The security week that was: 9/23/11 (DHS-ASIS partnership)

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has made every member of the security industry a trusted partner in its "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign. In a speech at the annual Law Enforcement Military Appreciation Day luncheon on Wednesday at ASIS, Napolitano announced that DHS and ASIS International have entered a formal partnership in the public awareness campaign.

Of course, this type of public security awareness campaign is nothing new for the security industry. After all, there are reporting mechanisms and plenty of ways for employees to send word of potential threats to security or upper management. Workplace violence hotlines, where employees can safely report troubling or suspicious behavior without repercussion, is a perfect example.

The "See Something, Say Something" initiative itself isn’t such a new concept on the public safety horizon, either. The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority actually trademarked the slogan in 2007. Of course, the NY MTA allows more than 50 different entities, including the DHS, to use the catch-phrase in its public campaigns.

Napolitano stressed that Homeland security begins with hometown security – meaning that it is a shared responsibility for law enforcement, security professionals, first responders, businesses and individuals. As part of the partnership, ASIS will share the campaign public awareness video and supporting materials with its members, with the ultimate goal of putting more vigilant eyes and ears on the streets around this country.

This concept goes hand-in-hand with the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative that Napolitano described in detail. The SAR Initiative is an Administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism, crime and other threats; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and ensure the sharing of those reports with the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces for further investigation. To date, approximately 100,000 law enforcement officials have received training through the initiative.

Still, Napolitano underscored in her speech the importance of the partnership. “We continue to work together with our many partners to build a strong foundation for a more secure and resilient homeland,” she said.

One of the basic foundations of security is awareness, and I think it’s safe to say that most security executives out there are quite aware of their surroundings. I would like to think that most security-related employees, executives and guards would be just the types of people who would not be afraid to report suspicious behavior to the authorities — regardless of a formal partnership being in place with the biggest organization of security professionals.

Other ASIS 2011 highlights

Tyco announced during the show that it is separating into three publicly traded companies which will include a residential/small business security firm, a commercial fire and security business, and a flow control products company. … The industry’s two standards organizations, the Physical Security Industry Association (PSIA) and the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF), discussed their respective strategies and shared updates on their progress. … As continuing innovation has fueled a reduction in price, the market for thermal imaging cameras has subsequently increased. Traditional thermal imaging vendors, as well as some market newcomers were on hand at ASIS to discuss new initiatives and solutions. … Several of the industry’s largest systems integrators including ADT, Stanley and Niscayah all rolled out new hosted video offerings at the show. … At a strategy briefing, HID Global discussed its recent pilot project at Arizona State University that used smartphones enabled with near field communications (NFC) technology for access and how this could revolutionize the market. Click here to read all of our ASIS 2011 coverage.