Two Bergen County police officers have become certified sports safety officers, making them some of the first in the nation to be recognized for how they manage security details at large sporting events.
Chief Brian Higgins and Captain James Mullin of the Bergen County Police Department were recently certified through the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security as sport security professionals, County Executive Kathy Donovan announced in a release last week. The certification, offered through the University of Southern Mississippi, tests law enforcement officials on various aspects of large-crowd event management, like emergency planning, legal implications, and crowd management, the release said.
According to Donovan, the county hosts “high profile” sporting events that attract as many as 10,000 people to its parks and golf courses, Bergen Community College, and the Bergen County Special Services School District.
“Our Parks Director, Ron Kistner has been extremely successful in booking high-profile events at our parks”, Higgins said in the release.
"With these events comes the need for increased security.This accreditation will ensure that procedures and policies are properly adhered to. The Bergen County Police are focused on the safety and security of the players, coaches’ staff and spectators at these events."
The announcement comes in the midst of an ongoing battle between the county executive and freeholder board over the fate of the BCPD.