International Foundation
for Cultural Property Protection

  • May 12, 2017 5:07 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Glenn MacIntyre, CIPM, CIPI
    certified IFCPP instructor

    Priceless Artwork Damaged By Impaired Patron

    A 36-year-old woman punched, scratched, rubbed her butt on, and peed next to a $30-$40 million painting.

    Museum Evacuated After Fire

    A construction worker’s cigarette landed on some sawdust, sparking a massive fire that destroyed a valuable Picasso.

    Ancient Urn Destroyed By 12-Year Old

    A 12-year old trips and falls, knocking over an urn dating back to the Ming Dynasty.  The Curator stated that “Once it hit the marble floor, it shattered into hundreds of pieces. It was like a gun shot or a bomb had gone off.”

    Security Officer Killed During Shooting at Museum

    A rifle-wielding aggressor entered the museum on Wednesday afternoon, fatally shooting a security officer before being wounded himself by return fire from other guards.  A six-year veteran of the museum's security staff "died heroically in the line of duty," said the museum director.  “They did exactly what they were supposed to do to protect people in the museum; never take your guard force and security people for granted," he said. 

    These are all words we don’t want to hear at our institution, yet the last statement is exactly what we do when we do not train our security staff; we take them for granted.  Just as condemning, is providing ineffective or out-of-date training.

    Too often, this crucial part of operations at cultural property locations is ignored because:  a) “it’ll never happen here”, or b) “security is a necessary evil for insurance purposes only” or c) “they don’t bring in money, they’re costly enough as it is; the preservation of the artwork takes priority”.  However, these are the same people we leave in charge of protecting the artifacts, natural wonders and items that we owe our entire existence.  If we lose our entire inventory, are we still in business?

    There are many organizations out there that promise the proper training.  However, how well do they know your institution?  Are they well versed in the necessary training?  What is required for your institution?  What about his/her background?  He/she was a Security Officer for five years; does that qualify them to teach?  What if he/she was a college professor in Criminal Justice, does that qualify him/her?  They were certified 5 years ago by some recognized program, is that enough?  Have you checked out the Instructor’s credentials to verify they are currently approved to instruct?

    I have worked with three different states’ agencies that require state licensing for Security Officers.   Each state has its own requirements (anywhere from 8 – 40 hours).  It is amazing the horror stories the states’ have passed along to me.  One state has shut down hundreds of these organizations that were originally approved.

    A true Instructor/Teacher/Professor is committed to the student learning.  We should all be interested in professionalizing our industry.  Although not everyone is suited to work in a security role or maybe in your institution’s environment, be it a library, a zoo, botanical garden, museum, etc., very few people come to work to fail at their job.   Once again, we are setting them up to fail if we don’t provide them the tools and skills to be successful.  This goes from the security officer, to the supervisor, to the security manager, to the Facilities Director, and so on.

    When it comes right down to it, aren’t we all educational institutes anyway?  Why do we all get school groups coming to visit:  to learn!  Why neglect our own employees?  The message we are sending these guardians of the collections is:  “this place doesn’t care, why should I?”.

    We also need to be aware of local, state or federal requirements and standards, which frequently are updated.  This is why the IFCPP is looking into offering more than just our own certification programs.  We are currently prepared to offer: 

    a)     state mandated training for:

    1.     State of New York,

    2.     State of Vermont

    3.     State of Connecticut.

    b)    Management of Aggressive Behavior

    We are also looking for input on whether we should become a training center for OSHA, since they are actively seeking more training centers through non-profit organizations.  So if anyone is interested in OSHA certified safety training (or any other specific training) please contact Rob Layne at  In today’s society, with more and more competition and regulations hindering our abilities to stay open, we need to continue to enhance our programs by continually utilizing and making our security staff more versatile through education.

    IFCPP is committed to reducing the number of articles like this one:  the ex-employee who killed himself inside a gallery at the campus' art museum was a security guard who resigned in several years ago to avoid being fired.

    What we should be striving for in every situation is:  "Our security did an incredible job disarming the situation and did exactly as they were trained to do".

