The Security Week That Was: A Recap - March 10-16, 2007

March 16, 2007
SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives a weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession

Restaurants are often fairly quiet as far as security events go. They tend to fit into the hum-drum area of security. Alarm systems are installed, and owners may add panic buttons for robberies, but mostly it’s incidents of managing internal loss prevention in the form of cash register thefts by employees. Unfortunately, that was not the case when a gunman, who had ties to a former employee, opened fire at a pizzeria in New York’s Greenwich Village on Wednesday. When all was said and done, a bartender was dead, along with two police auxiliary (volunteer) officers who were unarmed.

The incident comes as a reminder that no business is immune to workplace violence. Far be it for me to serve as an armchair quarterback discussing security incidents without firsthand knowledge, but these incidents are reminders that all business owners need to develop a plan for dealing with workplace violence. Whether that’s identifying early threats, learning how to de-escalate confrontations with angry employees and/or customers, developing emergency evacuation procedures, or even creating shelter-in-place plans, there are certainly exercises that can be put in place to minimize future incidents. Again, it’s impossible to say if anything a normal security plan or assessment could have unearthed would have prevented or minimized the tragedy of this almost-random incident, but we should look at every business security incident as a chance to learn something, to improve and be more prepared for the next event.

Securing the Construction Site
GPS tracking in Australia, a new alarm system from DeWalt

Construction sites, like restaurants, don’t get as much play in our business, as high-profile sites like government buildings and airports, but that doesn’t mean their security events should be forgotten. Reading through the international news this week, I came across an interesting story of how a portion of Australia’s construction is using GPS tracking to tackle jobsite theft. Australian security company Meridian Security has been working with a construction industry “Name and Shame” program to uncover jobsite theft. Meridian is installing a number of global positioning satellite (GPS) systems onto materials and tools. When thieves steal from these sites, they may not know it, but they are being tracked. The program has reportedly led to a number of arrests, including a ring of thieves.

Back here in the States, a coworker brought to my attention a similar new technology from DeWalt called MobileLock. DeWalt is, of course, known for its jobsite tools, and security, apparently, is now part of the mix. I checked out a neat video of the system, and it’s rather ingenious. The system is essentially a standalone alarm system that can be either installed by a specialized dealer or by a jobsite supervisor him or herself. The system uses a variety of sensors – motion, vibration, tampering, door contact – to create a quick alarm system, that’s tied in with GPS so that builders and developers can know which site is being affected. The system arms and disarms with a cellular phone.

Getting Ready for ISC West
Learn about all the new products; hear from Cygnus editors and contributors continues to bring you the best coverage of industry tradeshows. In less than two weeks, the entire group of Cygnus Security Group editors (Security Dealer,, Locksmith Ledger, Security Technology & Design) will be combing the exhibits and education sessions of ISC West 2007 to bring you news of the latest technology and trends in our industry. You can get a sneak preview of some of the product announcements being made at the show on our ISC West product announcements page. Bookmark that page to stay up-to-date on new offerings as we receive that news and post it to the site.

While you’re at ISC, we invite you to come hear from our editors and staffers. Here are a few events to check out:

  • Wednesday, 10-11 a.m, ISC Education, Room 305, ST&D's Ray Bernard on the topic of security system testing
  • Wednesday, 3 p.m., Security Dealer Editor Susan Brady is serving as a judge for the SIA New Products Showcase awards
  • Wednesday, 3 p.m., Booth 9051 – SIW’s Geoff Kohl leads a panel discussing video intelligence trends
  • Wednesday, 6 p.m., Venetian Hotel, SIW columnist Bob Harris speaks about subscriber retention strategies, invitation only via NAPCO
  • Thursday, 9-10 a.m., ISC Edcuation, Room 107, ST&D's Ray Bernard on enterprise-wide identity management systems
  • Thursday, 10:30 a.m., ISC Education program, SIW’s Geoff Kohl and SIW/ST&D contributor Liz Martinez speak as part of a panel on Retail Security
  • Thursday, 2 p.m., Booth 9051 – ST&D’s Steve Lasky moderates a panel on security convergence trends
  • Friday, 9-10 a.m., Sands Expo Center, Room 103, Meet the editors reception with all Cygnus Security Group editors (consider yourself invited, join us for coffee and a snack)

More Big News of the Week
HID Global picks up Integrated Engineering, Buffalo goes wifi?

HID Global, a part of ASSA ABLOY, has acquired Integrated Engineering, a European company credited with creating the first PIV-compliant access control reader. … Chiquita, the banana company, was slapped with a $25 million fine by the U.S. Justice department for acquiescing to Colombian terrorists for protection services. The guerilla payoffs occurred from 1997 to 2004. … Seagate, a hard drive manufacturer, announced it would be shipping drives for laptops that have built-in encryption, creating another solution for companies looking to solve the problem of information protection on laptops that go missing. … And Buffalo, N.Y., is musing over the idea of a citywide Wifi system that would support a municipal surveillance camera network.

And finally, we close with our most read stories of the week. Thanks for staying tuned to