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Security Industry Association

A smart move by ISC, SIA and the WSC

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This is an old-fashioned industry in too many ways, so I'm always thrilled when I hear news like this: the Security Industry Association, ISC and the Women’s Security Council will be awarding a full scholarship for a woman student enrolled in the new Mercer County Community College security degree program in 2015.

“This scholarship program is made possible with financial support from SIA and ISC and we are incredibly honored by their support and generosity,” Rhianna Daniels, founding committee member of the WSC, told me. “The overall goal of the program is to increase diversity in the industry and allow more women to gain access to the great opportunities available in today's security market.”

The scholarship was announced at the Women’s Security Council reception at ISC West by Ed Several of Reed Exhibitions, which produces ISC events, and Don Erickson, CEO of SIA.

“The lack of women in the security industry is not a new problem, but in this role [CEO of SIA] I really believe it’s something we need to draw more attention to. This is a small example of how we’re doing this,” Erickson said.

The Mercer County Community College security degree program will be launched in the fall of 2015. It is a two-year program that will award degrees in: project management; security integration; product technology and security sales.

A SIA committee came up with the idea for the program last summer. Key participants on that committee are Dave Lyons of System Sensor, Pierre Trapanese of Northland Control Systems and Frank De Fina of Samsung.

De Fina said the industry continues to struggle to find qualified candidates, even though jobs in this industry pay well and offer advancement opportunity.

In addition, De Fina said there’s a “tremendous lack to diversity in the security industry” and said one of the reason organizers chose Mercer County Community College for this program is because it “draws a higher-than-normal percentage of African Americans, Hispanics and women. We need to expose these people to our business,” De Fina said. And this degree program is one way to do it.

SIA has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mercer and is in the process of recruiting industry professionals to teach courses at Mercer.

De Fina pointed out that high grades in the associates degree program at Mercer can lead to a bachelor’s degree. “If you go through the program with a 3.5 GPA or better, you’re assured spot in a four-year program at Rutgers [University],” De Fina said.

Both the scholarship and the degree program are smart moves for the security industry. Congratulations to SIA, ISC and the WSC.

SIA applauds pending school safety initiative

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01/17/2014

SILVER SPRING, Md.—A school safety measure included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 could help grow investment in school safety, according to the Security Industry Association.

SIA, County Executives of America to share resources

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12/19/2013

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association and the County Executives of America have signed a memorandum of understanding, pledging to share resources to bolster public safety and emergency management, according to a Dec. 18 announcement.

SIA applauds house passage of TSA Reform Act

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12/06/2013

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association lauded the House of Representatives for unanimously passing the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act (H.R. 2719), which would require the TSA to implements practices and be more transparent about procuring technology.

Security and the shutdown

Erickson: Continuing resolution is best outcome for security industry; SIA working to mitigate effect of shutdown on integrators
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10/21/2013

WASHINGTON—There’s no doubt that the government shutdown has affected the security industry, and the best outcome at this juncture would be a long-term continuing resolution, Don Erickson, CEO of the Security Industry Association told Security Director News.

Elizabeth Hunger: Finding inspiration in the Beltway

For the fifth consecutive year, SSN is profiling women who are making their mark in the traditionally male-dominated world of security. Elizabeth Hunger, manager of government relations for SIA, is one of seven women featured.
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10/16/2013

WASHINGTON—Coming from outside the industry isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. That’s something Elizabeth Hunger knows firsthand, having transitioned to the industry after serving three years as a program advisor for a global health project funded by the United States Agency for International Development or USAID.

Security and the shutdown

Erickson: Continuing resolution is best outcome for security industry; SIA working to mitigate effect of shutdown on integrators
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10/11/2013

WASHINGTON—There’s no doubt that the government shutdown has affected the security industry and the best outcome at this juncture would be a long-term continuing resolution, Don Erickson, CEO of the Security Industry Association told Security Systems News. 

SIA steps up fight for school security funding

Industry faces new hurdle on TWIC as report faults pilot program
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05/24/2013

WASHINGTON—The Security Industry Association has expanded its fight for school security funding, taking the issue to the House and asking the Senate to consider a stand-alone bill after grant money was denied during the debate over gun control.

Video surveillance holds the key in Boston bomb probe

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Marcus Dunn was late for the phone call Tuesday morning, but there was no need to apologize (although he did so anyway). As director of government relations for the Security Industry Association, he had been in a meeting to discuss the bombings in Boston and it ran longer than expected.

Our conversation—we speak every month about legislative issues affecting the industry—quickly turned to Monday’s deadly attack. Less than 24 hours had passed and speculation was rampant about who had done it and why. There were few new facts, but police had started to sift through surveillance video that likely will be key to solving the crime.

That provided a silver lining, however slim, for Dunn.

“When these things happen, despite all the craziness, there’s a little bit of pride in being with an organization that often prevents these types of things or plays a large role in apprehending those responsible,” he said. “There are some critics of the technology and how there are cameras on the streets, but I think we’ve seen time and time again that they’re effective in preventing crime and certainly very effective in capturing perpetrators.”

Dunn said that was the case after bombs killed 52 people aboard three London trains and a city bus on July 7, 2005. The examination of CCTV images helped investigators identify the suicide bombers and arrest others connected to the attacks.

“We’re trying to determine what was deployed in the area in Boston and if a [SIA] member company had equipment deployed there,” Dunn said. “In London, it’s just decked out—there are cameras everywhere. That’s what they used [in 2005]. They were able to go through the surveillance footage very quickly.”

In the aftermath of Monday’s attack, there was also the realization that “soft targets” like the Boston Marathon will always be vulnerable. No matter what security precautions are taken, the risk can never be eliminated—at least not in a free society. With it comes a loss of innocence that deepens the grief.

“The marathon is one of those things that is very open, you can come and go,” Dunn said. “Those days are gone now.”

After SIA’s meeting Tuesday morning, CEO Don Erickson—who is also a marathon runner—echoed the thoughts of many with the following statement:
 
“As someone who has personally experienced the strong community spirit that exists on marathon days, I am incredibly saddened by the horrific events that tragically occurred yesterday in Boston. On behalf of SIA, our thoughts and prayers are extended to those who were injured and to the families of those who lost their lives on what should have been a day of accomplishment and excitement for the city of Boston. We extend our thanks to the first responders who acted so quickly to help the victims of this attack.”

SIA tells Obama safer schools possible without policy shift

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02/25/2013

WASHINGTON—With the debate raging on in Congress about school security after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., the Security Industry Association recently sent a letter to President Obama to let him know that steps can be taken now to make schools safer without major changes in policy.

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