All entries tagged with “security”

Fall Boston Event Recap: Safety, Facilities Management and Security

By Amanda Czepiel | Product Director, BLR Media

Facilities management, security, and safety professionals gathered at the Boston Marriott in Quincy, MA for this year’s Total Security, Facilities Management and Safety Forum Events to learn about new solutions to solve their organization’s current and upcoming project needs.

Attendees hailed from companies across the country, including DHL Express, Harvard Pilgrim, Liberty Mutual, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines and Stanley Black and Decker, to participate in one-on-one private meetings to discuss solutions, to network with peers, and to participate in professional development workshops.

Following the opening reception on Sunday night, Monday morning kicked off with a keynote presentation, Reducing Serious Injuries & Fatalities - Three Approaches & Their Effectiveness, by Don Wilson of SafeStart. The workshop addressed a trend of a slower decrease in serious injury and fatalities as compared with overall injury rates and looked at three different approaches for improving an organization’s top safety metric.

After Wilson’s presentation, attendees quickly moved into a day of one-to-one meetings and information-packed workshops, including:

  • Low Energy Operators, Exit Devices and Exit Alarms
  • Construction and Security Trends in 2018 and Beyond
  • Sustainable Materials in Restrooms, Locker Rooms and Other Applications
  • Savings Without the Budget – Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficient Upgrades in 2018
  • How to Deliver OSHA-Compliance Training in a Multimedia World
  • Best Practices in Vendor Prequalification
  • Employees Know What They’re Supposed to Do – So Why Don’t They Do It?

To close out day 1, both solutions providers and attendees participated in dinner and the Forum Events traditional Casino Night with the night’s top winners receiving cash prizes. We adjourned the following day, after another meeting and workshop-filled morning.

According to our post-event survey, 94 percent of attendees said that they found their time at Forum Event useful:

“I had a great experience with this event and gained for sure new vendors and contacts I will use in the short and long-term future both in my current position and firm and also my career in the future as well.”

“I learned a lot, made great connections, and was able to create relationships with vendors with whom I had previously been on calls. Highly recommend from a networking or solution perspective!”

“This was my third event. I think that sums it up.”

“More effective than trade shows.”

“I found the event extremely valuable. The meetings with the vendors were just what I needed and it was a very efficient way to learn about products and services in a fun environment.”

Want to join us, or know someone who would benefit from this great event?



[Event Recap]: Education & Healthcare Security Forum | Dallas, TX | April 2016

The Education & Healthcare Security Forum hosted approximately 315 one-on-one meetings at the Sheraton Dallas on April 25th and 26th,2016. Executives from companies including Colorado State University Police Department, Children's Specialized Hospital, Dallas County Hospital District Police, Henderson State University, Mission Regional Medical Center and South San Antonio ISD connected for informative meetings with solution providers, seminars and networking opportunities.

Face-to-face meetings kicked off promptly on Monday morning and ran throughout the next day and a half, separated by meals and seminars. "The one-on-one meetings with vendors allowed me to ask questions that pertained to my particular facility without interrupting or listening to others who had different needs than my own. The time allowed for these meetings was just right, enough to demonstrate the need for the product without it really being a sales pitch," explained an attendee from Hendriz College. Speakers including Tim Grosse, George Belich and Dominick Armato led discussions on energy management, capital forecasting and operational efficiency.

Prime networking continued into the evening with a gala dinner and casino games overlooking the stunning Dallas skyline. 

After a fun evening, attendees reconnected on Tuesday morning for more face-to-face meetings and additional seminars, ending with a closing lunch.

For more information, or to attend future events, contact VP of Operations Rob Muise here.

Guest Blog: The Front Door

Featured Blog from Raptor

Technology is a critical component in the education of our nation’s children. “Overall education technology spending globally will reach $19 billion by 2019,” states Fortune magazine (April 28, 2015). However, there is one critical area where investments are lagging behind:

The Front Door.

