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Don Erickson

Axis' Steve Surfaro to chair SIA's new Public Safety Working Group

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently announced its establishment of the SIA Public Safety Working Group, which will be chaired by Steve Surfaro, industry liaison, Axis Communications.

“This working group has been in the works for quite some time,” Surfaro told Security Systems News. “SIA began working on public safety through some work with the Homeland Security Science and Technology group, and it was thought that one of the best ways to really serve the security industry and public safety industry was to come up with a very agile and focused working group.”

According to SIA CEO Don Erickson, the goal with standing up the SIA Public Safety Working Group is to develop recommendations to improve the safety, security, and sustainability of cities and communities using technology, as well as provide advocacy of public policies in support of the group’s mission.

"As new and developing technologies undergo trial and testing or enter the field in use by public safety agencies, it is critical that the security industry maintain its voice in the appropriate adoption and deployment of these technologies," Erickson said in the announcement. "SIA members are uniquely qualified to provide council alongside active practitioners in police, fire, emergency medical services and other disciplines to maintain the safety and security of our cities and communities."

Erickson is excited to have Surfaro as the inaugural chairperson for the SIA Public Safety Working Group. “His connections throughout the security industry are exemplified by his achievements, for example, as chair of the Security Applied Sciences Council for ASIS International," he said.

The working group will involve a number of different key entities within the security and public safety spaces, including practitioners, solution providers, systems integrators and specialty manufacturers.

“The most important thing to realize is the PSWG is going to have equal representation across all interested parties, by both practitioners and solution providers, especially SIA members,” said Surfaro. “The mission is to provide guidance through education and publications, including special education sessions and events at ISC West and ISC East, for example, as well as a centralized repository of subject matter experts who have already had success overcoming public safety security challenges.”

In addition to looking at emerging technologies, such as autonomous systems and unmanned vehicles, the working group is creating a Tactical Solutions Handbook, a working document that will be the working group’s “first deliverable,” said Surfaro.

“A while ago with Homeland Security Science and Technology we had some great success together with SIA in publishing a Video Quality handbook,” he explained. “But now things are not just about video—they are about access control, acoustic sensing and signal detection, thermal imaging, screening techniques, body worn cameras, license plate technology, explosives detection—to name just a few.”

He continued, “Everything that we are going to put into this handbook is going to be equally used by both public safety and corporations with high risk, which will be able to get guidance for hardening their facilities as well.”

The working group should have four- to five chapters of the handbook ready by the fall, said Surfaro. “Each chapter will have a structure where a SME leads each chapter, and then has contributors,” he explained. “And then each of the contributors for the other chapters are going to be reviewers on the chapters they did not write, which will add to the collaborative nature of the handbook.”

Surfaro said the handbook will benefit greatly from having so many different perspectives. “We need to be agile enough to be able to work with multiple practitioner groups and leverage the SIA membership, which is very far-reaching with a lot of solution providers, and they will have a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the working group and to this handbook.”

Another goal with the handbook is to provide a guide for matching the different types of emerging threats today with an appropriate tactical solution. “So it will be a nice use-case method where the security industry will learn more about what is happening in public safety and public safety will learn about how many of the solutions that they need to defend against these emerging threats already exist,” said Surfaro.

Since the announcement, SIA and Surfaro have already gotten a great response from those interested in contributing. “In the past week alone, there are many who have reached out to SIA and myself pledging interest in the working group,” said Surfaro. “And it has been a wide variety of folks—systems integrators, solution providers, as well as those who are involved in law enforcement and fire. Working within a consensus-driven environment is vitally important with a group like this.”

SIA crowns new product award winners at ISC West

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04/26/2017

LAS VEGAS—There was an abundance of new products, and new companies at ISC this year, and the SIA New Product Showcase (NPS) award winners (see list below) exemplifies how tech-driven the industry has become and will continue to be moving forward.

SIA supports reintroduction of IoT legislation

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01/26/2017

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association announced its continued support of the bipartisan Developing and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, reintroduced in the Senate in January by the Internet of Things working group.

SIA opens submissions for ISC West New Product Showcase

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12/12/2016

SILVER SPRING, Md.—SIA is now accepting submissions for the SIA New Product Showcase at ISC West 2017.

SIA and Mercer launch security degree program

Classes designed train young people start tomorrow
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02/24/2016

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association and Mercer County Community College announced that classes for its inaugural course of Mercer’s Systems Technology associate’s degree in Applied Science, are beginning this week.

Security pros can get BS through SIA/college program

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The University of Phoenix College of Security and Criminal Justice and SIA have partnered to provide those who have completed a SIA Certified Security Project Manager credential with 21 credit hours to apply toward a bachelor of science in security management.

The goal, according to a prepared statement, is to respond to industry demands by providing flexibility to security professionals to advance and increase skills in the ever-changing industry.

“University of Phoenix is proud to partner with the Security Industry Association to provide security professionals with flexible learning options and industry-aligned curriculum that will further their education and build upon the skills gained through a CSPM certificate,” Spider Marks, executive dean for University of Phoenix College of Security and Criminal Justice, said in the statement.

Security professionals holding CSPM certificates have a minimum of approximately three years of hands-on project management experience. However, a survey by the Project Management Institute found that the majority of CSPM certificate holders in the United States do not have college degrees. 

“The increasing complexity in the security industry has resulted in expanding demands for educated professionals,” said Don Erickson, SIA chief executive. “This agreement offers seasoned practitioners who already possess management experience to apply their practical skills toward a degree that supports their career advancement while also meeting industry needs.”

The agreement between University of Phoenix College of Security and Criminal Justice and SIA is just one example of a growing list of strategic initiatives the college is undertaking as it increases its focus on meeting educational needs within the security sector, it said. 

SIA honors Coulombe of SecuritySpecifiers

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09/24/2015

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association will present the Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award to Ray Coulombe of SecuritySpecifiers at SIA Honors Night Nov. 18.

Lippert Award given to Frank De Fina posthumously

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09/10/2015

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association today announced that Frank De Fina, former senior director, strategic sales, for Hikvision USA, will receive the 2015 George R. Lippert Memorial Award posthumously.

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 of 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,” De Fina said.

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 hire signals new focus for group

SIA will concentrate on regulatory affairs with new legislative director Jake Parker
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01/22/2014

WASHINGTON— In an appointment designed to bring about some shifts in the organization’s direction, the Security Industry Association has hired Jake Parker, a 12-year veteran of Capitol Hill, as its new government relations director, Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, told Security Systems News.

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