Devon Tower project the gold standard for 2012 STE Security Innovation Awards

Dec. 14, 2012
Gold medal awarded in Oklahoma City; other honorees include Washington Metro Transit Authority, Los Angeles Police Dept., and NY Waterway

It doesn’t take long to see why the Devon Tower is the pride of Oklahoma City. Once my plane hit the tarmac of Will Rogers World Airport, the tower was the most impressive landmark on an otherwise flat landscape.

I suppose it was apropos that the gleaming 50-plus story edifice was the predominant structure in my view as Jeff Fields and I headed to an awards dinner to honor 2012’s top recipient of Security Technology Executive’s Security Innovation Award. Fields, the general manager of Dowley Security Systems — the lead systems integrator in this elaborate project — had nothing but praise for the entire team of integrators, vendors and end-user clients who collaborated on completing the Devon Tower project on time, on budget and to the satisfaction of all involved.

Each year since 2005, we have recognized the best examples of cooperative and collaborative security projects. The goal is to promote the spirit of partnership between the integrator, vendor and their end-user clients in unique and complex security projects.  Here’s the 2012 honor roll – all of these projects will be featured in the Nov/Dec issue of Security Technology Executive:

Securing the Devon Tower, the tallest building between California and the Mississippi River, was no small feat — it took a team of integrators, consultants, architects and 12 different security-related technology vendors to secure the building, which serves as the headquarters of Devon Energy Corporation. Under the supervision of Dowley’s team of integrators and working with lead vendor AMAG Technology, Devon’s director of corporate security Kent Chrisman needed a solution to secure the 1.8 million square-foot glass tower that houses more than 3,000 employees and is open to the public in downtown Oklahoma City for dining and special events.

“It was crucial for us to be able to take a highly public space and ensure both its aesthetic beauty and the security of its occupants. It is a balancing act trying to keep the architects happy and at the same time making sure all your systems work,” says Chrisman, who has been with Devon Energy for five years after spending 14 years as a special agent for the United States Secret Service.

But they succeeded in a big way. As one of our judges wrote: “This is truly an innovative, integrated systems application. The overall environment of the project and its scope was quite extensive and addressed fully by the implemented technology. The integrator did quite a bit of customization of the application, which is impressive and really what a good integrator does.”

Lead integrator Schneider Electric teamed with Verint and several other vendors  on the silver Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority project to procure a new video management system, a PISM solution and video analytics software to monitor the various transportation modes. Its overall goal was to establish a platform that enhanced the situational awareness of emergency and operational personnel throughout the organization.

As one judge wrote: “The use of the VMS system goes well beyond traditional out-of-the-box specifications. With so many different components, integration was a key, and it was handled well. Use of behavioral recognition software was also innovative for this type of project.”

The LAPD’s Technical Support Unit worked closely with Axis Communications and U.K.-based cellular provider Cobham to circumvent bandwidth issues that arose from streaming video over the cellular network to nab the bronze project.

“This project tackled great challenges (including financial) and did not compromise security effectiveness,” one judge commented. “The success came from initial education, research from other successes, willingness to prove performance through field deployments and understanding the technology challenges. The project also included strong vendor tactical response, not just sales collaboration or initial engineering and design support. These good characteristics are not typical of all security projects.”

Working with three vendors, the New York Waterway was able to earn an honorable mention by improving communication, emergency response and preparedness throughout their fleet of ferries while overcoming the limitations of cellular-based networks. This project is being featured as an online exclusive.

“Very innovative and valuable solution, designed to deliver ROI beyond security,” a judge said. “The technical challenge and environment was daunting, and the combination of the communications and situational awareness technologies to produce a solution of this value is impressive.”

STE’s Security Innovation Awards is an annual contest held in collaboration with the Security Industry Association (SIA) that recognizes and honors the most innovative security installations of the past year. The awards recognize the lead vendor, integrator and the end-user, and honor gold, silver, and bronze award winners. For more information about the awards program and details on how to enter next year, please visit For more about SIA, please visit

About the Author

Steve Lasky | Editorial Director, Editor-in-Chief/Security Technology Executive

Steve Lasky is a 34-year veteran of the security industry and an award-winning journalist. He is the editorial director of the Endeavor Business Media Security Group, which includes the magazine's Security Technology Executive, Security Business, and Locksmith Ledger International, and the top-rated website He is also the host of the SecurityDNA podcast series.Steve can be reached at [email protected]