The Security Week That Was: A Recap - Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 2005

SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives a weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession


It was a tough week for security searches. The actions of guards and police, commonly brought in for special events and for transit security to do bag checks, clothing checks and pat-downs, were contested this week.

In New York City, the town's police was brought to the subway system this summer and fall following what were believed to be credible terrorist threats. In an earlier story we reported The New York Civil Liberties Union planned to sue over searches (see August 2005 story). Those random searches went to trial on Monday on grounds that random searches without suspicion are unconstitutional.

The ACLU also saw a "win" against stadium security this week when a judge ruled that pat-downs not based on suspicion at Tampa Bay Buccaneers games were unconstitutional. It's not just a public venue or mass transit security issue -- these cases are guaranteed to affect policy on random searches as used in your operations.

Integrators ears pricked up when SIW broke the news two weeks ago that the Security Industry Association (SIA) was planning a training and certification program for integrators' designers, technicians and installers. SIA representatives caught up SIW this week to give more insight into this potential program. Get the full scoop here.

As far as integrators go, IT integration firm (plus they do a whole lot more) Unisys responded to allegations made by the Washington Post that they had overcharged the TSA for services since 9/11.

In the world of manufacturers, the big news this week was that Bewator, formerly held by EQT Finland and Melby Gard, has been acquired by Siemens. Bewator has predominantly been producing access control systems, but has also ventured into video surveillance solutions.

Also this week, 3VR Security, which has picked up a couple of awards for its intelligent video management technology, got a big boost from the CIA's investment arm, a little known non-profit venture capital company known as In-Q-Tel.

Just over a week ago, SIW published an interview with Con-Way Transportation's Curt Shewchuk, who handles all aspects of corporate security for the trucking company and who had just been named as the American Trucking Association's top security director for 2005. In a portion of the interview that will appear in this months' issue of Security Technology & Design magazine, Shewchuk discussed how his company handled the hazmat background check program. Now, just a week later, other trucking companies are complaining that the hazmat background research program is ineffective and unfair in its requirements.

Groan of the week...

In a story that threatens to smear our industry, an Atlanta police officer who also owned and operated a private security company known as "Atlanta's Finest" was fingered as a bank robber who had struck a number of the city's banks.

...and the grin of the week

Also from the world of bank robberies: Three men were arrested in connection with what was the world's largest bank robbery, a plot that took an Irish bank for the equivalent of $47 million in U.S. dollars.