The security week that was: 08/05/11 (Venue security tips)

Venue security tips

On one hand, text messaging is about the worst thing someone can do for their own safety. Head down, thumbs on the phone, typing LOL's, :-)'s, and ROTFLMAO's, a person text messaging is rarely aware of their situation. As they walk down the street, focused on the phone, they are barely aware of their surroundings. They stumble on curbs, bump into others while sending their texts, and it's just plain terrifying when you're driving on a parkway at 60 miles an hour and you see the driver of the car next to you, writing a message or an email on his iPhone.

So now that I have abused the concept of text messaging in its relationship to personal safety and security, I'm going to turn on a dime and tell you that text messaging could be one of the best things for security since the advent of the key.

I spent this past week sweating through my suit in New Orleans, La., where the University of Southern Mississippi was hosting the National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition. Put on by Dr. Lou Marciani's team at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety & Security (NCS4), the event brings together venue operators, stadium security managers, university police representatives, and chiefs from organizations like NASCAR, the NFL and Major League Baseball. The speakers mix in fun fan trash-talking about rival teams (whose head of security is often standing there with them), but on the serious side, the conference does a great job sharing best practices.

One of the consistent messages that came from this conference was how leagues and stadiums are implementing text message programs. These facility operators (like the San Diego Padres, Jacksonville's EverBank Field, and even the NFL and MLB as a whole) are encouraging fans to send text message of inappropriate behavior in the stands. Where fans before were sometimes leery of reporting violators (it's usually reports of obnoxiously drunk fans who probably deserve ejection) for fear of reprisals, they now can text their seating area report directly to the command center without it being obvious that they were the person who stood up and pointed out the unruly person to an usher or security officer.

Click here to continue reading more of this excerpted article, including 5 tips for implementing a text message-based security incident reporting system.

Executive protection for the family
"Collar bomb" victim was daughter of a high-profile CEO

Where does executive protection begin and end for your company? Does it extend to family members of your executives? The world this week followed the story of Madeleine Pulver, the daughter of an technology company's CEO. Madeleine found herself the victim of a home invasion in Australia. The invader put a "collar bomb" around the teenager's neck and apparently provided an extortion list of demands. The bomb, fortunately, was determined to be a sophisticated fake and was safely removed, but the situation underscores the importance of extending executive protection beyond the immediate target.

In other news
Schlage drops SecureKey, even more NCS4 conference coverage, arson at a medical building

Editors from SIW and STE were on hand in New Orleans this week for the National Spectator Sports Security Conference. DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Infrastructure Protection Sue Armstrong, who delivered a keynote address at the conference, stressed to attendees that they need to prepare for realistic security threats at their venues. In his blog, STE Editor-in-Chief Steve Lasky takes a look at how officials in New Orleans are using an incident command approach to secure the city. ... Schalge announced that it will no longer make or ship its SecureKey line of products after December of this year. The product line was at the center of a patent infringement lawsuit brought against the company last year by Kwikset. ... A security researcher has discovered vulnerabilities that would allow hackers to remotely control medical devices such as insulin pumps. ... The National Retail Federation has released guidelines for retailers on how to deal with "flash mobs." ... A fire in a North Carolina multi-story medical building that killed a firefighter was determined to have been arson.