Walt Disney once said,"You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." Located in the heart of sunny Orange County in southern California, Anaheim is a place where security professionals are tapping into public-private partnerships to ensure the city's venues maximize their potential, whether it's a baseball game at Angels Stadium or a ride on the Hollywood Tower of Terror at Disneyland's California Adventure Park.
Security practitioners will get to enjoy some of these offerings first-hand when they converge in Anaheim for the ASIS International 61st Annual Seminar and Exhibits this month. The following is a look at just some of the ways the city and surrounding areas are keeping security in the forefront for facilities, residents, and visitors.
The first thing that catches your attention about the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is its stunning architecture. The dome-shaped structure has a web-like rooftop that appears to be spun of steel and frosted glass. But there is more to the facility than meets the eye.
The center, which opened in December 2014, is the result of a longtime goal. The city of Anaheim wanted to offer southern California residents and tourists a one-stop shop for intermodal transportation, says Gary T. Hamamoto, CPP, director of security at ARTIC.
The planning for ARTIC's development began in 1992. Just minutes from Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and literally in the backyard of Angels Stadium, the transportation center services Metrolink (Southern California's passenger train system), Greyhound, Megabus, and Amtrak. "You can take the train here, and from here public transportation can take you basically where you need to go in Orange County," Hamamoto says.
Keeping visitors safe is a top priority for Hamamoto and his team, which includes an unarmed security patrol that works the facility 24 hours a day, patrolling the parking lot structures and train platforms after the building has closed.
In the command center, officers can monitor the facility's 84 cameras on the Ocularis platform, provided by OnSSI. Ocularis is a cloud-based system, allowing Hamamoto and others with access to view the camera feed from any device with a Web connection. Cameras mounted around the parking structures are designed to start recording when they detect motion.
The City of Anaheim chose the video platform and uses the same vendor throughout the municipality. However, ARTIC is the first to implement the latest version of the system; the city plans to upgrade other locations in the future.
Hamamoto says that eventually the video platform will be integrated with law enforcement. "For instance if they get a call here, we can actually tell them, 'go ahead and pull up camera 51,' for example. Then they look at the feed and they can see exactly what we're seeing," he explains.
Employees gain access to back-of-house offices as well as service areas using an access control system from Sielox. The system uses a two-step process to gain entry: workers must first swipe their badge, then enter a unique PIN on the keypad located outside the doors.
Hamamoto says the public-private partnership aspect of ARTIC is critical. When it comes to law enforcement, all modes of transportation are virtually covered by an officer. The Orange County Sheriff's Department staffs the buses, the Los Angeles County Sheriff is contracted through Metrolink to provide its security, and Amtrak has its own sworn police force. "It's basically added service for nothing," he notes.
ARTIC also welcomes any police or fire department that wants to come to the center to drill, and can coordinate with the facility to make sure no normal activity is disrupted, Hamamoto says. "We had a whole team of sheriff's K-9 handlers out here practicing and getting their dogs familiar with the facilities as well as doing exercises with their dogs, which we love."
Emergency Operations Center
Whether for an earthquake, wildfire, or shooting, when the Orange County Sheriff's Emergency Operation Center (EOC) activates, county employees must quickly transition into their roles to support the center. "Everyone is automatically an emergency services worker in the county," says Jack Hoag, senior emergency management program coordinator at the EOC.
Located atop Loma Ridge with stunning views of southern Orange County, the facility has extensive communication capabilities and enough food, water, and other supplies to sustain emergency workers for up to 72 hours. "The facility grows as the incident demands," Hoag says, noting that the center can host as many as 300 people.
Like other county emergency operations centers in the United States, the Orange County Sheriff's EOC follows the National Incident Management System (NIMS), a standardized approach to incident response developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It also abides by incident command system protocols developed and maintained by FEMA. Because it follows these standards, the EOC receives funding from FEMA.
The EOC holds training for personnel so they are prepared to dive in should an incident occur, and it has several NIMS manuals on hand with information about each role. "The nice thing about NIMS is it can expand and contract as needed; it's very flexible," Hoag says.
The last time the EOC activated for a large-scale response was in 2007, to respond to a series of wildfires in the county. The EOC was also activated for a short period in December 2014 when heavy storms and record rainfall forced several residents to evacuate their homes.
In the large operations room where most of the personnel converge during an incident, signs hang above tabletops so people know where to sit. Workers at the EOC don different colored vests, depending on their role. For the most part, personnel are grouped into the support function they normally provide in their day job: a traffic patrolman will sit with highway safety, and fire and EMS with the medical group, for example.
Hoag notes that the efficiency of the operation is enhanced by keeping personnel close. For example, if the highway safety group gets information from a phone call about a downed power line, "they're going to walk right over here and notify the public works guys."
The public can reach the EOC for information during an incident by calling a hotline; the center has around 150 VoIP phones that provide a reliable connection. Receiving information from the residents of Orange County is a key part of the EOC's operations in the wake of an incident or disaster, because residents share information about trees or power lines blocking a roadway, for instance.
The operations center is complete with technology that helps document response. Smart boards and screen walls allow personnel to record everything they draw out, including maps, lists, and other notes. Overhead projectors and screens that drop down allow personnel to watch the news or live feeds from the EOC's helicopter camera.
During any emergency, executive decisions must be made. For this reason the EOC has a command center down the hall from the operations room where county executives work during an activation. Those personnel include the operations director for the John Wayne Airport, the county medical officer, the chief of public works, and representatives from the police, fire, and emergency management departments.
Hoag notes that the bigger decisions are made in this room, like whether or not to close a school. The public liaison also sits in the command center, relaying important information to the media.
Mike Colver, CPP, is a retired lieutenant from the Orange County Sheriff's Department who has participated in emergency drills at the EOC and acted as operations chief and law enforcement branch director. He says that staying connected during an emergency is critical.
"There's always lots of working groups and lots of meetings where we're always coordinating, planning, and shaking hands with one another so we're all on the same sheet of music when it's time to go to work," he says.