In an increasingly technology-driven era in our schools, many of the institutions that educate our children are not implementing the technologies available to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe. For example, up to 80% of schools still rely on the pencil-and-paper method of signing in their visitors. Barring the introduction of smart paper and pencils with biometric sensors on them, this method is useless in practice for protecting our students.

Those days need to be behind us. In an age where technology can allow you to lock the front door of your home from halfway across the world, there’s no excuse for leaving the front door of our schools standing wide open for sexual predators, gang members, or any person who would do our students harm.

Every school wants to keep their students safe, and their actions need to back that up. There are a few areas that should be non-negotiable: every visitor, volunteer, or vendor needs to be accounted for, every visitor, volunteer, or vendor needs to be verified, and every visitor, volunteer, or vendor needs to be screened, in every school, every day.

So what is stopping you from taking this basic step in school security? Our mission it to protect every child, every school, every day.

Visit to find out more about the Raptor Visitor Management System.

Total Security Summit to Take Place in Chicago on November 9 & 10

The Total Security Summit will take place on November 9th and 10th at the Westin Chicago Northwest. Security executives from the Midwest region will meet with solution providers at the appointment-based event to discuss upcoming projects and sourcing needs. 

A seminar program running alongside meetings throughout Monday and Tuesday will cover topics like new corporate security trends, biometrics, fire protection and social media for corporate security. All speakers are renowned for leading the security industry and will share their experiences during 45-minute seminars.

westin chicago.jpgThe Westin Chicago Northwest is the perfect back drop for professional networking over complimentary meals and breaks at the Total Security Summit. Located just a stones-throw from the city, this venue provides a luxurious, laid-back setting for executives to connect with their peers and solution providers.

The summit hosts a selection of sponsors covering a wide variety of services from access control to thermal imaging and audit security. Sponsors include Assa Abloy, Avigilon USA, Brightforce Software, Detex, Key Tracer Systems, Morse Watchman, Snaptrend, Video Insight, World Compliance Technologies, L-3 Communications, Milestone Systems, API National Service Group and Designed Security, Inc.

Delegate attendees include executives from Domino's Pizza, American Lending Solutions, Bob Evans Farms, Boeing, Cardinal Health, Cherokee Nation Entertainment, Conde Nast, the Detroit Lions, Justice Stores, Mattel, Inc., Navistar, United Airlines, Trump Hotels and Walgreen Co., just to name a few.

For more information on the Total Security Summit, or to register for future events, contact

Sexual Assault Advocate Confirmed as Guest Speaker at Education & Healthcare Security Forum

Speaker EDHC SECURITY HEAD SHOT.jpgThe Education & Healthcare Security Forum welcomes Jules Irvin-Rooney, J.D. as a guest speaker at the Forum taking place on October 19-20, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.

Julie (Jules) Carter Irvin­-Rooney, J.D. is a legal consultant and advocate. She serves as President of Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC, an affiliate of The Irvin Law Firm. Ms. Irvin-Rooney’s concentration areas include higher education law, reproductive justice law, and sexuality & the law. Within these areas, her specialties are Title IX, Clery Act, FERPA, ADA, and Special Education issues. In her position as President of Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, she works as a legal analyst, legal consultant, advocate, and expert on Title IX and the Clery Act. She provides her expertise to a variety of educational settings (higher education and K­-12) on campus sexual assault prevention and compliance with federal guidelines. Ms. Irvin-Rooney has assisted students in filing Office of Civil Rights Complaints regarding Title IX compliance infractions and working with schools on their issues and policies.  Additionally, she facilitates training for schools and advocacy groups regarding compliance issues, implements discussions of “best practices,” and advocates and educates via social media. She collaborates with domestic violence advocates, police officers, commonwealths’ attorneys, and other advocates for sexual assault survivors, especially related to campus sexual assaults (K-12 and higher education). She works as an advocate for survivors who need assistance and consultation in pursuing justice through both Title IX and the criminal justice system.

