courtesy of the Ohio State Police
Ohio State’s Police Chief has been recognized for his role in assuring the safety of visitors when the Buckeyes take the field on game day.
Chief Paul Denton has been named the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety & Security (NCS4) Professional of the Year, after being nominated by the NCAA.
NCS4, established by The University of Southern Mississippi in 2006, focuses on research and training for sports event security. Each year it honors individuals, and entire sports facilities, at both the professional and collegiate level, for outstanding sports event safety.
According to NCS4’s website, the Professional of the Year award, offered for the first time this year, recognizes “a member of management in the field that has, over the past year, demonstrated outstanding leadership in addressing safety (and) security issues … The recipient’s contributions have set an example for others to follow.”
Denton said the nomination was unexpected.
“I’m very humbled and surprised that I would be nominated or considered. It’s very much a surprise that I would receive that honor,” Denton said.
He credits the recognition to his team and friends of the department.
“I work with some very talented people, and it’s a team effort. We have tremendous support from the athletic department and across the university,” he said.
Denton said the “tremendous coordination” and strong relationship with the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Franklin County Sheriff’s office can be attributed to the successful control of the large crowds and demand that accompanies OSU athletics.
Denton said OSU athletics and OSU Public Safety have been involved with NCS4 by providing “guidance, advice, assistance and support.”
Either Denton or Deputy Chief Richard Morman have attended the annual conference for the past several years and have given presentations.
Denton will receive the award on Aug. 1 at the NCS4 National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.
Other awards to be rewarded are the The National Sports Safety & Security Facility of Merit Awards and The National Sports Safety & Security Distinguished Leadership Award.
In 2011, Ohio Stadium received a facility achievement award, which according to the NCS4 website, is awarded to “a facility that has performed above and beyond normal operations to demonstrate an innovative approach to enhancing safety and security.”
Other 2011 facility winners were Dayton International Speedway, Kyle Field at Texas A&M University and the NBA Staples Center.
Prior to becoming university police chief in 2006, Denton worked with the Columbus Division of Police for 28 years.
The NCS4 was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.