Building Operating Management

Security in the News





By Ed Sullivan   Facilities Management

 

I had an interesting conversation with my 10-year-old son the other day. He reported that he and some fifth-grade classmates had been talking about whether security cameras should be installed in their school. In an era when lockdowns have joined fire drills on the school agenda, it’s no surprise students are more cognizant of security. But a debate about installing CCTV represents another level of awareness. (My son opposed the idea on grounds of privacy.)

And it’s not just fifth graders who are more conscious of security hardware. Consider the chilling CCTV images of a kidnapping in progress or accounts of cost overruns on the Olympics security system. Coverage of security systems has moved from trade journals to headlines in the daily paper.

An increasing awareness of security technology — whether among fifth graders, building occupants or top management — doesn’t automatically translate into support for new security systems. But if an incident occurs, that increasing sophistication will lead to tougher questions about what was and wasn’t done.

Answering those questions means being up to date about security technology — an area undergoing dramatic change. It also means appreciating the role of people, from occupants who must follow security procedures to appropriately trained and paid guards.

Security is a thankless task. There’s no credit for preventing problems but plenty of blame if something goes wrong — just like managing facilities. Facility executives asked to shoulder security responsibilities should feel right at home.




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  posted on 5/1/2004   Article Use Policy

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