WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — National Football League security procedures, specifically the role of a team security director, cast doubt on NFL officials’ claims that they had sought out but were unable to obtain the surveillance video of Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.
Each NFL team hires a head of security who is expected to develop relationships and conduct “personal visits to local casinos, night clubs, etc,” CBS News reports. The head of security for each team is specifically directed to become close with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies – exactly the type of people who would have provided NFL officials with the Rice surveillance tape.
A 2009 job description for the team security director says the position requires “personal visits to local casinos, night clubs, etc. requesting the cooperation of the establishments’ management in the event a player or team employee is perceived as a potential problem.”
The description continues: “becoming a close and trusting liaison with federal state and local law enforcement agencies as well as other government entities, such as DMV, is essential.” It also adds that security directors are expected to “establish and maintain effective liaison on a confidential and professional basis with federal, state and local law enforcement officers and other public safety authorities.”
“At least ten years prior experience in law enforcement in the area of the team’s location” is listed as a “strongly preferred” requirement for the position.
The NFL emailed CBS elaborating on such a requirement: “Having a professional relationship with law enforcement officials on all levels is helpful when an incident occurs to be able to attempt to determine the underlying facts as soon as possible. At times this is not possible if the information cannot be shared outside of the law enforcement agency realm.”
A former NFL team security director who didn’t want to be identified told CBS News that there was never a case in his career in which he sought surveillance tapes from hotels, nightclubs or local law enforcement and was refused such access.
In an email to CBS, the NFL said that security director visits to casinos were intended to provide “an early warning if a player or employee might be engaging in conduct that puts the player or employee at risk.”