  • April 13, 2017 10:59 AM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Robert A. Carotenuto, CPP, PCI, PSP

    [republished from the ASIS Cultural Properties Council Newsletter, Volume 2, March 2017]

    Cultural properties continue to be under attack.  A machete-wielding man rushed at a group of soldiers on guard at the Louvre museum on February 3rd and was shot and stopped by one of the soldiers.  Two weeks later, an attack by an Islamic State suicide bomb killed 88 people attending shrine to Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, a town in the southern Sindh province, Pakistan.  As advocates for securing cultural properties, we must continue to build our global network of experts and collaborate on the best ways of meeting the continued threats to our world’s softest targets.

    To this end, I am proud that our Houses of Worship committee has published a Vulnerability Mitigation Scenarios White Paper. I am also proud that the first draft of our council’s CRISP Report Case Study on the Clunia archaeological site was ready for peer review this March.  Much work still lies ahead, as the

    Library Committee begins drafting its White Paper on the current heroin epidemic, the Museum Committee revises some of our dated guidelines, and our council’s general efforts to complete our White paper on Children Safety in Cultural Properties. 

    Our efforts to produce valuable information continue with Jim McGuffey’s future webinar on Security Risk Analysis this July and my webinar on creating effective tabletop exercises this September.  We look forward to council members submitting outstanding sessions for the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits this September, where I know we will be well represented at both the speaker’s podium and at our council’s booth.

    We continue to seek membership from Women in Security, Young Professionals, and international members. I will be representing our council and others at ASIS Milan at the end of March to assist in global recruitment as well as the ASIS International effort to create mini-councils.  I ask that each council member make an effort to recruit a YP, WIS, or an international member for our council.  Of course, look to your own staff first, and bring them aboard for mentorship and leadership opportunities and follow the example of past council chair Bill Powers!

    As mentioned on our last conference call, I am most proud to have been awarded ASIS International Council Chairman of the Year. This award validates the work of my fellow council members. Your enthusiasm in promoting the council’s activities and attracting new members, in writing great articles for our newsletter, as well as developing and publishing valuable white papers, made our council first amongst equals. My award is but recognition for your efforts.

    I urge those working for or with cultural properties to get involved. You will reap the benefits of peer discussions to learn best practices, foster friendships, and advance our profession. Whether you’re a young professional or seasoned practitioner, the Cultural Properties Council seeks your involvement and perspective.

  • April 13, 2017 10:58 AM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    By Paula Ratliff

    [republished from the ASIS Cultural Properties Council Newsletter, Volume 2, March 2017] 

    Shelter in Place:  A Security Concept That Every American Should Know

    “Shelter in Place” is a relatively new concept that is taught by criminologists and law enforcement professionals.  It is a precautionary term, aimed to keep you safe while remaining indoors and in the area where you are, should you hear gunshots or explosions.  While it is advisable, if you are close to an area with few or no windows and you can get there safely, that may be a good option.  Otherwise, you need to take cover in the area where you are and wait for the all clear directive to be given by local law enforcement.

    School teachers are trained on how to do this in the event of an active shooter.  If a teacher hears gun shots and they cannot leave the classroom, they should immediately secure the room by locking and barricading the doors, covering and closing all windows and then securing the children under desks, furniture, book cases, etc.  The concept is that you seek immediate shelter with whatever you have available until the “all clear” code has been given or until given instructions by local law enforcement officials.  Some classrooms are equipped with an exit door, but exiting the door could be the wrong action and it is best to wait until you know it is safe to exit.

    It is unfortunate that we must train school, hospital, church, retail and mall administrators, plant operators and others in crime prevention and safety measures.  Yet, it is the reality of the world in which we live.  We never know when someone is going to start shooting and the decisions you make in a split second could determine if you survive. 

    This past summer, I was speaking at a college in Cincinnati, Ohio when I asked the group of students, “What would you do if you heard gun shots?”  The response was to look out the door to see where the shots originated.  Well, that was a really wrong answer, and one that could get you killed immediately.  If there is an active shooter, your head just appeared in their video game and they are taking you out!  It is advisable that you do not go looking for an active shooter unless you are armed and ready to engage. 

    We have all watched in horror the videos of the lone-wolf terrorists, working at and/or with the instruction of ISIS leaders.  They are becoming more aggressive in their approaches and will continue to target soft targets.  Soft targets are things/areas that are not adequately secured.  They find a weak spot in your security program and they target it.  It is unfortunate, but we will always be vulnerable as criminals shoot up airports and drive trucks into crowds and enter schools, universities and restaurants.  Workplace violence continues to increase and factories and businesses need to be proactive in security training and security perimeters.

