Going the Distance

Perimeter security & critical infastructure—a dynamic duo

“Those 18 critical infrastructure key resource sectors are divided as such in order to improve the way we communicate and tailor our messages to critical infrastructure owners and operators and also the way that we can get information from them for decision-making and to help provide them with these owners and operators that they need,” said Steven King, director of the Contingency Planning and Internet Management Division within the office of Infrastructure Protection, DHS. In his session on Critical Infrastructure Protection Tools and Resources, presented just the past month at ASIS, King reiterated how he hoped that attendees were able to walk away understanding the information-sharing mechanisms that DHS recently developed.

“I would love for all critical infrastructure owners and operators to know who their local protective security advisor is within their area,” continued King. “From the office of infrastructure protection, we have these PSA’s deployed out in the field all the time and they know the people in the area, especially critical infrastructure owners and operators. These PSA’s can provide security vulnerability assessments, help get these owners and operators plugged into the local response officials and to the state level officials and even during a significant incident, these PSA’s can get them plugged into the federal response officials. The PSA’s as well as the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center and other resources we’re providing—I want them to be aware of these resources and make use of them.”

Funding for security

A report released in 2007, according to the U.S. Homeland Security Market Outlook, forecasted that in private sector markets, $28.5 Billion of HLS products and services were to be procured from the HLS industry during 2007 to 2011 by the private sector. These markets are analyzed and segmented by industry sectors: banking and finance; chemical and hazardous materials; energy; and water and in the products/services category procured: perimeter protection systems; cyber terror security; and biometric systems.

But 2009 meant the start of a new year and proof was only in the making as newly-elected president Barack Obama enforced the economic stimulus package, called the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” Initially, the package was put forth to provide assistance to low- and middle-income Americans, strengthen the nation’s infrastructure and invest in states that are struggling with falling revenues, with the goal of creating or preserving at least three million jobs over the next two years. Yet, with America’s infrastructure receiving a 2009 GPA grade of D, with roads, wastewater, levees, inland waterways and drinking water rounding out the lowest of the critical infrastructure sectors included in the report from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Reston, Va., it was clear that critical infrastructure was lacking the security funding and attention it much needed.

According to ASCE, $2.2 trillion is needed over the next five years to repair and restore the nation’s infrastructure. Of the estimated $787 billion dollar stimulus funding, which faces a possible dollar increase if the economy continues in its recession state for a long period of time, the following, provided by the Security Industry Association (SIA), gives us an outlook of where we can expect to see those dollars going towards security in critical infrastructures:

  • Port Security Grants --$150 million
  • Public Transportation Security/rail Security Grants–$150 million
  • Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology--$100 million
  • CBP Land Ports of Entry Construction --$420 million
  • TSA Checked Bags/Checkpoint Explosives Detection--$1 billion
  • Airports Grants-In-Aid--$1.1 billion
  • National Railroad Passenger Corporation Capital Grants--$450 million

As cited on www.recovery.gov, created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, of the $787 billion, $288 billion is distributed towards taxes; $275 billion towards contracts, grants and loans (as reported under Section 1512); and $224 billion to what is known as entitlements (e.g. Medicaid and Student Loans). Of the funds announced, 17 percent have already been distributed across the country and some in the security industry are seeing the rewards of that.

“When it comes to stimulus money, PSA has been quite pleased,” said Bill Bozeman CPP and CHS and president and CEO of PSA Security Networks. “We’ve received several millions of dollars in work that we feel is directly attributed to the stimulus money. Of that, we received a $1 million order for video surveillance at the New York City Housing Authority. We’ve also had some airport projects that we know of, as specified by our member integrators.”