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Spectacular Sessions

??The educational seminar of the ASIS International 61st Annual Seminar and Exhibits kicked off on Monday morning. No matter what topic attendees are searching for, almost certainly they will find a session addressing it sometime this week.

Domestic Violence Prevention

During one year, more than 10 million women and men are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States�averaging nearly 20 people per minute. And one out of three women who go to emergency rooms in the United States are suspected to be victims of intimate partner violence.

On Monday morning, in "Critical Partners in Domestic Violence Advocacy: A Unique Collaboration in Healthcare," Jennifer Goba, CPP, senior manager of investigations of security and outside services for Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Police, and Bonnie Michelman, CPP, director of security and outside services for MGH Police, discussed this "pervasive epidemic" and how MGH is treating it through a unique proprietary program.

MGH created the program since domestic violence not only impacts its patients, but also has a tremendous effect on the workplace, Michelman explained. For instance, domestic violence can cause employees to miss deadlines, absenteeism, feelings of being unsafe at work, and can increase safety concerns and threats of violence at work.

Additionally, victims who are employees can also suffer as many "managers do not understand how to deal" with domestic violence, Michelman said. "It's like the silent problem...because people are too embarrassed to address it." And when managers look the other way or judge victims when domestic violence is brought to their attention, it can make the situation worse.

To address these problems, MGH created a program that combines human resources, police and security, chaplaincy, and other advocacy and employee assistance programs to raise awareness at the hospital about domestic violence.

MGH used this approach because it wanted to put together a team that "hit all angles that could be affected by a domestic violence situation," Goba explained. To continue its efforts, this team meets monthly to discuss case studies, trends, and explore how it can better serve victims.

For instance, through the program, MGH created a case progression protocol that teaches staff how to communicate with victims, educate victims about their options for help, and even provide support should a victim want to utilize a service to get away from their abuser.

"The court process can be extremely overwhelming and intimidating," Goba said, which is why MGH's team developed resources that allow someone from the program to provide transportation or attend court proceedings with victims should they not want to go alone.

The program has provided services for numerous patients and employees since it was created eight years ago, and Michelman said one of the most rewarding aspects of the program is that staff continue to take an interest in learning more about domestic violence prevention.

"When we ask at the end of the year what training would you like more of, the number one answer is domestic violence," she said.

Infrastructure Security

There's no shortage of potential threats to the electric grid and power substations. And now, there's a new threat that officials must deal with�drones.

At a Monday morning session entitled "Protecting North America's Electric Grid from Physical Attack," Brian Harrell, CPP, director of energy security for Navigant, told attendees that in the next few years, "drones will become a major issue that you will have to deal with." The use of drones means that those who want to attack a substation no longer need to be within 300 yards of it. Attackers can merely program a drone to fly over a substation and drop in an explosive device.�

Bob Canada, manager of physical security for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, agreed. He said that some drones have the capability to carry and drop a bomb into a power station. Some of them can also fly as fast and controlled as conventional aircraft.

Right now, when a drone crashes or lands, a power station worker will quickly approach it. At this point, most of these are drones flown by hobbyists that crash by accident. "They haven't done any damage yet," he said. But soon, a drone operator intent on destruction could trip wire them, so they would explode when approached.� "Most people go right up to them. Don't do that. Please, don't do that," Canada said.�

Canada also said that "drone clubs" are proliferating, and he suggested that substation operators attend a local one to find out what the hobbyists are doing, and also communicate their safety concerns.

Meanwhile, traditional threats to substations still exist. Harrell cited several, including metal theft, sabotage, insider threat of assets, theft of power, geomagnetic disturbances, pandemics that can affect the workforce, natural disasters, and aging equipment. These threats deserve careful assessments to measure risk on a case-by-case basis. "There is no such thing as a cookie cutter approach to substation security. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mentality," Harrell said.

Speakers also discussed other topics at the session, including key components of the CIP-014 physical security reliability standard; information sharing between utilities and government partners; and physical security assessment reviews and outreach visits. The session was sponsored by the ASIS Critical Infrastructure Working Group and ASIS Utilities Security Council.

School Security

During a Monday afternoon session, "A Common Sense Approach to School Security," speakers discussed the various elements in a school security and safety plan. John Woodmansee, an education consultant in security and environmental health and safety for the state of Connecticut, emphasized the basic components of a security program: effective training for staff and students, a written plan that covers roles and responsibilities, and then regular drills.

However, many U.S. school districts are still using debatable practices when it comes to their security program. Michael Grieder, director of security for West Hartford Public Schools, said that certain elementary schools will "stuff kids in closets for hours and hours" during lockdowns. He cited another example of a school in Alabama that had students bring in cans of peas, so that during active shooter situations they could throw them at the assailant.

