INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FORCULTURAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
The IFCPP certification team would like to congratulate 12 new Certified Institutional Protection Instructor graduates and 10 new Certified Institutional Security Supervisor graduates for their successful completion of CIPI and CISS courses in Philadelphia, February 27-March 2. We’re lucky to work with such a great group of professionals.
Our sincere gratitude to The Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art for hosting these important classes, and for their generous hospitality. We couldn’t do it without the support of our member institutions.
And thanks very much to Stevan P. Layne, CPP, CIPM, CIPI and Geoffrey V. Goodrich, CIPM II, CIPI for their outstanding instruction! Great job guys!
The ASIS Foundation, the charitable research and education arm of ASIS International, has published applied research that assesses and provides recommendations for the security of historically important archaeological sites. Compiled by the ASIS International Cultural Properties Council, the report, Archaeological Site of COLONIA CLUNIA SUPLICIA (Clunia) Peñalba de Castro, Burgos, Spain, was made possible through a grant from the ASIS Foundation. ASIS International is the leading association for security management professionals worldwide.
The research, which evaluates the security of Clunia, an ancient Roman city on the Iberian Peninsula, includes a detailed site survey undertaken by James H. Clark, CPP, and Ricardo Sanz Marcos under the advisement of 2017 Cultural Properties Council chair Robert Carotenuto, CPP, PCI, PSP. Clark and Marcos identified conditions—such as weather, looting, and careless behavior—that could create security vulnerabilities for the site and its resources. The research team believes that the recommendations they draw from this survey are applicable at other archaeological sites.
“Most of the completed research on cultural site security focuses on how to protect them during times of war,” says Carotenuto. “These historical treasures are threatened during peace time as well. Our report demonstrates to the security community that you can apply common physical security techniques to protect any site.”
The Clunia report is the latest in the ASIS Foundation’s series of Connecting Research in Security to Practice (CRISP) reports—providing practical, researched-based solutions to help security professionals effectively tackle a wide range of security issues. Previous CRISP reports address issues of insider threat, supply chain security, sports team travel security, and more.
Reposted from The Art Newspaper
Nearly six months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, museums on the US island are resuming their everyday pace and pushing forward with new initiatives.
The Museo de Arte de Ponce on the island’s south coast is “basically back to normal”, the museum’s assistant curator and exhibitions co-ordinator, Helena Gómez de Córdoba, says. Though some staff—among around 400,000 utility customers on the island—remain without power at home, the museum’s collection was unharmed and the building received only minor damage. It reopened on 28 September, one week after the hurricane.
Visitor numbers to the museum actually rose in October, partly because many locals were not working and schools were closed. The museum offered free admission that month, and nearly 300 guided tours and workshops. “It was good to see people just enjoying themselves and learning,” De Córdoba says.
Although attendance since then has been slightly down, the museum hopes to draw back visitors—both locals and tourists—with its spring exhibitions. A rescheduled show of works on paper from New York’s Frick Collection opens this month (Small Treasures from the Frick Collection, 17 March-8 August) after a four-month delay.
Another exhibition, due to open on 15 April, will present Puerto Rican art from the collection made between 1959, when the museum was founded, and 1965, when it moved into its current building. “It’s suddenly become very poignant,” says the show’s curator, Pablo Pérez d’Ors, since the museum is an “important landmark in the construction of an artistic identity for Puerto Rico”.
The Ponce museum has also helped other institutions on the island, such as the museum at the Universidad de Puerto Rico in Cayey, to examine and preserve their collections. Likewise, the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR) in San Juan safeguarded works belonging to other Puerto Rican museums until January. MAPR’s own collection received only minimal damage and staff returned to work immediately after the storm, helping to run the museum as a communications and conservation hub for local cultural institutions.
The San Juan museum reopened to the public on 10 November, three days after another disaster: a flash flood, which caused more damage than either Hurricane Maria or Hurricane Irma, including the destruction of the education department’s facilities and materials.
Since the reopening, MAPR has been “very active” and “people have been very responsive”, says the museum’s director, Marta Mabel Pérez. A show of works by six Puerto Rican artists opened last month (until 13 May), while four young local collectors are lending works to an exhibition opening in May. The museum has also teamed up with the online auctioneer Paddle8 to present a benefit sale of 91 works, some donated by Puerto Rican artists, to be held on 14 March.
The island’s museums are also thinking ahead for future emergencies. In October, MAPR co-founded the Coalition for the Heritage of Puerto Rico. The three-year pilot project aims to release a guide in May, to advise cultural institutions on preparing for and responding to disasters. The coalition is working with Brinnen Carter, a chief of resources at the US National Park Service, to draw up a budget that will include new safety deposit spaces for museum objects.
The San Juan museum also received a $110,000 grant from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, of which it is an affiliate organisation, to meet conservation costs after the hurricane. The museum is, however, around $3m in debt due to the loss of revenue, structural damage and the cost of restoring works.