Ms. Irvin-Rooney holds a JD from William & Mary Law School where she was awarded the National Association of Women Lawyers Award along with the Dean’s Certificate for special and outstanding service to the law school community. While in law school, Ms. Irvin Rooney served as a leader in promoting more scholarship and awareness on gender, sexuality, and the law, which led to her coordinating and organizing a Reproductive Justice Conference, worked with both the undergraduate school of William and Mary, along with the law school to advocate for those sexually assaulted and/or harassed. In addition, she designed learning seminars and small-group meetings for deans and advisers regarding compliance with Title IX and the Clery Act. Ms. Irvin-Rooney graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Rhetoric and Communications Studies and Sociology from the University of Richmond. She earned a master’s degree in English Rhetoric and Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University and taught at the secondary and post-secondary levels.

To register for the Education & Healthcare Security Forum, click here. Complimentary registration is available for qualifying security executives including accommodation, attendance, access to the seminar program and all networking activities including meals and refreshments.

The Certification Debate

When it comes to advancing your career in the security industry, certifications can set you apart, but how much do they really influence your career path? A recent study finds that there are 117 different certifications issued by 46 separate organizations. Of these certifications, the most highly requested one is the Certified Protection Professional Certificate (CPP) issued by ASIS – mentioned in just 5.5 percent of security job listings. The debate over certification in the selection process for high profile security roles is very controversial, but just how important are these credentials?

With certificates in various sectors of the security industry, including approximately 67 security generalist certificates, 15 crisis and disaster recovery certificates and 35 cyber and technology certificates – there are numerous opportunities for security experts to advance their credentials.

With components like workplace culture, and communication skills coming into play in the hiring process, the addition of certificates are definitely an extra feather for any advancing security personnel. Here’s why:

  1. Higher Pay Scale
    Security staffers holding certifications tend to make more than twenty thousand dollars higher than the average staffer without credentials. This higher payscale should be reason enough.
  2. Make Yourself a Recruiter’s Dream
    Why wouldn’t you add an extra pin to your lapel? According to a Security Workforce study, 70 percent of respondents view certificate recognition as a reliable indicator of competency when hiring, and almost half require certification.
  3. Makes You Easier to Find
    Perhaps you are looking to advance in your career? Relocate? By adding these certificates to your resume, you are making yourself more apparent to recruiters who use robots and spiders to crawl applications. By entering a long list of keywords, often including certifications, recruiters are able to scan the internet for candidates, putting you on the fast-track for electronic screening.
  4. Networking Opportunities
    By earning a qualification, you become part of an exclusive club – a group of professionals who have earned the same certification as you. While it may not be a luxurious country club, this new certification allows you to network with like-minded individuals in your industry – opening up a whole new window of opportunity.

Be sure to not write off a security expert who doesn’t have those few letters after his last name. Experience can often speak louder than certifications, but combined, can be unstoppable!



Featured Article: Security on a Budget

A good place to start is the front door of any campus facility.

By Patrick V. Fiel, Sr., Guest Speaker & Security Expert
Published in the Security Products Magazine.

There’s an old axiom that a good salesman could sell virtually anything to anybody—even if the item isn’t always the best fit for a need. Unfortunately, school administrators can be victims of a good, but deceptive sales pitch. Often, K-12 school districts purchase expensive security components designed to protect students, staff and property. This equipment is likely high quality and serves a legitimate purpose, but does it really meet the district’s overall needs? Does it integrate with other equipment already in place? Or, could security needs be met while spending less?  

Through careful planning and following a checklist, it is possible for schools to develop a quality security plan that meets campus needs without breaking the budget. Any new or upgraded security plan should begin with a risk assessment performed by experienced, independent security professionals, who will work closely with school administrators and local law enforcement to complete the process.  

