A recent article in a government security publication stated “U.S. embassies tighten security in wake of Libyan attack.”
This statement was from the U.S. State Department and was made after four Americans working in the Libyan embassy were killed by organized and well-armed militia.
The press release by our State Department reminded me of statements made by various leaders after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast and 1,500 perished. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated that levees and other flood protection needed to be improved.
Where’s the proactive stance?
As security professionals, we all live with the frustrating fact that security and safety practitioners are often called after a disturbing occurrence, after the damage is done, after life has been lost. Wouldn’t it make more sense to take a proactive approach to safety and security? Why do we continue to act only after the disaster?
The quick answer is lack of funding, but is this the true reason our embassy was inadequately protected or citizens of the Gulf Coast drowned after poorly engineered flood protection failed, or terrorist were allowed to board commercial airliners with bombs?
I think a more accurate answer is inadequate threat assessment capability on the part of our local, state and Federal government.
Can the private security and safety sector assist with threat assessment? I believe we can and we should make every effort to do so as we are all Americans and we are all in this together. Possibly the Security Industry Association, Silver Spring, Md., can assist with the coordination between the private sector and the various government agencies providing for our security.
When it comes to U.S. government funding, no program should take precedence over the security and safety of American citizens. Funding our security should never be an issue and should always be a top priority.
Regardless of our personal politics, as Americans, we need to send our elected officials a clear message expressing our deep desire for funding allowing for the safest and most secure future possible. It’s in our best interests, and those of the American public at large.
Bill Bozeman is the CEO and president of PSA Security Network, the world’s largest electronic security cooperative, representing security systems integrators. For more information, visit www.buypsa.com.