This month, the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (SCRI), set up after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, is co-organising two disaster conservation workshops at the museum. The first event, aimed at museum professionals, will cover issues such documenting collections and evacuating, assessing and preserving objects. Another workshop, on 24 March, will teach members of the public and artists how to conserve works in their homes or studios.
The workshops will be led by Corine Wegener, a cultural heritage preservation officer at the SCRI. In disaster planning, she says: “People come first, but culture needs to be somewhere on the list—that’s our goal.”
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Reposted from ASIS
It was a monumental task. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) needed to conduct security assessments of all the courthouses in the province it polices—approximately 100 locations—with only three people to carry out the work.
In an unprecedented move, Security Assessment Unit Sergeant Laura Meyers, PSP, proposed bringing in outside help from the private sector. Senior executives approved of the idea, and Meyers reached out to the ASIS Toronto Chapter to bring on Michael Thompson, CPP, PCI, PSP, and Gregory Taylor, CPP, PSP.
Both had public sector experience—Taylor was former military and Thompson a former Toronto police officer. Meyers thought those qualifications, along with their extensive security backgrounds, would not only help them conduct the assessments OPP needed, but also gain the respect of OPP officers they would be working with in the field.
Her predictions were correct. Taylor and Thompson were well received, and the project was completed on time without exhausting OPP's resources—funding or personnel—to complete. It also marked a new era with OPP in bringing security professionals in-house to assist law enforcement in addressing security threats.
In 2007, the province of Ontario issued the Ontario Public Service Physical Operating Policy, which required all public service facilities within the province to complete a physical security threat risk assessment.
The OPP, which polices more than 1 million square kilometers of land and waterways in Ontario, was subject to this mandate. It's one of North America's largest deployed services with more than 5,800 uniformed officers, 2,400 civilian employees, and 830 auxiliary officers.
To comply with the mandate, the OPP's four-member Security Assessment Unit was assigned to carry out threat assessments of more than 200 facilities across the province. The four members went to each region and trained OPP staff at the facilities on crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) strategy and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's (RCMP) Harmonized Threat Assessment Methodologies.
"It was like a mass attack for the four-person unit to do that within a couple of years," Meyers says. "By 2011, all [facilities] were visited and threat assessments completed."
During that time frame, Staff Sergeant Rob Fournier was placed in charge of the newly created OPP Justice Officials Protection and Investigations Section (JOPIS). The section was created in 2009 to ensure the safety and protection of justice officials and to address threats, harassment, and intimidation directed at justice officials.
The Security Assessment Unit and JOPIS regularly began working together to address threats, and in 2015, JOPIS was instructed to complete physical security threat risk assessments on all justice facilities in the province.
Meyers and Fournier both knew it would be a major task to carry out the assessments, especially if they had to train additional OPP staff to conduct them.
"In the police world, when you're building your team you're looking for an individual with a ton of experience," Fournier says. "In the security aspect, we have to use that same premise. Why would you want to be retraining someone in security work, when you can get someone who's been involved for years?"
Meyers and Fournier were both active in the ASIS Toronto Chapter, so they pitched the idea of contracting out the justice facility assessments to a few security professionals they knew through the chapter.
The idea was approved, and Meyers and Fournier recruited two security professionals with certifications and backgrounds in the public sector—Thompson and Taylor.
After Thompson and Taylor were brought on board, they traveled to 92 different sites across the province—ranging from remote areas to urban settings, with everything from historic courthouses to courtrooms in mini plazas.
Their job was to review each site, evaluate the training protocols, and identify any gaps that might pose vulnerabilities, Fournier says.
Thompson's and Taylor's recommendations were critical at one site in particular following a series of events over a six-month period that impacted the security of the facility in eastern Ontario.
During that six-month period, a local individual murdered three former lovers. Law enforcement launched an extensive manhunt to locate the person. During that same time frame, an OPP officer was threatened and forced to temporarily relocate for personal safety. And there was another unrelated high-risk threat to an officer at the facility.
"There were obviously a bunch of people at that older facility, and it needed attention," Fournier says. Thompson and Taylor were able to take the previous threat assessment of the facility and suggest specific actions to take to address the new vulnerabilities due to the heightened threat environment.
The facility then improved its exterior parking lot lighting, and made other changes that Fournier could not disclose due to security concerns.
This process of going back to reassess facilities has helped the province distribute its funds to better address security concerns, Fournier says.
"It's helped paint the picture when we're earmarking where limited funds are going, to say, 'This might not be on your list but it's on ours,' and that helps get things done sooner," he adds.
While Thompson and Taylor were wrapping up the justice site assessments, the OPP decided to update its original threat assessments that were completed in the wake of the 2007 mandate.
