Security Around the Globe
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Oct 01, 2011
What’s up with the TSA these days? Have you
noticed that officers are acting a little nicer
and even asking questions about you, your
travel or maybe even your job? Don’t be fooled: It’s all
an act, because it’s business as usual at the airports.
TSA is tweaking its routine a little bit, and instead
of standing pat with gloom-and-doom facial expressions,
employees might engage in a little chit-chat.
You know the routine. As you stand in line and reach
the point where your ID is checked, the officer may
actually engage in conversation. He may ask about
your day and share a morsel about his workday. If
that doesn’t catch you off guard, I don’t know what
will. Just be prepared for a little conversation, because
it’s TSA’s new routine—an “ongoing risk-based, multilayered
Right now, the strategy is only a pilot program.
But in Terminal A of Logan International Airport in
Boston, an expanded behavior-detection exercise is
underway. TSA has specially trained behavior-detection
officers asking passengers a few extra questions
as they proceed through ID check. It’s part of what
TSA is calling “casual greeting conversations,” or
what you and I might call a “chat down.”
It’s Football Season
Here in Texas, it’s easy to talk about football. Security
goes hand-in-hand with football season, especially
when it comes to planning for this year’s Super Bowl.
Indianapolis will host the title game this season, and
city councilors are planning to install 13 extra security
cameras throughout the city in addition to the 68 units
strategically placed throughout the downtown area.
Hey, it’s not a huge install, but the prestige of being
part of football’s final gridiron event is always fun.
Funding for the cameras, which cost as much as
$5,000 each, will come from a federal grant. The city
will pay for maintenance and is seeking proposals for
a four-year service contract. Once the Super Bowl has
played out, the city is hoping to increase the number
to 100, as more funding becomes available.
Not Calling All Cars
Burglars in Detroit, listen up: The Detroit police department
will no longer respond to most alarms in the
city. Whoever came up with this idea needs a refresher
course in public safety and a willingness to serve.
The department has implemented a new verification
policy, but with little notice or public discussion.
This creates problems for homeowners and businesses
that rely on monitored alarm services because it provides
little opportunity to prepare for the change.
I recently saw a television commercial that stated
the automotive industry in Detroit is reinventing itself.
Apparently the police department is also reinventing
itself—at the expense of the taxpayer and
business owner. Most public safety officials are saying
that this policy change puts citizens in danger and encourages
them to take the risk of confronting crimes
in progress when their alarms go off.
The Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan
knows the city of Detroit is facing challenges, and
the association has worked diligently to maintain a
cooperative relationship with the police department
to offer alternative approaches to an alarm. The association
has shown what other cities are doing to reduce
false police dispatches and encourage proper use
of alarm systems.
Before the city gets too far down the road on this
divisive plan, it would be good if Mayor Dave Bing
would put a hold on this policy and force the police
department to work with alarm industry experts and
citizens to devise a plan that would protect citizens
and encourage economic development.
On Next Year’s Menu
It’s the time of year that we here at Security Products
magazine prepare for next year’s editorial schedule.
For planning purposes, it’s already January for us, but
we do have one small addition looming just ahead before
we close up 2011.
On Nov. 14-16, our Network-Centric Security
magazine will join with GovSec West for our first
trade show outside of Washington, D.C. You are
probably well aware of GovSec, which is held in early
spring each year in the nation’s capital. It’s been going
on for years and had been the property of our events
division. Well, now we’re the owners, and we’ve added
the companion tradeshow this year in Phoenix.
The event is about government security, both physical
and logical. We quickly realized that there is more
to government than what’s playing in the district. Our
nation’s public servants are all around us, and doing
a great job. You can register for GovSec West (www.
govsecwest.com) and join us in Phoenix for three days
of unparalleled education and training. We also have
two incredible keynote speakers: Nicholas Stein, the
series producer of “Border Wars,” a National Geographic
Channel real-life drama; and Alan T. Mather,
chief of the protective services division at NASA
Houston. He will address making space for critical
We’re pleased to have these two great speakers and
will be even more excited if you join us at this event,
which will host a dynamic panel discussion on the IP
camera and IP network. We held a similar discussion
at ASIS, and it turned out to be a roaring success. I
hope you’ll join us Nov. 14-16 at Pointe Hilton Squaw
This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Security Today.