At the Start of Private Security, Evolution is Evident

July 1, 2008
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Security at industrial and manufacturing facilities has evolved thanks to contract security officer firms as well as the use of technology such as Secure Trax from Wackenhut.


Those executives who cover security at industrial and manufacturing enterprises see a lot more today including the impact of the economy, metal theft and more sophisticated employee threats.

   

For example, Terry Vannarsdale, CPP, field security manager at the Great Lakes Business Unit of Coca-Cola Enterprises, said, “In an industrial/manufacturing organization, I see the security mission as one of protection, deterrence and investigation of policy violations. With the current condition of the economy you see a lot more crimes against these organizations. Externally you see persons coming onto company property to steal precious metals, recyclables and product. In the vending business, you see more thefts from and damage to vending machines. This type of theft is a major problem to these types of companies and can cost them millions of dollars a year. Internally employees at all levels of the company have committed fraud and theft, Sarbanes-Oxley violations and misappropriations of company assets.”

   

It was simpler in the old days…or was it?

   

For the few security history buffs, if you think that private security in the United States started with Allan Pinkerton and his firm, with its “never sleeps” motto, there is a different industrial twist in the narrative.

   

If you can forget Pinkerton’s involvement in the Pullman Strike, the Wild Bunch Gang (not the movie but the reality show) and the Ludlow Massacre, then meet Henry Ford, who, some say, established the first proprietary industrial security department.

   

That probably started in the 1920s. Depending upon what history book you read or to whom you talk, the beginning involved Henry, his children, the Black Hand, Prohibition and a “mean father” streak.

   

The boys from , saw money to be made to ferry booze into . The boys in were thirsty. The bad boys of , called the Black Hand, saw an export business. Henry, bless his heart, fought against liquor. The Black Hand threatened to harm Henry’s kids. As any law-abiding person, Henry decided to make friendly with the Black Hand. He hired them and set up the Psychological Department. Those Ford boys would go house-to-house to make sure that employees were with their families and not drunk.

   

No irony there.

   

After that exciting start, Ford hired Harry Bennett, a former boxer and ex-Navy sailor. His reputation of doing Henry’s “dirty work” is what most people remember. He is best known as the head of Ford’s Service Department, or Internal Security, an evolution of the Psychological Department..

   

Well, industrial security has come a long way.

   

Thanks to folks such as Vannarsdale.

   

“In order to protect the company from external and internal security risks, the security manager must attempt to secure the company’s assets while balancing the cost. Improved and increased security is great as long as the cost does not bankrupt the company.”

   

For security executives at industrial and manufacturing facilities, the mission goes beyond physical security. Today there also are concerns centering on information and data security.

   

Said Vannarsdale, “ The company’s computer systems need protection from attackers within as well as outside the company. This protection from hackers is often through firewalls and other system security programs. Employees are given access to only that part of the system they have authority to utilize. The IT personnel are responsible for the protection of the company’s information system.”

   

There is also more focus on value and return of investment. Which gets around to the need to prevent losses.

   

“Deterrence is a good method and can be the least expensive method to protect the company from most security risks. Deterrence can include posters and signs posted around the facility indicating that cameras are in use as well as alarms to signal an intruder is on the premises. Deterrence can also include crime prevention by way of environmental design. Through crime prevention through environmental design or CPTED, you can use the environment around the facility to deter the belief that a crime can be committed without being detected. Within the company, hotlines can be utilized for employees to anonymously report company violations.”

   

Knowing the company, its business mission and culture all are important to chief security officers.

   

For example, “Within my company, it is the security manager’s responsibility to investigate crimes against the company and company violations,” said Vannarsdale. “Because of this, the security manager must either know all aspects of the company or know who to go to for assistance. In most cases the security manager knows more about how the company operates then most of the employees. The security manager works with the human resources department in the investigation.”

   

On the industrial security side, technology now plays a significantly greater role than those Henry Ford days.

   

Added Vannarsdale, “In any organization security technologies can always be improved. With the constant improvement and upgrade of security technologies, an organization is always behind in security systems, cameras, card access, etc. Security technologies help to protect the integrity of the manufacturing process, the security of the facility and the safety of our employees.

