A Proactive Approach

By Mickey Nelson

Mickey Nelson is a Senior Advisor at Command Consulting Group and a 28-year veteran of the United States Secret Service (USSS).  Most recently, Nelson served as Assistant Director of the Secret Service in the Office of Protective Operations, where he was responsible for the oversight of the Presidential, Vice Presidential, and Dignitary Protective Divisions. In 2009, Nelson was chosen by the Secretary of Homeland Security to serve as the lead federal official for coordinating incident management, overseeing resource allocation, and ensuring the seamless integration of federal support for the historic 2009 Presidential Inauguration and pre-Inauguration events. 

Major public venues—from stadiums and arenas to concert halls and convention centers—serve as opportune targets for terrorists and other malevolent individuals seeking to carry out acts of violence against innocent civilians. Over the past decade, attacks against these “soft targets” have been especially common, as they pair high visibility with relatively low site security sophistication.

Most recently, during the November 2015 attacks in Paris, three terrorists clad in explosive vests attempted to attack, among other targets, the Stade de France, the country’s national sports stadium, during a soccer match between the French and German national teams attended by both the French President and the German Foreign Minister. While the attackers were ultimately prevented from entering the stadium—their explosive vests were detonated outside the gates killing themselves and one individual—their actions underscored the dangers that major public venues face and the necessity of implementing effective security measures.  

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Categorized as:Reporting

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