The security week that was: 05/22/09

A weekly surveillance of the news shaping your profession


School security not up to par

For the third year in a row, IT and physical security directors at schools across the country have indicated that their security initiatives are not where they need to be as CDW-Government (CDW-G) released the results of its annual School Safety Index earlier this week. The survey, which included more than 400 K-12 school security officials, revealed that security improvements are failing to keep pace with the number of breaches.

As in past years, officials are crying poor mouth, citing a lack of funds and budget cuts as reasons for why they cannot adequately secure their school districts. Undoubtedly, many of these same school districts probably found enough money to keep their athletic departments stocked with quality sporting goods for the year.

But, as industry experts point out, the time for hiding behind budgets has past. School districts need to take a proactive approach towards security and either lobby harder for the equipment and staff they need or at the least, take the time to evaluate the solutions already at their disposal and make sure their getting the most out of them.

If anything, incidents like the Virginia Tech and Columbine massacres have shown us that we’re only one psychopath with a sadistic plan and the means to carry it out away from having another tragedy our hands.

British question effectiveness of CCTV

First it was a high-ranking police official, now word comes from a new study that CCTV systems have had little impact on crime levels in the UK. Our friends across the pond certainly have shown their distaste for their country’s massive investment in surveillance technology.

The new study, which was conducted by the UK Home Office, shows that cameras have had only a “modest” impact on crime and that they have been most effective at deterring car break-ins in well lit and attended areas.

I know that CCTV cameras can certainly do much more these days than transmit an image of an area, but unless they can read minds yet, I don’t think the full value of a surveillance system can be weighed just by looking at hard data. It’s impossible to know how many times a potential crime has been averted because the perpetrator noticed a camera or thought about his actions being caught on tape and decided not to follow through with his plans.

In other news:
NYC thwarts bomb plot, GVI acquires VMS software, more

Four men were taken into custody this week by New York City authorities after it was discovered that they intended to blow up a synagogue and community center… GVI security solutions will now be able to offer a proprietary video management system solution along with its line of IP cameras as it has acquired a new software suite from PacketNVR… The International Association of Police Chiefs (IACP) in conjunction with the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) is launching alarm management committees in Texas and Mississippi… AMAG Technology’s Symmetry security management system is now compatible with Bosch IP cameras.