The New Deal: Security and the Government

Providing security to local government has always been a significant market segment to the alarm dealer. Several factors indicate that this trend will continue. The alarm dealer has the potential to offer a broader selection of products and services than ever before. System integration means both interactive technology as well as an installer who can do it all.

The current state of affairs in our world with respect to public safety and security has opened up the market for the security installing dealer. Long ignored public safety issues are now being addressed with updated building codes and accelerated enforcement. The war on crime and the potential threats of terrorist acts from both outside and within our country have fostered new opportunities including the Homeland Security market.

Product Knowledge
Like any application, knowing the needs of the customer and the products that fit those needs is critical. How do certain products enable the security dealer to service the needs of the local municipal government?

Kim Kornmaier, CPP, and Director of Sales for Honeywell Video and Access Systems, reports that the Pasadena, CA government needed a way to address several issues, such as terror threats, vandalism, trespassing, vagrancy, potential accidents at a railroad crossing, gases and chemicals, and safety violations. Kornmaier points out, “By integrating our access control, photo identification and closed circuit television system with day/night and high speed pan/tilt/zoom cameras, the city is better equipped to control, monitor, record, notify and prevent these types of events from occurring.”

Security/Safety personnel, from a central monitoring station, can now receive automatic notifications indicating the type and location of the event along with a live video (day or night) and audio feed. Events such as video motion, perimeter motion, invalid card, un-authorized personnel, gate and/or door forced open, and fire alarms, can quickly be assessed and responded to upon notification. Workers, contractors and/or visitors can now be monitored to insure proper safety procedures are being followed and protective gear, such as hard hats, are being worn. Any violations can be recorded and used for training which in turn helps hold down injuries and code violations.”

The City of Pasadena also had to comply with ISO recommendations for upgrading the security system of its power facilities after September 11th. Stewart and Associates, an LA- based security dealer, supplied the solution using Honeywell Integrated Security Technologies.

Stewart and Associates installed cameras in and around all facilities, and issued smart cards for the city’s employees. They contain personal information about each employee to convey who is in each public facility at any given time. Additionally, each employee’s card has the potential to go beyond basic credentials and serve as a credit card, a library card, and parking garage pass. Fingerprints can also be added.

Cameras and smart cards are part of a larger security solution based on the integration of two products: WIN-PAK Pro and RapidEye Multi. WIN-PAK Pro allows all security system components to be integrated in one user interface, making it easier to manage systems with multiple locations like Pasadena. RapidEye Multi is a digital video and transmission system, combining digital recording, multiplexing, remote viewing, alarm detection and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera control.

Stewart and Associates was awarded a renewable one year contract with Pasadena and is now showcasing similar Honeywell solutions to nearby Glendale, Laverne, Los Angeles County and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Honeywell’s LobbyWorks is another product designed to aid local governments in keeping their facilities safe and secure. The LobbyWorks Suite from Nexwatch is a visitor management and tracking system that provides a simple way to register, badge, track and manage a facility’s visitor traffic. Users can pre-register visitors through a Web interface. Upon a visitor’s arrival, LobbyWorks scans and checks identification documents, captures pictures and signatures, checks barred visitor lists, sets access level, contacts the host, prints the visitor badge and monitors sign-out status. The automated process streamlines visitor processing and enforces visitor security processes.

For over 25 years, MDI Security Systems have been recognized as the standard in integrated access control solutions for the Federal Government, especially within the Department of Defense, Federal Civilian, Homeland Security and Intelligence communities. In 2005, MDI’s enterprise-level security platform, SAFEnet , was redeveloped and simplified into a feature rich integrated security control product for entry-level commercial and small to mid-sized government systems. This solution was branded under the name iTRUST.

iTRUST offers security dealers an enterprise-grade access control solution that delivers seamless integration capabilities for small to mid-sized Federal, State, County and Municipal government agencies. iTRUST accomplishes this because it was developed from an enterprise platform and scaled-down to meet the needs of entry-level systems. It can control 2 doors with 8 workstations standard, at a very affordable price, allowing dealers to gain higher profit margins.

Government Compliance
On Aug. 27, 2004, President George W. Bush issued HSPD-12 calling for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government to its employees and to the employees of federal contractors.

According to the directive, “secure and reliable forms of identification” means identification that is based on sound criteria for verifying an individual employee’s identity; is strongly resistant to identity fraud, tampering, counterfeiting, and terrorist exploitation; uses electronic methods of rapid authentication; and is issued only by providers whose reliability has been established by an official accreditation process.”