"Some of the recommendations from that set were dated, not the best security practices," Meyers says. "So, we came up with a criticality schedule—how often we should revisit them…looking at it as a continual working project."
To carry out this work, OPP once again reached out to the Toronto Chapter; this time to Chapter President Patrick Ogilvie, CPP, PSP. Meyers knew that Ogilvie was looking to both build his personal brand as a professional and give back to the community.
Ogilvie is currently conducting this second round of threat assessments, using the RCMP methodology that was established during the initial round. Having that first set of assessments has been a useful benchmark, Ogilvie says, to score threats and vulnerabilities and then make actionable recommendations for the facilities.
"Even before I step foot onto a facility, I communicate with commanders that I'm looking for documented evidence or stories of different threats and occurrences," he adds. "I get them thinking not as police officers, but essentially as security people who can identify different threats and vulnerabilities that they have experienced."
This is because sometimes a security threat hasn't been identified by law enforcement because it is not a deliberate act—such as vandalism—that is intended to harm the facility.
For instance, Ogilvie says he found that most facilities did not identify building structure or leaks as vulnerabilities.
"What I found in getting out and talking to [people] was that accidents were happening, natural hazards that could have an impact on our business, and our business is policing," he explains. But because these threats weren't identified, nothing was being done to address or mitigate them.
Ogilvie has made it a point to educate OPP personnel at the facilities that he's looking at all threats—deliberate acts, accidents, and natural hazards—that could harm the organization. For instance, a leak in the facility could cause structural decay and ultimately become a hazard for personnel inside.
Thus far, Ogilvie says the OPP officers he's interacted with have been receptive to his suggestions, and Meyers adds that the feedback she's received has been highly positive—including that security deficiencies have been pointed out in a respectful manner.
Due to the success of the program, Fournier says that several First Nation police services across the province have reached out to OPP for assistance on conducting similar threat assessments.
Many of these facilities, especially in the northern part of Ontario, are in remote locations and have deteriorated or don't adhere to the same standards as other facilities in Ontario. To address this, OPP is working with the police programs to conduct threat assessments of approximately 15 different sites.
The Security Assessment Unit has also been called on to provide assistance to Ontario government facilities—overviews, recommendations, and security advice—because they have proved themselves in the field.
It has also showcased how civilian personnel can be brought in to a law enforcement agency to help in addressing security concerns.
Ogilvie, Thompson, and Taylor are all under contract right now using existing funding that OPP secured. Down the road, Fournier says he hopes to change a few positions in the Security Assessment Unit to hybrid roles that either a police or civilian security professional could fill.
Reposted from Campus Safety Magazine
The California State University system released an active shooter safety video to help prepare students for the potential threat of a gunman on its 23 campuses.
The video, which emphasizes the “Run, Hide, Fight” survival method, was produced at the end of 2017 with input from campus police chiefs, according to NBC 4. It was originally distributed to CSU campuses in January and was shared on social media earlier this month.
“Run, Hide, Fight… those are your three real options if it’s happening,” says University Police Chief John Reid. “You have to, based upon what’s going on around you, make a decision: Whether I’m going to run from this, whether I’m going to hide, or whether I’m going to fight.”
The video says that students should try to run, partly because campus shooters won’t typically give chase. It also says to run as soon as there are signs of trouble, even if one is unsure that what they are hearing is gunfire. When running, the video says to make yourself a difficult target by running in a zigzag motion.
It also emphasizes that police are minutes away, not seconds, and that “you must fend for yourself” in the meantime and not wait to react.
Although CSU released the educational video back in January, there are concerns that their safety videos aren’t fully reaching students.
Chief Reid says UPD occasionally hosts active shooter training but they are not highly utilized.
“We’ve got this training that’s available, but people who are coming to the training and are engaged in the training are already 50 to 60 percent of the way there,” Reid said. “Even if (students) can say, ‘I know I’ve got Chico State Alerts, and I know what Run, Hide, Fight means,’ that’d be huge.”
Chico State Alerts is an emergency notification system that students can sign up for online, according to The Orion.
“The most important thing I want to tell students is if they see something, say something,” Reid said. “That doesn’t mean they have to call the police. Typically, individuals don’t snap, there’s some sort of build up. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Say something.”
Reposted from HelpNet Security
Not having access to technical talent is a common complaint in the cybersecurity world. Folks with security experience on their resumes are in such high demand, CISOs need to hunt beyond the fields we know. To borrow a phrase from the ever-logical Mr. Spock, CISOs need to embrace Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. By this I mean embracing diversity not only of bodies but of talents and experiences.
First, focus on acquiring the key cybersecurity skills beyond hacking and managing security tools. Effective cyber defenders leverage their business and managerial skills, including:
You will find that you can build upon these foundational skills with technical training to level-up new cybersecurity professionals. In some cases, it can be more challenging to train traditional IT security “geeks” in these skills, so this might be an easier path for some positions.
