Why public-private security partnerships must exist!

I'm going to quote liberally from CBS 2 (WCBS, the CBS affiliate in the New York City metro area), because I think their three paragraphs from today's article about the Newark airport exit breach are perfect fodder for developing public and private partnerships:

CBS 2 has learned that when an unidentified man breached a secure area at Newark on Sunday night, delaying thousands of passengers for hours, the TSA cameras weren't working.

That's right – they weren't even recording, sources said, and needed a reboot, which the agency apparently didn't ask for. That set off a chain reaction of even more missteps that caused needless chaos and inconvenience for several thousand hapless passengers.

With the cameras inoperable, the TSA tried to get a second set of surveillance video from Continental Airlines. But the TSA apparently didn't know the correct telephone number and the specific procedures to get the footage. That caused a two hour delay in identifying the intruder and closing the airport to look for him.

Let me quote the specific point here: "The TSA apparently didn't know the correct telephone number and the specific procedures to get the footage [from Continental Airlines]".

Every airport has a federal security director in place. Newark has one; it's a former lawyer. One of the jobs of any security director is to develop public private partnerships. You see it happen all the time with ASIS members. Those members on the private side of security are constantly developing relationships with their governmental counterparts (often these are partnerships with local law enforcement). Now, this has to come the other way. Government security directors need to also be focused on developing the partnerships with private industry. After all, it seems that private industry can keep its cameras going, so they're going to need to partner. Even if it's just to ask a colleague about what they do to keep the DVRs recording! Or to know how to quickly access their footage and feeds when your own system goes kerplunk!