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  • July 29, 2015 5:30 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Safety is certainly a concern for those attending public events, as violent incidents and copycat attacks continue to receive media attention.  IFCPP President, Steve Layne, was just interviewed by Southern California Public Radio following the recent shootings in Lafayette, LA. The question voiced by many, "is it safe to go to the movies?" And "what can theaters do to improve safety?"

    Our first suggestion to anyone visiting cultural and entertainment venues (or any other business) - observe emergency exits everywhere you go. Think about how you can get out quickly in an emergency, and what the alternative may be if an exit is blocked. Theaters have made some improvements, most of which are not visible to the public. More intensive entry screening helps, but it's labor intensive, and probably too costly for many entertainment venues. It is critical that we remain alert to suspicious acts and/or persons, and we do not hesitate to report these to management or law enforcement.  Are there creative measures we can take to encourage our visitors to do the same?

    While recent perpetrators appear to have acted alone, their behavior and actions prior to the incident may very well have alerted others to a potential problem. The ongoing publicity alone will spur others to imitate violent acts.  Encourage staff and visitors to report any activity where violent acts are threatened, on social media or in person.

  • July 29, 2015 5:28 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Thanks to Donna Sack and her staff for their hospitality and excellent arrangements at the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM) conference in Cincinnati. Congratulations again to those attendees attending the Certified Institutional Protection Manager (CIPM) workshop, and our thanks to those attending our special program "Are We Safe," the IFCPP-sponsored session covering a variety of timely cultural property protection concerns.

  • July 29, 2015 5:23 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Scheduled for October 27-October 31, we begin the event with a visit to the fantastic Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK.  After special tours and an outstanding evening networking event, conference participants will depart the following day for beautiful Bentonville, Arkansas, where our hosts at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art welcome us to their world-renowned institution. Attendees will marvel at this beautiful new museum, and learn in a superb and unique setting.

    Check out a bit of what’s in store for us at:

    Conference Sessions will include:
    CIPM Certification – New conference participants can earn industry certification with the only management-level professional designation offered in cultural property protection. 

    Topics include: Personnel Management; Fire Protection; Litigation Avoidance; Protecting Collections/Assets; Emergency Management; Technology Considerations; Workplace Violence Prevention

    Disaster Planning – IFCPP’s all-new interactive workshop. Leading experts will moderate a discussion group allowing participants to acquire input and creative solutions for your specific disaster preparedness and response considerations and concerns.

    Agency Collaboration – Our hosts at Crystal Bridges will be leading a multi-disciplinary panel of local emergency response agencies to discuss creative solutions for cooperation, preparation and response.

    Departmental Collaboration – Several Crystal Bridges team leaders will conduct a series of workshops and tours discussing challenges and success stories from a variety of collaborative efforts.  Learn how museum-wide cooperation and collaboration has been achieved, helping to make Crystal Bridges one of the world’s leading new institutions.  Plan to bring your own challenges to the table for group discussion and problem-solving.

    And More – Stay tuned for program updates as we finalize details for an outstanding new educational program…

  • July 29, 2015 5:22 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)
    Thanks very much to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. for hosting CIPS officer certification classes on September 17-18, immediately preceding and in combination with the CIPI classes above.  For registration information, please visit:
  • July 29, 2015 5:21 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    IFCPP Associate Member, SecTek, Inc., will be hosting the next CIPI instructor certification class at their training facility in in Reston, VA September 19-20, 2015.  Thanks very much to SecTek for their continued contribution to cultural property protection, and for hosting our 2015 CIPI class.  For registration information, please visit:

  • July 22, 2015 5:19 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Congratulations to several new CIPS graduates that have completed training through CIPI and DVD instruction, including officers working at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Barnes Foundation, Yale University Art Gallery, Wadsworth Athenaeum, and Woodruff Arts Center.  And thanks to CIPI-certified instructors at AlliedBarton, Securitas, and Walden Security for providing outstanding instruction.

  • July 22, 2015 5:17 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Our heartfelt congratulations to 12 new CIPM program graduates that completed coursework at the Association of Midwest Museums conference in Cincinnati on Saturday.  IFCPP thanks you for your participation and your professional contribution to the cultural property community!