You can fish for this talent in a much larger ocean beyond traditional IT resumes. Look at customer service, business development, sales, law, finance, insurance, competitive intelligence, and library science. The biggest boost you can get is by finding these people in house and nurturing their careers. The bonus is that by being part of the organization already, they come to the table with a good grasp of the culture and value streams. Of course, not everyone in these areas is going to be a solid security pro but within the organization, you can find seeds to grow.
Now that you have a pool to draw from, how do you make the first cut of likely strong security candidates? Above all else, there must be interest and determination to enter the field. More than few people are drawn into the world of cybersecurity for the money or prestige only to be dismayed by the amount of work and frustration it entails.
If the person you’re looking to bring in is not already a cybersecurity professional, they’re in for a steep ramp-up of technical training. That’s a firehose of reading, classes, certifications, conferences, peer observation, online training, and hands-on work. Some people embrace the chance to learn new, exciting things while others balk at it. I’ve always leaned towards recruiting individuals with a “constant learning” attitude. Find out if they are willing to push themselves, not merely to maintain skills but to sweat and struggle to learn new things.
A second key skill for cybersecurity is risk analysis. Every adult human does risk analysis at some level or another. We do it whenever we decide to spend or save money, go to the doctor or wait out an illness, or simply cross a busy intersection. Obviously in cybersecurity, it’s more complicated and less clear. However, the people you’d want to hire should be deliberate, rational, and consistent in their method of risk analysis.
Given that you’re also recruiting talent with organization and business backgrounds, look at how they can link risk to the needs of the organization. Ask them what business processes take on unnecessary risks and how that might be reduced. Look at how they would prioritize risks, since we can never eliminate all our exposures but should always tackle the biggest ones.
These are just a few of many ideas to help develop your security team. With the variety of security specializations required by various cybersecurity roles in an organization, remember that not everything lines up perfectly with a security certification or a hacking background. Even non-IT professionals can be make valuable, diverse contributions to a cyber-defense program. Now go out and get them!
Reposted from ABCNews
Britain is facing an increased threat from far-right terrorism, the outgoing head of U.K.’s counter-terrorism command said.
In a Monday valedictory speech a few weeks before he leaves his post, Mark Rowley, London’s assistant commissioner for specialist operations of the Metropolitan Police Service, said police have foiled four such plots by right-wing extremists in the past year.
One-third of referrals to the government’s anti-radicalization program are now related to far-right terrorism, he added.
“The right-wing terrorist threat is more significant and more challenging than perhaps public debate gives it credit for,” Rowley said.
He said, “For the best part of 18 months in the U.K., we have a homegrown, white supremacist, neo-Nazi terrorist organization that is pursuing all of the ambitions of any other terrorist organization committed to violence … that should be a matter of great concern for all of us.”
There were five deadly attacks in the U.K. last year, including a terror attack against a crowd of Muslims leaving a mosque in Finsbury Park. The man who carried out the attack by driving a van into pedestrians, injuring at least eight people, was jailed for life this month and will spend at least 43 years behind bars.
Also, a far-right fanatic was jailed for life in 2016 for the murder of British politician Jo Cox during the European Union referendum campaign. He was heard saying as he stabbed her, “This is for Britain” and “Britain first.”
The murder was “committed to advance a political, racial and ideological cause … associated with Nazism,” the judge ruled.
Britain’s domestic security service MI5 is now involved in investigating the threat from the extreme-right in the country, and Rowley warned that groups based in the U.K. were seeking links with extremists abroad.
“There are many Western countries that have extreme right-wing challenges and, in quite a number of those the groups," he said, "we are worried that they are making connections with them and networking."
Reposted from the Arab Weekly
Egypt has begun a bid to protect its antiquities from theft amid allegations that tens of thousands of priceless ones have disappeared.
The Egyptian parliament is debating legislation that would increase penalties — possibly to life in prison — for those convicted of illegally excavating, stealing, damaging or smuggling ancient artifacts.
“Toughening penalties in cases of antiquity theft is necessary if we want to protect our heritage,” said Nader Mustafa, a member of Egypt’s Culture, Media and Antiquities parliamentary committee, which is debating the legislation. “We cannot leave our antiquities to be easy prey for thieves like this.”
If enacted, the artefacts bill would replace a law that allows individuals to maintain possession of antiquities they obtained through inheritance.
Egyptian law states that anyone found guilty of smuggling artefacts out of the country could be sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined 1 million Egyptian pounds ($56,600). The maximum penalty for stealing an artefact, including the illegal removal of newly unearthed antiquities, is ten years in prison.
Critics calling for harsher sentences say the profit that can be made from stealing and smuggling antiquities far outweighs the punishment.
