F-15 Eagle jets boomed into the sky following a report that a United Airlines passenger jet had been hijacked. Two terrorists were believed to be on board and were threatening violence, but the F-15s were able to ground the plane before things could get out of hand in the sky. Wearing bulletproof vests and toting the latest assault weapons, authorities stormed the plane and arrested the two terrorists, freeing the hostages. ... This incident was just a terror drill at Logan International, but with its high level of realism, the drill underscored the need for accurate assessments of corporate disaster plans. If you've not yet conducted an emergency exercise for your facility, you'll want to hear what SIW featured columnist William Comtois had to say about preparing for your first exercise in this week's column.
Earlier this week we also reported on the new Fly Clear service, which will be an adjunct service to hopefully keep us from having to scramble jets to intercept hijacked planes. The service will debut on June 21 at the Orlando airport, and basically is a privatized version of the Trusted Traveler program that ensures speedy processing for passengers who meet an extensive background check.
From the world of retail security comes a story that is likely one of every security director's worst nightmares. A security director at a Target retail store was co-named as a defendant with the store for allegedly not providing enough "visible" security in a case where a young girl was sexually molested inside his store. In a statement, the Target store did point out that it was their securty cameras at the store that helped lead to the arrest of the now-convicted molester, Allen Dwayne Coates.
Of course, for every dark day of a law suit, there's an equally positive story. Two former cashiers at Wal-Mart were arrested after allegedly being involved in a scam where their acquaintances would bring items to check out and then the cashiers would only scan the least expensive items. The store's loss prevention officer got a lucky break when a customer witnessed the scam, followed the culprits, took down a license plate number and alerted the store's LP staff.
For our security dealer and central station monitoring readers, city ordinances continued to be the topic d'jour. Dallas announced that it was planning to enforce a part of the ordinance. The of-interest portion of the ordinance has been on the books for 10 years and requires installing companies to notify the city of a new install or alarm conversion. Alarm unit leader Sgt. Gene Hale of the Dallas Police Department said the city is also wrestling with problems of unlicensed monitoring companies doing business in the state, and said the city continues to address those issues.
Even bigger news for the week was that the NFPA proposed standards 730 and 731 were being voted on at the NFPA show in Las Vegas. Depending on who you talk to, these standards will either 1) raise the bar for technology and installation standards or 2) put dealers out of business. That vote was held yesterday, and results are not yet in. Look for an update next week on SecurityInfoWatch.com about the status of these hotly contested standards.
The industry is also paying close attention to another acquisition by GE, this time of VisioWave, a digital video networking company from Switzerland. Also reported in the world of surveillance is a note about the CCTV monitoring at the World Series of Poker.
Finally, for those of you who are involved with the security of education facilities, you'll want to check out a free webinar hosted by SecurityInfoWatch.com that will feature the former security chief of the D.C. public schools. Sign up for the webinar at www.securityinfowatch.com/webcast4.
And of course there were our top read stories of the week:
- Disaster 101: How to Plan and Run a Disaster Exericse (Part 1)
- The Yawning Gap Between Smart Cards And Personal Computers
- Securing the Wynn Las Vegas Casino, Hotel and Resort
- Looking for a Big Market? Try Container Security
- Even More Claims of Faulty Security at Seabrook Nuclear Plant
- What FIPS Means for the Security Industry