Target & Blue and its Safe City project is a granddaddy of public-private projects and involves about a score of states, a diversity of technologies and even security industry partners.

Forget the turf wars and the badge versus badging arguments. Pushed by terrorism threats, local crime concerns, business sophistication and a lack of spending money, public-private cooperative projects have blossomed.

According to a review by Security Magazine of some of the best projects, the focus is on a business commitment to the community, niche enterprises spotlighting special threats, sharing of technology as well as a law enforcement desire to reach out to businesses and their employees. It’s also a way for security leaders to look outside and see how they can improve the community as well as their own operation and internal profile.

What follows are spotlights on some high visibility public-private projects. Do you have a project that deserves sharing with your colleagues? E-mail with the details.

Chief James Overton of Delaware State University brought his internal community’s communications and life safety needs together with easy ways, so that public first responders can also be involved.


A pioneer in the public-private security arena, Target’s Tony Heredia, director of asset protection, noted that “we started 10-12 years ago in the Minneapolis market. Today it is more formalized and branded.”

Through grants, products and personnel advice and interaction, the projects cover a broad base – anti-cargo theft, two forensics labs, computer, video, audio and fingerprinting. The aim, according to Heredia, is for Target asset protection to help field leaders build relationships in their communities. The Safe City aspect stresses neighborhood watch in retail or business settings. “We have 19 Safe City projects, with another eight or so in process.”

The outcome: less crime in those areas, relationship building and sharing of information. Various technologies are used to increase communications and effectiveness such as emergency call boxes, photo sharing, surveillance cameras, radios and e-mail to appropriate groups.

A specific example is Target’s work in Hyattsville. It involves an increase in video surveillance and integration of existing privately-owned cameras into a single network for real-time monitoring by police, emergency call boxes, a citizen alert network, the purchase of Segway transporters for officers, and other technological enhancements.

Target has expanded the concept of assets protection in its stores with crime prevention in the community. The store program also involves vendor partners such as Federal Signal. That corporation’s safety and security systems group provides Safe City communities with preferred pricing for its technology, which includes automated license plate recognition capabilities, public safety software and mobile video systems, public safety wireless broadband networks, video surveillance systems, public warning systems and interoperable communications, alerting and notification systems.


Delaware State University (DSU) in Dover, Del., uses a notification system (Honeywell’s Instant Alert Plus) to not only help communicate with students, faculty and staff in an emergency but also reach beyond the university community to first responders and others. Such systems are a natural instant bond between private and public. DSU previously relied on e-mail, fliers and door-to-door outreach.

The university can now quickly reach people both on and off campus with a clear, consistent message via any communication device — phone, cell phone, pager, e-mail or PDA, according to Chief James Overton. The service can send up to 175,000 30-second phone calls and 125,000 text messages in 15 minutes. The service also allows it to integrate information from its current student and employee databases during set up. As a result, the university is able to leverage existing contact details instead of having to manually enter data, or requiring students and staff to sign up for the service and input their information. This helps ensure that most of the school community will receive critical alerts.

Along with broadcasting news, DSU can create an unlimited number of lists and alerts for specific groups, such as residents of a specific dorm or emergency responders. This gives school officials the ability to quickly send messages to contacts who may be in immediate danger or to responders regarding the location of an emergency.

The chief’s operation is already law enforcement oriented, with 17 sworn officers. That’s no longer uncommon: More colleges and universities – public and even private – are switching to sworn officers or a combination. Chief Overton also pointed out that recent federal legislation mandates a higher level of internal and external communications, especially in the event of an emergency or criminal incident.


One continuing challenge of public and private working together is the inability of them to talk through their often distinct devices.

Bryant University’s Richard Siedzik, director of computer and telecommunications services, under the direction of Arthur Gloster II, vice president for information services, figured out a solution. And the project was recently honored not only for the technology but also for the focus Smithfield, R.I.-based Bryant had on external communities.

Bryant won the 2008 Campus Technology Innovators award for implementing an IPICS system that enables first responders throughout Rhode Island and nearby states to communicate with one another regardless of the communication equipment they use.

IPICS stands for Internet Protocol Interoperability and Collaboration System. Developed by Cisco Systems, IPICS has the ability to share simultaneously – with the push of one button – firsthand information from the source directly to the groups of people who need it, no matter where they are or what they use to communicate, be it regular phone, cell phone, computer or hand-held radio.

Working closely with fire chiefs in Smithfield, Bryant extended use to a number of public safety agencies, first in Smithfield, then to the neighboring communities of North Smithfield, Cumberland, Glocester, Foster, Woonsocket and nearby Connecticut’s Quinebaug Valley Regional Dispatch Center. The university also connected with Rhode Island’s E-911, the R.I. chapter of the American Red Cross, the state’s Emergency Management Agency, and with other college campuses in Rhode Island including Brown University, Providence College and Roger Williams University.


InfraGard is a FBI program that began in Cleveland in 1996. It was a local effort to gain support from the information technology industry and academia for the FBI’s investigative efforts in the cyber arena. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and the private sector, an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence.

Each FBI field office has a coordinator who gathers interested companies of various sizes from all industries to form a chapter. Any company can join InfraGard. Local executive boards govern and share information within the membership.

The Counterintelligence Domain Program encourages businesses, academia and U.S. government agencies as the first line of defense inside facilities where research and development occurs and where intelligence services are focused.

One initiative is the business alliance, which builds relationships with cleared defense contractors to enhance their understanding of the threat posed to their programs and personnel by foreign intelligence services and foreign competitors. This dialogue results in business partners better identifying counterintelligence vulnerabilities within their organizations.

National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance realizes that the ongoing evolution of technology has compelled business, communications and the nation’s critical infrastructures to become increasingly dependent upon the Internet. Criminals have followed the same course, expanding their illicit activities to the virtual world. So NCFTA has an alliance between the public and private sectors bringing together what NCFTA calls subject matter experts from the private and public sectors


As a financial service giant, Bank of America kicked off a partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to develop a nationwide strategy to combat identity crime and provide consumer protection.

Overall, this partnership aims at creating a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to prevent, investigate, respond to and effectively aid victims of identity crime. As the first joint project, the partnership launched a Web site,, which educates consumers and law enforcement about identity crime. Equally important is the bolstering of law enforcement expertise in conducting investigations by sharing best practices among themselves and with enterprises such as Bank of America security and investigations personnel.


Target & Blue/Safe City – a community partnership by Target Asset Protection to unite law enforcement, local business leaders, property owners and neighborhood groups to build a safer community


Delaware State University – campus police bring together their internal community with connections to city and state agencies thanks to mass notification technology.


Bank of ID Safety program – a nationwide strategy to prevent and respond to identity crime through a partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police by encompassing the critical responsibilities of law enforcement, the private sector and the public.


thanks to Bryant’s technology insights internally and a commitment to share.


The Counterintelligence Domain Program – it’s responsible for determining and safeguarding those technologies which, if compromised, would result in catastrophic losses to national security. Through partnerships with businesses, academia and government agencies, the FBI and its counterintelligence community partners are able to identify and effectively protect projects of great importance to the


InfraGard – a partnership between the FBI and the private sector, it’s an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the United States.


National Cyber-Forensics & Training – between the public and private sectors, it’s comprised of subject matter experts from industry, academia and government. This allows the NCFTA to adapt itself to meet new threats through a steady influx of personnel and ideas.