    If your company and/or business is not training employees on how to Shelter in Place, you need to begin this immediately.  Consult your local law enforcement officials or a criminologist to assess your location and devise a plan of action.  It is your responsibility to protect those that work for you and the failure to devise a plan could result in legal liability for you and your company.

  • April 13, 2017 10:56 AM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    By Gary Miville

    [republished from the ASIS Cultural Properties Council Newsletter, Volume 2, March 2017]

    As we work in our different areas throughout the United States there is a constant need for security professionals to network. We have organizations like ASIS International and the IFCPP which help us meet peer to peer but ultimately we need to enhance our ability strengthen our network to include the Federal government organizations. One organization that I have found especially helpful and insightful is InfraGard.  InfraGard is an alliance for national infrastructure protection. This organization was formed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation around 2003 as a non-profit.  InfraGard’s liaison and outreach efforts have developed close working partnerships, not only between the private sector and the FBI, but with other pivotal agencies, to include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and Small Business Administration (SBA).

    InfraGard partnership is an association of persons who represent businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement/public safety agencies, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence to prevent hostile acts against the U.S. The InfraGard National Members Alliance is comprised of 84 chapters representing over 50,000 vetted members, to include critical sector subject matter experts on protecting the 16 Critical Sectors. InfraGard provides its members with unmatched opportunities to promote the physical and cyber security of their organizations, through access to a trusted, national network of Subject Matter Experts from the public and private sectors and government stakeholders, at the local, state, and federal levels. InfraGard engages subject matter experts and address threat issues across each of the 16 sectors of critical infrastructures and key resources recognized by Presidential Policy Directive-21, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.

    To become a member of InfraGard there are a list of requirements.:.

    • ·       U.S  Citizen, 18 years or older
    • ·       Affiliated with a critical infrastructure sector
    • ·       Consent to and pass FBI security risk assessment and periodic recertification
    • ·       Agree to adhere to InfraGard Code of Ethics and Information Sharing Policies.
    If you are interested on becoming an InfraGard member or you would just like to attend a meeting with a member. Go to for more information.

  • April 13, 2017 10:55 AM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Andy Davis

    [republished from the ASIS Cultural Properties Council Newsletter, Volume 2, March 2017]

    The setting for the inaugural International Arts & Antiquities Security Forum (IAAS-Forum 2016) could not have been better. The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts standing on the southern bank of the River Tyne mixed the historical culture of the region with a modern vibrant venue.

    There was a wonderful blend of British and international delegates and speakers; some of whom had travelled from the USA specifically for the event, all networking before the start of the event.

    The Chair of the IAAS-Forum Andy Davis (and Council member) opened the event before passing onto the event Keynote Speaker, Michael Huijser the Executive Director of the Dutch National Maritime Museum and a Dutch government museums advisor. Mr. Huijser truly set the scene for the speakers that followed by outlining the importance of security and the cultural world.

    The opening section of the event really established the context for the Forum and showed the threats that exist both within the UK and internationally. Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green discussed how organised criminal targeted UK museums and successfully got away with over artefacts worth over £57 million, very sobering. He was followed by Julian Radcliffe the CEO of The Arts Loss Register who outlined the international scale and terrorist use of art and antiques to fund their activities.

    Andy was able to get some great audience participation by demonstrating how multiple layers of security can protect jewels; in this case ‘Ferrero Rocher’™ chocolates! This presentation was a great introduction to the next section which was led by Jim McGuffey who discussed the protection of places of worship and target hardening. This caused many of the audience to comment on the innovation put forward by Jim and the benefits of his presentation.

    The next two presentations were provided by the Council International lead, Ricardo Sanz, who had flown in from Spain and Declan Garrett who had travelled from Dublin. What was interesting was that although both were discussing security operations Ricardo looked at historical and technical perspectives whilst Declan provided excellent reasons why organisations should invest in their security personnel and the broader benefits they can bring.

    The next speaker is somebody whom many of the delegates were keen to hear and that was William Brown the National Security Advisor from the Arts Council. William, who is always smiling, discussed the security standards and best practises needed to qualify for the government indemnity scheme relating to loans of governmental artworks.

