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School’s out for summer: CTA ramps up police presence on trains


CHICAGO—The Chicago Police Department announced on June 20 it is ramping up its presence along Chicago Transportation Authority routes, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Family Dollar enters $39m video monitoring contract


CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Family Dollar stores around the nation will soon be protected by third-party monitored video, a move that is intended to reduce shrink and replace guard services for the retailer. At the end of April, Iverify announced it won a five-year contract valued at $39 million to provide video monitoring services to 529 Family Dollar stores, nationwide.

On par: The challenges of securing a golf tournament


SAN ANTONIO—Security may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about hosting a major golf tournament, but it was very much on the minds of organizers of the PGA Tour’s annual Valero Texas Open, which used a hosted video surveillance solution to supplement its onsite security staff.

Police chief's previous experience aids in wireless deployment the second time around


FREEPORT, Texas—It’s often easier the second time around. Having had experience deploying a video surveillance technology as the police chief of Bryan, Texas when Ty Morrow became the chief of police here in Freeport, he knew what questions and concerns to anticipate.

Protecting the public sector: What made news in 2010


YARMOUTH, Maine—Securing the public sector—ground transportation, ports and municipalities—continues to be a huge challenge for security folks, but 2010 brought some interesting stories of technology deployments and headline mainstream media reports. 

Community college goes for HD


MERCED, Calif.—As a relatively small community college, with an all-commuter student body, Merced College decided to take a leap into the world of IP video surveillance.

Food safety bill passes Senate. It's about time, just ask Frito Lay

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It wasn't until recently that the issue of food safety came on my radar. Actually, it came precisely with a May visit to the Frito Lay headquarters in Plano, Texas for a media preview tour for the ASIS International conference. During that event I spoke with the security leadership about Frito Lay's effort to secure its supply chain, from farms to factories.

The issue of food safety hit my inbox again this week with U.S. Senate's vote, 73 to 26, to pass S.510 – the Food Safety Modernization Act, a $1.4 billion bill. Basically, the legislation will overhaul of the nation's current food safety regulations, empowering the FDA with oversight of mandatory recalls of potentially contaminated food, requirements for food producers to develop written food safety plans, accessible by the government in case of emergency and implementation of a food tracing system, according to this CNN article. As it stands now, the FDA can only order voluntary food recalls.

Specifically on the security side, the bill would require food producers to develop written food safety plans, that would include hazard analysis and a plan for implementing corrective measures. Also, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would be required to create a food tracing system that would streamline the process of finding the source of contamination, should an outbreak occur.

First of all, I would just like to reiterate how scary it is that there are little to no regulations in place to ensure food production facilities are secure. When Frito Lay began evaluating its security measures after 9/11, what it found was far from ideal:

“We found that half of our manufacturing plants had no perimeter fencing, half had CCTV, of which only half of those were either inoperable or ineffective,” said Peter Hayes, senior group manager, manufacturing operations support and food security, who has been with Frito Lay for 28 years. In addition, only 40 percent of its 30 plants in North America had guard services and few of those had significant presence of guards. Of its 1,800 finished product storage facilities in North America, only half had burglar alarms, one-third had access control systems and the majority had perimeter fencing.

Not only did the corporation add physical security components, but it also began running drills to make sure that if a crisis did occur, managers would know how to respond:

“We create fictitious events and show the process for responding. For example, an explosion happens at one of our plants, how would we respond?” Hayes said. One of the keys to this exercise was to bring in employees who would be directly impacted by this scenario. “It enriched our view of risk when we incorporated our front-line people – that was a terrific find,” he said.

Now that this bill has passed, hopefully it'll ensure that all corporations secure their facilities and have the appropriate measures in place to make sure the food chain is secure. This is certainly a long time coming...

IndigoVision appoints new prez, direct from its competitor


EDISON, N.J.—IndigoVision, a leading provider of IP video security solutions, has appointed Kevin Bradley as president for its North American operations. Bradley was most recently the North American sales director for OnSSI, a direct competitor with IndigoVision.

End user takes on manufacturers in 'shoot out'


SAN DIEGO—An end user with buying power is often bombarded with sales pitches and endless promises. But how can security practitioners be sure they’re getting exactly what they need? The UC San Diego Health System thinks it has found a way to ensure that the video surveillance system it eventually purchases won’t come with any surprises.

Surveillance with privacy in mind


BROOKLINE, Mass.—When DHS, in 2008, made money available to first responders here looking to plan for any sort of disaster that might lead to an evacuation of nearby Boston, they jumped on it, installing a surveillance system to monitor major throughways.