Greider also argued that placing more armed guards in schools, and arming teachers, was not a feasible solution. Police have been effective in changing the response model, so that the new goal is to get in and disarm the shooter as quickly as possible. "I don't think we need to start arming everybody," Grieder said. And some districts that added armed guards to schools found that it was too expensive a process to continue, he added.

He also said that security programs that teach students to flee can be too chaotic. "The last thing that I want is to have 500 people running aimlessly at me," Greider said. More advisable is the bedrock principle of finding a secure place that is hard to reach.� "Just get behind a locked door, and get ready for the next action," he said.

Active Shooter

A packed room of attendees clapped, booed, and laughed during a mock trial Monday afternoon at "Intelligent Security and the Active Shooter." The trial was based on a fictional scenario where an international mall company was being sued for negligence after a former employee opened fire in one of its locations, killing three and wounding five.

The participants included a cast of familiar faces such as past ASIS presidents Geoff Craighead, CPP, who played the bumbling security director, and Bonnie Michelman, CPP, who acted as the plaintiff's security expert. Other participants included Barry Bradley, Kathryn Canale, and Shirley Sullinger of Bradley & Gmelich Lawyers; Gary Bradley, CLO of St. Moritz Security Services; and Mark Mooring, CPP, president of Personal Safety Training, Inc. The audience was able to participate, as well�they were the jury and determined the verdict at the end of the trial.

In the scenario, a man named John Malcovich was employed as an area manager for Barrister Malls International (BMI) in California. After going through a divorce, he transferred to a BMI office in London but had an altercation with his managers and was immediately terminated. He returned to California and on July 3rd sent an e-mail to BMI's CEO, threatening to "make his own fireworks" at a mall in California. The CEO passed the email onto BMI's director of U.S. operations, played by Craighead, who decided the letter did not pose a credible threat, but still increased security at area malls for the Fourth of July due to the mention of fireworks in the e-mail.

Malcovich waited until July 5 to go to a local BMI mall where he had formerly worked, used his still-active access card to enter the security headquarters and neutralized the officers there. He then entered the public part of the mall and opened fire for 10 minutes, killing three people and wounding five, including the trial's plaintiff. Eventually, the mall's armed security officers wounded Malcovich, who confessed to the crime and was sentenced to life in prison.

The trial's plaintiff attorney, played by Barry Bradley, argued that BMI was responsible for the events that injured his clients because they did not act appropriately on the e-mail; they did not deactivate his access card after he was terminated; and their security cameras were only working intermittently. He discussed BMI's security policies with Craighead and agreed that they were sufficient but were not carried out properly.

The defense counsel, played by Canale, said that BMI was not negligent or responsible for the shooting. "BMI maintains that as a retailer it is not responsible for third-party criminal conduct. No business can fully ensure protection of its patrons against third party," she said.

Ultimately, just more than half of the crowd agreed to indict BMI for negligence and premises liability, but only awarded the plaintiff $1 million s�much less than the $24 million dollars the plaintiff's attorney requested. Bradley, who acted happy that BMI was indicted but disappointed with the amount awarded, shrugged and said, "I think it's clear who's on this jury!"

Event Planning

When you're a major corporate sponsor sending hundreds of staff and guests to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, you want to make sure that if anything goes wrong, you're prepared to handle it adequately.

In "Corporate Security Challenges at Major Events," security directors from Adidas, Visa, and Johnson & Johnson discussed how they prepared for last summer's World Cup to both protect their assets and their brands throughout the event.

The three directors gave attendees a crash course in planning for? a major event, from the initial risk assessments and preplanning process years before the event to post-op examination of how individuals responded to security challenges during the event.

A major component that all presenters highlighted was defining what the scope of risk is to your specific company. Visa, for instance, identified risks to its staff, guests, and its network, said Filip Maes, director at Visa.

Maes highlighted the network risks as during the World Cup, only cash and Visa credit and debit cards were accepted to pay for purchases. This meant that if something went wrong with Visa's network to process transactions, it could quickly become a major problem for World Cup attendees.

Another component of preparation for the World Cup that the presenters discussed was reaching out to stakeholders and communicating with them to ensure that if something went wrong, they knew how to react, said Corin Dennison, CPP, director of global investigations for Adidas Group.

"It's very important to communicate this because we take it for granted that people will know what to do in a crisis, and invariably they won't because it's fight or flight," he explained. This was crucial for Adidas, Dennison explained, as security is not usually a top-of-the-mind concern for its employees.