Emergency Services

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Houston’s-Game-Day-Solutions.aspxHouston’s Game Day SolutionsGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-07-01T04:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/lilly-chapa.aspx, Lilly Chapa<p>​The city of Houston, Texas, was in a football frenzy during the days leading up to the 2017 Super Bowl showdown between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons at Houston’s NRG Stadium. A nine-day fan festival, pop-up clubs hosting acts such as Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift, National Football League (NFL) and ESPN activities, and other events were scattered throughout the sprawling metropolis, home to 2.2 million people. </p><p>Just four months before a million visitors converged on Houston for the festivities, Jack Hanagriff, the infrastructure protection coordinator for Houston’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, was tasked with expanding the city’s surveillance program and implementing a solution that would support emergency communications while overcoming the expected strain on the mobile network. </p><p>“Although our system is robust and can handle things normally, when you get a national event coming in, our cell service gets interfered with and then our cameras get hindered by blockages,” Hanagriff explains. Especially tricky was Super Bowl LIVE, the nine-day fan festival held in Discovery Green, a 12-acre urban park, and in five surrounding parking lots. The area is also home to the George R. Brown Convention Center and several hotels, high-rise condominiums, and businesses—all of which contribute to high usage of wireless and mobile networks, even when no events are taking place. </p><p>Hanagriff had to figure out how to deploy additional cameras to Discovery Green and other high-traffic areas such as team hotels, pop-up clubs, and the Galleria shopping center, while addressing the network strain that was sure to hinder communication and video feeds during the events. </p><p>“In public safety, we’re using other sources of technology beyond the actual emergency radio communications—such as cell phones and field reporting devices and cameras—and it works fine,” Hanagriff explains. “But when you start coming in with a mass of people and commercial carriers putting in their infrastructure and tents, the ecosystem of the venue changes so that our existing permanent solution is not adequate because it may get blocked.”</p><p>Hanagriff pulled together a robust team for the task, including vendors, wireless providers, and federal, state, and local players. Axis Communications donated 40 cameras to the cause, Vidsys provided information management middleware, and Siklu’s radios were used to transmit some of the video surveillance. Wireless carrier Verizon had already been working for months to beef up its network capacity in the city, and Hanagriff said it agreed to allow the city to connect its cameras to the fiber network it was laying.​</p><h4>The Buildout</h4><p>While NRG Stadium and the Galleria already had robust camera networks established, the city had to prepare Discovery Green and its surrounding parking lots for Super Bowl LIVE, where more than 150,000 people were expected to attend each day.</p><p>“We were confident we would get some coverage, but when I saw the footprint of the event…Discovery Green is one thing, but those five additional parking lots? That’s a lot of coverage,” Hanagriff says. “We knew we needed some really big players.”</p><p>In the weeks leading up to the kickoff of Super Bowl LIVE, workers spent 480 hours deploying the solution. Several cameras were installed on permanent structures surrounding Discovery Green, but most of the installation occurred in sync with the construction of the Super Bowl LIVE infrastructure. </p><p>“As they built the gates and kiosks and stages, we attached the cameras to those structures,” Hanagriff explains. “But even while they were building, they kept moving things, so we kept having to move the cameras. We had to put flyover cables where they didn’t exist—we were literally dropping 3,000-pound flagpoles to attach cables to and run them across the street.”</p><p>Fixed cameras were installed at all entry and exit areas, and pan-tilt-zoom cameras were used at every gate to observe the outer perimeter of the festival’s footprint. VIP and high-density areas were also a high priority—Discovery Green’s main stage was expected to draw at least 20,000 people for its major events, such as nightly light shows and a concert by Solange Knowles. Hanagriff said the city worked with intelligence officials to set up cameras in areas where potential threats could be carried out. Cameras were also outfitted with audio sensors that could detect and triangulate gunshots, as well as a sensor that detects an elevated anger response in human speech that often occurs before an argument.</p><p>The 40 Axis cameras, as well as 26 of the city’s existing cameras, were brought together under one dashboard through Vidsys middleware and were connected with fiber because of Verizon’s infrastructure buildout. Additionally, the 40 new cameras streamed to the Verizon cloud, allowing for mobile access and redundancy. “If we lost our main system, we could still run the temporary system off the cloud,” Hanagriff explains. “The cloud gave us versatility to bring in mobile applications and partners that did not have access to our existing system.”