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VideoIQ Integrates with SoftwareHouse


BEDFORD, Mass.—In a union that principals expect will be particularly useful for multiple-site businesses that want to add a single camera or a small number of them to their existing access control systems, VideoIQ on May 24 announced an integration with SoftwareHouse CCURE 9000, a security and event management system.

Ahead of the game: Grocery chain gets involved it opens the doors


NORTHBOROUGH, Mass.—Wegmans Food Markets won’t even open its doors here until October, but already the grocery chain has made a concerted effort to be an active member of the regional retail community.

Keys to transitioning from law enforcement to private security


SACRAMENTO, Calif.—For 20 years, Steve Reed was a police officer with the Sacramento Police Department. And like many individuals with long careers in law enforcement, Reed decided to move to the world of private security and is currently the manger of security and guest services at the Arden Fair Mall.

What security professionals should learn from Wikileaks


YARMOUTH, Maine—The release of sensitive information by Web site WikiLeaks has caused national and international outcry, but should serve as a reminder to government and private corporations alike about the importance of securing electronic information.

TSA is changing the way they touch you

Friday, October 29, 2010

On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration announced it is changing the way it pats down passengers at airports, according to this article on Huffington Post. The TSA said it is moving from "traditional hand pat to more of a hand-sliding motion."

I'm sorry, but what?

I'm certainly not an advocate for being touched by strangers, but I think I'd rather be patted than have someone slide their hands up and down me. That just sounds way too sexual to me.

I wonder if this change in procedure was spurred by the recent media attention given to the pilot who refused to go through the whole body imaging screening and then also refused to get patted down?

My gut says yes.

That pilot, Michael Roberts, is now suing the government about how it screens passengers, according to this ABC News article.

"It's not reasonable when you walk into the airport, just because you want to go fly on an airplane that they should strip-search you or physically put their hands on your crotch and feel your body from top to bottom," said Roberts.

Well, he could avoid the crotch touching by going through the machine, right? I was pretty psyched to go through a whole body image machine during a recent trip to Chicago, but I realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm for security stuff. Regardless, I would certainly choose a machine over a pat down, or rather a "rub down", any day.

No teamwork at World Cup: Police break up security riots

Monday, June 14, 2010

As I indicated in an earlier blog, there have been some serious concerns about the strength of security at World Cup events. Just today, the game between Italy and Paraguay was nearly canceled after security stewards (that must be what other people in the world call officers) walked off the job because of pay disputes, according to this article. Walking out on game day forced South African police to take control of security at the stadium.

But this wasn't the first big issue involving security and police. On Sunday, stewards stationed at a different stadium (but who were employed by the same security company, Stallion) clashed with riot police also over wage issues. And it gets worse:

Police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to break up a protest by around 400 stadium staff protesting what they said was a pay cut from 250 rand ($A39) to 190 rand per day.

So now police resources are being used to fight security officers? You're suppose to be on the same team, remember?

Here's a statement from Rich Mkhondo, head of communications for the local World Cup organizing committee, who said the protest did not impact on security at the match (uh huh):

"Two hours after the end of the first match at the Durban stadium last night, there was an internal pay dispute between the principal security company employed by the organizing committee and some of the static security stewards employed by the company at the match," Mkhondo said in a statement e-mailed to the AP. "Police were called on to disperse the protesting stewards."

Attempting to secure an event like the World Cup is not exactly easy. There are a lot of logistics involved, including efforts to coordinate multiple entities who likely have not worked together in the past (read all about these challenges in this SDN article). While I empathize with the workers who are allegedly being screwed by their security employer, game day is not the time to make one's point (although it is certainly effective at drawing attention). Security is too important at this event and there are too many lives at stake for such disputes. I'm assuming police forces are taxed at the moment and they certainly don't need to be spending resources to battle the people who are suppose to be their partners.

Stampede causes security concerns at World Cup

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Not too long ago I wrote about the upcoming FIFA World Cup games, which begin on June 11. Andrews International, which is providing executive protection for one of the sponsors of the games, told me that one of the biggest difficulties was in the coordination of all the security entities involved:

“Probably the biggest challenge that you have because of the size and magnitude of this event is that there are many more agencies and security organizations involved in the protection structure,” said Ty Richmond. “With that comes the challenge of coordination and communication, logistics and the cultural dynamics there.”

Well, before the games even officially start, FIFA has already experienced some serious security lapses. During a warm-up match between Nigeria and North Korea on June 6, there was a stampede that left 16 fans and a police officer injured, reported the Guardian.

Since this was not an official World Cup match, the president of FIFA said the organization is not responsible for security and it is up to the South African authorities:

"The security is always the matter of the state where the sports event is played. Football has to take the adequate steps to ensure the minimum standard of security for any competition. We have no police force. It is a cooperation, connecting football with the local authorities, police or military."

And there lies a good point. FIFA doesn't have a police force and they have no means of really providing direct security, according to this article from ESPN:

'We are organisers of a competition and, being the organisers of a competition, we have to take the adequate steps for security. But in no way does the football organisation, being local, regional, national or international, have any police force or military force to intervene in security.

"Football has to take the steps to make sure that these organisations are involved to ensure the minimum of security for any competition. FIFA has no police force. They cannot even take out a spectator from a stadium - it's not possible."

Hmmm, but no one talks about who exactly is in control of security. I'm sure the South African government, federal and local, has a big role, but there are a lot of private security companies in the mix. Working with unknown agencies was another one of the issues that Richmond pointed out:

“Unfortunately, you don’t have the advantage of having done a lot of activity and previous work with agencies,” he said. “You can do a lot of advanced planning and repetition of the process, but at the end of the day because of the size and magnitude [of the event], logistically it becomes more challenging in another country and if you have language barriers, that further complicates it.”

While I hope the FIFA president is right, that this was an unofficial event and didn't have all the security measures in place, but I certainly think it highlights some of the potential breakdowns of security at FIFA. And, we'll certainly be watching. Did you know the World Cup is the most widely-viewed sporting events in the world? Yep, there were more than 715.1 million viewers watched the final match of the 2006 World Cup held in Germany. Or so they say.

Retailers partner with FBI to help 'connect the dots'


WASHINGTON—It’s one of the most common complaints by those in the loss prevention profession: Police don’t take retail theft seriously enough. And how could they be expected to? As police departments continue to face serious budgetary shortfalls that often lead to reductions in manpower, they are being forced to concentrate efforts on the most serious of crimes.