Assessment results serve as the initial step in developing an action plan for each campus. Assessments should begin with the surrounding neighborhood as businesses, parks and traffic patterns can impact a school. Student passages to and from school, landscaping, parking lots, athletic fields, outbuildings and communications systems should also be included in the plan. An assessor should then move on to one of the most critical points on campus—the main public entry.

Sourcing the Entry

For too many K-12 campuses, the front door provides open and easy access for parents, volunteers and vendors but also for registered sex offenders, thieves, vandals and even active shooters. By controlling this entry and locking all others, school administrators can go a long way toward protecting their campus. 

The goal is to provide layers of security, each contributing to keeping unwanted visitors away from students. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) requires that the front entry is free from trees and bushes that could serve as a hiding place for people looking to piggyback into the school with other visitors or hide weapons and other contraband. Also, make sure lighting is bright enough to identify anyone trying to enter on a dark afternoon.

Here is a look at the basic equipment that can be purchased and installed at a reasonable cost to provide layers of security to protect one of a campus’ most vulnerable points.

Signage. Have signs in the parking lot and around the perimeter making it clear—in multiple languages, if necessary—that all visitors must use the main entry to access the school building.  

Remote-controlled locks. Keep the front door locked at all times while providing a receptionist or other front office workers the ability to remotely open the door with the push of a button.  

Video intercoms. Consider these to be a school’s video doorbell. A video intercom lets an office worker see and talk with a person who is requesting access before unlocking the door. If the person has a legitimate reason to enter, the lock is opened; however, should there be any doubts, the door stays locked. Signage should clearly explain the process for using the intercom.

Security screens. Glass doors at many schools still leave locked entries vulnerable. The shooter at Sandy Hook elementary, for example, shot his way through a glass panel next to the locked front entrance doors of the school to gain entry. Stainless steel mesh security screens can make any glass in doors or windows virtually impervious to gunshots or knives.  

Entry vestibule. Once inside the main entry, visitors still should not be cleared to enter campus areas such as classrooms, cafeterias, libraries and auditoriums. A vestibule should open into the office for the next step in the entry process. In many schools this may require the building of a wall and an extra locked door.  

Visitor management. For years, schools have simply asked visitors to sign in upon entering the campus, and too many schools are still using this method. Instead, once a person arrives in the office, he or she should be asked to present a government-issued ID to swipe through a visitor management system. In seconds, the system should check the card’s information against federal and state databases for registered sex offenders. The system also can check locallyentered data to identify non-custodial parents or former disgruntled school employees.  

When a visitor is approved, the system prints a temporary photo ID badge to be worn throughout the campus visit. At this point, a visitor can be cleared to enter the rest of the campus with the remote unlocking of the vestibule door. There are also a couple of add-on pieces of equipment that can further enhance security at the entry:

Panic button. A discreet button under a receptionist’s desk, tied to a school’s access, intercom or intrusion system, can immediately notify first responders of an emergency situation on campus.  

Video surveillance. Cameras mounted just inside the entry can help guard against piggybacking at the front door. Another camera placed in the office will provide another view of visitors as they check in at the front desk.  

Keeping the Rest of the Campus Secure 

Most of the solutions for protecting the entry will have applications throughout the school. 

  • All other exterior doors should be kept locked. Assign only one as the entry for faculty and staff. A keypad or a cardkey system will allow them access while also providing an audit trail of who has entered.
  • Make sure all classrooms are lockable from the inside, and keep them locked when children are present. Add a $10 peephole so the teacher can see who wants entry without having to open the door.
  • Lock the loading docks where supplies are delivered throughout the day. By adding a second video intercom, office personnel can allow known vendors access for deliveries.
  • Cameras placed in key hallways, the cafeteria and around all exterior entries provide valuable, real-time, forensic information. This allows emergency responders to view the situation live to take appropriate action.
  • Consider doing background checks of your volunteers and vendors. There are a number of services that now make this an affordable option while adding yet one more layer of protection to campus security. (Did you know that there are over 700,000 registered sex offenders in the United States?)

