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Secret Service Does Its Share

- Everyone's heard complaints about industry and government not sharing information with each other. So it's refreshing when word arises of effective communication between the public and private sectors. At January's inauguration of President Bush for his second term, the Secret Service's actions were a model of cooperation, according to private security companies with which they worked.

Crate Expectations for Cargo Security Strategy

- In a draft national cargo security strategy, the Department of Homeland Security sets a "zero-tolerance policy" toward the arrival of weapons of mass destruction at U.S. borders. The goal is to inspect 100 percent of "designated high-risk" cargo.

Physical security

- Los Alamos National Laboratory has rolled out the Journal of Physical Security, a scholarly, peer-reviewed publication that publishes articles which "use the scientific method or other rigorous approaches to understanding, modeling, developing, testing, or evaluating any aspect of physical security." The inaugural issue offers five papers. Electronic subscriptions are free. SM Online has more information on subscribing.UPDATE: The Journal of Physical Security is now published by Argonne National Laboratory.

Bioterrorism

- A December 2003 report by Trust for America's Health showed that the nation's public health system was insufficiently prepared for bioterrorism. The prognosis isn't much better more than a year later. A follow-up report concludes that "states across the country are still struggling to meet basic preparedness requirements and have inadequate resources to juggle the competing health priorities they face." Ranking states on ten "key indicators to assess the states' public health emergency preparedness capabilities," the report found Florida and North Carolina to be in the best of health, notching nine of the ten indicators. At the other extreme were Massachusetts and Alaska, which achieved the sickly score of three. Twenty states fell in the middle with a score of six, while another 19 garnered scores of 5 or 7. he ranking was based on indicators such as state spending of federal funds, level of state public-health budgets, bioterror capabilities of state labs, and surveillance and tracking capacity. For example, only five state public-health labs report the ability to adequately respond to a chemical terror threat, while two-thirds of states don't electronically track disease outbreak information using national standards, making early warning difficult. SM Online has the full 72-page report, as well as an executive summary.

School crime

- Forget the Mayberry stereotype. The latest data show that the percentage of students at rural schools that reported being bullied in 2003 (10 percent) was greater than at urban and suburban schools (seven percent each). And that difference has doubled since 1999, according to the 2004 edition of Indicators of School Crime and Safety, a publication of the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Critics Call for DHS Overhaul

- If, as the saying goes, a camel is a horse designed by committee, then the only question unresolved by critics of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is whether the agency has one hump or two. But it's not too late to reengineer this domestic dromedary, according to a new paper by the Heritage Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Is the Free Market Best for Homeland Security?

- Does the free market work when it comes to private-sector homeland security? That's the question put on the table in a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The report does not answer the question but lays out the reasons why business might not at first provide adequate security and the ways in which the government might induce better behavior.

Secret Service Does Its Share

- Everyone's heard complaints about industry and government not sharing information with each other. So it's refreshing when word arises of effective communication between the public and private sectors. At January's inauguration of President Bush for his second term, the Secret Service's actions were a model of cooperation, according to private security companies with which they worked.

Crate Expectations for Cargo Security Strategy

- In a draft national cargo security strategy, the Department of Homeland Security sets a "zero-tolerance policy" toward the arrival of weapons of mass destruction at U.S. borders. The goal is to inspect 100 percent of "designated high-risk" cargo.

Africa

- Could investment in the fight against AIDS help reduce terrorism? That's the provocative thesis of a paper written by Trevor Neilson, executive director of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS. The paper is on SM Online.

Counterfeiting

- If you're wearing clothing by Armani or Burberry, carrying a bag by Coach or Louis Vuitton, or wearing a watch by Cartier or Rolex, you might want to take a closer look. These are a few of the most frequently knocked-off brands based on incidents compiled by counterfeit-intelligence analysts Gieschen Consultancy of Canada.

Did You Know That?

- Prevention instead of response has seen only limited use on campuses. Fifty-six percent of the 90 college and university security directors surveyed by FJC Security Services Inc. characterize their campus security in regard to terrorism as "response mode." Yet 83 percent said that their security officers had received training "specific to preventing, deterring, and responding" to acts of terrorism.

Did You Know That?

- Are companies wising up about premises liability, or are more meritless claims being filed? Either way, plaintiffs are winning a smaller percentage of suits. In 1992, plaintiffs won in 44.4 percent of cases in which they reached a jury trial in state court in one of the 75 largest U.S. counties.
 




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