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  • 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

  • January 06, 2015 8:20 PM | Anonymous

    IFCPP welcomes it's newest Associate Member, MOBOTIX, and looks forward to their August 11 presentation at the Annual Conference in Denver.  Thanks very much to MOBOTIX for sponsoring Monday's conference luncheon!

    About MOBOTIX AG:

    MOBOTIX AG sees itself as a software company with in-house hardware development in the area of digital, high-resolution and network-based video security solutions. The company focuses on the development of user-friendly complete system solutions from a single source. The publicly-traded company with headquarters in Langmeil, Germany, is known as the leading pioneer in network camera technology since its foundation in 1999 and its decentralised concept has also made high-resolution video systems cost-efficient. From 2010 onwards, MOBOTIX will extend its product range to include intelligent building automation products that are developed in-house. Whether in embassies, airports, railway stations, ports, gas stations, hotels, museums, art galleries, libraries or highways, over one hundred thousand MOBOTIX video systems have been in operation on every continent for years.

    Mobotix Technology:

    MOBOTIX has been producing megapixel cameras exclusively for many years now and is regarded as the global market leader for high-resolution video systems. With a higher resolution One single MOBOTIX camera with 3.1 megapixels records around 30 times more detail than regular CIF analog cameras. Unlike other systems, with the decentralised MOBOTIX concept, a high-speed computer and if necessary, digital long-term memory (MicroSD Card) is built into every camera, providing several days of recording time. The PC and the video control center now serve only for viewing and controlling the cameras (PTZ), not for analysis or recording. With the intelligence built in the camera, at the edge, Mobotix systems are capable to monitor various building sub-systems and trigger notifications when changes within the environment are detected. Furthermore, combining sound with motion detection and the ground breaking Mx Activity Sensor, Mobotix cameras can issue highly accurate alarms and reduce the load at onsite and remote Monitoring Centers, reducing fatigue and increasing response time of security personnel.

    Successful Solutions:

    The Vatican Apostolic Library does not need any introduction. Mobotix project’s innovativeness and originality distinguishes it from any other security system. MOBOTIX IP megapixel camera technology is combined with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology that uses microchips. With RFID technology, which is used both for identification cards and microchips integrated in the books, people can be linked to the volumes they have consulted and their movements within the library can be monitored. To do so, the motion detection feature was activated on the MOBOTIX cameras positioned at 20 exits. This way, it is possible to identify these people and assign them to the correct ID and the books that they have checked out. Thanks to the specially developed AI software (Artificial Intelligence),it is possible to assign the microchip to the corresponding video clip from the camera, allowing the operator to evaluate the recordings quickly and easily using a single search key, for example, the book title, the name of the person or the time at which the person left the building. All images from the cameras are stored for a year in a center for data evaluation and it is only accessible to authorised persons. This cutting-edge system ensures the security of all volumes in the Vatican Library and any anomalies can be identified immediately. If a person accesses a library volume without authorisation, this is detected immediately by the combined RFID and video surveillance system, and if this person tries to leave the building with the unauthorised volume through one of the library exits, an alarm is triggered. Combining the highly reliable and intelligent Mobotix cameras with the AI software, not only ensures immediate detection, but the system learns from its experience and gets more and more accurate with time.

    Luciano Ammenti, who is responsible for coordinating the library‘s information services is excited: “We are incredibly satisfied with this project because we now have a video surveillance system that is head and shoulders above any of the other systems in use today. The IP megapixel technology from MOBOTIX creates recordings of outstanding quality. It was important for us to have clear and distortion-free images so that we can precisely recognise people’s faces and their identities. The cameras are easy to install, which is why we don’t have to make any structural changes to buildings that date back to the sixteenth century.” 

    General Director of the Völklinger Ironworks World Cultural Heritage Site, Dr. Meinrad Maria Grewenig, succeeded in bringing 120 masterpieces from the Larco Museum in Peru and 50 other exhibits from the Linden-Museum in Stuttgart into a unique atmosphere of a 6,000-m2 furnace hall in the ironworks to stage an exhibition entitled ”IncaGold”. It s no wonder that the press is talking about a ”bizarre combination well worth seeing”, which is expected to draw more than 150,000 visitors from July 2004 to April 2005. This is the first time that the exquisite gold exhibits from Peru have been on display in Germany. They provide an overview of 3,000 years of highly sophisticated culture in South America.

