Rattlesnakes and Other Surprise Solutions

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

Grayson says that his Monday, 1:30-3:00 p.m. session on CPTED will be a primer for attendees, but it will also stress the beneficial synthesis of CPTED and physical and electronic security.

CPTED was originally a police science, explains Grayson, and one well known and respected by security professionals who began their careers in public law enforcement. Those who have not entered security management through this route often know little about it, though they may know about electronics and physical security. This is unfortunate, because "some of the best solutions are artful blends of all these elements," he says.

Grayson notes that when Gage-Babcock undertakes a project, "electronic systems are generally the last thing we design, because if we handle the physical security and the CPTED aspects well, then we're able to better target what we do with electronic security, and are able to save money in the application."

An example of this was a troubled high school in the Oxnard (California) School District. The school was constantly covered in graffiti; there were frequent acts of vandalism, as well as break-ins and fights among the students. Grayson says that when he walked the campus during his evaluation, "Kids were clumped in little gangs and you could feel the tension. It was palpable."

Ultimately, no electronic security was implemented. A CPTED makeover and a perimeter fence system cut overall crime and fights by two-thirds during the next year. "When I went back to the campus, the feeling was totally different, with normal kids doing normal high school things. Even as a believer in CPTED, I was shocked by the outcome."

Grayson says he's bothered that when some people discuss CPTED in terms of the effect on an environment, they make it seem "as if criminals were making rational decisions about where to commit a crime or not to." All the information processing, he states, goes on subliminally. "In most cases, a robber commits a crime because it feels right."

The same process occurs for site users. Grayson's tried-and-true method of analyzing an environment is to go there at night with his wife. "She tells me where she feels uncomfortable and where she doesn't. Then I work backwards," Grayson explains, by using the CPTED analytical tools: natural surveillance, natural access control, and territorial reinforcement.

The session will also stress thinking outside of the box when using CPTED, as is evidenced in the case of the Reagan burial site. The session will involve attendees, giving them a scenario from the field, "so that they have a chance to use their own heads to try to solve the problems. The interactive group experience will show the power of CPTED as a process."

Medical Risks
Today's security and risk management professionals find themselves cast in many roles unfamiliar to even their recent predecessors. One new challenge is the need to understand diseases, what causes them, where employees might catch them while traveling on behalf of their companies, and how to preserve business continuity in the face of a modern plague.

Preparing for a pandemic is "becoming more and more part of companies' strategic plans," says Dr. Jonathan Spero, M.D., president of InHouse Physicians. The largest disease threat looming on security's horizon is the possibility of a flu pandemic—Avian or another strain.

The last great flu pandemics are still within living memory: The 1918-1919 Spanish flu outbreak is estimated to have killed more than 20 million people worldwide, including 500,000 in the United States; in 1957-1958, the Asian flu caused approximately 70,000 U.S. deaths; and in 1968-1969, the Hong Kong flu epidemic caused about 34,000 deaths in the United States.

There are disease and infection hot spots all over the world, and they are constantly changing. The most common illness to strike is traveler's diarrhea caused by impurities in the local water supply. Most business travelers know to drink bottled water, not eat local fruit, and consume boiled or well-cooked meals, but most have no idea that vaccinations are still needed for diseases that the "First World" considers eradicated. For example, in Africa and South America, "you still need to worry about polio and yellow fever," Spero says.

His Tuesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. session, titled "Medical Risk Management for Security Professionals," will explore such issues as threats to large groups of employees traveling to meetings or conferences and how risk managers can measure site preparedness to mitigate them. "If you're taking a group of people to São Paolo, Brazil, or Mumbai, India and you're using a hotel or convention center, what do you need to know? If a lawyer got involved, what would he or she say are the basic requirements of a site inspection?"

One of the primary questions to be answered is whether the country or locality has an emergency response system akin to the U.S. 9-1-1, and if so, what is the response time? And if there is no 9-1-1-type system, "What happens [on site] if there's a cardiac arrest or allergic reaction and the employee's throat is closing off?" asks Spero. Companies should seek a hotel or convention center that has an in-house first-responder team to meet these basic requirements for health emergencies, he explains.

Spero says that there are many resources available to risk managers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) operates a comprehensive Web site that includes health information for specific destinations, as well as the CDC 's recommendations for health maintenance and prevention of illness among travelers.

The U.S. State Department's Web site contains travel warnings and public announcements about conditions within various nations, and the World Health Organization's site provides a plethora of information on myriad diseases, including a detailed section on Avian Flu.

"The CDC has recognized that an influenza pandemic is the leading health threat to corporate America," Spero states. "Companies are spending millions and untold resources to come up with pandemic preparation plans, because when you do the numbers, it's clear that a company could lose 50 percent of its work force with one pandemic."

Spero will discuss a pandemic flu's ability to disrupt business and how a thorough review of existing business continuity plans can ensure that pandemic planning is synchronized with these efforts. He will offer attendees a comprehensive checklist to take back to their companies.

Operation Partnership
After two years of hard work, the research findings and analysis phases of Operation Partnership are nearly complete. Its results will be revealed at a Monday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. session by four of the projects leaders and primary researchers: Carl Peed, director of COPS; Edward Connors, J.D., president of the Institute for Law and Justice; Edward Appel, president of iName Check, Inc.; and Thomas Seamon, CPP, president of Hallcrest Systems, Inc.

In 2004, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and the U.S. Department of Justice, along with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, held a successful National Policy Summit on building private security and public policing partnerships to respond to—and hopefully prevent—terrorism and public disorder. The summit recognized that when law enforcement agencies and private security organizations work together, pooling their unique strengths, the result often exceeds what either party could accomplish alone.

