavior, detect overcrowded areas, and implement measures to mitigate risks. This information can be used to plan future events more efficiently, allocate resources appropriately, and ensure a smooth and safe experience for attendees. Additionally, body cameras can aid in monitoring crowd reactions during emergency situations, enabling security staff to make informed decisions and guide evacuations if necessary.
Body cameras have started to revolutionize event security, providing a multitude of benefits beyond traditional documentation. From proactive surveillance and deterrence to guest experience management and crowd analysis, the applications of body cameras and body camera footage are diverse and impactful. By embracing these unique applications, event security staff can enhance their effectiveness, strengthen security protocols, and create a safer and more enjoyable experience for attendees. As technology continues to advance, I believe it is crucial for event organizers to recognize the value of body cameras as a vital tool in ensuring the success of their events.