    “We were especially careful in our planning of the security measures for the ”IncaGold”exhibition and went to a great extent right from the beginning.”In view of the extraordinarily valuable exhibits, Arno Harth, chief administrator at the exhibition company, based his actions on these words: “God forbid anything should happen!”

    The monument protection laws prohibited the exhibition organisers from laying any additional cables in the building. Instead, they were required to use the existing computer network , which consisted of fibre glass and copper cabling.

    In addition, to comply with further monument protection laws, it was also necessary to have the cameras positioned as inconspicuously as possible. There is not a lot of light available in the exhibition area itself. An extremely delicate feathered piece of jewellery can tolerate a maximum of 50 lux, which is equal to the light emitted by 50 votive candles. The design of the exhibition also presented problems. While the setting is in deep blue and violet colors (carpeting, walls, display cases) and provides an excellent backdrop for the glittering gold, it also absorbs much of the red portion of the light and adds to the already difficult lighting conditions.

    It was not difficult to integrate the digital camera system into an existing network infrastructure. With the help of diffused 8-watt infrared spotlights and a highly sensitive low-light, infrared sensor, the MOBOTIX cameras are able to generate sharp, high-resolution black-and-white images. If more light is available, the cameras automatically switch from the night lens to the day lens for better color reproduction. Of course, the colors of the exhibition environment absorb most of the red portion of the infrared light, but the MOBOTIX color correction mechanisms counteract that problem. Also, installing the cameras in unnoticeable places allows inconspicuous surveillance. 

    The National Museum of Iceland safeguards and displays some of the most valuable objects that the Icelandic nation owns.“Our old system was simply not up to the task. It was analogue and controlled with a Video Management Software that was more than a decade old”, says Haukur Sævar Bessason, Supervisor of Buildings and Security at the National Museum of Iceland. He explains that besides aiming for an upgrade of the surveillance function, the National Museum of Iceland was also on the look-out for a new solution that integrated a counting system –in order to track the number of visitors at the museum and gauge the popularity of different exhibitions, among other thing. Another important criterion was to avoid any “hidden”costs not immediately apparent from the purchase costs of the cameras alone, such as license fees.

    “The MOBOTIX system could replace our old counting system and upgrade our surveillance system in one go. We had seen the MOBOTIX solution in use at other locations in Iceland and the proven durability, high quality images and easy management of the cameras –along with the fact that there are no license fees –were the crucial factors for us”, says Haukur Sævar Bessason and continues: “The system is mainly used for security purposes, but there are Q24 cameras that are counting as well as recording”.

    In the Americas, the latest high profile project is currently under way, Mobotix securing the centennial events at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, ON, Canada. With continuous improvement to the product line and 100% free of charge software solutions, Mobotix is looking forward to expand and duplicate their success stories while protecting cultural property worldwide. 

    Important Note:

    This notification contains statements that are based on assumptions and estimates of MOBOTIX AG. Even though the management considers these assumptions and estimates to be true and accurate, the future actual development and the actual results may deviate from these assumptions and estimates for various reasons. Among those reasons are changes of the overall economic situation, foreign exchange rates, interest rates as well as changes in the market trends or the competitive environment. MOBOTIX AG does not assume any liability for deviations of the future development and actual results from the assumptions and estimates as contained in this ad hoc announcement / press release / corporate news.

  • December 16, 2014 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    All communities around the U.S. have an obligation to be as disaster-ready as possible, and citizens of these communities work every day to achieve this goal. This year, FEMA has released a funding opportunity announcement for the Continuing Training Grant totaling $11 million!

    The Continuing Training Grant (CTG) is focused on state and local (including rural) communities, tribes, and non-profit higher education institutions. The 2014 CTG program is going to be specialized into six areas:

    • Hazardous Material/Weapons of Mass Destruction;

    • Cybersecurity;

    • Countering Violent Extremism;

    • Maturing Public-Private Partnerships;

    • Medical Readiness/Immediate Victim Care at Mass Casualty Events; and

    • Rural Planning.

    These grant awards are to be announced directly to eligible applicants by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. Applications for the Continuing Training Grant can be found at
    All applications are due by July 16, 2014!