GVI Security Solutions reports that its GVI Access Control System 300 has achieved compliance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive Number 12 (HSPD-12). The system also meets specified intent of Federal Information Processing Standard 201 (FIPS 201).

The GVI Access Control System 300 provides all biometric features on a single access controller (creating substantial cost advantages) while ensuring network encryption and added security of all data. It not only reduces equipment costs for the customer, but also creates considerable labor savings as it greatly reduces the complexity in managing advanced biometric security systems.

GVI Access System 300 supports direct connection of RS-485 biometric readers to access control door modules. This eliminates the need for a separate RS-485 network and utilizes the RS-485 network used within the access control system. Due to the enrollment in a direct biometric template through its access control software, no additional software programs are required. Biometric templates can be stored in the access control primary system controller for higher security or placed directly onto smart cards.

AMAG Technology has released its Version 5 SEIWG products and the renaming of AMAG’s advanced government solutions, formerly known as SEIWG. Due to the continued evolution of the federal smartcard standards, for which AMAG developed the first solutions in 1996, AMAG Technology is re-branding its SEIWG solutions to “Homeland” solutions.

AMAG systems combine access control, intrusion detection, digital video management, alarm management, biometrics and visitor management into a fully integrated security management system for any size enterprise. AMAG systems integrate seamlessly with market leading intrusion, digital video and intercom systems.

In keeping with AMAG’s commitment to the support of recently released standards and directives, (FIPS 201, & HSPD-12), AMAG’s improved Version 5 Homeland products, when combined with the Threat Level Management module, creates a high level of security and U.S. government compliance.

FIPS 201 is a standard published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. FIPS stands for Federal Information Processing Standards and refers to a U.S. government physical and logical access control specification.

Version 5 offers a new optional upgrade module, Threat Level Manager. This module enables one-touch total system reconfiguration aligned with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Threat Advisories. The new version 5.0 software improves on AMAG’s already easy-to-use interface with new graphical calendars, system-wide time code visualizations, and real-time, on-screen alarm statistics. It also expands AMAG’s range of third-party integration options to include Bosch DVRs and improvements to the AMAG-DMP intrusion panel integration. It features new capabilities, such as an enhanced visitor management system and expanded digital video recording (DVR) integration options.

Sources of Information
Every year over 50 industry-leading information technology (IT) security providers unveil their newest products and services in the Technology Alley at GOVSEC, the Government Security Expo and Conference. “Tech Alley” is a special section of the GOVSEC Exhibition hall where attendees can immerse themselves in educational programming and hands on demonstrations of today’s most cutting edge information protection technology.

Tech Alley exhibitors include Adobe Systems, Inc., Dedicated Micros, DynCorp International, GTSI Corporation, Sanyo Fisher Company, Semantec Corporation, Sony Electronics, Inc., Nokia, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics, Raytheon, and Research in Motion, Ltd., creators of the Blackberry handheld electronic devices.

In its fourth year, GOVSEC consistently addresses the convergence of and need for interoperability between physical, IT, and cyber security at all levels of government—federal, state and local. The complete GOVSEC exhibition hall allows attendees to review and compare technology and services from more than 600 leading homeland security suppliers of both IT and physical security products.

Reducing false alarms is not only vital to preserving the private security industry; it is a public service because it helps save municipal funds and lessens the load on law enforcement resources. The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) offers a new online training course that will assist the alarm industry to reduce false alarms. The course, “CSAA False Alarm Online Training”, is available at

It’s an on-line course that provides an in-depth, but easy-to-understand view of alarm systems, and what happens when an alarm signal is triggered. It includes sections on the work of central stations and their interaction with the AHJs, as well as the causes of false alarms.

The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently held its Government Sales & Marketing Summit in D.C.. This year’s session topics included: GSA Schedule Contracting - Benefits and Challenges; Government Procurement - Profiles of Success; Specifications and Technologies - Pathways to Key Decision Makers; National Policy - Developments in Security Industry Initiatives; and Standards - Legislative Directives and Challenges.

SIA also recently sponsored a presentation by the writers of FIPS-201 and NIST Special Publications 800-37, 800-73, and 800-76 in Arlington, VA. As mandated by HSPD-12, the federal government must roll out PIV-1 compliant systems for both logical and physical access by October 2005.