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Chardon schools now have direct contact with first responders

Tragedy-ridden district deploys SchoolSAFE system

CHARDON, Ohio—Nine schools and the district’s administration office here have installed Motorola Solutions’ SchoolSAFE Communications technology to allow direct contact with first responders.

Chardon families sue school district over security


CHARDON, Ohio—A third lawsuit has been filed over high school shootings that left three students dead two years ago here.

ISC West is a Wrap

Monday, April 2, 2012

ISC West is the Security Industry Association's annual conference. As such, its purpose is to give manufacturers the opportunity to show off their latest and greatest security technology to integrators, specifiers and potential manufacturing partners.

As you can imagine, it's a bit overwhelming and the majority of attendants were not end users. However, during my three days on the show floor in Las Vegas I was able to meet and interview several security professionals who were attending the show. In my previous blog post that recapped my first day, I mentioned interviews with Peter Miller, CSO of Florida’s Orange County Government; Linda Florence, dean of the doctorate program in strategic security at Henley-Putnam University and a long-time member of ASIS International’s volunteer leadership; Bryan Warren, senior security manager at Carolinas Healthcare System and newly minted president of the International Association of Healthcare Security & Safety; and Pablo Antonio Sanchez Urbina, security director for 10 prisons and the state police department in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

But before I get to the details about my second and third days at the show, I must mention the event that took place the morning of the second day: the Security 5K. The three-mile road race (there was also a 2K walk) attracted more than 350 runners to raise money for Mission 500, a non-profit that works with World Vision to feed needy children around the globe. The event ultimately raised $85,000, which will be used to sponsor nearly 300 children. (Security Director News and Security Systems News are sponsors of the race.) It's been a while since I ran a road race, but I was pleased with my performance. I placed 45th overall with a time of 23:22.

During my second and third days at the show, I was able to catch up with a few additional end users in our media studio. On Thursday, I spoke with Mike Howard, CSO of Microsoft, about how security managers should demonstrate their value to the C-Suite and use social media to spread that message. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeHowardMSGS. I also spoke with Lauris Freidenfelds, director of security and emergency management for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, about a newly completed construction project and the importance of including security in the early design discussions.

I also had a chance to visit several companies' booths. I heard the latest about CheckVideo's Ruggedized Outdoor Mobile Sentry (dubbed the CMS4000), which is a self-contained, cloud-based, wireless video surveillance solution that only requires power be added to provide remote video monitoring capabilities, from company CEO John Estrada. Estrada told me CheckVideo is experiencing as much as 25 percent increases in sales month over month.

Mark Jarman, president of Inovonics, told me about Radius, the company's enterprise mobile duress system. The product, which was originally introduced at the ASIS show in October 2010, has applications across markets, but Inovonics for now is targeting the healthcare industry. Jarman also stressed his company's commitment to supporting the open standards trumpeted by the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance. Though the company's not ready to make any announcements or offer any details, he told me that Inovonics has developed a product in complete accordance with PSIA open standards. "We're walking the walk," he said.

I heard the from Verint about the facial recognition software it's beta testing and its new, all-weather 5-megapixel cameras. I also saw new cameras from Pelco and JVC. The latter is introducing 18 new cameras this year, including several analog cameras, which John Grabowski, JVC's national sales and marketing specialist, was not shy about admitting are still the company's "bread and butter."

I saw a demonstration of IDV Solutions' Visual Command Center. The demo was actually given by a shift manager of Microsoft's GSOC in Redmond, Wash., which uses the platform to monitor its facilities across the globe.

Over at the VidSys booth, I was able to get a demo of the PSIM provider's new collaboration with Bridgeborn to integrate 3D modeling into its software. Another big partnership VidSys recently announced was with BRS Labs to integrate its behavioral analytics software into its PSIM software.

For more updates from ISC West, check out the blogs from Security Systems News' team, who were blogging throughout the event: Martha Entwistle's On the Editor's Desk; Rich Miller's Monitor This!; and Tess Nacelewicz's This Blogs on Fire.