    We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to our friends at AMM and the Cincinnati Art Museum for hosting, and to Doug McGrew and Steve Layne for their outstanding instruction.  Great job everyone!

    Finally, we would like to congratulate several IFCPP members for their recent completion of CIPS and CIPM online certification!  We are proud of your professional development accomplishments, and look forward to working with you toward award of the CIPM II designation and beyond.

  • February 03, 2015 3:12 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    By Nella Letizia, WSU Libraries

    PULLMAN, Wash. – Not every librarian can say she met Peter Graves on the set of the “Mission: Impossible” TV show during the late 1960s in Hollywood or that she helped bring an infamous book thief to justice. But Washington State University’s Eileen Brady has done both – and much more.

    In fact, after 31 years, there aren’t many mysteries or problems that Brady, Owen Science Library’s preservation manager and research librarian, can’t solve.

    Need to know how to save water-damaged books and journals by freeze-drying? Brady figured that out in 1986, enlisting the late John Guido – head of Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections  – WSU’s food services department and the College of Veterinary Medicine to help with the task.

    Did Charles Darwin contend that animals and babies couldn’t feel pain in his landmark “On the Origin of Species?” Yes, he did, as Brady discovered for Vicki Croft, former head of the Animal Health Library and fellow retiree this year, who asked Brady to answer the question for a WSU student.

    “When I think of Eileen’s strengths and achievements within WSU Libraries, these come to mind: her excellence as a reference librarian; her collegiality to her co-workers, particularly as a mentor to new librarians; and her user advocacy,” Croft said.

    “I know of no other WSU librarian with her range of expertise and knowledge in subjects from the sciences, engineering and agriculture to the humanities and social sciences,” she said. “She is a Renaissance librarian, one who can ferret out answers to the most difficult questions.”

    Brady’s versatility and can-do spirit will be celebrated at a retirement reception 2-4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, in Owen Science Library’s main lobby.

    Read full story here: ‘Renaissance librarian’ Eileen Brady retires

  • February 01, 2015 3:17 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    By Stevan P. Layne, CPP, CIPM, CIPI, Certified MOAB Instructor

    The determination to place deadly weapons in the hands of some security officers is enough to give some administrators cause to consider staying home from work.   But the sad truth is, in this world at war, with growing crime rates and increasing levels of violence, consideration for armed security is at our doorsteps.

    In several locations, particularly those where law enforcement is not readily available, or high crime rates dictate harsh measures, officers are armed and have been for some time. While some of these officers are commissioned federal, state, or city law enforcement officers, others are proprietary or contract security officers.

    Where are discussions on this controversial subject leading?  Is it time to re-consider the basic security philosophy of “observe and report,” leaving everything else to the police?  
    In a quickly escalating violent confrontation, waiting for law enforcement to arrive may have deadly consequences.  Proliferating incidents continue to change the responsibilities of private security, but training and licensing requirements have not followed suit.

    An important consideration for all institutions is the availability and timing of police response to serious incidents. On one hand, what are the liabilities imposed upon the institution for using excessive force or force applied by an unqualified practitioner, as opposed to the liability imposed by failing to provide adequate protection for patrons, staff, or even security officers?

    We do not, as a rule of thumb, recommend the arming of private security, unless very stringent standards of hiring and training are met.  These standards must be equal to, if not in excess of, those required for police officers.  Placing deadly weapons in the hands of any individual opens up a broad spectrum of concerns.
    Consideration should certainly be given to less-lethal or non-lethal weapons.  If only a firearm is issued to an armed officer, the officer has limited choices during a violent confrontation.  Less than deadly alternatives should include electronic stun guns/weapons, tasers, chemical agents (mace or pepper spray), expandable batons, hand-irons, or other restraints.  All arming options come with important training implications.

    As you might imagine, the decision to arm involves a complex array of considerations.  What are the standards for qualification? What are the costs involved?  What are the necessary procedures and protocols? What are the requirements for training?  Are local and state legal requirements enough?  What are the required pay levels for persons with these qualifications? 

