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- Security technologies' prospects rated, EU fears expansion of crime with expansion of borders, advice on reducing false alarms, and more

Community policing

- Conventional wisdom holds that terrorism preparedness is best when information is obtained at the local level and shared at the regional level and beyond. Three analysts from the U.S. Department of Justice contend that this model meshes well with community policing, in which law enforcement prevents crime by partnering with members of the community and sharing information with various local role players as well as with regional and state police. Thus, they say, community policing has the potential to incorporate a formidable antiterrorism component. "Connecting the Dots for a Proactive Approach," by Matthew C. Scheider, Robert E. Chapman, and Michael F. Seelman, is at SM Online.

Cargo security

- Some of the vulnerable areas cited in the aforementioned report, including border and cargo security, have been the subject of recent scrutiny by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO). GAO auditors, for instance, recently checked on the status of the US-VISIT (United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) program, finding that it is "inherently risky, both because of the type of program it is and because of the way it is being managed." Specifically, US-VISIT is inherently risky because it is responsible for a critical, multifaceted mission; has a large and complex scope; must meet a demanding implementation schedule; and entails enormous cost. Risks relating to management include initial reliance on integrating existing systems that have problems. In testimony on cargo inspection, the GAO's Richard M. Stana noted that the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fails to incorporate key elements of a risk management framework in its approach to risks posed by oceangoing cargo containers. CBP, Stana told the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Energy and Commerce, hasn't determined the level of risk for cargo or the responses necessary to mitigate that risk. Moreover, CBP hasn't subjected its method of selecting and inspecting cargo containers to external peer review or testing, he said.

Homeland security

- The United States is vulnerable to nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological attacks. Pathways to the country via land, sea, and air are insecure. Critical infrastructures have few defenses. While this assessment seems to have been made in the weeks following 9-11, it is actually the current conclusion of the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Homeland Security. A new report by these members documents gaps in intelligence, nuclear material protection, biodefense, and critical infrastructure protection, among others. Read America at Risk: Closing the Security Gap.

Did You Know That?

- Watch those tractors, loaders, and backhoes. According to the National Equipment Register (NER), these are the types of heavy equipment--used for construction, farming, and related fields--that are most often stolen. The high incidence is attributable to the equipment's mobility, according to the NER. @ An NER report, available via SM Online, includes theft information by state and site, as well as recovery statistics.

Did You Know That?

- While 71 percent of New Jersey companies are "very concerned" about drug or alcohol abuse among their employees, only 30 percent have implemented substance abuse education, training, or assistance programs for employees. Companies whose staff have serious alcohol or drug abuse problems are no more likely to have such programs than those without these problems. @ See SM Online for a survey on drug abuse policies in New Jersey workplaces.

Did You Know That?

- According to a recent survey by the Defense Manpower Data Center, active-duty U.S. troops have gotten the message about sexually harassing behavior. Over a seven-year period, the rate of harassment of female colleagues dropped from 46 percent to 24 percent, with fewer incidents by Marines spurring the decline. @ A summary of the survey is on SM Online.

Reducing False Alarms, A La Carte

- In Toronto, citizens and businesses can choose whether police or private security personnel respond to alarms. Those who choose police bear the cost of false alarms.The video, developed by the Private Sector Liaison Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, also identifies the worst false-alarm offenders: municipal buildings, banks, schools, and churches.

Taking Back the Nightclub

- Every urban area has one: a nightclub noted for loud music, outbursts of violence, and plenty of drugs. In Burlington, Ontario, near Toronto, that club is called NRG/The Kingdom, and its crowd wreaked havoc in the neighborhood. Several years ago regional police collaborated with the club's owners on a multifaceted problem-solving approach. Access to railroad tracks behind the club was blocked. Extra lighting and gates were installed to prevent cars and pedestrians from parking near or skulking around neighboring businesses. Bushes were removed from a nearby vacant lot. Find out how the club and community did it .

A Virtually Risk Free Crisis

- Virtual reality technology offers the possibility of running through simulated lifelike crises without the risk. Where that virtual reality goal is in relation to real reality was the focus of a recent conference on modeling and simulation for emergency response. For example, Charles McLean of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Sanjay Jain, research associate professor at Virginia Tech, discussed NIST's effort to create a "framework for integrated emergency response." The framework would incorporate disaster type, affected parties, and applications such as vulnerability analysis and training. Rebecca Moses, Michael J. Taylor, and Gary R. Steiner spoke of a parallel effort at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and called for the creation of a national user facility that would be "responsible for developing and maintaining integrated emergency response simulation tools and high-quality supporting data." @ Summaries of these workshops have been collected into a document published by NIST, which is available from SM Online.

Salaries Up for Top Spot

- New salary data collected by the Foushée Group in cooperation with the International Security Management Association (ISMA) indicates that top corporate security executives earned 11 percent more in total cash compensation in 2004 than they did the year before. This rise parallels the results of the latest ASIS International salary survey, reported in Security Management in January. The ASIS survey showed salaries among security managers increasing by 13 percent from the year before; about half of the 339 respondents to the ASIS survey filled the top security slot in their organizations. According to the Foushée survey, top security executives make more than $250,000 a year in total cash compensation.

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

- The 88-acre campus in the woods near Fredericksburg, Virginia, is disarmingly bucolic, but the training is intended to be alarmingly real, in the hopes that trainees who pass through this self-protection and awareness course and go on to Iraq will have a better chance of surviving. The typical attendee is a civilian contractor, but today it is the media, this reporter included, who have been invited in to experience the training firsthand

Nuclear security

- The level of preparedness for an attack against the U.S. nuclear infrastructure continues to be hotly debated among congressmen.
 




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