The Original and Only Event Safety and Security Seminar in North America

Highest quality, most up-to-date Special Event training

Special Event Safety Seminars is committed to providing the most comprehensive instruction and training to ensure the events you manage are as safe, predictable and secure as possible.

We only need to read the daily newspaper to understand that random acts of violence occur anytime and anywhere. Proper pre-planning for all safety and security issues and day-of-event on-site management is now more important than ever. Our seminars will offer many recommendations and proven solutions on how to save hundreds if not thousands of dollars per event.

Our Mission

It is our mission to keep you and your team up-to-date with the best skills to plan and manage special event security for your community. We are dedicated to you so that the events you manage are safe and secure while reducing liability and risk.

Our Instructors

Special Event Security Seminars believes that the best training comes from many perspectives rather than just one. Therefore, we have assembled a highly experienced staff that will provide you with an exceptional learning experience. We bring you the police perspective, city government’s perspective, private security’s perspective, the legal and technical perspective and the experience from various guest speakers.

This is a well balanced group that has received high accolades from all who have attended.

Founder of Special Event Safety Seminars

Mark worked for the San Diego Police Department for 32 years, taking on roles in patrol, traffic, investigations, and administration. Notably, he led the Special Events Unit, overseeing the planning and management of countless events with attendance ranging from small gatherings to massive crowds.  Mark also directed the police permitting process for all Special Events in the City of San Diego.

His responsibilities included ensuring safety and security for various events like Charger, Aztec, and Padre Games, off-road shows, international soccer games, Holiday Bowls, conventions, cultural events, street festivals, and concerts. In 1996, Mark played a crucial role in the security planning of the Republican National Convention, managing logistics such as perimeter security, host hotel security, command post setup, free speech site coordination, protest permits, and overseeing specialized areas such as nuclear/biological/chemical agencies and prisoner processing centers.

Seeing a gap in nationwide training for managing and ensuring safety at Special Events, Mark launched a training program in 1998. The program has since trained over 4,765 personnel from 1,296 agencies/organizations across 49 states, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

Post-retirement, Mark remains active in the Special Events field, contributing his expertise to events in California and Hawaii (Pro Bowl) in managerial and consultation capacities. His experience includes several years as the Game Day Event Manager for the San Diego Padres, and he continues to manage and organize the Special Event Management seminars.

Judge Madigan recently retired as the Chief Judge for the Intertribal Court of Southern California (civil) and is currently a partner in a law firm in San Diego focusing on civil litigation (Serious Injury Trial Attorneys) for law enforcement/public safety officers and their families.  He retired from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department where he was a legal advisor/attorney to the Sheriff and the Department.  He is also a retired Captain with the San Diego Police Department where he worked in the Patrol Division, Investigations Division and Internal Affairs Division.  John has been awarded more than 70 departmental and citizens commendations for such law enforcement incidents as the McDonalds Massacre, National Guard Stolen Tank incident, 1978 PSA Commercial Airline crash to name a few.  He has been a Law Enforcement professional for more than 35 years, simultaneously practicing law as an attorney since 1991.

Judge Madigan holds an Associate of Science Degree in “Criminology”, a Bachelors of Science Degree in “Law” and a Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California.  During his legal studies, he was a judicial extern for the Fourth District Court of Appeals in California, an intern for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and on the National Deans list.  He is a Professor of Law at three local colleges in San Diego, including the “Regional Law Enforcement Training Institute”. He is a consultant/expert for the Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys.  He is also a “Certified” litigation professional in Public Employment Litigation by Americans for Effective Law Enforcement and a trained “Mediator”.   Throughout his law enforcement and legal career, Judge Madigan has been involved in hundreds of law suits from the investigation stage to the prosecution or defense of those actions, including appeals.  He lectures throughout California and the United States in the area of civil liability.

Dr. Ann Sasaki-Madigan recently retired as a Deputy Chief Probation Officer with the San Diego County Probation Department overseeing upwards of 500 officers and professional staff in a department of over 1300 + employees. She oversaw all institutional operations for juvenile and adult offenders and was responsible for the development of all counseling, crisis intervention, substance abuse treatment, life skills/behavioral training and educational programs. Dr. Sasaki-Madigan also developed the Use of Force, Officer Involved Shooting, and Violence in the Workplace policy and procedures and supervises departmental training development in these areas.

Experience, Expertise & Education

Dr. Sasaki-Madigan was formerly the Inmate Services Division Manager with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, a division of over 130 personnel and budget of over $16.3 million. She led the Departments inmate reentry efforts and advised the Sheriff on mental health issues within the State of California and San Diego County for his appointment to the state Mental Health Services Act Commission.

Dr. Sasaki-Madigan has worked in the fields of criminal justice and corrections for over 15 years, as an administrator, Deputy Probation officer, and therapist, facilitating groups and trainings in the areas of domestic violence, substance abuse, anger management, parenting, sexual assault, crisis intervention, cultural awareness, and behavior modification.