ISC West housekeeping: The fun doesn't stop after Vegas

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There's been so much news since the end of ISC West, it's been hard to keep up. First of all, I know everyone wants to get attention during the show, but it's one of those things that companies would actually get more coverage if they announced such things at a less crazy time. I equate it to going out to dinner on Valentine's Day: If you go out the night before or the night after Valentine's Day, you would get much better food and service - I promise.

Anyway, here's some of the most recent news:
The biggest story, which we ran on our Newswire and you definitely shouldn't miss, is that Schneider Electric is working with bankers to assess a bid for Tyco International, according to Bloomberg. Should the deal come to fruition, Schneider would be the world’s biggest manufacturer of security systems and this deal would rank as the biggest industrial takeover on record by a European company, according to Bloomberg. Funnily enough, Schneider says it’s not in discussions with Tyco, according to a press release received by Martha Entwistle, the editor over at Security Systems News. Here's the statement she got from Schneider:

“In response to market rumors, Schneider Electric announced today that it is not currently in discussion with Tyco International regarding a potential strategic transaction between the two companies. Schneider Electric stated that it would make no further comment regarding this matter.”

Huh? I'm sure both Bloomberg and Reuters are both wrong on this one.

Anyway, in other news, ObjectVideo has filed a complaint against Bosch Security Systems, Samsung and Sony. The complaint seeks damages for patent infringement:

"With the strong increase of video analytics offerings over the past few years, we've seen a similar increase in the number of companies using ObjectVideo's patented technologies without paying for them," said Bill Marino, chief intellectual property officer for ObjectVideo, in the release. "We need to ensure our existing IP and software partners are not unfairly disadvantaged in the marketplace by competitors whose products use the same or similar functionality to innovations that are ours."

Also involved in a lawsuit are two 360-degree camera manufacturers, who had previously worked together. Grandeye Ltd. filed a complaint on against Sentry 360 Security, Inc. alleging patent infringement, the misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract.

Agilence purchased the assets of video analytics company, Vidient. Vidient went out of business in 2010, by the way, so I'm guessing Agilence (who I wrote about recently) probably got a good deal, but, of course, nothing about purchase price was disclosed.

Now that's a lot of news.

Also, the Security 5K was a huge success. There were more than 400 runners out there bright and early on the second day of the show in Vegas (which always impresses me since Vegas doesn't exactly promote early, sober nights). Overall, the event raised $92,000 for Mission 500, enough money to food, clothe and house for 240 kids for a year. Not too shabby, eh? Haven't had a chance to see the results yet? Here's the link.

What were the buzzwords on the first day of ISC West?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It was a busy day here on the first day of ISC West in Las Vegas. Bagpipes entertained a large crowd of attendees and exhibitors who waited (some, a little impatiently) for the show floor doors to open at 10 a.m. The bagpipes, along with an orange juice toast, were both new additions to the opening program. Security Director News and Security Systems News hosted a “Meet the Editors” event at the entrance to the show floor, which was a great way to meet folks who we don't usually have time to see. (The editors from both publications will also be here Thursday and Friday before the show opens, so feel free to stop by and say hello on your way to the show).

Traffic on the show floor was steady throughout the day and I heard several comments that it seemed like attendance was back to pre-recession years. Of course, that can’t be validated until ISC West releases final attendance numbers after the show, but aisles seemed relatively crowded and booths well occupied.

The buzzword today: PSIM. Yes, physical system information management system announcements were everywhere here on the first day of ISC West. IPVideo Corporation announced its first endeavor into the PSIM space with the release of C3 Fusion. Steve Sleicher, chief operating officer with IP Video said that the company, which has a video management software platform, Sentry, started offering PSIM software after hearing from its customers that they want to bring together video and other devices from disparate sites into a common operating picture to help them better resolve incidents.

Similarly, OnSSI announced it has added PSIM functionality to its video management software product, Ocularis. Gadi Piran, president and chief technology officer of OnSSI said the company hopes to target smaller- to medium-size customers with this additional functionality and improved workflow processes.

