UTC is proving that you can buy your way in and become a major player in the security business. With a cool $400 million takeover of Lenel Systems, makers of a popular line of access control systems that do a whole lot more than just control access, UTC is now a big player in the world of security and life safety. Almost two years ago, in July 2003, UTC picked up its first company in the security/life safety sector -- Chubb. On Friday, just ahead of Monday's announcement that UTC would be acquiring Lenel, the European Commission cleared the way for the forthcoming acquisition of Kidde by UTC. Kidde, which like Chubb is from the UK, is in the fire protection division. When the acquisition of Kidde is completed, UTC will be able to offer all essential buildings systems: HVAC from Carrier, fire alert systems from Chubb, fire protection from Kidde, and access control from Lenel. Can a CCTV company be far behind?
Another piece of notable news this week was from Baltimore County, Md., which moved forward on its plans to require CCTV cameras be installed in mall-size parking lots and garages. The county approved the new law, giving businesses 18 months to fully comply. It's good new for those of you who sell these systems, but for those of you who are the end users, who have to find the money to pay for these systems, it begs the question of how much security will our government require? Other questions are raised: Would the county have been better served to require additional guards or to require better lighting systems in parking lots? Do the county administrators -- surely no experts on security -- really believe that a camera will prevent every murder in these lots?
If you're traveling to ISC West, look for two speakers from Cygnus Business Media (a publishing group comprised of SecurityInfoWatch.com, Security Technology & Design, Security Dealer and Locksmith Ledger) out in Vegas while you're there:
- Steve Lasky, editor-in-chief of Security Technology & Design, will be speaking on the topic of security and IT convergence from 1 - 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, in room 103 of the Sands Convention Center.
- Geoff Kohl (yours truly) will be speaking at the first meeting of National Electronic Security Alliance (NESA), which is comprised of state BFAAs. I'll be speaking on the topic of handling media relations and communications for your state or local alarm/security association. The NESA meeting will be held at the Imperial Place, on the fourth floor in the Kyoto Room. I'll be speaking frrm 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Speaking of Vegas, a casino heist continues to be one of our most popular stories. Maybe that's because the industry is heading to Vegas in a week, or maybe it's because big conferences (like the NFPA's World Safety Conference and Expo) are scheduled to be held at the Mandalay Bay. Check our events page for other industry meetings, conferences and expos.
If you haven't followed these popular stories on SecurityInfoWatch.com, check them out now:
- UTC to Acquire Lenel Systems
- Vegas' Mandalay Bay Casino Hit by Heist
- Port Security a Major Concern on Gulf Coast
- An Earnest Proposal for Solving the Problem of False Alarms - Part 1
On a somber finishing note, we honor those who died in the path of the Red Lake High School shooting, including Derrick Brun, who heroically gave his life so that another of the school's unarmed guards could live.