Canadian Security Magazine

Canadian-German security conference highlights future of event safety

By Elena De Luigi   


Birger Naß, Deutsche Fußball Liga

Industry professionals, sports associations and leading entrepreneurs from Germany, Canada and the United States gathered at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre in Toronto on June 15 to network and share new solutions in civil security and safety technology.

The event, the Canadian-German Conference on Civil Security Technology, was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Germany Trade and Invest.

It was presented in partnership with Mittelstand Global, the Canadian Security Association, Venue Planner, MOVETOS, Magnetic Autocontrol, Lufthansa Industry Solutions, International Security Networks, Geutebrück, ESRA, Airsense Analytics, and Advancis Software & Services.

The conference began with opening remarks from Florian Schrieverhoff, vice-consul, attaché for cultural, press and economic affairs at the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Toronto, and Eva Hertel from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in the security, defence, steel, and metal industries. Moderation was provided by Carina Rösch, project manager for the chamber.


Keynote speeches came from Birger Naß, senior manager of security management for DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga, Roxanne Krause, security director for the CN Tower and Alex Milovanovic, general manager for BGD Solutions.

Naß discussed how his company works with German soccer clubs to enhance the quality of security in the stadiums.

“We created a system which is called Security Management Certification System and established the certification in Germany and other business areas. We created this for the security management in stadiums and events because in 2012, we had some problems with supporters and some agents in the stadiums. The government and the press put pressure on the soccer system to react,” he said.

“We created a 10-point action plan, and one of these 10 points was creating the security management certification system. We installed it in 2014 and it’s been running now for nearly 10 years. It means that every club in the first, second and third division has to be audited year by year to prove that the system they have installed is working, is good, and is increasing year by year. This system helped us a lot over the last years.”

Naß also suggested implementing a similar system while incorporating local strategies so Toronto can prepare for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup happening in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Krause talked about the impact of sporting events on the security measures of the CN Tower. She said when there’s a Raptors, Blue Jays or Maple Leafs game, the crowds flock to the downtown core. Since the CN Tower shares a property line with the Rogers Centre, the two venues have a coordinated security system to share resources when needed, including CCTV footage.

“There have been times where we have lit the tower in our lights for a different Canadian team that happens to be the only one in the playoffs. People have feelings about this and they’re not positive,” she said, noting that the tower receives threats from people who either do not like the colour or the reason why the tower is lit.

“We have very strong protocols for bomb threats and anything like that. We treat every threat as real, and we go through this whole drill every time we get a threat. Even if it’s something we don’t quite like the look of, we’ll go through our full response.”

Milovanovic discussed his involvement with the 2015 Pan American Games, among other events in Toronto, and how he had to revamp his business after the coronavirus pandemic decimated the need for security teams when events were cancelled, and everything was shut down.

“When COVID rolled around, I had to layoff 10 employees that we had at the time, and two managers and myself, found ourselves in my garage, just talking about what are we going to do next,” he said, adding that they had to expand into other services like event and business consulting, commercial and construction cleaning, providing staffing to clients and partners, and creating unique lifestyle experiences for high-value clients.

“The reason we do all this is because of COVID. There was no other way for us to survive.”

Other presentations included those from Venue Planner, MOVETOS, Magnetic Autocontrol, Lufthansa Industry Solutions, International Security Networks, Geutebrück, ESRA, Airsense Analytics, and Advancis Software & Services.

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