She collaborates and partners with agencies such as:

  • The California Departments’ of Health and Human Services
  • The Office of the Attorney General
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • County Mental Health
  • Health and Human Services
  • Alcohol and Drug Services
  • The County Board of Supervisors
  • The District Attorney’s Office
  • San Diego County Probation
  • San Diego Police Department
  • Carlsbad Police Department
  • Chula Vista Police Department
  • Oceanside Police Department
  • National City Police Department
  • SANDAG, and many community based organizations.

Dr. Sasaki-Madigan holds a B.A. in psychology and criminal justice, a M.A. in psychology, and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. She is an adjunct faculty member at Mira Costa Community College, as a professor in the criminal justice and human services fields, and instructs for the Center for Police Organizational Studies in the area of crowd psychology. Dr. Sasaki Madigan is also President of The Madigan Group, a company that provides training to law enforcement, probation, educators and military personnel.

Carolyn retired as Director of Special Events for the City of San Diego in January 2020 and was in this position for over 30 yrs.  As Director of Special Events, Carolyn worked with community groups and civic leaders to implement more than 600 citywide activities each year ranging in scope from major festivals and parades to athletic events and neighborhood celebrations. She has also represented the City of San Diego on the Host Committees for major national and international events such as the America’s Cup, Major League Baseball’s All Star Game and the National Conference of State Legislators. She also served as the liaison for city operations related to the several hundred special events which took place during the 1996 Republican National Convention.

Carolyn currently works in the position of Chief Innovation Officer for Eproval,  In this role she is responsible for working with local governments and regional agencies to implement Eproval’s platform and design communication plans and workflows to address special event permitting needs.

Carolyn is frequently called upon to speak at conventions and conferences throughout the United States and Canada.  She is an expert in the management of Special Events.

John Leas served as Director of Security for the San Diego Padres Baseball Club.  His duties included developing and managing safety and security policies, procedures and special operations plans for Major League Baseball games and special events at Petco Park.  Beyond 81 home games each season, Petco Park hosted several high profile events including Taylor Swift, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Paul McCartney, SuperCross, Monster Trucks, American Idol and the USTA Davis Cup.

John set performance standards, directed personal safety and security awareness programs; crisis response/management and business continuity plans; workplace violence prevention; disaster preparedness plans and directed daily operations of 24/7 Security Staff, Event Security Staff, and other third-party contracted relationships. Business partners included the City of San Diego Police and Fire Rescue Departments, Metropolitan Transit System, Ace Parking, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies (Sheriff, FBI, DHS, ICE, TSA).  John served as the primary point of contact for visiting dignitaries, their protective services details and oversaw high profile player visits in local and international communities.

Prior to joining the Padres in February of 2011, John worked for the San Diego Police Department for 31 years.  Rising through the ranks to Police Lieutenant, John supervised and managed many high profile units including Gangs, Robbery, Narcotics Task Force, Regional Auto Theft Task Force, Special Events with leadership roles in the Chief’s Office, City Council Liaison, Training Division, Motors and Mayor’s Executive Protection Detail.  He lead management roles in the 1996 Republican National Convention, 2001 Biotech Conference, several Presidential motorcades and the Police Department’s Emergency Operations Center.

John has received several awards including the National Center on Spectator Sports and Safety (NCS4) Major League Baseball Professional of the Year (2015), Security Magazine’s Top 500 Leaders (2013, 2014 and 2015), ASIS Security Professional of the Month and is often sought as a guest speaker on professional sports safety and security topics across the nation.  In addition, John serves as a Consultant and Subject Matter Expert in Special Event Management and Public Safety, providing expertise to organizations so they may produce special events that are well researched, safe and secure, while reducing the risk of liability through proper assessment, planning and execution of appropriate operation plans.

Joe took the position of San Diego Community College Police Chief in 2018.  In this position, he oversees nine colleges and education centers, as well as all business offices, classroom and off-site properties with 77 sworn and civilian personnel.

Joe began his career with the San Diego Police Department in 1988.  He attended San Diego State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

Joe’s experience with the San Diego Police Department includes supervisory positions as a sergeant and lieutenant overseeing the Gang Suppression Team, Beach Team and SWAT team.  Since becoming a member of the San Diego Police SWAT Team in 1993, Joe has been involved in dozens of critical incidents as an Operator, Team Leader, Emergency Negotiations Liaison Sergeant and SWAT Commanding Officer.  Over the years, he has worked with local and federal agencies during the planning and management of both small and large scale events.  From political events such as the RNC and Presidential debates, to sporting events such as the Super Bowl and World Series, Joe has played an integral role in the security and operational planning for these events.  Joe spent several years as the Commanding officer of Traffic Division which oversaw the Special Events Unit.

Joe is an instructor for the San Diego Regional Police Academy and the San Diego Community College District.  He provides instruction for academy recruits and newly promoted supervisors in Critical Incident Management, Homicide Scene Management, and a host of other supervisory courses.   In 2001, Joe was responsible for the development of San Diego’s Active Shooter and Rapid Deployment plan.  Since that time, he has trained thousands of officers from local, state, and federal agencies in the response and management of Active Shooter incidents.  Joe has presented this topic to numerous statewide conferences and to Special Event Safety Seminars.  Joe regularly meets with staff from amusement parks, schools, churches, and hospitals to discuss emergency responses at their facilities.