</p><p>Hanagriff wanted to deploy a camera on top of a hotel a block from the Super Bowl LIVE footprint for an all-encompassing view of the festival, but ran into connectivity problems. The fiber did not extend to the hotel, and radio frequencies completely saturated the area, making a wireless network solution impossible. The city ended up working with Siklu to install a millimeter wave radio that used narrow beam technology to transmit the video feed on an unoccupied spectrum. </p><p>“There was so much radio frequency you could walk on air,” Hanagriff says. “The Siklu radio beamed right through all of it.” </p><p>Security officials set up an emergency operations center in the convention center next to Discovery Green, where the camera feeds—including setups at NRG Stadium and the Galleria—were consolidated. Although many of the existing cameras were part of a closed network, the temporary cameras could be accessed via mobile devices from the cloud, which was crucial in integrating new partners into security operations. Hanagriff described the operations center as a huge room with dozens of partners: event coordinators, Houston officials and first responders, the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Public Safety and Transportation Departments, the FBI, and other federal agency representatives. </p><p>Whether they were at the center itself or out in the city, officials could access the camera feeds via mobile devices. The Harris County Sheriff’s Department set up a mobile command post at the Galleria, where more activities and protests were taking place. It was able to use the mobile application to review the Galleria’s camera feeds and correspond with the main command post, Hanagriff says. And during the Super Bowl game itself, several groups were able to access the city’s cameras at NRG Stadium, including NFL security directors and another mobile command post closer to the event.  ​</p><h4>Emergency Operations</h4><p>While Hanagriff’s role was coordinating the technology infrastructure ahead of the festivities, Patrick Hagan, technical specialist and engineer operator for the Houston Fire Department, saw firsthand how the camera setup helped emergency operations in such an unpredictable environment.</p><p>During Super Bowl LIVE, members of Houston’s police and fire departments were dispatched via portable devices that operate on Band 14, a broadband spectrum reserved for first responders. The devices can run active GPS for an entire 16-hour shift, serve as trackers for the officers, and share information, location, and images from the field to command center or vice versa. </p><p>“Because of the nature of the footprint, Super Bowl LIVE was closed off with a hard barrier, so we had to have teams inside that didn’t have vehicle apparatus,” Hagan explains. “Because of that they were on foot or on bike, so we dispatched them via GPS, which was new to us.” </p><p>A few weeks before the Super Bowl events, first responders tested out the devices to communicate via Band 14 during the Houston Marathon. “We gave the GPS a run for its money—we tried to max out the system, wanted to see what it would do under a lot of traffic, and never got any failure points,” Hagan says. But that wasn’t the case for Super Bowl LIVE.</p><p>Due to the massive amount of radio frequency traffic in Discovery Green, which Hagan agreed was the most he had ever experienced, the officers’ GPS signals experienced reflectivity and weren’t totally precise.</p><p>“Our GPS wasn’t quite true,” Hagan says. “It was off in some cases by 150 yards, which when you’re in a sea of people, is a few thousand people. We had to work around that.”</p><p>Hagan and others in the emergency operations center were able to coordinate with officers in the field by using the video feeds and verbal commands to guide them to called-in emergencies.</p><p>“We’d leverage those video systems to give our bike teams a better location,” Hagan explains. “We could see the officer’s blue dot with the tracking system and I’d compare it to the map of where I knew the patient was by looking at a video feed. Then I could verbally walk them there via radio and cellular communication. I can’t just say that the patient is over by the food truck when there are 80 food trucks.”</p><p>Using GPS and video feeds for dispatching was a first for the Houston Fire Department. “We don’t show up when things work. We show up when things break,” Hagan notes. “It’s a very fine line that we walk between using cutting-edge technology versus tried and true methods that are much lower tech. We have to utilize the technology to our advantage when we can, but when it fails we need to have contingency for that, and still be practiced in that contingency.”</p><p>Hagan made sure that contingency plans were in place during the Super Bowl, explaining that officials were prepared to resort to voice and radio dispatching if the GPS or video feeds failed. The dual capability of the video feeds allowed even the giant command post to be completely mobile, he notes. </p><p>“Everything in the command post was done on a laptop and broadcast on these giant screens, so at a moment’s notice we could drop and run and take all that with us and still have all our capabilities,” Hagan says. “We could still share data…still communicate—that’s the point of the redundancy. We had the hard connection but we wanted to be able to see all of our video streams and everything on mobile if we had to.”