Such partnerships pay rich dividends for police, businesses, and the public. Cooperation in resource and information sharing and joint planning and operations may lead to more comprehensive and efficient responses to crime, disasters, and terrorism.

One of the summit's key recommendations was the creation of Operation Partnership, a study of public law enforcement and private security partnerships in the United States—both formal and informal, successes and failures—followed by the creation of guidelines and training materials. Seamon, who was part of an earlier, similar project called Operation Cooperation, says that ASIS International also became involved.

"ASIS put money into the summit, sent experts to participate, and helped distribute the proceedings afterward." Additionally, the ASIS Council on Law Enforcement Liaison was instrumental in the undertaking of a targeted e-mail survey that helped identify existing partnerships.

Seamon says that the research has uncovered more than 500 partnerships. Operation Cooperation, conducted in 1999, discovered only 80. "In the intervening seven years, we see a lot more partnerships—a lot of business districts have a robust security and law enforcement partnership component," he remarks.

Among the successes is a partnership in Minneapolis that was started by Target Corporation. It has grown to include liaisons with Minneapolis police and all downtown private security operations—both corporate and at large stores.

Another example is the Philadelphia Center City District Partnership, which has been in existence for a decade. Seamon says that the partnership now has a regionwide information and intelligence-sharing network that includes federal, local, and state components from Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware. A third example is the city of Wilmington, Delaware, which "has a great partnership with private security that monitors public CCTV cameras for the police department, and corporate security directors, who work with Wilmington and Delaware State Police," Seamon states.

The study has found that funding is rarely a problem. "The partnerships can be put together and exist with very little funding," he says. However, most partnerships are well funded by partner organizations and government grants made available since 9-11.

"We see a real homeland security component now. In the past, before 9-11, lots of people said partnerships were beneficial and should be encouraged, but it was in the realm of a ‘nice thing to do.' Since 9-11, it is a must-do thing...that's why the DOJ decided to push this project forward," states Seamon.

When discussing the partnerships that have failed, Seamon says candidly, "One of the prime problems are the ego issues of the participants." There are also cult-of-personality problems when the partnership's founder "is the firebrand behind getting it all going, and then they leave." Succession planning is, therefore, of the greatest import.

As new police chiefs, security directors, and other key players in the partnership fill the roles of former supportive members, even a thriving partnership can collapse. "They'll kill it. We've seen some—Dallas, for instance, has had partnerships for 20 years, and there have been times where it was very vigorous and there have been times when it has almost died," says Seamon.

Having noted this, he states that the study found a much higher number of success stories than failures because the partnerships provide a tangible benefit to the community, the most direct being a decrease in area crime. Both sides of the public-private sector divide also feel the benefits. "It makes life easier for both groups," Seamon concludes.

Olympic Security
In 2010, the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, will host the XXI Winter Olympic Games. The hard-fought honor was won in 2003, leaving approximately six years of preparation and planning before the athletes, VIPs, judges, and spectators arrive. Now, with less than three years to go, the job of Dave Tyson, CPP, who is the chief security officer (CSO) of the City of Vancouver, is kicking into overdrive. He'll share his experiences thus far, and the plans for what follows at a Monday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. session.

One might think that because the Olympics have been held so frequently for so many years that there would be a security model for them—a process or boilerplate. However, says Tyson, "they pretty much reinvent the wheel each time they do it." While representatives from the host cities do go to witness what the other cities have done, risks and threats change so quickly and are so unique to the host city and its environs that planning predicated on the past cannot work.

"Vancouver is a large port city—one of the largest on the west coast—on a mountain range sitting right on the ocean, so there are some unique security concerns compared to a city that is in the center of a land mass," Tyson states.

There is also a "different dynamic" between summer and winter Olympic games, he says. The summer games are larger, but they are normally held within the confines of one city. The winter games take place at multiple locations—for example, alpine skiing events will be held on Whistler Mountain, and bobsled, luge, and other competitions will take place on Blackcomb Mountain and Cypress Mountain. All of these are well away from the city. Some sites are up to 85 miles distant.

The overall organizer for the Olympics is the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee. It chooses the venues for the various competitions. Law enforcement is responsible for protecting the athletes and the competition sites; and Tyson and his City of Vancouver team are responsible for physical security at events not related to the athletic competitions and all the IT resources of the civic components, such as wireless networks that support the IT infrastructure.

Currently, he says, "the police are well underway in planning their response, and we are planning our security model for all the associated events," such as state visits, cultural events, and protests.

Battling cost has been a key issue in the security planning. Tyson says that because winter Olympics are smaller than summer Olympics, "there isn't as much money available. You are asked to do more with less."

Modern Olympic host cities see a large amount of pre-event construction, which causes considerable inflation. "Security guard wages have gone up 40 percent over the last three years and the ability to get a security guard is dramatically harder—the availability is just not there," he states.

Tyson says that the city has spent two years on an innovative project that created a single-source vendor for all the security products needed in Vancouver. "This is a $30 to $40 million contract to provide guards, cameras, access control, investigations—you name it; they will provide it," Tyson explains. The chosen master vendor, Concord Security, is a local company. Concord will bring other subcontractors to the table.

"We see this as a real cutting edge project that has not been done anywhere and one that has provided a tremendous amount of value for us. Prior to this, we had about 30 different security vendors—for instance about 13 different locksmiths. We do this in a much more coordinated fashion," he explains, adding that the city expects to save an anticipated $5 to $6 million during the next five years through this approach.

The next phase of the project for Tyson and his team is defining their engagement model and beginning to conduct threat and risk assessments.

For more information on the impressive roster of educational sessions, exhibits, and other events to be held at the seminar and exhibits this September, or to register, visit the Society's Web site,, or phone ASIS Member Services at 703/519-6200.



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