The security week that was: 05/08/09

SBInet lives?

As I discussed in my blog yesterday, it looks like the Secure Border Initiative is back on track. There's a report out from the Associated Press that the continuation of construction for this massive project, which includes sensors, tracking systems and cameras, is due to start imminently. SBInet, as the project is also known, could finally become reality.

This announcement from the CBP happened as Obama also ended federal support for states and cities jailing illegal immigrants – the so-called State Alien Criminal Assistance Program (The end doesn't affect 2009, it seems.) What some analysts say is that Obama is focused on stopping the problem of illegal immigration and porous borders by focusing on the border itself, rather than on where illegal immigrants wind up in the heartland.

The SBInet program clearly is relevant to our industry, because this is the biggest "perimeter security" project we've ever seen. In terms of the great picture of homeland security, porous borders aren't solely used by people looking for labor jobs; a porous border could also potentially be the entrance point for terrorists, guns and drugs. SBInet struggled, this is clear. But it's a challenge to create a successful perimeter security system in the American desert, and simply trying to do this project could potentially push us light years ahead in terms of developing effective and integrated perimeter security solutions.

Retail security update
Wal-Mart settles over trampling; retail crimes on rise

The Black Friday "door buster" sale that left a Wal-Mart worker dead, trampled by a frenzied crowd, has ended up costing the retailer $2 million. Some of the money goes to a victims restitution fund, while $1.5 million goes to local social services groups (I'm scratching my head on that one). That's one expensive security incident! The retailer also has to set up and implement a crowd-management plan that will improve safety at its 92 New York stores. That plan will be checked for compliance by safety experts working for the Nassau County prosecutor's office.

Also this week, during RILA's loss prevention-focused conference, the organization released survey details that point to an uptick in retail crimes in the last four months. The organization, which represents many of America's largest retailers, saw increases in both amateur-level shoplifting and organized retail crime (ORC). The association linked the uptick in retail crimes with the poor U.S. economy.

In other news:
NBFAA Day on Capitol Hill, Camera ogling, more

Security Dealer & Integrator's Carol Enman writes about her experiences lobbying on Capitol Hill with the NBFAA and discusses some of the organization's top legislative priorities. … A New Jersey casino surveillance camera operator who had been accused of ogling women with the casino's cameras tried to sue his employer for wrongful termination, but the case was tossed. … While the hoopla has died down in the U.S. over swine flu, it's still a real concern in many nations. Singapore authorities are working with IMDEX, an international maritime conference, to take precautions over H1N1. … Brink's Home Security reported a very strong Q1 2009.