​</p><h4>Technology Forward</h4><p>After nine days of fans, football, and a Patriots win in overtime, Hanagriff and Hagan agree that the technology-forward security approach was a success. And while the pop-up clubs have been deconstructed and Discovery Green has reverted back to an urban oasis, the technology used remains in the city. Verizon’s citywide enhancements will continue to benefit Houstonians, city businesses and public officials will continue to strengthen their partnerships, and ​the 40 cameras Axis provided will be part of what Hanagriff calls a technology playground.</p><p>The cameras will be redeployed in high-traffic areas such as Discovery Green and the Galleria, and businesses, first responders, and industry partners will test ways to further integrate security technology into Houston. Hanagriff plans on forming a partnership with everyone invested in the project to determine the direction and scope of the testing.</p><p>“We all get exposure to all these different technologies, and there are benefits for everybody, and it’s all done by in-kind services,” Hanagriff says. “Everybody gets a big bang with no buck.” </p><p>Public safety officials will be able to learn more about video analytics and other cutting-edge technology without disrupting their current camera system, industry partners who provide the equipment and software will be able to conduct research and development and receive direct feedback from subject matter experts, and private businesses that allow the city to put equipment on their buildings will have access to systems that are normally out of reach. </p><p>“Most business partners are usually on the inside looking out, and this system gives them the ability to be on the outside looking in on their property,” Hanagriff notes. </p><p>Hagan says that in the past the fire department has only had access to the city’s camera feeds and has been unable to manipulate them. Being able to take full advantage of the cameras’ capabilities during the Super Bowl events showed how helpful they could be during dispatch, and he hopes the fire department can continue to access the city’s camera infrastructure more fully. </p><p>“We have a lot of the same goals and a lot of people doing the same exact job,” Hagan notes. “If we as a city can get three or four people who can perform that function and share that information with each department in real time, that would make sense. If someone calls into this joint operation and says, ‘I need eyes here, do you see anything?’ those people can give immediate feedback to any department. That’s the plan.”   ​</p>

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Securing-the-Fan-Experience.aspxSecuring the Fan Experience<p>​<span style="line-height:1.5em;">In October 2005, as the final seconds ticked off the clock and Oklahoma University (OU) sealed its 43 to 21 victory against Kansas State, an announcement washed over the 84,000 fans gathered in the football stadium: a bomb had gone off outside the stadium and attendees could not leave.</span></p><p> When fans finally exited the venue 30 minutes later, OU student Joel Henry Hinrichs III was dead, killed when an explosive device attached to his body detonated near Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. After an FBI investigation, authorities determined that Hinrichs had no intention of harming others and his death was ruled a suicide.</p><p> The incident at OU is just one in a long line of threats to sports venues across the United States and the world, stretching from the Munich Summer Olympics in 1972 to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Now, any sporting event can be selected as a worthy target,and with more than 2,450 stadiums in the United States alone, there are many of these critical infrastructure targets to choose from.</p><p> Complacency in responding to emerging threats could result in lost assets, injuries, and deaths. The National Football League (NFL) addressed this concern with its clear bag policy for entry into any football game—a controversial and unpopular decision, especially for female fans. </p><p> The policy, adopted in May 2013, requires fans who carry in bags to use bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC that do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12.” The league also allows fans to bring in one-gallon, clear, plastic freezer bags, and small clutch bags that are approximately the size of a hand. These rules are similar to policies that were already in place at the University of Michigan, Penn State University, and others.</p><p> “Our fans deserve to be in a safe and secure environment,” said Jeffrey Miller, NFL vice president and chief security officer, in a press release on the policy. “Public safety is our top priority. This will make the job of checking items much more efficient and effective.”</p><p> Following the NFL’s actions, in January 2014, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that metal detectors will be required by 2015 in all baseball stadiums. The policy was developed with the aid of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in an effort to “standardize security practices across the game,” said MLB spokesman Michael Teevan in a press release. All 30 teams will be required to implement security screening for fans, either with hand-held metal detection or walk-through magnetometers.