Antiquity theft has been on the rise in Egypt, with security at Egyptian museum warehouses said to be inadequate. Last August, a senior official at the Antiquities Ministry estimated that 32,600 artefacts had been stolen from ministry warehouses nationwide.
Ayman Ashmawy, who heads the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Section at the ministry, said most of the artefacts were stolen during the chaotic period following the 2011 revolution.
There are 72 antiquities warehouses in Egypt, all of which are owned and supervised by the Ministry of Antiquities. Thirty-five of the warehouses are part of or adjacent to museums.
However, there are questions about warehouse security, including issues involving record-keeping systems.
“You cannot protect the antiquities without introducing new security systems to the warehouses,” said Mohammed Hamza, a former dean of the College of Antiquities at Cairo University. “We have a huge number of antiquities at these warehouses and they need to be protected.”
The warehouses contain tens of thousands of artefacts, some of which have yet to be officially registered in ministry records. This means that many antiquities could have been stolen without authorities being aware of the theft.
Egyptian antiquities officials expressed frustration and alarm as they see historic national artefacts being sold at international auction houses, such as when the bedroom of Egypt’s King Farouk was put for sale at a US auction house in January.
In late 2016, antiquities officials learned about the sale of the statue of Sekhemka at a London auction house when Egyptians living in the British capital started a campaign to prevent the sale of the statue.
Last August, a street cleaner raided an antiquities warehouse in the southern Cairo district of Maadi and placed 200 small relics in a burlap sack before attempting to leave the building. He was arrested by security guards.
The new legislation seeks to ensure that antiquities stealing and smuggling ends by ensuring that punishment serves as an adequate deterrent. Apart from imprisonment, the bill raises fines in cases of conviction of antiquity smuggling to 10 million Egyptian pounds ($566,000), up from 100,000 pounds ($5,660).
It would punish people who move antiquities from one place to another without permission from the authorities with up to seven years in prison. Those who excavate antiquities without licence would be sentenced to seven years in prison.
Alaa al-Shahat, head of the central administration department for Cairo and Giza Antiquities, described the bill as a “good step” towards protecting the antiquities and scaring thieves away. “You cannot prevent the smuggling of the antiquities or excavation by thieves without toughening penalties,” he said.
There is universal approval of the bill inside the Culture, Media and Antiquities parliamentary committee, Mustafa said.
If the bill passes committee, it would be referred to the general parliamentary session for voting. Even if the legislation is enacted, Mustafa said, its effectiveness would depend on Egypt’s security apparatus enforcing it.
“Law enforcement is what matters at the end but the presence of the law is always a first step on the road to change,” Mustafa said. “After approving the bill, the parliament will keep an eye on its enforcement to ensure that our antiquities are kept out of the hands of thieves.”
According to Campus Safety magazine’s 2016 Video Surveillance Survey, more than nine out of 10 schools, universities and hospitals deploy security cameras on their campuses. Because video surveillance systems are so popular, this year CS has drilled down deeper into this topic to find out if cameras are worth the investment.
Most people want to know once and for all if video surveillance systems actually help campus protection professionals do their jobs. They also want to know just how important things like system reliability and video clarity are. CS got the answers to these and several other interesting questions in our 2018 Video Surveillance Survey.
It turns out that 96 percent of survey respondents that have video surveillance systems installed on their campuses say these systems frequently (58 percent) or sometimes (38 percent) provide evidence for investigations. Four in five say their security cameras frequently (24 percent) or sometimes (56 percent) prevent crime, and 86 percent say these systems frequently (50 percent) or sometimes (36 percent) help their departments monitor their campus during other situations when safety or security issues could arise. Nearly three out of four respondents (74 percent) say their video surveillance systems frequently or sometimes act as force multipliers.
These results show that security cameras are a valuable tool for most school, university and hospital public safety and security departments.
That’s probably why 94 percent of this year’s survey respondents say their campuses use their security cameras daily or weekly. That’s also most likely why they believe factors like clarity of video and system reliability are so important. More than four out of five respondents rate image quality and reliability as extremely important. On a scale from one to five (with one being not important at all and five being extremely important), both clarity and reliability have an average rating of 4.8.
Charts containing all of the survey findings can be viewed here.
When drilling down further into reliability, 76 percent of respondents say they want their cameras to work consistently for more than three years. Nearly four in five respondents (79 percent) replace their cameras when needed.
Some of the ways campuses uses their video surveillance systems include monitoring after-hours activities, parking lots, employees, helicopter pads and sealed roof-top areas, traffic, school bus fleet parking lots and bus arrival times, doors and access points, residence halls, event crowds, weather, at-risk patients who require a sitter, perimeters, hallway traffic and use of bathrooms.
Security cameras are also used in lost-and-found investigations, to verify the facts about incidents, to determine the number of officers needed to respond to a situation, in training, to locate missing persons, to back-up or refute children’s versions of incidents and in conflict resolution.
