How Criminal Justice professionals prepare for public safety at major events

Kentucky Derby trackWhen you think about a career in the criminal justice field, the first occupations that come to mind might be police officers or detectives. But what about security and law enforcement officers who protect members of the public at large events?

The tragedy at this year’s Boston Marathon has illustrated the pressing need for dedicated and heroic public servants who strive to thwart crime and keep others safe. These men and women play a crucial role in helping keep these events running smoothly and act as first responders when trouble arises.

Security professionals at the Kentucky Derby, for example, perform a variety of duties to protect spectators. Criminal Justice professionals work admissions gates and perform both visual and electronic wand searches to find prohibited items. They respond to reports of suspicious activity. Criminal Justice professionals  enforce ground rules and keep an eye out for unruly patrons. In short, they are responsible for ensuring a day of fun doesn’t turn into a day of danger.

Here are a few typical responsibilities of event security staff, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice:

  • Plan for worst-case scenarios, like extraordinary crimes, protestor violence, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, while also preparing for ordinary crimes and incidents, such as fights and drunkenness
  • Weigh security measures that could be taken (street closures, searches, etc.) against the jurisdiction’s desire to run events that are enjoyable, well-attended and profitable
  • Ensure the event continues safely while respecting constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and assembly
  • Establish effective – but temporary – organizational arrangements, management structures and methods of communication
  • Ensure that appropriate federal officials, such as Department of Homeland Security advisors, are informed about events that may have national or international significance to guarantee federal awareness and possible support

As you can see, event security professionals have a long list of duties and responsibilities and serve as one of the most crucial elements of any event, big or small. If you’re interested in a criminal justice career that allows you to act as a leader, get started in this exciting field with the right criminal justice education.