    Finally, there was a panel discussion involving specialist support services for the arts and antiquities world. The panel consisted of Dr Nicholas Eastaugh, a scientist specialising in profile and authentication of arts, Annabel Fell-Clark the former head of AXA Art insurance and William Brown discussing the movement and transportation of art. Some really testing questions were asked of the panel but they were able to answer and educate the delegates I some pretty specific, but important topics.

    In addition to the speakers there were exhibitors who had obviously been selected because of their services and support to the arts and culture sectors. There were specialist glazing providers, drone pilots, CCTV and barrier security manufacturers. The highlight of the exhibitors came in the form of one of the main event sponsors who demonstrated over the lunchtime the capabilities and effects of their fogging product; I can certainly vouch that I was blinded and unlike other cloaking devices did not leave any reside.

    The Forum was closed by the event Chair with a promise of more to come in 2017. Drinks and canapés were served in the glass fronted lobby overlooking the beautiful Tyneside Quayside.

    What struck me about the event was the quality of the speakers and the obvious thought that had been put into the content to ensure its relevance to as many of the delegates as possible; but without detracting from the theme behind the event. The delegates genuinely seemed to enjoy and appreciate the efforts and the whole nature of the event.  Michael Hole, a Director with Vinovium Associates described it as, “The best seminar I’ve been to in years, with some really excellent speakers!” A sentiment that was echoed by many of the other delegates.

    Interestingly the event organisers have already had requests from international speakers and delegates for the 2017 event. This has demonstrated the desire within the sector for this type of specialist event to be made available to not only museums but galleries, private collectors and associated organisations. By having the Council at the forefront of these type of events not only increases the profile of the individuals but also that of the Cultural Properties Council.

  • April 13, 2017 10:54 AM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    By Ricardo Sanz Marcos

    [republished from the ASIS Cultural Properties Council Newsletter, Volume 2, March 2017]

    El Consejo de Patrimonio Cultural de ASIS INTERNACIONAL está focalizado en la protección de instituciones dedicadas a la preservación, exhibición y administración de recursos culturales: museos, bibliotecas, archivos, organizaciones religiosas, centros de artes escénicas, jardines botánicos y cualquier instalación cultural que tenga como responsabilidad la protección de personas, colecciones de arte y otros bienes culturales.

    El Consejo está constituido por profesionales de la seguridad que realizan su trabajo en instituciones culturales, y vuelcan su experiencia y buenas prácticas en recursos que ayudan en la Gestión de la protección del Patrimonio Cultural. Compartir conocimiento y apoyarnos entre los miembros del grupo, es realmente una característica fundamental de nuestro funcionamiento.

    Como resultado de los esfuerzos del Consejo se han generados documentos* muy interesantes para la práctica de la seguridad en instituciones culturales como:

    • ·       Guía de Protección contra Incendios.
    • ·       Casas de Culto*, Guía de Evaluación de Riesgos de Seguridad.
    • ·       Enfoques para la dotación de personal de seguridad en museos, informe de referencia.
    • ·       Prácticas sugeridas para el diseño y la construcción de sistemas de seguridad en exposiciones y museos.
    • ·       Prácticas sugeridas para proteger casas de culto.
    • ·       Recomendaciones para la preparación de museos en situaciones de tiradores activos/franco-tiradores.
    • ·       Prácticas sugeridas para la seguridad de los museos.

    *Estos documentos, que contienen guías, casos de éxito y buenas prácticas, se pueden adaptar a cada cultura, país o región

    **Definición de Casas de Culto: iglesias, sinagogas, mezquitas, casas de oración de diversos credos.

    Desde mi primer encuentro con miembros del Consejo, en la reunión anual de ASIS en Atlanta en 2014, como Gary Miville, James Clark y Robert Carotenuto, vi de forma clara que la expansión internacional de ASIS, pasaba por generar grupos de trabajo con pertenencia cultural común y que el idioma era determinante. Y la cultura Hispano Americana /Latino Americana y el español deben formar uno de esos grupos de trabajo.

    En la última reunión anual de ASIS INTERNACIONAL en Orlando, inicié los primeros pasos de constitución de un grupo de trabajo en español de nuestro Consejo de Patrimonio Cultural, a través de unas conversaciones con Gary Miville y Jaime Owens. Tuve la oportunidad de compartir y poner en relieve, el enorme potencial de los países de habla hispana en materia de Patrimonio Cultural y la oportunidad que  supondría poder trabajar y hablar en español dentro de ASIS.