Additionally, campuses use their video surveillance systems for live tracking, scanning the campus for patients who walk out, maintenance documentation, class size assessment, license plate reading and policy enforcement.
New to this year’s survey is a ranking of the various security issues facing healthcare and education.
For higher education, on a scale from one to five, theft ranks as the most challenging problem (3.4), followed closely by “crime from the community coming onto campus” and “incidents during the evening or after hours” (both receiving a 3.2 average score from respondents).
Hospital and K-12 campuses rate after-hour incidents as one of their top issues (3.4 and 2.9 respectively). Parking lot security ranks as the No. 4 challenge for colleges and hospitals.
Interestingly, 28 percent of college and university respondents say their institutions highlight their video surveillance systems in the marketing materials targeting prospective students and faculty members.
K-12 respondents say visitor management is their biggest challenge, rating it at 3.2. General student misbehavior comes in second place with an average score of 3.0.
All of these results can be seen here in charts from the survey.
Overall, hospitals rate their top two problems as much more challenging than K-12 and higher ed rate their most difficult security issues. Healthcare respondents give 3.9 average scores to “emergency department incidents” and “incidents involving behavioral health patients.” That’s a big jump from higher ed and K-12 respondents, who rank their top security issues at 3.4 and 3.2, respectively.
Other issues that survey participants mentioned include sporting event management, cyberbullying, truancy, incarcerated patients, wild animals, illegal vending, smoking, and slips and falls.
Click here to download the survey results. Also, check out the comments left on the survey by security professionals regarding their video surveillance system(s).
The recent flood of sexual harassment allegations in the United States, from Hollywood to Capitol Hill to New York City, has given people around the world new confidence to publicly denounce sexual harassment and other types of misconduct.
One powerful example is the Twitter hashtag, #MeToo, which has now been used by more than 1.7 million people in 85 countries to speak out and name their harassers. The allegations have resulted in tangible change: in the past several months dozens of public figures, accused of behaviors ranging from inappropriate harassment to sexual assault, have been fired or forced to resign from high-profile positions.
This remarkable spike in firings is also an extension of a longer-term development. Over the past five years, 5.3 percent of CEOs globally have been forcibly removed due to ethical lapses, including harassment, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study. In the United States, that's a 102 percent increase from the previous five years. And during last year alone—before the #MeToo movement—harassment cost U.S. companies more than $160 million in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settlements, an all-time high.
Some say these unprecedented developments represent nothing short of a social revolution, one that will have serious ramifications for employers. After the news of allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein came out, the EEOC saw a fourfold increase in visitors to the sexual harassment section of its website. This trend demonstrates that employers must be prepared for the possibility that harassment complaints within their organizations may increase, and they must have effective policies and procedures for responding and acting on them.
When these accusations come out, many organizations are quick to end established relationships with the person being accused—usually to protect the enterprise and the brand, but also to show support for those reporting the allegations. However, it is important to remember that conducting a competent investigation to uncover the truth is vital. It protects the enterprise and all parties involved, and it will encourage other victims of misconduct to come forward.
This article explores how employers, employees, and those commissioned to investigate allegations of misconduct can develop proactive procedures to ensure that the rights of all parties are equally considered in every investigation. Establishing such informed procedures mitigates the risk of civil action, while demonstrating a commitment to fairness.
There are generally three classifications of sex-related incidents: harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. The following is a breakdown of how the three are legally defined in the United States.
Harassment. Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
According to the EEOC, harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful in either of two situations—when enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or when the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) usually do not rise to the level of illegality.
Anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws. Similarly, harassment in retaliation against somebody who is opposing employment practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against individuals and violate these laws, is also prohibited.
What constitutes offensive conduct? It often includes, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance.
Harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances and settings. The harasser may directly supervise the victim, or he or she may work in a different area of the enterprise. The harasser may also be a vendor, contractor, or agent of the employer. The victim may be a workplace invitee who is not employed with the company. And the victim does not have to be the person harassed; he or she can be anyone affected by the offensive conduct. Finally, it is important to remember that unlawful harassment may occur without economic injury to, or discharge of, the victim.
Sexual harassment. Harassment sometimes escalates to sexual harassment, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other types of verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Sexual harassment is defined as either quid pro quo or hostile environment. According to the EEOC guidelines, quid pro quo harassment occurs when an individual's rejection of or submission to unwanted conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual. Hostile environment harassment occurs when submission to unwelcome sexual conduct is made (either explicitly or implicitly) a term or condition of an individual's employment.
However, the line is often unclear regarding quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment claims. For example, hostile environment harassment may acquire characteristics of quid pro quo harassment if the offending supervisor abuses his or her authority over employment decisions to force the victim to endure or participate in unwanted sexual conduct.
