“On the morning of 9-11, I happened to be on the phone with [ASIS volunteer leader] Charlie Pierce. One of my staff people ran in, saying, ‘Look what just happened to the World Trade Center!’ I remember looking out my office door to where there was a television. The first plane had hit, and you could see the smoke billowing. I said to Charlie Pierce, ‘Turn on your TV!’”
Within a little more than an hour, Granger’s friend Karpiloff was dead. It is believed that he died because he stayed on the job, directing evacuations and response from the World Trade Center’s security command center.
The 9-11 attacks were a personal tragedy for Granger and had a profound effect on security operations at the Space Center and across the industry. “What changed wasn’t the fact that terrorism existed; what changed that day was that someone had taken something not perceived as a weapon of mass destruction and turned it into one, making everyone realize just how vulnerable we were,” he states. “Afterward, it was a bottom-up review of everything we were doing, identifying risks and vulnerabilities and how we were mitigating them.”
Another important realization was that various government agencies were not sharing information. “There were stovepipes, and possibly—just possibly—the attack might have been avoided if communication was better,” Granger says. While communication has improved since the attacks, “There are still challenges. There are still agencies with stovepipes, but not like before 9-11,” he states.
A third post-9-11 realization was that “the majority of critical infrastructure is in the hands of the private sector being watched over by private security,” says Granger. “We started seeing the government reaching out to private security to build partnerships and bridges.”
One Giant Step
After serving as the chair of the Physical Security Council, Granger became a council vice president (CVP). Fellow CVP Bordes phoned Granger, asking him to participate on the task team for the creation of the Society’s new certification, Physical Security Professional® (PSP). “So, I had the opportunity to help lay the groundwork for the PSP. Following the creation of it, I was honored with a call from [ASIS Vice President of Education] Susan Melnicove, who said, ‘Okay, the PSP has become a reality. Now we need to put together a PSP review course.’ So, I brought together a wonderful group of people and formed a faculty and started teaching the review,” he says.
When asked how he trod the path that led to the ASIS presidency, Granger replies that he had had conversations with current board members about running for the board of directors, as well as consulted with his peer and friend Pierce. “Charlie thought I should go for it. So, I threw my name in the hat,” he says. He won the election and joined the board in 2004, becoming secretary in 2007, treasurer in 2008, and president-elect last year.
During his last five years on the board, Granger says that he has been delighted with the growth of ASIS’s international membership and focus. “A lot of people don’t realize that the first international chapter—the European Chapter—was formed the year after ASIS was founded,” notes Granger, adding that since the Society changed its name to ASIS International, it has made enormous strides. “We now have international members on the board and one [Eduard J. Emde, CPP, consultancy manager for Interseco of Wassenaar, The Netherlands] on the Board Management Committee in line for the presidency.”
Granger notes that the Society is preparing to hold its 8th Annual European Conference and 4th Annual Asia-Pacific Conference, as well as its first Middle East Conference. “That’s another major step for ASIS. What the Society can offer—the networking, the educational opportunities for security in its purest forms—it crosses all boundaries. It’s not national, it’s professional,” he says. As ASIS president, Granger will be attending these events, some with his wife of nearly 30 years, Linda Jill, known to all as L. J.
Seeing the ASIS certifications become international has also pleased Granger. “The PSP is a certification that is not U.S.-centric because it doesn’t involve national laws, tort laws…. It is security in its purest form no matter what country you are in,” he states.
Yet another high point of his board career has been the Society changing from “simply being a guidelines-writing organization to [being] a standards-writing organization, not just in the United States, but internationally,” he says.
“I think that ASIS is going in the right direction—continuing to look for venues to get the brand name out there, continuing to write standards, striving to be the recognized worldwide leader in security education and other strategic objectives,” Granger states.
What would he like to tell ASIS members? “I was former military intelligence and law enforcement, and I turned to ASIS and discovered a whole new world out there. Up until that time, my opinion of the security world was like a lot of people’s—they immediately envision just security guards. I would never diminish the value of guards, by the way, because they are the backbone of our industry. I’m merely pointing out that most people don’t have a clue about the varied disciplines and facets of security. This is what I discovered when I joined ASIS and attended its functions. ASIS turns on the light to show what is really out there, including the many career paths possible,” he says, concluding, “There’s a lot you can do, and ASIS helps you to get there.”
Exactly four minutes after the end of the interview, the Ares 1-X blasted off the Kennedy Space Center launch pad, heading skyward, presaging future manned journeys to the moon, Mars, and beyond.
♦ Ann Longmore-Etheridge is an associate editor of Security Management and editor of ASIS Dynamics.