    Los países de habla Hispana son verdaderas potencias en Patrimonio Cultural y su sostenibilidad (la Gestión de Seguridad es parte imprescindible de la sostenibilidad), aporta valor añadido en la generación de riqueza a nivel nacional.

    Sin ir más lejos, este año  se presentará un Proyecto sobre la Protección de Yacimientos Arqueológicos, en el que hemos colaborado miembros de Estados Unidos y de España. Este trabajo generará un documento en inglés y español que pretender ser la referencia mundial sobre la seguridad en los Yacimientos Arqueológicos.

    A este naciente grupo de trabajo en español será bienvenido cualquier profesional que quiera aportar su conocimiento y experiencia y pertenecer a un colectivo realmente internacional especializado en la protección del Patrimonio Cultural.

    Como objetivo más inmediato, hemos fijado la reunión anual de ASIS que este año se celebra en Dallas, Tejas, Estados Unidos, para mantener los primeros contactos presenciales de los miembros del grupo de trabajo en español del Consejo de Patrimonio Cultural. Mientras tanto, estoy a su disposición para entre todos hacer del español un idioma común en ASIS.

    Nos vemos en Dallas.

  • April 05, 2017 5:41 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    FEMA Fact Sheet

    Cherished family heirlooms that survive a fire are often covered with soot and ash, requiring prompt and gentle attention to avoid further damage. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a coalition of 42 national organizations and federal agencies co-sponsored by FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, offers these basic guidelines from professional conservators for those who are searching for, and finding, family treasures amid the ruins.

    After a Fire

    • Call your insurance agent as soon as possible to file a claim.
    • Personal safety is always the highest priority when entering buildings damaged by fire.
    • Check for structural damage before re-entering your home to avoid being trapped in a building collapse.
    • Never attempt to salvage belongings at the expense of your own safety.
    • Wear protective clothing-especially gloves (nitrile or latex are preferred over cotton), face masks, and eye protection.
    • Avoid breathing in or touching hazardous materials. Risks in fire-damaged areas can include particulates, exposed asbestos, lead-containing building materials (such as glass and lead paint), and chemical residues.
    • If water has been used to put out the fire, mold may also be an issue and should not be inhaled.
    • Take photographs of your damaged items for insurance purposes.

    General Handling Advice

    • Even though you will be sorely tempted, it is important to reduce the amount you handle or touch damaged items. The very fine particles in soot stick to everything, and every touch will grind it further into the item you are trying to save.
    • Soot and ash are very abrasive and will further damage items through scratching.
    • If your items were exposed to both heat and water, they will be even more fragile.
    • Lift your objects carefully and avoid weakened areas; for example, support ceramics from the base rather than lifting by handles.
    • Wear nitrile or latex gloves when handling objects as the greasy residue in soot can be permanently fixed to absorbent surfaces by skin oils.
    • Avoid placing pressure on blistered or lifting surfaces, such as on paintings or photographs.
    • Place items in supportive boxes or plastic containers until you can obtain further advice or are ready to begin cleaning.
    • Keep in mind that the longer the soot remains on the item, the harder it is to remove.

    Some Simple Cleaning Tips

    • Do not use water-or any other cleaning solution! Water will drive soot and ash further into the surface of your item, and they will become impossible to remove.
    • As soon as possible, vacuum the soot and ash off your item.
    • Do not vacuum wet or damp items--wait until they are dry.
    • It is preferable to use a HEPA filter in your vacuum cleaner.
    • Use the vacuum on the lowest setting, or insert smaller plastic tubes into the main tube to reduce suction.
    • Do not use a brush, and do not allow the nozzle to touch the surface.
    • Vacuum all exposed surfaces before opening out folded items such as textiles or books.
    • If you want to remove further residue, soot sponges can be carefully used if the item is robust enough. Cut small pieces of the dry sponge for more accurate application and economic use. The dirty surface of the sponge can be cut off to expose a new cleaning surface. These sponges, often called dry cleaning sponges, are available at local home improvement stores.