Policies and Procedures 

Don’t spend the money to secure a campus without the proper policies and procedures to make sure the equipment is being properly used. Train several people on the use of the video intercom system. Although its operation is simple, you want to make sure the operator asks the right questions of would-be visitors before allowing them access.  

Instruct all faculty and staff members to challenge anyone in the school building that is not wearing a permanent or temporary badge. Impress upon all staff members—even students—the dangers of propping open a door. It’s an open invitation for would-be criminals.  

Also, budget funding to maintain the various systems and keep them running as intended. 

When it comes to protecting students, you want to put as many layers as possible between the public and all classrooms. Concentrate on what has been proven to work while being aware of slick sales pitches. Salespeople can make any product sound like a vital piece of any security plan when, in fact, it may not be appropriate or is more than what is necessary. It all starts with securing and limiting front entry options and then tightening down on the front door.  

The solutions outlined here are generally affordable for most schools and districts, and are valid for virtually all schools no matter age, design or type of construction. 

Emergency Texts: The Future of 911

Note to all texting fiends: The emergency services recently enabled by several telecom carriers are not fully engaged! Texts to 911 call centers are not landing in emergency responder’s inboxes and therefore the process of texting emergencies is not a safe bet just yet!

We can already assume the ensuing confusion as immediate cries for help are texted to 911 call centers across the country. Hold still you quick-fingered texters, you’ll have to wait several more years before those texts are answered everywhere, for now – check out this list to see just where 911 texts are accepted.

Service providers are initiating an emergency system using texting as a main form of communication. While emergency centers upgrade their networks, users contacting 911 via text will receive a bounce back message instructing them to either call 911 or, if blind or deaf, use a telecommunications relay service to contact 911.Four major US telecom carriers – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile – recently announced a system that would allow their users to text 911 call centers during emergencies. This latest initiative is misleading to many service customers who can now text public safety answering points under the pretense that their messages will be read and responded to. These messages, however, are not making their way to emergency centers – leaving many misinformed texters in harm’s way.

Across the country, dispatchers and emergency call centers are making upgrades to suit younger generations who text by nature. Centers are upgrading systems on a case-to-case basis – some facilities needing massive technological upgrades, others just needing a reboot of software. Pittsburgh is one of the many cities already accepting emergency text messages. Since Verizon began offering the service on May 14th, the dispatch center has received 57 text messages from callers.

How to send a text to 911 centers

In a real emergency, if you can call – always make the call above any other form of communication! If you are in an area that allows 911 texts, follow these steps: in the number field, enter 911 and in the body of text, state the emergency and location before pressing send.

The Problem with Emergency Texts?

Across all servers there is the possibility of delay. Text messages to a 911 call center are no different. There is always a possibility the message will go astray on the network. 




OR Shooting Triggers Gun Violence Trend Questions

TROUTDALE, OR - He was armed with a military-style rifle and a semi-automatic pistol, both taken from his home. 15-year old Jared Michael Padgett shot himself after shooting fellow classmate, 14-year old Emilio Hoffman, at an Oregon high school Tuesday. A physical education teacher, 50-year old Todd Rispler, is the unsung hero. According to police, after being grazed by a bullet, he made it to the administrative school office where he initiated a school-wide lockdown, starting the campus security procedures, likely saving hundreds of young lives.

After this tragic shooting, Everytown for Gun Safety, a group fighting to end gun violence started by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, released shocking statistics that paint a violent theme in American classrooms. The group reports 74 gun-related incidents in the past 18 months – beginning with the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. How are parents not weighted with concern knowing that on average there is one incident of gun-related violence at an American school each week?

Security Consultant and Founder at PVF, Patrick V. Fiel, Sr. recently gave a presentation teaching Education Security Executives about procedures in an active shooter scenario at the Education & Healthcare Security Forum. Fiel emphasizes the run, hide, fight strategy.

