Managing in Tough Times
Drilling into certain business sectors, there’s a lot of successes and advice. Security Magazine looked at five areas: Healthcare, schools – from K-12 through colleges, private and public, government; utilities; and property management.
The bottom line is that security that works is security attuned to the business. While everyone’s wish list includes more resources, all share solid planning and a firm focus on working that plan.
For Shawn Reilly, CPP, director of security at Greenville Hospital System, it’s a matter of community. “You have to get out there. I have a Web site. I conduct crime prevention briefings system wide. We have crime prevention month and bring in city and county experts. We run articles in our monthly newsletter. The list goes on.”
For Ralph Harrison, assistant principal of Penncrest High School, good security “helps us keep students in the classroom and minimize the amount of academic time they miss."
MULTITASKING OF TECHNOLOGYRick Faria, one of the owners of Faria Farms, has many business uses for his wireless video surveillance system: It helps mitigate equipment and animal theft as well as potential operational inefficiencies like undelivered materials or, literally, spilled milk during transfers to trucks
Protecting valuable General Mills property, Lauren Hoen, the building operations manager at the James Ford Bell Technical Center, the firm’s research and development facility, was tasked with finding a fire safety system that could address the extensive challenges posed by the large and complex JFB campus.
Managing risk from the outside in is a key for Elliot Powers, RMA Land Construction’s director, strategic planning. “In other words, just as an intruder or security threat would enter the facility, design an integrated system that starts with perimeter protection. And as the risk level of that facility would dictate, secure inward with applicable detection and notification systems.”
For Karl Perman, manager, corporate security programs with Exelon Corporation, the business bottom line is to “take a holistic view of security issues across the entire enterprise.”
Captain Darrell Haynes, with criminal investigations in the Wichita Police Department, stresses community partnerships as a way to improve the use of business security systems while reducing crime.
Helping people feel safer helps the business of education at DePaul University, according to Bob Wachowski, director of public safety. See an article on DePaul’s enterprise-wide security video approach elsewhere in this issue.
In these and scores of other interviews for this report, Security Magazine identified commonalities among the five business and government sectors. It also profiles some operations and technology use in greater detail. But it all begins with a plan.
EVERYTHING IS BASED ON RISK MANAGEMENTDavid Axt, security manager at Xcel Energy, sums it up when emphasizing the need for a strong plan and the need to work it expertly: “Plans, implementing procedures and the proper resources for addressing physical security; personnel security; information/cyber security; and response to contingencies and emergencies.
“Physical and information/cyber security measures must be based upon a risk management approach which identifies company assets needing protection; the potential threats relative to the assets; any existing vulnerabilities and current state of security measures; a ranking of risks (combination of assets, threats and vulnerabilities); specific security countermeasures which will be presented to senior management for a decision; and finally an uncanny ability to continuously monitor changes to the threat environment. It evolves after each new countermeasure.”
On the technology side, many of those interviewed here have concentrated on security video, improved storage and transmission as well as more analysis across diverse security systems. There’s also a push to update access control systems and move to one single point of control.
For Shawn Reilly, it’s business basics. “To intelligently invest in security technology, you have to find one security integrator and provider and create a partnership, invest in training the response force and do whatever you can to reduce turn over.”
It’s also a strategy to make yourself a harder target. “Solid crime prevention means that the bad people go someplace else. So security is everyone’s responsibility. Our biggest issue is not really theft; it is unsecured theft. We have to change the mind set of our employees and visitors so they lock things up. ‘We will fail all the time without the citizens’ is a favorite quote of mine. I also make it personal. I link my bonus to crime reduction.
GET EVERYONE INVOLVED, COMMUNICATEElliot Powers agrees. “Simply produce a stand-alone security and emergency preparedness manual, complete with clearly illustrative diagrams, and distribute it throughout the company. Department heads should not only support, but advocate the importance (and universal buy-in by their employees) of the overall facility protection and recovery plan.”