    Some Important Considerations

    • Shelved books may be charred on the outside but intact inside. Vacuum the edges before you open the books--don't worry if some of the charred bits come off.
    • Photograph albums may be stuck together--do not try to open them by force. You will need to take them to a conservator for advice.
    • Heat can make glass, ceramic, and metal items very brittle--remember to handle carefully.
    • Fabrics in particular might look intact but may fall apart without very careful handling.
    • Supports that you can slide underneath your belongings (sheets, boards, plastic) will enable you to safely carry more fragile items.
    • You have now essentially done all you can to stabilize your items. It is likely that they will need further attention from a qualified conservator as they may be in a fragile state. Please keep in mind that, while things might look irretrievably damaged, there may well be treatments that will salvage these items. Do not despair, but please seek conservation advice.

    Contact a Conservator

    Recovering items damaged by a fire is challenging. If a precious item is badly damaged, a conservator may be able to help. To locate a peer-reviewed conservator, click on the "Find a Conservator" box on the home page of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC),  Also, you could contact the conservation/preservation department of a major museum, library, or archives for advice or contact the National Heritage Responders (formerly AIC-CERT), the specially trained team of the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation.

    Beware of Increased Flood and Mudslide Risks 

    One of the lesser known but critical considerations following a wildfire is the increased risk of floods and mudslides, even in areas far away from the fire. Properties directly affected by fires, as well as those located below or downstream of impacted areas, are most at risk, including many properties not previously considered as having a moderate or high flood risk. Residents in areas susceptible to flash or winter flooding, or in areas of extensive wildfires, need to prepare in advance for possible flooding.

    Advice by Phone

    A number of organizations offer free telephone advice following an emergency or disaster:

    The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation's emergency response team, the National Heritage Responders (formerly AIC-CERT) offers a 24/7 emergency hotline: 202-661-8068

    Regional Alliance for Preservation (RAP) is a national network of nonprofit organizations with expertise in the field of conservation and preservation. Individual member organizations offer free emergency advice, many on a 24/7 basis. Click on the link to locate your nearest organization.

    For More Information

    After the Fire! Returning to Normal. FEMA FA-46/ August 2012. 

    Soot and Ash Segment from the Field Guide to Emergency Response video. Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation. A short video walks you through salvaging items damaged by soot and water.

    Fire. Chicora Foundation.

    Rebuilding After a Wildfire. FEMA Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration Fact Sheet.

    Worker Safety During Fire Cleanup. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution co-sponsor the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. 

    To download the PDF of this FEMA Fact Sheet click here.

  • April 05, 2017 5:37 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    Disruptive museum visitors pose many potential threats to an institution. At a minimum, they create a disturbance that may upset other visitors and interfere with the museum experience. Worse, they might create serious public safety dangers for other visitors and museum staff. They may jeopardize the building or objects in the collection. And depending on how the disruptive situation is handled, they may seriously impact the museum’s reputation with the public.

    For these reasons, treatment of disruptive visitors should be a major component of every museum’s public safety plan. It is important to establish a protocol that empowers museum staff to deal with situations that are uncomfortable, complicated, and possibly hazardous.

    The first step of the process is to draft a policy to which everyone can agree. Meet with staff and administrators to determine a set of rules which in an extreme situation could result in visitors being asked to leave the facility. Your policy should be posted in an area that is easily accessible and visible to the general public. As a precaution, the museum’s legal team should judiciously review the policy before you disseminate it. Finally, it is important that your staff assimilates such rules and consents to a policy designed to deal effectively with disorderly or aggressive patrons.

    The second step is to ensure that your museum has a system in place to recognize and report disruptive behavior. Gallery guards are typically the first to encounter unruly visitors, but literally every staff member should be trained to quickly assess situations and evaluate the severity of the behavior. Video surveillance is essential to monitor galleries in which personnel is not present. First-hand observation of any incidents observed by staff or on video is the most appropriate means of determining whether or not an individual should be confronted. 

    It is important to recognize that there are several types of unacceptable behavior that require different types of response. For example, a visitor might be confused and accidentally open a restricted access door.  A staff member’s response might be to say, “Excuse me. May I help you?”  Polite words make the visitor aware of the given violation with a minimum of distress or humiliation. Courtesy is paramount, and the dignity of the visitor must be respected. Inform the individual that their actions are prohibited by the institution and request that they refrain from repeating that specific behavior.

