By: Scott Hobson
In June of this year, New York’s Yankee Stadium became the first professional sports facility to be certified under the Federal SAFETY (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies) Act.
The SAFETY Act allows the Department of Homeland Security to certify providers of anti-terrorism technology and services which meet rigorous standards. Certified providers are granted liability protection from lawsuits arising from “acts of terrorism” as defined by the DHS. The purpose of the act is to promote national security by eliminating liability-related barriers to innovation. Simply put, without protections from lawsuits, companies would likely be unwilling to develop new products and technologies because of the risk of being sued.
For a decade the SAFETY act has been used to encourage the development of countless homeland security improvements, including handheld explosive and chemical detectors, Anthrax vaccines, comprehensive security training programs, and emergency response coordination software. The certification of the Yankees continues a growing trend of extending liability protections to large venues which may potentially be the target of terrorist attacks – to date, the Super Bowl, NFL, and New York Stock exchange have all received certification as a result of aggressive security measures. SAFETY Act certification creates a powerful incentive for venues to go above and beyond typical security measures.
Ultimately, creating incentives for venues to enhance security will benefit us all. Keeping a country of over 300 million safe from threats is a monumental task, and it makes sense to harness the power of American enterprise to help achieve that critical goal.