In viewing technology, Reilly views it as the foundation of the operation. “While it can not replace a response force, it can be a force multiplier. We have proximity cards and readers and biometrics in the pharmacy.” On his wish list are mass storage and converting to IP video.
Take, for another total facility security example, Penncrest (Penn.) High School. Just as government and property management have changed since 9/11, in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy, security has moved higher on the priority lists of many school administrators. Penncrest is one of the many schools that escalated its efforts to improve the safety of students and staff following that incident.
After raising the necessary funds, district administrators sought assistance from Anixter International, a distributor of electronic security products, to determine an appropriate security solution. Anixter invited district IT personnel to a training facility at Bosch Security Systems to demonstrate that a video surveillance system would be the best fit for the environment at Penncrest High School.
During the decision process and just prior to the purchase of the system, a fight among students broke out in the school’s hallway. After one of the students brandished a BB gun, administrators locked down the school for the protection of everyone in the building. This type of event was extremely unusual for Penncrest High School, but it underscored the need for video surveillance to help prevent a similar incident in the future. Administrators fast-tracked the school security project to address the concerns of worried parents.
Security Services & Technology (SST), an electronic security services provider, mounted nearly 50 cameras and programmed the video recording technology.
Now, the surveillance system helps school administrators monitor the hallways, cafeteria, bus terminal, football stadium, gymnasiums, parking lots and athletic fields. Video is recorded with the school’s digital video recorders. Administrators often review video recordings to investigate allegations of physical confrontations or thefts in the school, instead of spending several hours interviewing students and staff to determine what may have happened during an incident.
TECHNOLOGY CAN TRACK INCIDENTS“When an altercation occurs, the recorded video helps us determine the course of events faster and more accurately,” said Harrison. “This helps us keep students in the classroom and minimize the amount of academic time they miss.”
With the DVR, administrators can use a Web browser to view video streams from several cameras at one time, expand the view of one camera to an entire screen, and zoom in during live video to evaluate potential security concerns. “The user interface is very simple, even for non-technical people. You just point and click to view video from various cameras and hone in on areas that need closer examination,” said Harrison.
The faculty has embraced the video surveillance system as an extra layer of security. It also helps students feel safer in the school, and they appreciate when administrators are able to recover stolen items for them by reviewing video from the time of a theft.
Video surveillance also helps protect the school in instances of false allegations. Recently, a visiting football team lost some belongings, and suggested the cause was theft at Penncrest. Administrators reviewed video of that day and determined that no one had entered the gymnasium at the time of the alleged theft – helping prove the school was not responsible. “Students think twice before making poor choices now that they know their actions could be caught on video,” said Harrison.
Administrators can also share video with parents in situations where disciplinary action is needed and provide video in digital form to law enforcement when evidence is required for court proceedings.
SPRAWLING OUTDOORS CALL FOR WIRELESS MESHFor managers of sprawling property, wireless mesh networks are a perfect fit.
Faria Farms, a Tulare, Calif., based dairy company consisting of five dairy farms that produce over 26,000 gallons of milk a day, uses such an approach -- a wireless video surveillance system -- to watch over the cattle, the farm workers, and equipment. The system, deployed by Valley Ag Software, uses
Firetide wireless mesh networking equipment and Axis cameras and management software to help keep the farms operating nearly 20 hours a day.
“Seeing milk go down the drains due to somebody not having properly closed the tank valves is heartbreaking. With cameras in place, we now know who’s responsible and can take proper action, whether it’s disciplining our workers or requesting compensation from the truck company,” said Rick Faria, one of the owners of Faria Farms.
The farms are separated by several miles of land and have dozens of workers, maintenance crews, and delivery trucks coming at all hours of the day. Farm owners needed a video surveillance system to help orchestrate workers and the large deliveries of farming materials – such as 50 gallons of soap or medicine – among the properties. The always-on visibility also allows the owners to keep a virtual eye on other farms even on the days they are too busy to visit all locations.