    We now recommend the following minimal requirements for armed security positions:

    • A thorough background investigation*
    • Completion of a professional training program on Use of Force
    • Physical examination
    • Psychological examination
    • Complete substance screening
    • Oral board (stress interview)
    • Completion of a certified range training course
    • Completion of a certified “shoot/don’t shoot” course
    • Completion of a certified ASP (expandable baton) course
    • Completion of a Use of Hand-Irons or other Restraints course
    • Ongoing training in all areas

    *A complete background investigation should include a nationwide criminal history search, local criminal history checks, driving record, credit history, employment history, extensive reference checks, and follow-up investigations on unanswered questions or suspicious findings.  Any false statements made by the applicant are grounds for immediate disqualification.

    Another consideration is whether officers shall be private officers serving as security officers, or specially commissioned officers capable of arrest.  If the determination is to commission officers, an additional level of training and licensing must be added, to familiarize officers with legal requirements and restrictions, and to enable them to act as dictated by local statutory requirements.

    We hope this information is useful to you.   It is a subject that should not be taken lightly.   We are happy to discuss these matters further or provide additional information.

  • January 27, 2015 3:21 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Monitoring, Patrolling & After-Hours Staffing

    We have often been asked for our opinion on after-hours security staffing for cultural institutions.  As we all know, the decision is often based purely on budgetary considerations rather than actual operational needs.  Whether the institution has its own central alarm monitoring station or relies on off-site commercial monitoring, threats to the security of valuable collections and other assets do not lessen after-hours.  We’ve listened to the arguments… “We have smoke detectors, sprinklers and security alarms, so why not lock the doors and rely on our systems to protect us?”  The answers are based on common sense and best practices…

    Smoke detectors cannot detect pre-fire conditions, water leaks, overloaded circuits, overheated small appliances that have been left plugged in by staff, and a variety of other hazards.  Sprinkler systems are activated by flames melting fusible links, by which time collections may be past saving.  Security systems are not foolproof.  Any electronic system is subject to failure.   The most effective, statistically proven prevention method is the alert, well trained, and professionally supervised live human being, performing consistent patrols throughout the night-time hours, and throughout the entire facility.

    The next question that arises is the determination of the number of security officers necessary to properly protect the institution after-hours.  We spend thousands of dollars equipping our facilities with electronic detection systems, including video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire protection, and environmental sensors, but we often fall short in providing the appropriate staffing to effectively compliment system monitoring and operation. 

    Placing one person in an on-site security control center works, as long as that one person stays awake, doesn’t need to use the restroom, and all systems are in perfect working order (and properly installed).  If only one officer is assigned to the facility after-hours, what can that one officer do when a problem is discovered by system devices somewhere in the building?  Someone needs to physically respond to the area in alarm to determine the nature of the problem.  If the control center operator abandons his/her post to respond, no one is left to monitor alarms.  Furthermore, the responding officer is placed at risk if the problem was generated by an intruder. 

    It makes best sense to utilize the services of no less than two security officers, working in tandem, making welfare checks on each other throughout the night, performing assigned tasks, and documenting the results.  Based on the size of the institution, additional officers may be necessary to cover all facilities.  We recommend that no less than two complete patrol rounds (per shift) be performed, checking all public and non-public areas, storage areas, restrooms, mechanical/electrical equipment rooms, and storage closets.  Systems rarely cover all of these areas, any of which may be the source of a threat to the protection of the institution.

    We do not recommend exterior patrols unless every precaution to protect the patrol officer is exercised.  Our preference, when exterior patrols are necessary, is for two officers to perform this function together.  Regardless of whether the patrol is interior or exterior, with one or two officers present, the security control center should perform welfare checks by two-way radio no less than once every 15 minutes.  In addition, we recommend that management perform unexpected inspection visits, during after-hours shifts, on a fairly regular basis.

    We have learned, on numerous occasions, of major incidents being averted by the alert observations of an effective foot patrol.  Equally important, we have learned of incidents that did occur, and may likely have been prevented by an alert patrol that was not in place.  We’d also like to point out the need to properly train after-hours patrols, which we address in “Safeguarding Cultural Properties,” as well as in CIPS and CIPM certification programs.  But please contact us anytime with questions about your unique operation.

    IFCPP is currently surveying a number of institutions to determine the present use of after-hours patrols.  Please feel free to submit your comments, questions, or opinions.  Thanks very much, Steve Layne


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