    If visitors refuse to comply or if they were previously advised that they would be asked to leave should they repeat their behavior, then they immediately become a candidate for removal from the site. At this point the behavior would mandate escalating the response by enlisting the support of a site supervisor, security manager, or security officer in charge.  Your institution’s policies should dictate the actions necessary for removing a visitor, and it is much easier to do so if the visitor was apprised of the policies earlier in the visit.

    When confronting a visitor, use an appropriate and calm approach. Your approach must be strategic in nature, never in a manner that can be perceived as hostile or threatening. This will only agitate the visitor and perhaps lead to more disruptive or dangerous behavior.  Your approach should follow these simple steps:

    A. Create distance. You never want to be in a position where a visitor can get the upper hand and catch you off guard.  For this reason you should be no closer than six to eight feet from the visitor at all times.

    B. B. Assume what is commonly known as the “interview stance.” This position involves keeping your arms at rest between your navel and slightly below your chest in a comfortable position. Typically, the palm of one hand rests on the backside of your opposing hand. With the combination of distance and body language, you are now in the best position for protecting yourself. If you are uncomfortable approaching an individual, you should call for back-up and notify your supervisor immediately. 

    C.  Observe whether the visitor has a weapon. If the disruptive visitor is carrying a weapon or even a potential weapon (such as an umbrella or cane), you must take extreme care in deciding whether to confront. Immediately call for backup and wait for it to arrive before proceeding.

    Your museum’s public safety plan should specify who has the authority to order someone removed from the premises. This may be a staff supervisor, security manager, or other trained staff who can handle stressful situations in a calm manner. To remove someone from the museum, first ask the visitor to leave voluntarily. If he or she does not comply, tell the visitor that police will be dispatched. Often the threat of arrest is all it takes for the visitor to comply. In certain situations security personnel might escort the individual to the nearest public exit. Your policy should determine procedures for escorting a visitor. Do not make the mistake of putting your hands on a visitor for any reason. The only legitimate reason for using force is to protect oneself. This should only be used as a last resort.

    If the visitor attempts to re-enter the building, continues the disruptive behavior, or threatens to use a weapon, you should immediately call the police.

    Planning and proper training are essential to protect the valuables of an institution and ensure public safety. Make sure you establish policies and review them regularly with all staff. Establish procedures for approaching a disruptive visitor, with personal safety as the highest goal. Follow your institution’s procedures for ejecting visitors. Determine if staff supervisors, security, or police officers are going to be used and, if so, what level of response must be employed. Try to de-escalate the situation if possible in order to resolve any issues quickly and professionally.

    Stress is inevitable in the case of disorderly visitors. With prescribed rules in place, your museum can respond in a non-hostile manner and with respect for the dignity of the individual. This will minimize any disruption and help the museum return quickly to a more peaceful state. Your staff and visitors will thank you for your professional response to a troubling situation.

    -Austin Sharpe, CIPM

    President IFCPP NE 

    Director of Security

    The Addison Gallery of American Art


  • March 15, 2017 12:22 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Steven C. Millwee, CPP (President and CEO of SecurTest, Inc. and iReviewNow, LLC) 

    Federal District Court rules that transmitting background reports, FCRA rights, and pre and post adverse action notices to a candidate by means, such as iReviewNow and mail meets legal obligations. This ruling further validates the revelatory vision behind the iReviewNow patents and intellectual properties.

    Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, when an employer or user of consumer reports, as defined by the FCRA, is considering rejecting a candidate based on a background check (often referred to as a consumer report), it must follow certain “pre-adverse” action procedures.  Specifically, the user must provide the applicant with a copy of his or her background report and a summary of rights under the FCRA, prior to taking “adverse action.”  In Wright v. Lincoln Property Company, the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania definitively found that an employer is only obligated to send the applicant a copy of these documents; whether the applicant actually receives them is irrelevant. This ruling gives further credence to the three patents of iReviewNow, which electronically delivers the reports, FCRA rights, and notices to candidates. Though this case did not highlight iReviewNow, the ruling validates that iReviewNow patented electronic transmissions meets the FCRA obligations.

    Plaintiff Lemuel Wright applied for a job with defendant Lincoln Property Company as a maintenance technician.  In connection with this application, Lincoln procured a background check on Wright.  Lincoln sent Wright an “in progress” copy of the background check that it had obtained from its background check vendor, along with a summary of rights under the FCRA.  According to Lincoln, it sent this background check to the address where Wright lived and received mail at the time of his application.  Wright, on the other hand, argued that the mailing of the background check does not satisfy the FCRA because he never actually received it.