Sexual harassment may culminate in a retaliatory discharge if the victim tells the harasser or employer that he or she will no longer submit to harassment, and is then fired in retaliation for this protest. Under these circumstances, it is appropriate to conclude that both harassment and retaliation in violation of U.S. federal law have occurred, according to the EEOC.
Sexual assaults. Sexual harassment can sometimes turn into a sex crime. These crimes can range from rape and battery to other criminal offenses, and they call for law enforcement investigation and potential criminal prosecution. Too often, employers and their investigative teams fail to recognize that the victim is reporting a crime, not just work-related harassment.
Sexual harassers and offenders frequently demonstrate certain patterns of misconduct. Perpetrators often leverage their power and control over the victims, especially if the victim is an employee. In fact, some offenders carefully seek victims they believe to be vulnerable, who have too much to lose to report inappropriate behavior.
In these cases, the perpetrator may use intimidation tactics to demonstrate control over the victim's position with the enterprise. Moreover, he or she may engage in emotional abuse, especially if the victim feels trapped because he or she needs the job.
A major warning sign is an attempt to isolate the victim. This may start when the one with the power communicates a desire to mentor and help the intended target. Then, the mentoring may progress so that moments of emotional intimacy are created. This can make the victims feel as if they voluntarily put themselves in the situation by sharing personal experiences. Moreover, if the victim shares some intimate secrets in these conversations, the perpetrator may later use them for emotional blackmail, to secure the victim's silence. Sometimes, the victim discusses personal relationships, which may lead to sexual revelations. Once the hook is set, the harasser can make the victim feel complicit in an inappropriate workplace emotional or physical affair, but that does not minimize the seriousness of the harasser's behavior.
If confronted, offenders often take pains to minimize questionable conduct. They may say they were only joking or blame the victim (or others) for the offensive behavior. They will usually deny any wrongdoing during initial interviews, because they know it is their word versus the word of a powerless victim. They may posture their power to further intimidate the victim: "I've been with the company for years and am well-respected. No one will believe you!"
And in some cases, offenders will use their position of authority and apply economic pressure. Executives often have the power to promote, demote, or sabotage a subordinate's career path. For abusers, these can be powerful tools of oppression to wield, because victims often feel that no one will believe them, and they cannot afford to lose earning power.
Creating and conducting a neutral and fair investigation is critical to the successful resolution of harassment complaints, but employers must be careful.
As a framework, it is important for organizations to establish investigation-related policies, procedures, and an enterprisewide training program, and to maintain a culture that encourages victims to report misconduct.
Most enterprises in these situations turn to outside experts, especially when working with legal counsel. Here, experience is crucial; skilled investigators who have years of experience conducting sensitive investigations of sexual misconduct are valuable assets. Too often, inexperienced investigators leave the employer with no evidence and a "he said, she said" inconclusive finding. By keeping some important investigative steps in mind, security professionals can maximize the likelihood of reaching a conclusive investigative result.
First, do not discount any reports of harassment or misconduct. Often victims will hint about less offensive conduct to "test the waters." In these cases, the victim may want to know that you care and will believe him or her before they disclose the full seriousness of the conduct.
Of course, this does not mean everyone reporting misconduct is telling the truth, or the whole truth. In some instances, accusers may use claims as a preemptive measure to avoid being disciplined or discharged, because they have been forewarned that their performance or conduct has not met expectations. In these situations, the supervisor should be accompanied by an HR representative or other neutral supervisor in disciplinary meetings.
Similarly, a witness should be present when the accuser is interviewed. To help understand the accuser's version of events, security managers should ask questions that help clarify encounters, but should avoid leading questions. Never blame the victim for failing to report the matter earlier.
Sometimes, counsel may request that the interviews be video recorded with the consent of those being interviewed. Video recording interviews is a good way to memorialize important statements, but you must be prepared to meet resistance to this request. In case of such resistance, you may explain that video recording is standard procedure, and that it avoids misunderstandings about what was said and helps properly document any remedial actions required by law.
Often, the victim begins the conversation with the statement, "Can I confide in you about a problem?" However, security managers can never commit to secrecy, because they may be compelled to report what they are told. So, the answer must be on point, such as, "Mary, you clearly came to me because you know I care. Tell me what's on your mind and I'll tell you what the next steps are that I can take."
In interviewing the victim, one of the most critical questions that is often overlooked is, "Whom have you confided in about this matter?" More often than not, victims of sexual misconduct share with trusted confidants. So, ask victims what they revealed, and when they shared the information. This will provide important witnesses who can help corroborate the victim's integrity. Be careful about immediately believing reports of misconduct that occurred years ago without corroborative testimony or evidence. It does not mean the accuser is being untruthful, but time diminishes evidence and memories.
Interviewing the accused is another important step. Too often the accused is interviewed too early in the investigation, before all circumstances are known. Another common misstep is asking closed-ended questions that can make it easier to deny the allegations, such as, "Did you touch Mary in your office last week?"
