Jay Hackett, Milton’s director of campus safety and risk management, has achieved the “gold standard” in addressing safety and security issues at sporting events, according to a national organization recognizing Jay’s leadership. Jay is included among professionals from Major League Baseball, the National Football Association, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation receiving Professional of the Year Awards from the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Milton’s campus as a whole was nominated for the National Sport Safety and Security Facility of Merit award. “Receiving the professional award was a big honor, but the one I really wanted to win was the facility award, because we truly are a team here,” says Jay. “Between the campus safety employees, facilities department, athletics, trainers, the Milton Police and Fire Departments and the Fallon Ambulance Service, everybody is part of keeping things running smoothly.”
The award honors those who go above and beyond the basic requirements of safety and security, says NCS4 director Dr. Lou Marciani. “The reason for the Professional of the Year Award is to allow professional leagues, NCAA member institutions, and marathon and endurance organizations to honor outstanding individuals in the field of sports safety and security, for their contributions and leadership,” Dr. Marciani said in a press release. The NCS4 Gold Standard is an industry benchmark that considers safety and security while balancing costs, operational efficiencies and staff engagement, all while enhancing the fan experience. In his 30 years of campus safety experience, Jay says practices in emergency preparedness and safety training have improved immensely.
NCS4 visited Milton last summer, along with safety professionals from several other schools across New England, and the organization provided some guidance for after-school campus safety, beyond athletics. “We have students using the Art and Media Center, students doing dance, using the science labs,” Jay says. “The entire campus is active during that 3 p.m.-to-dinner timeframe, and we need to make sure we’re covered.”
Jay’s team has met the challenges of handling event crowds head-on. With graduation ceremonies coming up this weekend, and Reunion Weekend following, the team will work with departments across campus and beyond to execute an operational plan—which includes traffic management—to make sure everyone is safe and has a great time. “Everything is a team effort,” Jay says.
NCS4’s Seventh Annual Conference and Exhibition, where the awards will be distributed, will be held in July in Phoenix, Arizona.