The acquisition of Proximex by ADT Security Services was also a highly discussed topic during the show. “These acquisitions justify our investments,” said Pat Kiernan, director of marketing with Nice Systems. The acquisition of Rontal Engineering Applications by Verint Systems today was also a big part of the PSIM buzz on the show floor. Verint subsequently launched and demoed its Nextiva PSIM platform. David Shneerson, founder of Rontal and now the director of PSIM solutions with Verint, said that this acquisition “definitely validates the need out there,” he said. “Two years ago the term PSIM wasn’t even know and today you hear it everywhere. This acquisition means that the industry is looking for something to fuse data from disparate systems and provide a coherent situational awareness platform.”

I have a full day of appointments tomorrow, but I’m very excited to start the day out with the Security 5K. We had a great turnout for the inaugural run last year and there will be even more security folks out running (and walking) this year. As a matter of fact, I heard a lot of smack talk going on today. We can hash out who beat who at the Tweet Up tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. at the Treasure Island bar (am I allowed to announce a Tweet Up on my blog? The more the merrier, I figure). Stay tuned for more updates.

ISC West is just around the corner and ASIS announces keynote speakers

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I took a nice long weekend to recover from my travels to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for i3 International's annual event followed by a very successful TechSec Solutions in Delray Beach, Fla. (I know, both tough places to be in February, especially when you call Maine home). But no time to relax, we're jumping right into the next round of security conferences.

ISC West Security Conference and Exposition at the Sands in Las Vegas is right around the corner on April 5-7. If you're an end user who's planning to attend the show, I'd like to meet with you. These conferences are a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with folks and I'm always interested to hear about the challenges and successes security practitioners are experiencing out there in the real world. Likewise, if you're a manufacturer or integrator and have some customers who will be attending the show, also feel free to contact me to set up an appointment: LStelter(at)

Also, don't forget to sign up for the Security 5K. Last year we had more than 300 people from the security industry running the streets of Vegas at 7:30 a.m. It created a ton of buzz at the show so this year we're expecting even more people to participate. All proceeds generated by the race will be contributed to Mission 500, an organization determined to get the security industry to sponsor 500 (or more) children through the World Vision humanitarian organization. The 2011 goal is to raise $100,000, which will feed, educate, clothe and tend to the health needs of more than 300 needy children around the world. Not a runner? Not a problem. It's a fun run, people, do it for the children.

In other conference news, ASIS International announced two big name keynote speakers for their conference in Orlando, Fla. on Sept. 19-22. This year Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, will give the opening address on Tues., Sept. 20. And on Wedn., Sept. 21, Vicente Fox, President of Mexico, 2000-2006, will discuss the economic and social challenges facing Latin America. Frankly, I'm very excited to hear what Fox has to say about the political landscape and security challenges in Mexico right now. Mark your calendars.

ISC West - Day One

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Already it feels like I've been in Vegas forever, but alas, it's only the second day. Well, technically, it's the first day of the show - the first HALF of the first day of the show as a matter of fact - and already I'm exhausted. But, that's just the name of the game here in Vegas.

Anyway, the panel that I helped organize on airport security went great this morning and was well attended, especially considering it was the first panel of the day. This is the first year I've attended ISC West that they've had the Public Safety & Security section of the show floor and I think having a venue like that, with a theater in the middle, is a great way to attract attention to important industry topics. No time to reiterate it here, but look for a story on next week's newswire.

So far the show seems to be well attended. I heard several accounts last night that the floor plan looked significantly smaller than last year, but it seems just as large and overwhelming to me. Aisles seem packed with lots of bodies to dodge. In my experience, the first day of the show isn't typically the busiest, so we could see even more traffic in .

Our booth is pretty cool this year, too. We're all set up for our video shoots and are located near the front of the show floor (#3064). Feel free to stop by and see us here, although chances are we'll be running around like crazy folks most of the time. Speaking of which, I gotta run to my next appointment now. More later!