Questions that are open-ended but targeted are critical to helping determine the truth, and developing them in advance can help determine a successful outcome.
During the process, it is imperative that the accused and accuser be separated to avoid claims of retaliation. Communicate clearly to the accused that he or she is not to speak to the accuser, or engage in any behavior that may be interpreted as unlawful retaliation. If the accuser is a direct report of the accused, the latter should be transferred. Transferring the accuser to another manager, absent written consent by the victim to be reassigned, can result in a claim of retaliation.
Preserving evidence is vital to the investigation. Emails, text messages, voice mails, work schedules, diaries, and other evidence must be properly documented and preserved. Practicing this consistently is often the key to uncovering evidence that proves or disproves the allegations.
Finally, remember that documentation is the investigator's salvation. Every step, every interview, and every finding should be clearly documented. The investigation must be fair and neutral to all parties. Decisionmakers will draw conclusions based on the investigative findings; the investigator's role is to assemble the facts, so they can fully inform the conclusions.
The employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, or loss of wages. If the supervisor's harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior, and that the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.
The employer will be liable for harassment by nonsupervisory employees or nonemployees over whom it has control (for example, independent contractors or customers on the premises) if it knew, or should have known, about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.
When investigating allegations of harassment, the EEOC looks at the entire record, including the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. A determination of whether harassment is severe or pervasive enough to be illegal is made on a case-by-case basis.
Prevention is the best tool to mitigate harassment in the workplace. Establish clear anti-harassment policies and procedures, provide training at all levels, and take immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains. Clearly communicate to employees that unwelcome harassing and sexual misconduct will not be tolerated. In addition, employees should be encouraged to both inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop, and report harassment to management at an early stage to prevent its escalation.
Employers should strive to create an environment and a work culture in which employees feel free to raise concerns and are confident that those concerns will be addressed. The result will be a positive workplace where all personnel are valued.
As seen in recent events, employers are often quick to distance themselves from the accused prior to any investigation. This response hurts the enterprise and brand, because it sends a message of a rush to judgment, or damage control. The first public response, if any, is to communicate that the company takes all allegations seriously, conducts a thorough investigation, and then takes effective remedial steps.
The EEOC does not demand termination, but it does require that companies take effective remedial steps. Termination may be warranted, but the investigation will determine the ultimate disciplinary measures. Ask the accuser what he or she thinks should happen to the perpetrator. Listening to this proposed solution often mitigates the risk of civil claims, because the accuser was part of the investigation, apprised of the findings, and involved in determining the appropriate remedial steps.
If your organization has not equipped itself to perform a thorough and fair investigation, it may decide instead on a hasty termination, or an immediate distancing from the accused. This is a mistake. If made, the next time you get to hear a response from the accused may be in a deposition in a costly and highly public civil lawsuit. Or worse, in a criminal court.
Here are some examples of open-ended questions, along with warning flags that can lead an investigator into a more useful inquiry:
What does Mary know about you personally?
The accused shares intimate details that superiors have little reason to know about their employees.
The accused blames the employee for wanting to meet alone.
Why should we not believe Mary?
The accused may come in armed with reasons she cannot be believed, even though previous evaluations about Mary have been stellar.
The accused may use rank, length of service, and position as reasons to believe him or her, instead of answering the question directly.
How many times have you met with Mary alone in the past six months?
The accused makes excuses for meeting with the employee alone.
The accused claims to have a bad memory and can't recall how many times he or she has met with the employee alone, much less the context and content of such meetings.
Assume a supervisor apologizes, gets help, and pays Mary for counseling. What would you like to see a company do?
The accused often uses this question to agree that these steps should be taken; which is generally a tacit admission that he or she engaged in the behavior.
The accused does not believe the supervisor should be harshly punished.
What did Mary share with you about her life?
Who should we interview about Mary and what will they say?
The accused attacks Mary by listing all the reasons she cannot be believed, while being unable to name potential witnesses. He or she may name trusted colleagues who can comment only about his or her performance and who have little information about Mary.
What do you believe Mary has said about you?
The accused reveals personal or intimate information.
The response of the accused mirrors the statement that the accuser provided about the misconduct.
Tell me everything you know about Mary.
The accused quickly tells you information designed to discredit the victim that has never been reported or documented.
The accused knows too much about Mary's personal life.
Assume we believe Mary, what do you think should happen?
Often, a perpetrator seeks mercy or a second chance.
The accused personalizes the outcome to minimize the chances of being dismissed or publicly ridiculed.
When we interview past and present employees, how many will say that you talked about private or sexual matters?
Instead of an immediate and clear denial, the accused will have difficulty remembering.
The accused attempts to throw other employees under the proverbial bus, although no problems were previously reported.
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