    The Court disagreed with Wright, noting that nothing in the text of the FCRA requires companies to ensure that a job applicant actually receives his or her pre-adverse action documentation.  Rather, the statute simply requires the employer to “provide” the information.  In the Court’s view, “[t]here is nothing in the statute” “establishing a requirement that the entity intending to take adverse actions take measures to ensure receipt.”

    Despite this ruling, however, the Court denied Lincoln’s motion for summary judgment.  Because the background report that Lincoln sent to Wright was an “in progress” version and not the final version, the Court held that there was an issue of fact as to whether Lincoln satisfied the requirements of the FCRA.  This was the case, in the Court’s view, despite the fact that “[t]here are no material differences between the criminal history included” in the “in-progress” report and the “final” report.

    iReviewNow – the new standard

    The iReviewNow patents, copyrights, and trade secrets provide one-of-a-kind protections. It notifies the candidate by email and text messaging that his or her background report is ready to be previewed. The “PRE PRE” notice option, unlike a pre adverse action notices, allows candidates to view their background reports, ensure such are accurate and complete, or dispute any inaccuracies before the end-user takes adverse action. iReviewNow also automates the Pre-Adverse and Post Adverse Action steps, which are mandated by the FCRA. iReviewNow patents also allow the user to opt-in to use the EEOC Individualized Assessment Component. This section allows employers and users to consider the candidates explanations about their adverse history, such as criminal convictions, and steps taken to self-rehabilitate.  California recently enacted a law requiring employers to use an Individual Assessment Component, similar to the EEOC guideline.

  • February 22, 2017 9:07 AM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    Alexandria, VA – Robert A. Carotenuto, CPP, PCI, PSP, CIPM, Associate Vice President, Security, The New York Botanical Garden, has been named the 2016 Council Chairman of the Year of ASIS International (ASIS), the leading association for security management professionals worldwide. Awarded annually since 1980, this prestigious award honors security leaders for their outstanding contributions to both ASIS and the security profession.

    Carotenuto chairs the ASIS Cultural Properties Council, which serves as the leading resource for security education, outreach, and suggested protection for cultural institutions, including museums, libraries, faith-based organizations, performing arts centers, and cultural facilities. In this capacity, he advocates for global collaboration on security guidelines for all cultural properties.

    “Robert’s leadership has been integral to the Council’s success. He helped expand its global reach, including publishing multilingual brochures; shepherded the grant to develop a Foundation CRISP report on the Clunia archeological Site in Spain, and increased the number of young professionals and women serving on the council,” said Les Cole, Sr., CPP, Consultant, Leslie Cole Associates, who nominated Carotenuto for the award. “In addition, he embodies the spirit of this award. He leads by example and his commitment to the profession is truly second to none.”

    A 23-year industry veteran, Carotenuto leads a team of security professionals at The New York Botanical Garden, helping to safeguard 500 staff members, 24 buildings, and over one million visitors in a 250-acre urban oasis in the heart of the Bronx. Most recently, he created cost-effective solutions to protect world-class special exhibitions including Monet's Gardens; Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden Life; the annual Holiday Train Show and Orchid Show; and the upcoming CHIHULY.

    “Being named Council Chairman of the Year validates the work of my fellow council members,” said Carotenuto. “Their enthusiasm in promoting the council’s activities and attracting new members, in writing great articles for our newsletter, as well as developing and publishing valuable white papers, made our council first amongst equals. My award is but recognition for their efforts.”

    Carotenuto urges those working for or with cultural properties to get involved. “You will reap the benefits of peer discussions to learn best practices, foster friendships, and advance our profession. Whether you’re a young professional or seasoned practitioner, the Cultural Properties Council seeks your involvement and perspective.” Learn more at

    About ASIS International

    Founded in 1955, ASIS International (ASIS) is the world’s largest membership organization for security management professionals. With more than 240 chapters across the globe and 34 councils representing all industry sectors, ASIS is recognized as the premier source for security learning, networking, standards, and research. Through its board certifications, award-winning Security Management magazine, and the Annual Seminar and Exhibits—the most influential event in the profession—ASIS ensures its members and the security community access to the intelligence and resources, necessary to protect their people, property, and information assets. Learn more about the work we do at  

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