Does the Private Security Industry need a Standard to improve their security service performance and demonstrate good management practices? If you, like us, think that the security industry should become more professional then who or what organization would develop such a Standard and how far would its tentacles reach?
For the last several years ASIS International and ANSI (American National Standard Institute) have been debating this issue with subject matter experts from all over the world based on numerous difficulties and complaints in the private security industry related to costs, poor management, and human rights and freedom violations.
The result – ANSI / ASIS PSC.1-2012 “Management System for Quality of Private Security Operations – Requirements with Guidance” was developed and approved by the American National Standard. Our Senior Associate, Peter Stewart, has combed through the draft standard documents for your benefit.
A feature article in the September 2013 issue of "Passenger Terminal World" is dedicated to the coverage of Behaviour Detection as one of the risk-based screening methods applied in modern mass transit (e.g. airports) settings.
CHI Security's Michael Berk was interviewed by this leading industry magazine to provide insights into this highly specialized trade. Read the feature article here on-line or in the digital format here
(see page 18).
Note: the authors have incorrectly associated the Passenger Behaviour Observation pilot program with Transport Canada, as oppose to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. We asked them to update this (as well as the full name of our company) but the issue went to print already...
According to CBC and other sources, VIA Rail is considering to beef up its security procedures in light of the alleged terrorist plot to derail a train on New York to Toronto route. Among the possible security measures under consideration are greater scrutiny of checked luggage, use of sniffer dogs, mandatory ID checks and luggage reconciliation. Among other measures already in place, VIA Rail spokesperson mentioned that VIA employees have been trained in observing suspicious body language. Some pundits were quick to describe these measures as 'aviation security style' screening which will render traveling by train in Canada a lot less pleasant. We believe this won't be the case.
In our opinion, the addition of more serious security measures to Canadian rail cargo and passenger transportation has been long overdue. Rail infrastructure and communications constitute an integral part of the national critical infrastructure. A recent event at Lac-Megantic, QC has provided vivid images of what could occur in an urban area if an attack involving a heavy load of explosives is executed. In the current evolving threat environment the addition of sensible and scalable risk-based security measures makes a lot of sense.
Let us begin by defining what this means in the world of security operations. In our practice, it is the process of observing someone's behaviour and analyzing it for indicators of adversarial modes of operations.
In addition, especially trained officers would look at appearance, accompanying people, documents (if possible), verbal and other non-verbal cues, and conduct a security-driven interview (if allowed by regulations). All of the information thus assembled in a course of 5 sec to 1:30 min is analyzed relative to the operational environment or context in which the process is occurring. In the end, a qualified security officer will reach a simple decision: threat or no threat. Wait, you can ask, where does the racial / ethnic / religious profiling come into play? It does not.
This philosophical question continues to occupy the minds of many security professionals and interested commentators. The answer, in most cases, is somewhere in the middle but this team believes that in a truly proactive security system Human Factor should-be the determining element.
While there are many security threats and risks outside, the reality is that we mostly fear those coming from other humans. In simple terms, this inherent mistrust in other humans, whether as risk factors or performers, is what causes us to look for technology as a solution. The problem of course is that humans in general (and evil-doers in particular) are quite inventive in circumventing various static barriers put in their way, be it a sensor-wired wall, a sophisticated X-ray machine or biometric devices (not to mention another apparent problem -- these 'solutions' have humans attached to operate them, oops). In reality, most security systems we witness today are passive and inefficient. They perform 'law enforcement' duties (e.g. CCTVs -- a post-event information collection), are not flexible to deal with evolving threats and in many cases contribute to the 'security theatre' perception.
CHI Security team includes professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. In this blog we share our musings on how to build a resilient security force. Hardware comes later...