All things ISC West - Let's talk

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's slightly more than a month away, but I'm officially gearing up for this year's ISC West Conference & Expo in Las Vegas on March 23-26. While I typically spend these three days sprinting from one 20-minute appointment to the next, this year I'm trying to be smarter about it and generate more content for those who can't attend.

While I think SDN does a great job of sharing information through traditional media resources (i.e. articles), one of our most valuable offerings has become sdnTVnews. And these trade shows represent a rare opportunity to have a vast assortment of security professionals in one place at one time. Here at SDN we've tried to maximize on that opportunity by sitting down and talking to security professionals, one on one, and hearing straight from them about the issues they face, the solutions they use and where they see the security profession heading. It's that simple.

And we've generated some of our best content at these shows. If you don't believe me, here's the proof:

My discussion with Sergeant Chris Kovac of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department about the city's approach to surveillance got 5,488 views. I know. Wow.

What about my interview with Chief James Overton of Delaware State University about the challenges of campus security and the strategies he uses. That got 760 views.

Want to know more about port security? Hear it directly from security professionals at the Port of Houston or the Port of Long Beach. Combined they got nearly 1,000 hits.

But, I'm not using this opportunity to brag about how great we are here (although if my boss is reading this, I sure could use a raise for all the traffic I've generated). Rather, I'm making a point that security professionals want to hear from other security professionals. They want to know what the other guy thinks, what the gal on the other coast is doing to solve the problems that those in the same sector likely have in common.

So, here is my official call for sdnTVnews appointments at ISC West. If you are an end user and would like to share your perspective with me, shoot me an email:

If you're a manufacturer and have some clients in town for the show, do the same. In a perfect world, I'd like to meet with everyone, but I'm prioritizing time for companies who have clients at the show.

Great. I look forward to talking with you!

How does this happen?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

After spending some time at Lamborghini's in Las Vegas last week, I am finding this news pretty shocking.

Businessman Eric Vargosko thought nothing of it (first mistake) when he handed the keys to his rare Lamborghini Gallardo Spider to the valet at the InterContinental in Atlanta's tony Buckhead section about two months ago, according to Atlanta TV station WSBTV. But by the time he checked out the next morning, the car had vanished.
It was found a month later - damaged.

How does a $284,000 car just walk (drive) out the door? (especially a car as flashy as this) Where was the Intercontinental's security department? What will happen to that valet? Is this all an insurance scam?

Here's the quote from the hotel:
"The hotel is doing everything they can to support the investigation and they are working with the insurance company," says Francie Schulwolf of InterContinental. "It’s a very unfortunate incident for the owner and hotel."

You can say that again. Better keep my Volvo away from the Intercontinental's valet staff. Now that baby is worth some big bucks.


My ISC West review

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm back in the office after a whirlwind week in Vegas for ISC West. Here are my main takeways:

*Vegas is always a good place to hold a conference. Regardless of the talk of how show attendance was going to be down, it was still quite well-attended. Some people who attended the CTIA show being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the same days as ISC said traffic was considerably down as compared to last year. But security? The industry is not recession proof by any means but if the show is any indication, it is still pretty fairly strong.

*SDNtvNews is good. Not only are we bringing our readers interviews directly form the show floor but we are spending additional time at the booth, which allows us more direct contact with our readers. And because I was not running around the show floor as much, it saved my feet ... just a little.

* Twitter does actually work for event micro-blogging. And it works to let people know of "super secret" cocktail parties. And it helps you meet new people. That's not too shabby in my opinion.

*I didn't get much time to explore the Public Safety and Security Expo but it looked pretty much like Urban Security did last year. Anyone find it different? Extremely useful? Or was it just a waste of space?

*Parties were light this year. I've never been invited to the Pelco party so I was really surprised when I wasn't invited again this year. Missed the GE party — really not sure why — and I wish I hadn't (would have saved me in a sense). The Tyco and OV receptions were lovely as was DM's get together at Tao.

And now, on to your regularly scheduled work day.