</p><p> Although there are many obstacles to overcome, the ultimate goal is to provide a secure venue where sports fans are safe watching their team and the stakeholders are responsible in their efforts to provide a safe and secure environment. Two ways of doing this are by understanding the current liability landscape and through improvements in facility design.​</p><h4>Liability</h4><p>During the February 2014 Super Bowl, DHS provided support to the State of New Jersey and the NFL to help secure MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford and establish a perimeter around the facility. Efforts included teams to secure transit to and from the stadium, equipment scanning of cargo entering the stadium, air security enforcement, maritime and waterway security, and the addition of screeners and checkpoint lanes at Newark Liberty International Airport for the influx of fans arriving by air for the game.</p><p> This was part of the department’s efforts through the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act of 2002, which allows businesses to have a cap placed on liability due to terrorist acts where Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies (QATTs) have been deployed. Many venues in the sporting world have qualified for the act designation and are among the more than 685 applications that have been approved, according to DHS.</p><p> When venues achieve designation, they are encouraged to develop and deploy antiterrorism technology, and private corporations have seized on the opportunity to promote the financial incentive of enhancing technology and infrastructure to create a secure ring around venues. These methods include 24-hour awareness of the interior and exterior of the venue before, during, and after the event, such as the security operation surrounding the 2014 Super Bowl. </p><p> The SAFETY Act is just one part of the initiative to improve security at critical infrastructure in the United States, clarify liability, and ensure that insurance is available to cover terrorist attacks. This became a major concern for the private sector following the collapse of the Twin Towers, when the courts decided that the World Trade Center stakeholders should have known that the building complex was a potential target for terrorist attacks. Consequently, the stakeholders should have provided more mitigation to occupants in the buildings, the courts determined, resulting in $39.4 billion in losses from the towers’ collapse.</p><p> Following the incident, many insurance providers began to exclude terrorism coverage from their policies. This ultimately threatened the economy; commercial project leaders and many industry investors require terrorism protection to begin construction.</p><p> After the insurance companies’ move, the federal government decided to take action, and in 2002, Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which allows the federal government to assist with compensation in the event of losses from a terrorist attack. It was renewed by Congress in 2007 and is currently being debated for extension through December 2019; otherwise, it will expire at the end of this year.​</p><h4>Facility Design</h4><p>With the changing liability landscape, constructing new stadiums and retrofitting them to improve the fan experience and security is now a focus. Venue owners of the NFL, MLB, National Hockey League, and National Basketball Association are taking pride in developing new, elaborate facilities, and have recognized that stadium construction analysis and design can help them achieve their goal of protecting the up to 100,000 people who attend a game. </p><p> New stadiums can be engineered for increased safety. For example, to ensure maximum security new construction can avoid dangerous major industrial areas, highways, freight railways, and bodies of water. The structure should also be protected against earthquakes, lightning, and bombs.</p><p> Additionally, it should have all glassy, show areas away from where the fans stand. This means putting up a large expanse of glass near the entry could result in a shower of glass on fans if a sniper or bomb blast blows it out.</p><p> Venues should also be less porous. In particular, ballparks should not expose their outfields to adjacent neighborhood buildings where a sniper could lurk. There are now numerous companies that promote building protection, bollards, barriers, safety glass retrofit, hydraulic lift gate closure, hazardous materials detection technology, and other security services to protect the integrity of the building and the fans.</p><p> Along with improving the safety features of the materials in the facility itself, ingress and egress issues should also be of concern to venue owners: patrons have been crushed to death on several occasions. One of the worst incidents of fans being crushed at a soccer match was at a match at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, in 1989 where 93 people were killed and 180 injured when fans surged forward in severely overcrowded stands, according to <em>The New York Times. </em></p><p> Egress should also be considered during an evacuation, given that victims can be trampled when panicking crowds behave erratically, such as during a fire. Venues can also be held liable for crowd crush incidents, so many are changing their venue construction and practices in response. For instance, festival seating or open admission is no longer a universal practice because crowds can get unruly and can threaten public safety, according to Steven Adelman of Adelman Law Group. Adelman doesn’t consider general seating, such as festival seating, to be a wise arrangement. Assigned seating, railings, sections, and corridors are valuable for crowd management and result in fewer crush situations.