“We needed to keep an eye on everything, and because we don’t own all the land separating our farms, trenching was out of the question,” said Faria. “The system helps us in so many ways I can’t imagine going without it, and we’re planning on adding more cameras soon.”
Faria worked with Valley Ag Software to provide a video surveillance system consisting of nine cameras to stream live video from the five farms to the main office about four miles away. The farm owners also have to be able to manipulate the cameras to pan, tilt and zoom to monitor two entrances to each farm with one camera.
Sharing the multitasking need by others interviewed for this article, the farm’s video surveillance also helps the farmers make sure workers are adhering to proper hygienic practices, and can be used to prevent false legal claims should they arise. “The $90,000 price tag for the system more than justifies itself, considering that’s roughly a judgment one can expect from a claim, let alone the time and lawyer costs involved,” continued Faria. “Most of my workers have been with us for years and decades, and they welcomed the cameras – they want to make sure that their co-workers are also doing a good job.”
Six outdoor mesh nodes and one indoor node connect five network dome cameras and four fixed cameras, controlled with video management software. Video feeds are streamed at 30 frames per second and are stored for two months at Faria Farms’ main office. The video can be transferred to CDs if needed for evidence or long term storage. In addition to video surveillance, the mesh network supports an IP-based biometrics time clock system.
RETURN VALUE TO THE ORGANIZATIONFor John Williams, director of security at Prince William Hospital, there are always challenges in forming a total facility plan. “Assess the threats, prepare an action plan, mitigate the gap, respond to the event, recover from the impact. As most security departments are expense centers and not revenue centers, security leaders must find ways to return value to their organization. We are well past the point in time (especially in this economy) when security departments can think that they are there only as a necessary evil. In a weak economy that thinking is sure to set a department up for reduction or elimination.”
The plan is founded on people. For the most part technology should augment the overall security plan including human assets of the security department. “In most cases,” said Williams, “technology can not take the place of people and most importantly their senses, evaluation, interruption and immediate action in a specific event. Technology provides us with more information. Information is the most valuable assets for good security analysis.”
With General Mills, the emphasis is on people, too, but through an intelligent life safety network with voice evacuation.
Lauren Hoen, the building operations manager at General Mills’ James Ford Bell (JFB) Technical Center, was tasked with finding a fire safety system that could address the extensive challenges posed by the large and complex JFB campus. At 690,000 square feet, it’s home to numerous R&D labs and offices, sensory labs, and four pilot plants. The Center also houses a cereal science classroom and a comprehensive research library that contains over 800 journals, 20,000 books, 500 online databases, and over 1,400 food industry Internet resources.
The existing fire alarm system was nearly 20 years old, outdated, and no longer in production, making system upgrades impossible. Hoen had seen first-hand in his former job at Pillsbury that a Notifier system could provide a powerful, effective, and flexible fire safety solution for a large company — one that easily adapted to growing or changing needs.
INTELLIGENT LIFE SAFETY CAN GROWHoen explained, “I installed my first system at the Pillsbury R&D center in the early 1980s. Upgrades and building expansions over the years have kept the system current to this day. In 2001, General Mills acquired Pillsbury and I was transferred to JFB. As a result of the merger, the main campus practically doubled in size. I’ve installed fire alarm systems at four different facilities over the years.”
The JFB campus, with its size, unique needs, and unusual serpentine configuration, posed many challenges to maintaining fire safety. The building itself is designed with a primary “spine” with branches shooting off of it at many different points, some leading to entirely new and sizable building sections. Chosen were an intelligent fire alarm-voice evacuation control panel to be located in the facility’s incident command center, a graphical workstation, and 18 intelligent fire alarm control panels strategically located throughout the building.
Hoen added, “I find the zoned voice evacuation components to be highly valuable. Our facility is very complex; there are product development labs, data centers, clean rooms, process pilot plants and production facilities, courtyards, employee services and amenities, and hundreds of offices. The system gives us complete vision of and control over fire safety throughout this facility, and yet it is extremely intuitive to use. I particularly like the graphical user interface — ease of use is critical in a fire alarm system today.”
