Subscribe to RSS - Marcus Dunn

Marcus Dunn

Border security looms large for SIA

Whether the House warms to the Senate immigration bill or quashes it, border security stands to be part of any reform package
 - 
08/14/2013

WASHINGTON—Weeks into the legislative lull of August, the Security Industry Association is gearing up for Congress to return to session in September, when lawmakers in the House will tackle immigration reform.

Senate immigration bill includes major security measures

The bill, which passed the Senate 68-32, would devote more than $40 billion over the next decade to security enforcement measures
 - 
07/10/2013

WASHINGTON—A major security-focused amendment to the Senate immigration bill, proposed by a pair of Senators one day before the legislation passed 68-32, might have played a critical role in making the overhaul more palatable to several more Senate Republicans.

SIA steps up fight for school security funding

Industry faces new hurdle on TWIC as report faults pilot program
 - 
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.

School security funding dealt setback as part of gun-control bill

 - 
04/17/2013

WASHINGTON—Legislation to provide $40 million a year to improve security in the nation’s schools has bipartisan support, but it was dealt a blow after the Senate rejected an amendment to which it was linked: expanded background checks on gun purchases.

Video surveillance holds the key in Boston bomb probe

 - 
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.”

'Doomsday' averted, but security industry still wary of sequestration

 - 
03/20/2013

WASHINGTON—Sequestration hit on March 1 with more of a whimper than a bang, but the uncertainty it has caused continues to affect security companies that count on federal funding for initiatives in the field.

More states looking at requiring CO detectors in schools

SIA says recent incident at an Atlanta school highlights need
 - 
03/20/2013

SILVER SPRING, Md.—A carbon monoxide leak at a school in Georgia in December sent more than 50 students and staff to the hospital—and the Security Industry Association says it also has drawn attention nationwide to the need for CO detectors in schools.

SIA tells Obama safer schools possible without policy shift

 - 
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.

Newtown shootings raise profile of debate on school security

Update on SIA’s efforts to get port funds released
 - 
01/16/2013

WASHINGTON—The fiscal cliff has been averted. But the vertigo it induced is still being felt on Capitol Hill, with school security thrown into the budget mix as the 113th Congress got down to business in January.

Fiscal cliff keeps security industry guessing about funding for 2013

 - 
12/19/2012

WASHINGTON—As 2012 draws to a close, security industry interests on Capitol Hill are focused squarely on a source of increasing financial anxiety: the fiscal cliff, and what a plunge off it on Jan. 1 might mean for companies and customers nationwide.

Pages