   

“Within our company card access systems ensure that unauthorized persons do not enter various parts of the facility. Entrance to cash rooms, product storage and manufacturing supplies are restricted to limited personnel. Alarm systems are used to alert security services if an office or building is breached during non-operation hours. Security video is used to record activity around and within the facility for later retrieval.

   

“Security technologies have improved immensely and continue to improve daily. Global positioning systems (GPS) in company telephones can tell us where our employees are. GPS on our company vehicles tell us if the delivery or service vehicle has strayed from its assigned area.

   

“Today I can view the cameras of eight production and sales centers from my laptop anywhere in the world. I can see who is accessing what doors in most of my facilities. If an incident occurs I can review these systems from my laptop. In the last five years I have seen security organizations institute certification programs in investigations, physical security and loss prevention. Security has become a constant partner within the larger companies, in many cases being their own department with a seat at the corporate level. While security may not make money for the company, it surely saves the company money beyond its own cost. Smaller companies have seen the need to consult with security agencies and the need to install security technologies that are affordable to them. Within the next five years we will see security reach new heights in protection of company assets and employees.

   

“For security technologies, in my opinion I see functionality, cost, and reliability as the most important emerging trend that will impact security executives in the industrial/ manufacturing organizations. Is it functional? Will it conform to the companies needs? Is it cost effective? Can I purchase it without bankrupting the security budget? Is it reliable? Will it be operational for years with minimal service calls for repairs or replacements? Can I get upgrades at minimal cost?”

   

There also is a closer relationship between the enterprise and the security operation.

   

Observed Vannarsdale, “The security manager is a partner to the business owner. Both are trying to preserve the company and ensure that the company’s profits are not being eroded through theft, misappropriation of assets or violations of company policies. The security manager needs an understanding of business and its needs and limitations. The security manager needs to understand why certain business decisions are made and make the best security decision based on that.”

   

After the impact of September 11th, however, there has been increased interest in protecting industrial and manufacturing facilities.

   

That’s the case in Canada as well as the United States.

   

In Canada, for instance, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is in the process of developing a training and testing program to meet the requirements of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 (PSISA), which aims to help professionalize the security industry by ensuring individual licensees are qualified to provide protective services. The Private Security and Investigative Services Branch advises that the training curricula for security practitioners and is available on the ministry’s Web site at www.ontario.ca/private-security.

   

In the , organizations such as ASIS International are talking about more industrial security awareness, too.

   

There also is federal government programs that push industrial security. The National Industrial Security Program (NISP) has an NISP Operating Manual (NISPOM). The NISPOM was developed in close coordination with industry and represents a concerted effort on behalf of hundreds of individuals throughout the Executive Branch and industry.

   

NISPOM represents the beginning of a new industrial security process.




SIDEBAR: Officer Tools on Industrial Tours

Covering industrial and manufacturing companies goes back to the first days of private security.

But today, technology has created security officers who are armed with computer and communications devices that yesterday’s guards would envy.

One example comes from powerhouse Wackenhut, a G4S company, which equips their officers with Secure
Trax, a house grown, hand-held system that boasts automated check-in, GPS tracking, real-time incident notification and tour watch needs. Wackenhut’s Secure Trax also is a typical communications device and can provide drills and testing for officer training.

Such technology goes beyond guard tour.

For example, Secure Trax captures officer locations up to every five minutes. There is automated “geofence” violation notification and the date is viewable by the end-user.

SIDEBAR: U.S. Manufacturers Now Depend on Exports

Exports have accounted for nearly half (46 percent) of the growth in the U.S. economy over the past year and are supported by a robust financing sector, according to panelists in a roundtable discussion hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); its research, education and workforce affiliate The Manufacturing Institute; and the Equipment Leasing and Financing Association.

“U.S. exports have kept the economy out of recession during the most recent two quarters,” said NAM Chief Economist David Huether. “Capital goods exports -- including automotive vehicles and parts -- account for more than a third (34 percent) of total U.S. exports and nearly half (49 percent) of manufactured exports. These manufactured exports are the real bright spot in the U.S. economy and are supported by a robust financing sector. U.S. export growth will be a real shot in the arm for manufacturers in 2008.

“A recent survey of NAM members shows companies that anticipate exports will account for at least a quarter of their sales growth this year are more optimistic and expect to invest, grow and hire more in 2008 than companies that are not globally engaged,” Huether added.

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