There’s also a 40-inch monitor in the JFB Incident Command Center. In conjunction with that monitor, the workstation provides a graphical overview of conditions throughout the facility and allows all key personnel at the center to supervise and control life safety throughout the property. In addition, the system features an integrated speaker control panel for maximum communication capabilities with fire fighting personnel, and all building engineers and maintenance engineers have voice pagers to receive updates on alarm status.
Hoen said, “One thing we particularly did not want was another proprietary system that could only be maintained and upgraded by a single vendor.”
JFB’s system not only had to address all of Hoen’s concerns, but it had to meet a huge array of regulatory as well as internal standards. Hoen explained, “As a food research facility, we fall under just about every regulatory agency one can imagine. Our designs and installations had to meet USDA, FDA and Department of Agriculture requirements, among many others, in addition to IBC, FM Global, UL and a very tough staff of fire and building professionals in our city.
“We also have very stringent internal standards within General Mills, including safety design, CAD standards, component wash-down requirements, personal protective equipment, installation staff requirements, HAZMAT, recycling requirements of removed equipment, and even procedures on how project purpose, construction impact and testing is communicated to General Mills employees.
“The installation process took just about two years, and has been operational for just under a year,” according to Hoen. He continued, “We now have a sophisticated and user-friendly fire safety system at JFB, one with a seamless interface and entirely without the complexities and problems inherent to our previous system. The system has also saved us substantial dollars, as training costs on this system are significantly lower."
SPECIAL PROPERTY SECURITY DURING RECONSTRUCTIONUnlike the General Mills property, the site for the new World Trade Center (WTC) complex in New York needed special security during reconstruction.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s reconstruction is underway with ambitious plans for five new skyscrapers, a memorial park and museum, a new transportation hub, a retail complex and a performing arts center. The safety and security of the construction and planning team are paramount.
What was needed was a unique emergency warning system on the site. The system from ATI will provide audible alerts and intelligible voice commands through its outdoor speaker system. In case of any hazardous event, weather-related or man-made emergency that requires an evacuation or relocation from the various construction zones within the site, the system will immediately notify the construction and planning team.
The design is based on a unique proprietary acoustic model which will ensure sound audibility and voice intelligibility throughout the entire construction site with minimum echo and reflection. Sound will be projected into the site from the perimeter rather than from the center outward, to achieve a minimal amount of sound disruption to the neighboring community. The mass notification system meets all applicable code and standard requirements and has field-proven reliability. Its user-friendly software interface will be operated by the Port Authority police and authorized staff to ensure the safety of the WTC construction community through each phase of the reconstruction project, which is expected to continue through 2013. Once construction is completed, the system can be expanded to interface with other emergency notification solutions, such as text messaging and desktop alerting, to continue to ensure the safety of the WTC complex in both outdoor and indoor locations.
Bryan House, campus safety director at Bethel College, also believes that “mass notification is a must. We use phone, e-mail and personnel as a means of communication. Time is crucial to getting the emergency word out and the total lock-down of a facility is almost impossible. But you have to control each situation as it comes to you and teamwork with different departments helps a lot.”
WORKING WITH THE ARCHITECTWhen asked about the key elements of a total facility security approach, Bernard Buckner, MPA, CPP, executive director of campus safety at Cleveland State University, takes a proactive prevention position. “We have a very active police, security, community emergency response team and safety team that provide a comprehensive program for keeping the campus safe.” Buckner also sees business value in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). “The CSU architect, who’s office is only three doors from mine, has worked with his staff to incorporate CPTED into all new projects. As part of the CSU master building plan, the CSU Master Security Plan works with the architects, project managers and, of course, our facilities operations.”
Robert Ryan CPP, CHPA, director of security and transportation at Children’s Hospital, Boston, agrees about the impact of CPTED. When listing key facility security elements, they include “Crime Prevention through Environmental Design; physical security; employee education and awareness, policies/procedures, drills, communications via newsletters; Web site postings, meetings; monthly and annual statistics/trending in the annual report,” Also important is communication. “It’s up; down; and sideways in a variety of different methods.”
