Behind the Scenes At Graduation Ceremonies

HOST INTRO: There are over 5,000 colleges and universities in the United States. And every single one has to prepare for graduation. For most schools, it’s one of the biggest, happiest events of the year. But, there’s a lot of security measures that need to be put in place behind the scenes. I talked with Kevin Cassidy to hear more about what those measures are. He’s a professor of security management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

LANTRY:  Kevin, thank you so much for, for chatting with me today.

CASSIDY: You’re welcome.

LANTRY: What exactly are you preparing for or looking for during graduation?

CASSIDY: Well, it’s a two-pronged approach. // The first thing is, you know, protection of life. Second thing is protection of property. // You also have to coorodinate with the local law enfrocement // in this case and white PD. You’d have to get, uh, the fire department involved just trying to keep people safe and secure. You’d also want to coordinate with the local hospitals

LANTRY: And how serious is a threat of violence during an event like this?

CASSIDY: Well, it depends on a location. It depends upon any keynote speaker that might be controversial that has been invited to speak, and the atmosphere of the college during that time. // Uh, you have to have a plan. You need to test the plan and you would need to retest the plan.

LANTRY: What are you testing for?

CASSIDY: That, you know, where to station your security staff, you know, where uh, the visit isn’t going to be coming in, you know, in the event of a crisis where to evacuate them to or shelter in place if needed.

LANTRY: And in the event that something does happen, we’ll the NYP d step in and be the, the team in charge?

CASSIDY: Yes. So if you have the space and the capability to have it at your own location, you have as I like to call it home field advantage because you know your location better than anybody else and you can, can prepare for any type of emergency. // uhm, sometimes colleges have to use other venues so I will depend be dependent upon their security team, their facility team

LANTRY: [inaudible] you know, you have the home field advantage. What does that advantage entail?

CASSIDY: Your facility staff or familiar with the environment? You’re familiar with the layout of the location. You’re familiar with the internal annex, Turnell or exteria facility itself. You know what staircases to use in the event of a crisis or an emergency, you know, where to shelter in place. And so having the home field advantage as I like to say is familiarity of the location.

LANTRY: Okay. So if you’re NYU and you’re graduating at Yankee stadium, is the Yankee stadium security team in charge or is NYU in charge?

CASSIDY: Most likely a the security team at Yankee stadium is in charge

LANTRY: Okay. I had nine family members show up when I was graduating from college and I’m sure that’s more than most. But does New York get overwhelmed during graduation season or or is the city just used to crowds?

CASSIDY: The city is used to crowds and v depending upon which college it is, they don’t get overwhelmed. The security directors and the colleges along with local law enforcement do a very good job, preplanning for the event. It’s not like New Year’s Eve or the Macy’s Day parade or the fluff of July where you have an influx of visitors, guests and tourists at one location. Many of the colleges have their graduations at various times, so it’s unlikely for, um, colleges that are in close proximity of one another to have it on the same day

LANTRY: With all of this new technology. Is anything else changing that we should know about

CASSIDY: the, the one thing that a security and law enforcement are concerned with is drones flying over locations where there shouldn’t be

LANTRY: Should campus security really be in charge of doing all of that, or should it be up to the local law enforcement?

CASSIDY: That’s not their job. Their job is to respond, uh, to re, uh, locations in the event of a crisis. And it’s the Securities Department to work with them to ensure// the protection of life and property. Yeah.

LANTRY: Kevin, thank you so much for chatting with me today.

CASSIDY: You’re very welcome.

HOST INTRO: There are over 5,000 colleges and universities in the United States. And every single one has to prepare for graduation. For most schools, it’s one of the biggest, happiest events of the year. But, there’s a lot of security measures that need to be put in place behind the scenes. I talked with Kevin Cassidy to hear more about what those measures are. He’s a professor of security management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

LANTRY:  Kevin, thank you so much for, for chatting with me today.

CASSIDY: You’re welcome.

LANTRY: What exactly are you preparing for or looking for during graduation?

CASSIDY: Well, it’s a two-pronged approach. // The first thing is, you know, protection of life. Second thing is protection of property. // You also have to coorodinate with the local law enfrocement // in this case and white PD. You’d have to get, uh, the fire department involved just trying to keep people safe and secure. You’d also want to coordinate with the local hospitals

LANTRY: And how serious is a threat of violence during an event like this?

CASSIDY: Well, it depends on a location. It depends upon any keynote speaker that might be controversial that has been invited to speak, and the atmosphere of the college during that time. // Uh, you have to have a plan. You need to test the plan and you would need to retest the plan.

LANTRY: What are you testing for?

CASSIDY: That, you know, where to station your security staff, you know, where uh, the visit isn’t going to be coming in, you know, in the event of a crisis where to evacuate them to or shelter in place if needed.

LANTRY: And in the event that something does happen, we’ll the NYP d step in and be the, the team in charge?

CASSIDY: Yes. So if you have the space and the capability to have it at your own location, you have as I like to call it home field advantage because you know your location better than anybody else and you can, can prepare for any type of emergency. // uhm, sometimes colleges have to use other venues so I will depend be dependent upon their security team, their facility team

LANTRY: [inaudible] you know, you have the home field advantage. What does that advantage entail?

CASSIDY: Your facility staff or familiar with the environment? You’re familiar with the layout of the location. You’re familiar with the internal annex, Turnell or exteria facility itself. You know what staircases to use in the event of a crisis or an emergency, you know, where to shelter in place. And so having the home field advantage as I like to say is familiarity of the location.

LANTRY: Okay. So if you’re NYU and you’re graduating at Yankee stadium, is the Yankee stadium security team in charge or is NYU in charge?

CASSIDY: Most likely a the security team at Yankee stadium is in charge

LANTRY: Okay. I had nine family members show up when I was graduating from college and I’m sure that’s more than most. But does New York get overwhelmed during graduation season or or is the city just used to crowds?

CASSIDY: The city is used to crowds and v depending upon which college it is, they don’t get overwhelmed. The security directors and the colleges along with local law enforcement do a very good job, preplanning for the event. It’s not like New Year’s Eve or the Macy’s Day parade or the fluff of July where you have an influx of visitors, guests and tourists at one location. Many of the colleges have their graduations at various times, so it’s unlikely for, um, colleges that are in close proximity of one another to have it on the same day

LANTRY: With all of this new technology. Is anything else changing that we should know about

CASSIDY: the, the one thing that a security and law enforcement are concerned with is drones flying over locations where there shouldn’t be

LANTRY: Should campus security really be in charge of doing all of that, or should it be up to the local law enforcement?

CASSIDY: That’s not their job. Their job is to respond, uh, to re, uh, locations in the event of a crisis. And it’s the Securities Department to work with them to ensure// the protection of life and property. Yeah.

LANTRY: Kevin, thank you so much for chatting with me today.

CASSIDY: You’re very welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *