The world has changed and these are challenging times for police, private security, and citizens.
We must rise to the occasion with an unwavering dedication to collaboration and protect our homeland’s hard and soft targets.
Hard targets include military bases, embassies, and numerous high-risk government facilities.
These are normally more challenging to compromise because they are fortified with countermeasures of layers of protection, or defense in depth.
Yet, hard target security must continually be assessed and enhanced. The reality is that there are individuals making sophisticated and unprecedented plans to exploit vulnerabilities.
Soft targets are easier to compromise and are normally understood as places full of ordinary people, as opposed to a military base.
There are soft targets throughout society that include trains, subways, museums, hospitals, corporations, schools, colleges, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, houses of worship, transportation terminals, cultural sites, financial institutions, and sporting events.
Law enforcement and private security, along with the general public, must remain vigilant to safeguard the nation.
Public, Private, Citizen Collaboration
As one walks the streets of New York City, the vigilant presence of dedicated NYPD officers protecting us must be appreciated.
Their dedication must be recognized, not only with its presence throughout the city with special events, but with uniformed officers walking the beat, and with highly trained and heavily armed units.
But the NYPD cannot do it alone. There must always be collaboration with private security and citizens.
All of us must be aware of our surroundings and work together to protect one another.
Security Countermeasures: Practical Tips
A robust security program must be comprehensive, proactive, and continually updated. Security must never be piecemeal, negligent, or have its importance minimized.
Approaches to security in workplaces, schools, campuses, houses of worship, communities, and families must include the following:
Security Vulnerability Assessments: These deserve attention by board-certified, reputable, and experienced public safety professionals in order to most effectively identify and evaluate areas of risk. Competent professionals have the experience to harden the targets through defense in depth principles, conduct efficacious training initiatives, and implement layers of protection.
Background Checks/Investigations: This is an essential: due diligence countermeasure that prevent hiring individuals who do not deserve employment or access. These checks must be made by qualified, licensed professionals who honor laws conducting background checks. Background checks include criminal history reports, drug testing, motor vehicle driving records, credit checks, liens and judgments, sexual offender registries, employment and professional credential verifications.
Investigations that include surveillance, interviewing, and information sources by experienced, conscientious, and ethical professionals are critical to protecting public and private enterprises.
Training: A critical component of security and safety is ongoing training that includes personal safety, substance abuse awareness, bomb threats, active shooter response, domestic violence, diversity, conflict resolution, ethics, situational awareness, cyber-security, workplace violence, fire prevention, crisis management, emergency preparedness, loss prevention, economic crime, crime prevention, drills, evacuations, and warning signs.
Warning Signs: We must recognize that warning signs are critical and provide the necessary intervention, training, health care, and security measures necessary to prevent tragedies.
Physical Security: This includes countermeasures preventing unauthorized access that includes fencing, barrier arms, access control, and card access systems, ID cards, lighting, crime prevention through environmental design, defense in depth, locks, alarms, fire extinguishers, Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), mass communication systems, and metal detectors. Access control is critical as these countermeasures deny entry to individuals who must not be authorized to enter.
Personnel Security: Certified, well-trained, respectably paid, and licensed security officer and fire safety programs involving reputable contract or in-house professionals with either armed or unarmed personnel. Our world has changed and security must be enhanced. The presence of licensed, trained, certified, law enforcement or military-experienced individuals who are armed and present in tactical gear deserves serious consideration at many locations.
Procedural Security: Drills deserve planning and evaluation with table-top exercises and involve partial and full-scale initiatives based on numerous possible scenarios. These must be complemented by the expertise and involvement of law enforcement and first-responders. Essential to training and drills is the Active Shooter program detailed on the FBI website titled RUN, HIDE, FIGHT.
Informational/Cybersecurity: In this age of instantaneous global data at the fingertips of individuals across the globe, some with nefarious intentions, protecting information is vital to security.
Informational security must be effective and continually updated with ongoing training for personnel that empowers them with preventive techniques. This protects from breaches of information through the Internet, dumpster diving, ransomware, phishing scams, mobile payment and banking hacks, and social engineering. Prevention measures and training can prevent unnecessary turmoil to companies and employees.
Rise to the Occasion
America must do everything in its power to enhance security during these challenging times in the nation.
We are a nation that has a history of security challenges. Yet, once again America will rise to the occasion with the dedication, commitment, and professionalism of our citizens and all in the public and private sectors.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.