Carol Elliott | January 14, 2018
The atmosphere inside Notre Dame’s Unified Command Post during a home football game has the thrumming intensity of a beehive.
Outside the glass of the post’s window, there are more than 83,000 happy people cheering on the team, eating nachos and hot dogs, listening to the band and all around having fun.
Inside the post, located in the Duncan Student Center, about 20 officers who head about a dozen different law enforcement, fire, medical, safety and other emergency concerns are watching the people watching the game. There’s a lot of talking at low levels, a lot of radio and phone traffic, and a lot of conferring amongst themselves and with their extended teams spread all around the stadium and campus.
Their attention is trained on everything and anything that could mean trouble — a visitor with a sprained ankle, a fight, someone who’s had too much to drink, sudden storms, VIP guests who need extra security, lost children, things that look odd or out of place and need to be checked out further. That’s the short list.
Keri Kei Shibata (EMBA ’16) heads this symphonic effort. Her job as the Notre Dame Security Police chief is to listen to multiple conversations at the same time, engage in multiple conversations at the same time, make quick but thoughtful decisions about any incidents that arise and coordinate the efforts of the agencies in the room, while not dictating or micromanaging their actions, or panicking.