During a school shooting, which typically lasts just 10 to 15 minutes, victims have three options – to run if they can reasonably escape the shooter, hide if they can find a safe place, and if there are no other options, team together all forces and resources to fight back.

This strategy is a responsive one, however. Without proactive measures and practiced training procedures – there is room for crisis.

“There are only two types of school administrators; those who have faced a crisis and those who are about to!”

–Ron Stephens, Executive Director, National School Safety Center

Below is just a brief overview of the four phases of crisis management:

  1. Prevention: Addresses what schools and districts can do to reduce or eliminate risk to life and property. 
    Several strategies for prevention include: making the target less attractive and deterring criminal activity. For example, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, the school had implemented an egress system, however the shooter simply shot through the adjacent window making the prevention methods superficial. Also, consult a third party risk assessment. An expert will be able to detect potential hazards and holes in the plan. During Fiel’s presentation, he explains a shooter’s mentality as robotic – a rational person will not be able to foresee his or her next move, therefore an expert is well worth the money and time.
  2. Preparedness: Focuses on the process of planning for the worst case scenario. Develop procedures and policies for high pressure scenarios.
    Train staff on how to react and implement these curriculums and make methods known to students and parents. Implement an Incident Command System (ICS). This is a structured way to organize responsibilities among school officials and all emergency responders during crisis response. Emergency Responders use ICS to manage incidents. Schools should also consult with the district as a whole to uniform reaction and preparedness.
  3. Response: Devoted to the steps to take during a crisis.
    This is the time to follow the crisis plan that has been reinforced through repetitive training, practice and drills school wide. Students should know how to react and teachers should know how to communicate during a crisis.
  4. Recovery: How to restore the learning and teaching environment after a crisis.
    The sooner classrooms return to learning, the better. During the recovery process, depending on the degree of crisis, a sense of school community needs to be restored. Schools should identify resources and make them readily available to students, staff and the community. Debrief with staff and emergency responders. During these “post-meetings,” schools can facilitate lessons and plan revisions and alternate trainings for future incidents.


Attend one of our Active Shooter Workshops at our Education & Healthcare Security Forum coming up in October 27 & 28, 2014 at Chicago, IL. For more information, click here.

Employee Theft: Stop the theft or build the bottom line?

Workshop Day 1: Employee Theft presented by Gene James, CPP, Director, Asset Protection with Jack in the Box, Inc.

Workshop number 1 is a success at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena, CA. A leading attraction for

senior-level security executives attending the Total Security Summit was an educational workshop teaching decision makers of the importance of employee theft prevention. 

Gene James emphasized the need for employee theft prevention programs with one simple statistic: 30 percent of all business failures are due to employee theft. It’s a widespread problem targeting the retail world, with fraud expanding into workers compensation claims and time theft that can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

James explained experts often fall into several traps that hinder employee theft prevention programs. One of those is the reliance on technology to replace bad management. A key point is that spending time and money on technology – while a good idea in the grand scheme – it is wasted if management does not perform. Another key trap is failing to drive ethics and compliance in the workforce.  Theft drives bad morale and leads to complacency and repeat acts in the workplace. By respecting staff and setting exemplar standards, employees are more accountable and mindful of their company.

Each member of the audience was also asked to answer one question – a question that James asks all of his graduate students at Webster University – what is more important, eliminating all theft in an organization or maximizing all profits in an organization or maximizing all profits in the organization? The answer was consistently build the bottom line.

In tackling the potentially dire theft problem at hand, James recommends implementing a comprehensive and effective recruiting program with thorough background checks that are then compared to credit check logistical information. He also recommends management review of employment applications as well as the establishment of a formal interview protocol.

Finally, it is imperative that should a form of prosecution or consequence arise, there must be some form of corporate post mortem. In order to prevent similar situations from arising, employees and management must understand what occurred and be able to make adequate changes. Without this analysis, the effects of a prosecution are minimal. Always remember, getting rid of one bad apple won’t solve the entire problem.




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