No doubt, security professionals and their equipment are dedicated to protecting people, facilities and organizational assets. It’s also good to appreciate our commitment to extending technology and procedures for the greater good.

Fighting Domestic Violence

ADT Security Services, a business unit of Tyco Fire & Security, for example, has just celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Abused Women’s Active Response Emergency (AWARE) program. Saving the lives of more than thirty- five victims of domestic violence and improving the quality of life for countless others are among the program’s accomplishments to date. Conceived as a proactive partnership of community public and private sectors – local law enforcement agencies, government organizations and women’s support services – ADT kicked off the outreach program with Hubbard House, aimed at helping abused women, in the Jacksonville, Fla., area. The Chief Executive Officer of Hubbard House, Ellen Siler, says,“Victims are often kept isolated from friends and family by their abusers, which is why the alarms have been an important part of our community response to this violence.” For 10 years, the program has placed security systems and emergency necklace pendants in the residences of battered or abused victims in Jacksonville and 168 other communities in the U.S. A similar program under the direction of ADT Canada provides services to battered women and men in Canada. According to Bureau of National Affairs statistics: two to four million women are physically abused each year; 35 percent of female emergency room visits are for treatment of ongoing symptoms of abuse; and 30 percent of women killed in the U.S. die at the hands of a husband or boyfriend. After victims who meet the necessary criteria are placed in the program, ADT installs security systems in each of their homes and provides them with emergency necklace pendants for as long as the need exists. The pendants send a silent alarm, when activated, to ADT’s customer monitoring center.

Fighting Teen Shoplifting

Another influential security firm, Checkpoint Systems Inc., has an anti-shoplifting awareness program targeted at 6th to 12th graders at schools nationwide. “Hands-On Hands-Off”is an interactive classroom program to show school children that the consequences of shoplifting can follow them well into adulthood. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, approximately 24 percent of apprehended shoplifters in the U.S. are between the ages of 13 and 17. At the heart of “Hands-On Hands-Off” is an hour-long, interactive classroom discussion led by a Checkpoint employee. The program chronicles the real-life travails of teen shoplifters and the consequences of their stealing on their families, schools and communities. The program also includes a demonstration of how retail outlets of all sizes have gone to extraordinary lengths to thwart shoplifting with a range of futuristic, well-concealed antitheft technologies. “We want kids to know if they steal from a store, chances are they’re going to get caught,” says DaveShoemaker, Checkpoint’s architect of “Hands-On Hands-Off.” “We’re trying to get to kids before peer pressure does. Even if they think stealing is cool, it’s still a crime. When they get caught they’ll be treated like criminals by the justice system and their communities,”says Shoemaker. Amateurs, not professional thieves, compose the largest number of shoplifters. These are everyday people, often teens, who steal on impulse, either because they see an item they really want, or just for the thrill of it. Most shoplifters tend to believe they either won’t get caught or won’t be sent to jail.