Communications is as critical at CSU as it is at the World Trade Center site.
While there are multiple means of notification,”Our primary system is voice over the fire system or VENS (Voice Emergency Notification System). It is the goal to install a campus-wide voice enabled fire alarm system by upgrading the obsolete one. We leveraged our campus-wide underground fiber optic cable network investment. The fiber optic network advantage is bandwidth, to drive multiple systems and functions from a single source. We supplement this technology with a leased off-site system that is subscriber based, allowing six means of communications.”
For Buckner, his Master Security Plan must accompany the yearly operating plan, so that the long term goals are known to all stakeholders. The information systems and technologies (IS&T) communications unit must be involved in planning and upgrading everything from blue light telephones to the 911 switch gear. “In the partnership at Cleveland State, we are moving the security video backbone from our security unit to IS&T. As the systems become more IP driven, the IS&T unit is in a better position to support them. But they must know our standards of four hours of video in the event of a power failure on all components from camera to PC.”
Buckner believes that IS&T is becoming an integral part of any modern security function. As the systems (security video, CATV, access control, surveillance points) all become IP driven, these systems are migrating to the IS&T network. “They must plan for the increase in the bandwidth and the need to have secondary power on all parts of the security path for a modern system to function.”
CREATING A SWORN FORCE FROM SCRATCHThere’s a different change being instituted at Drexel University, according to Domenic Ceccanecchio, CPP, senior associate vice president for public safety.
Beyond internal partners, the public safety department also works collaboratively with a host of law enforcement and security partners including the University of Pennsylvania, University City District, AlliedBarton Security, ADT Security and the Philadelphia, SEPTA and Amtrak Police Departments, the Philadelphia Fire Department and other city agencies to name a few.
The most recent public safety development was the decision to institute the Drexel University Police Department (DUPD). According to Ceccanecchio, this was based on several considerations. “The University’s growth in population, assets and geographically, as well as accelerated economic development in West Philadelphia, provided the stimulus to add a law enforcement component to our already excellent public safety program. Our objective was to create and maintain a professional law enforcement presence that would operate under the public safety umbrella and serve as a dedicated response force to address the public safety needs of our University community and the adjacent surrounding community.
“We envisioned that the DUPD would have full law enforcement recognition and capability and that it would complement and interact with a host of internal and external public safety entities. The department will be comprised of handpicked, highly trained, closely supervised and well equipped certified police professionals.”
At the completion of the project, Drexel will have sworn officers and contracted security officers, too. “Upwards of 125,000 people travel through our area daily. We have city streets that form the grid we reside in.”
In a similar vein, Mike Tarter, executive director, safety and security with the Rio Rancho Public School District, uses armed security (Armed Response) after hours. “We use them to respond to alarms after work hours. It has saved us thousands in alarm fines and the safety of our staff not being the first responder and waking up in the middle of the night for a false alarm has been one of the best investments. They are veterans who know what not to do to get in trouble.”
Glenn Rosenberg, vice president of higher education with AlliedBarton, observed that even in the education sector, facilities and security are as different as they are similar. “The security executive and his or her technology and service providers must possess a real sense of the environment. How open is the environment? Is it more of an adult population? Is it a faith-based school where rules in resident halls may be different as compared to other types of facilities.”
GRIN AND BEAR IT BY VIDEODevin Manky, wildlife manager at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, had two specific property management and security challenges. They are called Grinder and Coola and are grizzly bears.
After Grouse Mountain became home to the two orphaned grizzly bear cubs, staff was committed to keeping the bears safe and learning how to optimize their care.
Integrator Panorama Technologies recommended an innovative use for security technology traditionally used to protect more civilized facilities: vandal-proof video surveillance cameras. Using armored cameras bolstered with infrared illumination, the Refuge closely monitors the daily activities and behaviors of the bears, according to Manky. “And use of a digital video recorder means that more data can be stored for longer periods of time. Since hibernation can last anywhere from three to five months, it’s important that the equipment in the den is rugged and dependable. In snowy weather, the protective case over the DVR can fill with snow,” added Manky.
