25 Most Influential 26th Bonus: Metrics Win Goes to the Dog

McGruff, that is. When Security Magazine asked thousands of security executives and top law enforcement officials to give us the names of who they feel has been most influential in the profession, the name of McGruff the Crime Dog came up a lot.

So Security Magazine dug into this crime-biting animal just in case we were barking up the wrong tree.

Talk about influential – The "Take A Bite Out of Crime" dog has huge recognition and effectiveness numbers.

  • Adults who know McGruff are significantly more likely to take a range of security and safety measures that make them less vulnerable to crime.
  • An independent evaluation found that better than one in five adults acted on the messages in the communications (public service advertising) part of the campaign, at a net cost to taxpayers of just 2.9 cents per person.
  • Children (more than 75 percent) see McGruff as a reliable, friendly, caring source of valuable messages across a range of safety and crime prevention topics. Adults (almost 60 percent) see McGruff as a reliable source and a help in communicating with their children.
  • Thousands of enterprises and their security departments work in their communities with McGruff since his invention in 1980.

His messages have changed over the years from urging personal, family and home security to more broadly based crime prevention concerns. During the mid-1990s, McGruff and his organization, the National Crime Prevention Council, addressed the effects of gun-related violence on children in the schools, on the street and at home. Current issues include identity theft, cyberbullying, bullying, youth violence prevention, volunteering, school safety, Internet safety and telemarketing fraud against seniors.

There are 4,000 active McGruff costumes in use across America. McGruff has a classy Corvette, a monster truck in Arizona, and a wiener wagon in Florida. But most of all, he likes to ride in patrol cars assisting law enforcement. He is unique – both a brand and an icon for public safety. The investment by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance in its support of this campaign has produced more than $1.5 billion worth of public service advertising and more than $300 million worth of reproduced, locally claimed educational booklets and brochures.

Crime prevention is a collaborative effort that requires the cooperation of citizens, law enforcement, the business community, private security, faith-based groups and all levels of government.

Here’s what McGruff told me: “Today crime remains at historically low figures. A look at national crime statistics gathered by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics tells us that violent crime rates have declined since 1994. Robbery rates set a similar record decrease. Many people once driven inside their homes, behind locked doors, are back sitting on their porches, enjoying their parks and walking to their corner stores. Across the country, in one town after another, crime rates have plummeted. It’s not like that everywhere, of course, but progress has been made.”

SIDEBAR: Most Vulnerable Make Strongest Business Case for Security

Companies most attuned to security issues are those with the most exposure to a broad range of security risks, according to a survey by The Conference Board, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The Conference Board report Navigating Risk: The Business Case for Security is based on a survey of 213 senior corporate executives not specifically responsible for security or risk matters and not chief information officers. The survey was designed to gauge the role and influence of security managers among general senior executives.

The surveyed companies most concerned with security are companies in critical infrastructure industries (including energy and utilities, chemicals, and transportation), large corporations, multinationals with global operations and publicly traded companies. Not considering security directors themselves, the executives most supportive of security matters are those in risk-oriented positions, such as CIOs, risk managers and compliance officers.

But there is a strong disconnect between the level of support for security initiatives and the level of influence over security policy within the companies surveyed. In general, the most supportive executives were not the most influential, and the most influential executives were not the most supportive. In addition, most senior executives surveyed reported that they have little direct responsibility for most aspects of security. An area with a lot of dotted-line relationships, senior executives are often heavily involved in specific security decisions even though they are not directly accountable for them.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

Recent Articles by Bill Zalud

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.


Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

Security May 2015 Issue cover

2015 May

In the May 2015 issue of Security, learn how to be the bridge between busieness and security with "customer facing," how to effectively work with your CFO, and covert security.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Body Cameras on Security Officers

Body cameras are being used increasingly by police in cities across the U.S. Will you arm your security officers with a body camera?
View Results Poll Archive


Effective Security Management, 5th Edition.jpg
Effective Security Management, 5th Edition

 Effective Security Management, 5e, teaches practicing security professionals how to build their careers by mastering the fundamentals of good management. Charles Sennewald brings a time-tested blend of common sense, wisdom, and humor to this bestselling introduction to workplace dynamics. 

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.