SAM and Safety at the SoccerPlex

Safety at the Maryland SoccerPlex

Obviously our organization is not of the same size and scope of a professional sporting contest, but we also know that
you should feel safe whenever you are attending one of your children’s games. Please see below for how to stay safe, and what to do in emergency situations:

Emergency Requiring IMMEDIATE Assistance: If you are facing an emergency that requires immediate assistance, whether it is criminal or medical in nature, please dial 9-1-1 and the proper authorities will be dispatched to your location. It is difficult to give you an accurate description of what type of emergency this would be, though I would venture to say any instance in which you feel threatened or at risk would count. Suffice to say, these types of emergencies are judgment-based and you should use your best judgment when deciding to call 9-1-1.

Emergency Requiring Assistance: The only real instances of criminal behavior we face on a somewhat regular basis are car break-ins or stolen property. If your car get’s broken into, please come to the main building and speak to the Manager-on-duty, who will fill out an incident report and put you in contact with Park Police. To help prevent this from happening to you, please do not leave valuables (purses, cell phones, GPS) in your car.

Reporting of suspicious activity: This was sent to us from the Montgomery County Police:

The Department of Homeland Security has developed seven signs of suspicious behavior associated with terrorism (listed below).  It is important to call 9-1-1 if any of the following behavior is observed:

1. Surveillance:   Recording or monitoring activities. May include drawing diagrams, note taking, use of cameras, binoculars or other vision-enhancing devices or possessing floor plans or blueprints of key facilities.

2. Elicitation:   Attempts to obtain operation, security and/or personnel-related information about a facility. Attempts may be made by mail, fax, e-mail, telephone or in person.

3. Tests of Security:   Attempts to measure reaction times to security breaches or to penetrate physical security barriers or procedures in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.

4. Acquiring Supplies:   Attempts to improperly acquire items that could be used in a terrorist act. May include the acquisition of explosives, weapons, harmful chemicals, flight manuals, law enforcement or military equipment, uniforms, identification badges or the equipment to manufacture false identification.

5. Suspicious Persons:  Someone who does not appear to belong in a workplace, neighborhood or business establishment due to their behavior.  May ask unusual questions.

6.  Dry Runs/Trial Runs:   Behavior that appears to be preparation for a terrorist act without actually committing the act. Activity could include mapping out routes and determining the timing of traffic lights and flow.

7. Deploying Assets:  Placing people, equipment and supplies into position to commit the act. This is the last opportunity to alert authorities before the terrorist act occurs.

Medical Emergencies and Concussions: This is, once again, a judgment-based issue. A sprained ankle or separated shoulder, while painful, does not require much more than medical attention. A shattered femur or neck-injury may require a call to 9-1-1 and an incident report to be filed. Again, please use your best judgment. As far as concussions are concerned, the State of Maryland has enacted new policies and procedures on how to recognize and react to head injuries. Please review the following documents so that you are more aware of head injuries and the dangers they pose:

Additional Safety and Emergency Items: This is a list of safety issues and emergency situations that you may not think about often, but should be aware of:

  • Automatic Defibrillators: We have 6 AED devices throughout the park, 1 at each comfort station, 1 on the scoreboard inside the stadium, and 1 inside the Discovery Sports Center. If you see someone who may be suffering from a heart attack, these can be utilized to help save their lives until the proper authorities arrive on the scene.
  • Spare goals: Too often we see kids climbing all over the nets that aren’t in use. Believe it or not, we’ve had injuries occur from kids doing this. PLEASE keep your children off the nets.
  • Parking lots: We have lots of parking so please watch your children near the parking lots and please be aware when driving.
  • Utility Vehicles: We use a lot of utility vehicles around the facility like gators, golf carts and mowers, and sometimes we leave them unattended while we attend to other issues. PLEASE do not allow your children to climb in or on them while they are unattended.

Hopefully, you will never have to worry about anything that I have listed above. But it’s always better to be prepared, so I thank you for taking the time to read this today.