San Diego Superior Court Judge

Judge Peter Gallagher was raised and educated in the city of Philadelphia graduating from Temple University in 1980 and Temple Law School in 1983. He is admitted to the bar in Louisiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and California. Judge Gallagher started his career practicing Maritime Personal Injury with the small boutique plaintiff personal injury and labor law firm of Barker Boudreaux Lamy and Foley in New Orleans. In 1989. Judge Gallagher moved to San Diego due to his wife’s pursuit of her Ph.D. taking a position in San Diego District Attorney’s Office in various capacities including general trials, narcotics and domestic violence prosecution including a stint as cross-sworn as a Special Assistant United States Attorney handling the asset forfeiture and money laundering practice.

Peter was an adjunct professor teaching Criminal Law at the University of San Diego. Over the years, Peter has been a national speaker on the plight of domestic violence victims and the proper government response to domestic violence. His particular emphasis was in teaching all the members of many different small town police departments evidence based techniques of domestic violence investigation. Judge Gallagher also spent considerable amount of time teaching the intricacies of drug treatment court systems to various courts around the United States.

Peter has been very active in the community at large. He is the former Chairman of the SD Lions Welfare Foundation, a service organization of business and professional persons that administer a local charitable foundation with assets of over sixty million dollars. Peter has concentrated on assistance to seniors, the homeless and economically challenged veterans. Judge Gallagher was instrumental in designing a pilot program with the District Attorney’s Child Support Division and the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego to assist in resolving child support issues. He currently serves on the Board of St. Paul’s Senior Services, the largest senior assistance program in San Diego. Due to judicial ethical restraints on fund raising, Peter is focusing energies as Chairman of the San Diego Lions Mike Morrow Baseball Tournament, the oldest and largest high school baseball tournament in the nation. Judge Gallagher was also awarded the San Diego Crime Commissions’ 2008 Blue Knight Award for Community Service. Peter is a member of the San Diego Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, a charter member of the New Orleans branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a longtime member of the New Orleans Irish Channel Marching Club and serves as the “Kingfish” of the San Diego Uptown Irish Social Aid and Pleasure Club.

In 2001 Judge Gallagher decided to run for an open seat on the Superior Court bench. When the dust settled on the final day of filing, no one filed against him and Judge Gallagher had won the election without an opponent becoming the first lawyer to have run unopposed for the Superior Court in the court’s entire 122-year history. Since taking the oath of office in 2003, Judge Gallagher has served mainly in a general trial department with stints in domestic violence court, family court and a treatment court.

Keven Dupree is a Sergeant with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. He currently serves as the supervisor of the department’s Training Unit overseeing all training for the agency’s 530 sworn officers and 150 non-sworn personnel.

Prior to his assignment to the Training Unit, Keven was assigned to the Special Events and Emergency Management Unit where he prepared operational plans and coordinated the logistics and planning for many of the cities planned and unplanned events; including New Year’s Eve, the Tortuga Music Festival, and the inaugural season of the Intermiami FC Major League Soccer Team. Furthermore, Keven was the lead law enforcement representative for the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, as a member of the department’s SWAT Team, Keven is the one of the dignitary protection leads, and has assisted with numerous visits of high-level dignitaries to the Broward County area.

Prior to joining Fort Lauderdale Police Department for a second time, Keven spent six years as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. Assigned to the Miami Field Office, he was responsible for overseeing security/operational planning for numerous visits of dignitaries to the South Florida area as well as throughout the Caribbean and South America. These assignments included but were not limited to being designated as a Site Agent for the Afghan President at the APEC conference in Chicago, Illinois, and the logistics lead for the visit of the sitting vice president to the U.S. Virgin Islands on several occasions. Additionally, Keven was tasked with security coordination for visits of several past presidents to foreign countries including Haiti days after the earthquake of 2010.

Keven holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International, as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and graduate certificate in Police Leadership. He has attended and contributed to the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security Professional Sports Best Practices Guide.

Nick is a practicing Senior Litigation Attorney employed in-house at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. He defends the company in civil personal injury actions brought by guests and crewmembers involving allegations of unsafe conditions onboard cruise ships. He has been with Royal Caribbean for over six years and has represented the company in hundreds of cases in state court, federal court, and arbitration. In addition to handling these matters in court or arbitration, Nick actively engages with various business units and departments in the company to provide legal advice as to how to identify and address a wide variety of issues that may give rise to civil litigation.

Prior to working for Royal Caribbean, Nick worked at the maritime law firm of Horr, Novak & Skipp, P.A. as an Associate Attorney for four years. There, he defended personal injury actions involving cruise ships, yachts, and pleasure craft as well as representing clients in other maritime matters such as cargo claims, salvage, collisions/allisions, insurance disputes, and commercial disputes.

Nick graduated from The Miami School of Law magna cum laude. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Western Michigan, magna cum laude. Originally from Southeast Michigan, Nick has lived in South Florida for over 12 years and is admitted to practice in the Florida Bar and in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.