</p><p> Venues of various capacities in the United States will eventually be required to protect the public with a high standard of security, including MLB and NFL stadiums. The focus on entry security and control of access is only one of many enhancements seen in the last few years that are now necessary to prepare for a wide range of threats.</p><p> In the past, venue security was focused on weather related, earthquake related, or firearm related threats. The concerns of today include biological, chemical, radiological, and hidden explosive threats, and venues must take the proper precautions to ensure fans and athletes within their facilities are secure. </p><h4>Government Programs for Securing Sports Venues</h4><p><br>The federal government has designated sports venues as critical infrastructure and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is providing a variety of resources to the sector, taking the lead in sports venue security. One of its first projects was in May 2005 when the agency worked with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, providing funds to the University of Southern Mississippi to develop a model for sports venue security. </p><p> These vulnerability models were designed to address hazards and threats, and DHS has concentrated on providing resources for venue owners and managers. Following are a few such tools available to security professionals.</p><p> <strong>Risk assessment.</strong> DHS has created a Risk Self-Assessment Tool (RSAT), which provides an assessment of the venue and a benchmark report, comparing it to other similar venues. Results of the assessment are confidential and can address retrofitting of equipment and physical infrastructure, technology, staff training, maintenance, and creating a virtual ring of safety around a venue to increase security.</p><p> <strong>Reference materials. </strong>DHS also publishes an official Protective Measures Guide for U.S. Sports Leagues and a Protective Measures Guide for Outdoor Venues as a resource for sports venues. It also has created a suspicious activity video, Check It! A Training Guide: How to Check a Bag for Security Personnel, which includes guidelines on checking for false sides or bottoms, and checking for forbidden or hidden items. </p><p> DHS has also created another video in the Check It! line on protecting public spaces. This video explains how to recognize suspicious behavior.</p><p> Additionally, DHS will also provide site assistance visits for venue owners and law enforcement to receive input on their particular venue vulnerabilities. DHS can also provide evacuation planning for a stadium.</p><p> <strong>Cubed Program.</strong> DHS is also taking an active role in promoting the interconnectivity of cybersecurity and physical security. One recent initiative, the Cubed Program (C3), was announced in February 2014 and is just one of DHS’s recent efforts. The program provides assistance to owners and operators, voluntarily, to use DHS guidelines in managing their cybersecurity. The program provides cybersecurity resources and access to a cybersecurity advisor. </p><p> The federal government also provides incentives for participating, including liability protection, procurement advantages, and tax grants. </p><p> <strong>Reviews.</strong> If a sports venue is listed in the Commercial Facilities Sector of U.S. critical infrastructure, DHS will provide tools for a self-assessment Cyber Resilience Review. However, DHS also gives venues an option to allow a DHS representative to perform a security assessment. All findings are then presented in a confidential report.</p><p> <strong>Insider Threat.</strong> DHS’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also offers programs to assist with sports venue security. Its “IS-915: Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Insider Threat” course provides guidance to critical infrastructure employees and service providers on how to identify and take action against insider threats. 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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Sounding-the-Alarm-at-Lone-Star.aspxSounding the Alarm at Lone Star<p>In our interconnected world, the vast majority of people within a college campus community think little of an emergency and how the institution will communicate with them—until it happens. Then, they want timely information on what is occurring, what to do, and where they can learn more.  </p><p>There is an assumption that if anything happens, everyone will receive a text message instantly, the faculty and staff will know what to do, and there will be an announcement over a public address system. Expectations are set. </p><p>Recent events, like the shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College in October 2015, have students, faculty, parents, and guests inquiring about the notification equipment and procedures in place on their campus. They want assurances that the emergency systems will work when needed. </p><p>Many institutions have opt-in text messaging solutions and public address systems used for a broad range of services, including special events. In an emergency, speakers, sirens, and horns are often the first warnings received that danger is present or imminent.  </p><p>To meet the expectation of the campus community, schools must understand what emergency communications are necessary, what the law requires, and what the school can afford.  </p><p>This was the challenge facing Lone Star College (LSC) in 2010. The largest higher education institution in the Houston area, with six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, and LSC-Online, LSC provides high-quality academic transfer, workforce education, and career training programs to more than 83,000 credit students each semester, and a total enrollment of 95,000 students. It would need a robust emergency communication system to support its diverse campus community. ​</p><h4>Crafting a Solution </h4><p>When LSC decided to create its notification system, LoneStarAlert, in 2010, it used a team approach, crafting a selection committee and choosing a sponsor who could move the project forward. An LSC vice chancellor responsible for safety and security was chosen as the sponsor—an indicator of the project’s importance within LSC. </p><p>LSC then began selecting its committee members, including a cross section of the organization: administrative, college relations, compliance, emergency management, facilities, IT, law enforcement, procurement, student services, and tenants. </p><p>The committee also included individuals who preferred the status quo system at LSC, which had six colleges and six alert systems with their own name, workflow, vendor, and contracts. Having individuals on the committee who represented each of these systems made them realize that one solution with one name was a better overall system for LSC. Because of this, these individuals felt they had a voice and were being heard, making them great ambassadors for the new system. </p><p>Once the committee was assembled, LSC began assessing its environment. It knew it had different systems and various levels of sophistication because the campus had buildings that ranged from 40 to less than five years old. The buildings were also geographically dispersed among the city of Houston and Harris and Montgomery Counties in Texas, each of which has its own building and fire codes.  </p><p>To tackle this service area—approximately the size of Rhode Island—LSC first targeted the LSC-Greenspoint Center, a mid-rise atrium building with the most stringent fire ordinances of all the buildings on LSC campuses.  </p><p>LSC also targeted buildings within two colleges: LSC-North Harris and LSC-Kingwood. LSC-North Harris was chosen because it is close to a major airport and runway. LSC-Kingwood was chosen because it falls under three jur­isdictions—half the campus sits in Montgomery County, the remaining half is in Harris County, and the entire campus is annexed by the City of Houston.  </p><p>Then, over a five-year period, LSC created a mass notification system (MNS) with multiple levels of redundancy. ​</p><h4>the lone star system </h4><p>LSC implemented LoneStarAlert in 2011, consolidating its various emergency campus text messaging services under one solution. LoneStarAlert is a Web-based warning system that can send voice and text alerts to registered individuals when an emergency occurs. </p><p>The system works by issuing an alert over speakers, via a prerecorded or live message, and through e-mail messages in English and Spanish. For example, for a lockdown the prerecorded message says: “Attention. Lockdown now. There is an emergency on campus. Go into the nearest room or closet and lock the door.” Messages also instruct the campus community to wait for further instructions while they remain in a safe place. </p><p>LoneStarAlert also uses text messages of 90 characters or less—in English and Spanish. For an active shooter situation, messages say “Lockdown now. Emergency on campus. Go to nearest safe place, stay calm, and wait for further instructions.”  </p><p>More than 100,000 users are registered for the alert system, and it is only used for emergency messaging and testing of the system. Users are added through an automated system at the beginning of the semester, and users also have the option to self-register.  </p><p>This information is collected in compliance with the State of Texas Education Code Section 51.218 Emergency Alert System. The code requires institutions of higher education to gather a student’s personal e-mail, cell phone, or telephone number to deliver emergency communiques; using only LSC’s e-mail and voice mail system does not satisfy the requirement. </p><p>This information must be added to LSC’s LoneStarAlert system once provided, typically during registration. This process is repeated at the start of each semester.  </p><p>The system is also designed as an opt-out system, rather than an opt-in (choosing to participate) system, in compliance with the code. LSC does not allow this data to be used for any other purpose.  </p><p>Some users are still reluctant to regist­er for LoneStarAlert for fear that their information will be sold to third-party marketers. Ensuring this personal information is only used for emergency use not only keeps LSC in compliance with state regulations, it also shows that the institution is committed to protecting users’ privacy.  </p><p>LSC has made a commitment to closely manage this information and grant access to it only on a need-to-know basis and as authorized.  ​</p><h4>targeting the lsc population </h4><p>For an MNS to work, the institution has to think of the recipients it wants to target and ensure the system is capable of sending alert messages to those target groups. </p><p>LSC identified its target groups as employees, distribution lists (internal and external response teams), dynamic groups (created as needed), geographical locations, networked equipment, students, contractors, tenants, and guests. </p><p>LSC also needed to consider its unique status as a commuter college without campus housing. Some students, employees, and guests visit different campus locations more than once throughout the semester. Sending an emergency communication to just one given area would limit the reach of the MNS, and might miss some individuals who are en route and others who want to know what is occurring on any LSC campus.  </p><p>Instead, the system would need to be structured to send emergency messages to all registered users, regardless of their location. This system would be easier for LSC to administer and more desirable for the LSC community. </p><p>LSC also knew that accessibility and inclusion would be key to the success of its MNS. The system would need to be accessible to individuals with physical, sensory, mental health, and cognitive or intellectual disabilities that affect their ability to function independently. </p><p>The system would also need to be inclusive of seniors, those with limited English proficiency, and unaccompanied minors on campus. LSC has dual education programs for high-school students, Discovery College for children during the summer, full- and part-time day care centers, high schools, and public libraries that all provide opportunities for underage guests on campus.  </p><p>To reach these individuals, LSC would need to design its MNS to provide information online and to enroll them through LoneStarAlert. Because minors cannot be asked directly for personal contact information, LSC would have to work with leaders of these various groups to contact parents and guardians—who would then provide the information that then allowed their child to be enrolled in the system. </p><p>LSC also knew that its system would need to reach the public libraries, four-year educational partners, school systems, executive conference centers, and commercial tenants that are a part of its campus. To reach these stakeholders, LSC would have to provide instructions and a means for individuals to self-register in LoneStarAlert. ​</p><h4>choosing the right integrator </h4><p>LSC awarded its initial MNS contract to a local system integrator, Convergint Technologies. They worked together to create LSC’s wide-area MNS, which is used for any hazard or threat that poses an imminent or present danger and requires immediate action. This includes an evacuation, shelter-in-place, or lockdown scenario. Advisories and alerts that do not pose an imminent or present danger are sent out via LSC e-mail. </p><p>LSC’s MNS is deployed using Windows and Microsoft SQL Servers in a secured and high availability environment. The servers are clustered into a shared pool of monitored resources, so if a host fails, the system immediately responds by restarting each affected host from a different host. </p><p>The MNS encodes and decodes audible signals and live-voice messages transmitted across a TCP/IP local area network using voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). LoneStarAlert text, voice mail, and e-mail are delivered using a Web-based application hosted by the provider. </p><p>LSC’s wide-area MNS command system is located at the main administrative offices and is interconnected with each campus’ central control station, comprising the total system.  </p><p>Each campus is classified as a zone, and each building within a zone is considered a sub-zone. Most campuses have sub-zones that are interconnected. This configuration enables activation of prerecorded, live voice, or tone signals that can be sent to a sub-zone, zones, or the total system, providing redundancy throughout the system. </p><p>LSC police dispatch is responsible for immediately distributing voice messages or alert signals. It is authorized—and empowered—to send emergency messages to the affected populations using either prerecorded messages or live messaging via the wide-area MNS and LoneStarAlert.  </p><p>Dispatchers will send an alert when requested by an officer on the scene, or when requested by senior leadership. They will also issue an alert if there is credible information coming to the dispatch center that warrants sending a message. </p><p>As part of its initial installation, LSC included speakers for common areas with signals adjusted so the message could be heard through a closed door. However, the level of noise in the area impacts the level of intelligible voice or tone that can be heard.  </p><p>Additionally, LSC has video displays at all of its campuses where emergency messages are displayed using a digital management system. This ensures that individuals who cannot hear the emergency alerts do not miss them. </p><p>LSC also uses a buddy system where a buddy will help ensure a person with functional needs is supported, and first responders are aware of their last known positions and conditions. This information is then captured—when provided—in each campus fire safety plan. </p><p>As an additional measure, most LSC campus community members have cell phones. This enables those who are deaf or have other hearing impairments to receive emergency text messages and, where available, two-way communications using the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS).  </p><p>The TRS bridges the communication gap between voice telephone users and people with hearing impairments by allowing users anywhere in the United States to dial 711 to be connected to a TRS operator. The operator then serves as a link for the call, relaying the text of the calling party in voice to the called party, and converting to text what the called party voices back to the calling party. </p><p>Following the initial setup, in-house resources assumed most of the responsibility for supporting the system over a five-year period. However, the system integrator supplements LSC resources.  </p><p>Additional system integrators are also used to provide support for the MNS. Sharing the service responsibilities among multiple vendors provides redundancy in the event a vendor is unable to provide services to one or more of LSC’s locations. ​</p><h4>testing </h4><p>Whether a fire exit drill or a lockdown drill, testing of emergency communications processes and systems is a base requirement. LSC has a rolling three-year sustainability and exercise program that’s part of the LSC Emergency Management Plan, which tests the LoneStarAlert and its MNS. </p><p>In the beginning, some questioned the approach and anticipated backlash from disrupting operations by testing the systems. However, LSC quickly learned that the process built confidence within the community that the school is doing its part to keep its campus safe. </p><p>Testing also gave users who were registered incorrectly and did not receive text message alerts a chance to inform LSC. Users who did receive texts and e-mail alerts could also report how long it took to receive them. </p><p>This helped LSC determine that, on average, more than 95 percent of regis­tered users received text and e-mail alerts within two to three minutes of activation. </p><p>On one occasion when LoneStarAlert was not tested during a larger emergency management drill, LSC received negative feedback, debunking the myth that testing the system during normal operations is viewed negatively. This approach has helped LSC align its MNS with its brand.   </p><p>-- </p><p><em>Denise Walker is chief emergency management officer at Lone Star College System, responsible for policy and direction on emergency management; safety and security audits; fire safety; environment, public health, and safety; and victim advocacy. She serves as the chair of the Greater Houston Local Emergency Planning Committee and is executive member of the Texas Emergency Management Advisory Committee. She is the author of several books, including Mass Notification and Crisis Communications: Planning, Preparedness, and Systems.   ​</em></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Security-Culture.aspxBook Review: Security Culture<p>​Routledge; Routledge.com; 232 pages; $119.95.</p><p>Building and maintaining a strong security culture is integral to any organization’s security and resiliency. <em>In Security Culture: A How-to Guide for Improving Security Culture and Dealing with People Risk in Your Organisation</em>, author Hilary Walton demonstrates how to establish a “culture within a culture” where security is everyone’s priority and part of their day-to-day professional life. </p><p> This is a book about assessing, implementing, and improving upon a security and risk management culture within an organization. The author successfully outlines the fundamentals of a comprehensive, pragmatic security culture campaign, citing her experience as an organizational psychologist and business consultant in the United Kingdom and Australasia. Six case studies of her suggestions in action add credibility, and three appendixes offer useful examples of proposal letters and a year-long security communications plan.</p><p> Though many of her suggestions focus on large enterprises, her recommendations are scalable for smaller ones. While most of the book focuses on cybersecurity issues, an experienced security manager will see applications for integrating the entire security operation, as well. </p><p> This book is appropriate for a wide range of practitioners, instructors, and consultants who want to establish and build upon a strong security culture within their organizations. </p><p>--<br></p><p><em><strong>Reviewer: Erik Antons CPP, PSP</strong>, is manager of international security and executive services for Sempra Energy and is a former special agent with the Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of State. He is a member of the ASIS International Global Terrorism, Political Instability and International Crime Council and a board member for the ASIS San Diego Chapter.       </em></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465