The security week that was: 05/15/09

Less funding for security grant programs

Word came out this week that the Obama administration, in an attempt to deliver Congress a balanced budget, has decided to reduce funding for several crucial grant programs intended to bolster security at seaports and transportation facilities. Both the Transportation Security Grant Program and the Port Security Grant Program were reduced from $388.6 million each to just $250 million each.

Since he took office in January, the President has repeatedly vowed to review the budget line-by-line and cut government programs that don’t work. Obviously, the administration either feels that these facilities are already substantially secure or that they can maintain a satisfactory level of security without additional funding.

The Security Industry Association is understandably upset with the administration’s decision, as it will impact the bottom line for many companies they represent. If these facilities have less money to make security improvements, the fewer security solutions they will buy, which subsequently means fewer install contracts for integrators.

I understand that times are tough and that sacrifices have to be made for our country to weather this economic storm, but reducing security funding at a time when ports are in the early stages of implementing the TWIC program isn’t a sound national security strategy.

Pelco continues to push IP

I had the opportunity to attend a webinar hosted this week by Pelco, in which the company laid out plans on how it intends the meet the needs of the IP and high-definition video market. The company announced earlier this year at ISC West that it wanted the industry to know that it was a major player in the IP market.

As a company that has a large customer base of analog users, however, Pelco is still trying to balance the needs of both market segments. The key, according to Craig Dahlman, director of technology synergy for Pelco, is showing customers the value in migrating to IP and HD systems. “We want to drive to getting our customers more aligned with IP, because we feel, as our customers feel, the turn to IP will happen when we can give them value, and the value they want is better picture quality,” he said.

The company still has a ways to go before it’s on par with other IP and megapixel camera manufacturers like Axis Communications and Mobotix, but they certainly seem to be on the right track.

In other news:
PSA-TEC 2009, Avigilon joins ONVIF, more

Security Dealer & Integrator editors Deborah O’Mara and Natalia Kosk report on happenings at this year’s PSA-TEC conference… The Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) continues to add new members to its ranks, announcing this week that HD video solutions provider Avigilon has joined the standards group… A recent report from the Justice Department shows that the FBI incorrectly placed nearly 24,000 people on the terror watch list on the basis of outdated or irrelevant information… Militants continue to cause trouble for the Nigerian government and oil companies in the region as they’ve taken 15 sailors hostage in the latest of a string of attacks.