Bob Hopkins

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Southern Miss Gets Security Help from Avigilon

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Bob Hopkins, chief of police at The University of Southern Mississippi, will readily accept all the help he can get when it comes to protecting the sprawling Hattiesburg, Miss., campus.

Thus, Hopkins and other security officials had ample reason to celebrate when surveillance technology leader Avigilon donated eight high-definition cameras to the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at Southern Miss. The new surveillance system was immediately put to use during the Southern Miss-Marshall football game on Oct. 2 at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

M.M. Roberts Stadium

“It makes our job so much easier,” said Hopkins. “It’s like having extra eyes positioned throughout the stadium. And the best thing about this system is that it is so user-friendly. We are extremely fortunate to have technology such as this available to us.”

Hopkins gave the new system an enthusiastic thumbs-up following the Golden Eagles’ victory over Marshall, witnessed by a crowd of approximately 27,500 at Roberts Stadium.

“We used it on several occasions to view ongoing issues that were occurring during the game,” he said. “We also had an opportunity to view history, to verify concerns that were given to us through the stadium text messaging system and to view officer/fan interaction while addressing complaints. It’s an excellent system.”

Dave Tynan, vice president, global sales and marketing at Avigilon, spent a couple of days on the Southern Miss campus prior to the Oct. 2 game, demonstrating the HD surveillance system’s capabilities. He noted that the technology provides three important benefits:

  • Pre-emptive action. With cameras providing exceptional zoom capabilities and greater detail, suspicious behavior can be detected and handled quickly.
  • Investigative haste. Any actions or activity inside or outside the stadium can be processed in a matter of minutes, rather than hours.
  • Compliance verification. The HD component allows officials to monitor and evaluate stadium personnel to see that rules and regulations are being followed.

“With a system like this you can even read the logo on a person’s shirt,” said Tynan. “You can scan every face in the crowd and discern quickly whether there is a potential problem that requires attention.”

Avigilon, a founding partner of NCS4, has invested approximately $250,000 to the center’s mission with the HD cameras. Tynan said the payoff is invaluable.

“What we get in return is validation of our product’s capabilities,” he said. “By deploying a system of this nature in a setting such as this, it provides the perfect platform for showcasing its features to all kinds of security officials. In addition to building our brand, it also yields a basic stamp of approval for what we’re striving to accomplish.”

Kiss a Pig Fundraiser at Southern Miss

University of Southern Mississippi Vice President for Advancement Bob Pierce make a donation to the "Kiss a Pig" fundraiser. (Photo by David Tisdale)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The “Kiss a Pig” contest gives University of Southern Mississippi students, faculty and staff a chance to support a great cause while bidding for a prominent campus figure to be chosen to kiss a live pig.

In support of this year’s annual Start! Heart Walk, set for Saturday, Sept. 25 at the university’s Pride Field, members of the university community will choose a campus celebrity in the “Kiss a Pig” fundraiser with the winner kissing a live pig Friday, Sept. 17 before the Golden Eagles’ home football game against the University of Kansas. All proceeds benefit the American Heart Association.

Votes for the celebrities can be made by putting monetary donations in jars representing the contestants, which will be placed at the library plaza Sept. 7-10 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. and in Shoemaker Square Sept. 13-17 from 10:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. The celebrity contestant with the largest donation total wins.

Celebrities in the Kiss a Pig contest include Southern Miss President Martha Saunders; Provost Bob Lyman; Vice President for Student Affairs Joe Paul; University Police Chief Bob Hopkins; and Vice President for Advancement Bob Pierce. The competition culminates on Century Lawn where the winner will kiss the pig prior to Eagle Walk.

Another way the campus community can support Start! Heart Walk and the American Heart Association is the “Pass the Bacon” contest, which runs through Sept. 17. Held in conjunction with the “Kiss a Pig” contest, faculty and staff pass decorated pigs to offices across campus with the goal of raising funds for the Heart Walk. When the faculty/staff member has paid $5 to have the pig removed from their desk, their name will be placed in a drawing for prizes.

For more information, contact your Heart Walk team captain for details, or contact Patricia Linton at 601.266.5767. To learn more about the Start! Heart Walk, online visit www.forrestlamarheartwalk.org.

USM Public Relations