Because the site is at such a high elevation, the equipment is at risk from lightning strikes. In response, Panorama installed a surge protector that has saved the DVR on a number of occasions. In addition to withstanding harsh weather conditions, the Honeywell cameras have proven to be “grizzly bear tough,” surviving multiple attempts by the bears to tamper with them. He continued, Most are day/night cameras and we expect to add more and to provide a technical feed.”
Stanley Helm, security director, and Larry Riff, division director of environmental services, Norton Healthcare, shared a facility wish to standardize on a single access control system as compared to four different ones in existing buildings and new properties being built. Added Helm, “On the video side we have both DVRs and NVRs. Of course, our open environment is a security challenge. Access control and security video help us identify who belongs and who does not belong.” Pointed out Riff, “We have multiple properties on the downtown campus.”
Dan Kloenne of Ready Electric and system integrator for Norton and who worked with Honeywell gear for them, commented that some healthcare facilities are replacing older legacy systems but that the real trend “is to upgrade everything to one solution, one neck to choke. If they choose, everything can come back to one point. For Norton it is a team effort tied into IT and human resources. A master server base gives them the tools to transfer any data from various functional areas.”
In the utilities sector, Kloenne sees facility security facing even higher level security threats. Copper theft is just one unique aspect. “I’ve learned that it doesn’t much matter if the copper is tied down. You have to have extra security to protect it.”
Robert Storer, vice president – protective services for Market Center Management Co., sees the breaking down of silos and the building up of the relationship with C-suite people as part of the total facility security plan. Storer oversees global security efforts for Market Center Management Co., owner of the Dallas Market Center, the world’s largest wholesale merchandise resource, and is based at the 5.5 million sq. ft. World Trade Center complex in Dallas.
A SEAT WITH C-SUITE FOLKS
Concerning business continuity, Storer said, “Many businesses without a continuity program are doomed to failure in times of crisis, or soon thereafter. Developing a sound business continuity program requires extremely strong leadership, and support from the top level of the organization. It is a painstaking process that requires in-depth analysis of all business units to determine priorities when resource allocation becomes necessary.
“A business continuity plan should be developed by a select team of key personnel, with the authority to make decisions relative to what is included in the plan. Of critical importance is the testing and on-going maintenance of the plan.”
Xcel Energy’s David Axt, whose facility includes the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, sees assessments as a part of business continuity. “During the asset assessment phase of the risk management approach, there will be certain threats to assets which could impact continuity of operations. For those which physical security countermeasures cannot reduce the risk to acceptable levels, certain emergency planning and response measures need to be developed.”
In wrapping up his comments, Exelon’s Perman seems to speak for everyone when asked what’s on his wish list. “More time and more resources."
SIDEBAR: Coordinating School Policy and Access ControlMany of today’s state-of-the-art access control systems in K-12 schools never reach their full security capabilities because they aren’t incorporated into school policy.
“School administrators must create regular meetings with local law enforcement for establishing and maintaining school policies that synchronize with the school’s internal security staff and access control systems in order to protect students against everything from natural disasters to shooting incidents,“ said Bruce Canal, CPP, a former K-12 education consultant and director of field operations for Matrix Systems.
- Fire drills are common in schools today; however emergency preparedness exercises aren’t practiced as frequently, if at all. Other preparedness should include tabletop exercises where school administrators, law enforcement officials and a security consultant walk through the steps necessary to secure the school before, during and after a variety of possible incidents.
- A lock down should be accomplished with just one or two key strokes at the access control workstation of a full enterprise system. All doors restrict egress/ingress, lights are shut off, departmental e-mails warn and instruct all school personnel, students are restricted from any noise, etc. The goal in a lock down is to give the school an unoccupied and impenetrable appearance.