The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the recipients of its Legislator of the Year and Statesman Awards for 2018. The awardees will be honored at the upcoming SIA GovSummit, June 27–28 in Washington, D.C.
The SIA Legislator of the Year Award is presented annually to members of Congress and other elected officials who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in advancing legislation and policies that encourage the effective use of technology solutions to enhance public safety and security and protect critical infrastructure. This year’s award is being presented to five distinguished legislators:
- Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), for authoring S. 2495, the Senate STOP School Violence Act, to restore authorization and grant funding to schools for security technology and equipment through the U.S. Department of Justice. These provisions were signed into law as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.
- Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), for authoring S. 1144, the Investment in New Ventures and Economic Success Today (INVEST) Act, which, among other provisions, allows small and medium-sized businesses to fully expense building improvements related specifically to roofs, HVAC, fire protection and alarm systems and security systems. The INVEST Act was signed into law as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most extensive overhaul of the U.S. tax code since 1986.
- Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), for authoring S. 2859, the Secure Airport Public Spaces Act, which will help airports field fully integrated security systems covering all public areas by allowing the use of Airport Improvement Program grant funds for installation of video surveillance systems outside Transportation Security Administration-screened zones such as baggage claims or pickup and drop-off areas. The provisions are included in S. 1405, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017, currently under consideration.
- Rep. Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.), chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, for authoring H.R. 4627, the Shielding Public Spaces from Vehicular Terrorism Act. This legislation will help communities use homeland security grants to install bollards and implement other target hardening measures and focus the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) research and development (R&D) efforts on the emerging terrorist threat from vehicular attacks. Donovan has also focused subcommittee efforts on overhauling all homeland security grants administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and encouraging increased collaboration between the security industry and DHS R&D programs.
- Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.), for authoring H.R. 4909, the House version of the STOP School Violence Act.
Established in 2006, the Statesman Award is an annual award presented to SIA member volunteers who have made an extraordinary contribution of professional time, leadership and resources to position SIA to address the public policy challenges impacting the security industry. This year’s recipient is Rob Reiter, co-founder of the Storefront Safety Council and chief security consultant at Calpipe Industries.
Reiter joined the SIA Government Relations Committee in 2017 and has been instrumental in SIA’s efforts to highlight the growing threat of hostile vehicle attacks, available security measures and related policy solutions. In the wake of vehicular terrorism in London, Reiter led SIA joint efforts with the British Security Industry Association to provide information to stakeholders via webcast. This year Reiter coordinated an in-depth briefing on Capitol Hill hosted by SIA on May 10, which featured presentations from public- and private-sector security experts and discussions on evolving standards, funding and policy solutions. Attendees included representatives from six different federal agencies and several congressional offices and committees.