The Security Week That Was: A Recap - March 5-11, 2005

March 11, 2005
SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives his weekly surveillance of the news shaping your profession

Last week we launched this weekly email column, and as the author, I'd like to thank all of you who enjoyed it, making it one of our most read articles for the week.

This week, in the world of security, one of the top stories was that Philadelphia plans to implement a CCTV system, joining a list of other cities, including New Orleans and Chicago. It's news that shows how law enforcement is changing and should mark a significant possibility of growth for the security industry as more and more cities pursue this avenue.

Following up to continued news about verified response policies, residents of Fremont, Calif., voiced their opinions this week about the city's alarm policy. According to the local reporter, about two-thirds of those attending a council meeting disapproved of the ordinance, and one of the city's council persons said that budget restrictions had required the city to make changes that they regretted having to implement.

On the technology side: Amid the blizzard-like conditions that overwhelmed the East Coast earlier this week, Erin Harrington, managing editor of Security Dealer magazine, made it to the Panasonic press conference in New York to see the introduction of the latest round in Panasonic's intelligent video technology. Those of us who had to cancel travel plans due to weather are looking forward to seeing this technology on display at ISC West.

Also on the technology side, we learned what professors at Rutgers University are doing to develop software that will assist security directors and emergency response personnel handle emergencies at major points of industry and business. Our take? This is the kind of technology that should someday be integrated directly to your IP management platform along with the software to control access, CCTV, building systems and more.

But the big news at the office here in Georgia was when our webmaster, Tim Haynes, found himself in the middle of a bank robbery on Wednesday morning. On his way into work, Tim stopped in at a Wachovia branch in an Atlanta suburb. As he was meeting with a financial specialist in a back office, a bank robber approached a teller. According to Tim, no one in the bank was aware of the robbery until after the robber had fled from the bank and the teller was able to alert her coworkers. The robber's modus operandi was to strike immediately when the bank opened, and is believed to have used a gun in the theft; according to police reports, this was the robber's ninth bank to hit. His image was captured on the bank's CCTV camera. After an interview with the FBI, Tim made it into our office and we got the website rolling again for the day.

The robbery fortunately ended much more peacefully than a bank robbery in Costa Rica, where a hostage-taking stand-off ended with nine dead.

Our most read stories have included a look at implementing RFID, a recount of seeing the 9/11 hijackers and big news of another identity security breach on the level of Choicepoint's recent news. If you haven't read these yet, check out:

We end on a positive note where history repeats itself. In my last column, I remarked upon the good deeds of security guards at a Delaware casino who discovered a young child left shivering in his father's car in a casino parking lot. This week, a similar story replayed itself in California when a five-year-old girl was left inside a car for five hours while her mother gambled inside the casino. Fortunately, the casino security workers were able to remedy the situation after locating the girl in the cold early morning hours.

Geoff Kohl, editor


Got a tip on a story you think we should cover? Email us at [email protected].