    Don't miss out on an important opportunity to assist your community by furthering its opportunity to expand its emergency preparedness! For additional information, visit

  • November 24, 2014 3:28 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Written by: Monique Tarleton

    The face of the average security officer is no longer just the male retired worker whose main goal is to scratch out a meager existence working only a few hours a week.  Women are slowly stepping forward and becoming a viable force in a world of technology where brains out weigh brawn.  The criminals who exist in today’s high tech environment demand that we continuously progress at a faster rate than them to try and keep a step ahead of the average criminal.  A seemingly innocent situation must be viewed as a potential threat from a security standpoint.   The old adage of “that’s how we have done it in the past” is now a thing of the past.
    Young women must begin to prepare themselves now by investing in the type of potential work and educational experience that will allow them to excel at a rate comparable to their male counterparts.  Early R.O.T.C. training, classes in computer technology, finance, and business management are just some of the key components that can help begin the process.  The difference however lies in the fact that as women, simply meeting the same standards set for men is not enough. We need to continue to insure that when upper level management positions become available we are ready.  In the past, we have not done enough to insure that we have a seat at the table and a credible voice in the discussion process.
    We cannot depend on the criminal typecast of seedy individuals, appearing desperate and moving in a shifty manner.  Technology has forced us to now move into a world of infrared cameras, facial recognition software, fingerprint identification locking systems and retina scanners.  The new management level woman security executive must have good communication skills and be adept at customer service.  Though technology is advancing, she must always recognize that these are merely tools; there is no known technology to surpass the eyes and ears of the officer on the ground interacting with the public.  In addition, the public must take some responsibility for their shared responsibilities for security and safety.
    Office workers in a business environment should lock doors and monitor potential fire hazards, ensuring items such as coffee pots and space heaters are turned off at the end of the day. All employees must take an active role in the safety and security of their work place.  The women at the helm of all of this must be proactive in keeping the officers working at their highest potential while educating the public on the role in this process.
    The special environment of the museum is the opportunity to be an example to the next generation while educating the general public at the same time.  We can be kinder gentler and still maintain an air of discipline and order when protecting our staff, guests and collections.  We balance the need to increase our shared responsibility for security and safety; however at the end of the day our highest and main priority is the protection of the collection because without the collection there would be no museum. Therefore, our responsibilities extend far beyond those of employees in other companies and environments. Whether we are posted or work in an office, lab, studio, kitchen, shop, or gallery we must never forget our special responsibilities for protection.
    Women can seek to become specialists in security related fields such as fire protection security specialists, security investigations, security training, officers, supervisors, managers, etc. They are no longer viewed as counterparts to men but as active team members and team leaders in accessing, evaluating and providing proven solutions for counterattacking elements which threaten the security of our workplace, social gatherings as well as property.

  • November 04, 2014 7:22 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Safeguarding Cultural Properties - Security for Museums, Libraries, Parks, and Zoos

    Written by Stevan P. Layne,
    Principal and CEO of Layne Consultants International; founding director of the International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection

    ISBN: 978-0-12-420112-5
    PUB DATE: April 25, 2014
    LIST PRICE: $34.95


    • The only how-to manual written specifically for security managers of museums, libraries, zoos, and other public and private historic sites
    • Suitable for both large and small cultural institutions, and covers topics such as personnel security, fire protection, physical security, emergency response, theft protection, and more
    • Provides actionable, cost-effective solutions for institutions with limited security budgets and resources
    • Safeguarding Cultural Properties is a step-by-step guide for creating and maintaining a comprehensive security program in any cultural facility or public institution. Author Stevan P. Layne, the leading expert in the field of cultural property protection, draws from his many years of experience providing protection training and planning to more than 350 cultural and public institutions around the world.
    • Designed especially for those with limited security budgets, the book provides a proven and effective program for hiring the right security personnel, selecting the appropriate electronic security systems, and coordinating critical emergency response, along with all the other security issues unique to the needs of a cultural institution. For individuals responsible for the protection of the people, assets, and collections, Safeguarding Cultural Properties saves time and money by providing the essential resources needed for creating a short- and long-term protection plan.


    Chapter 1: Emergency Preparedness
    Chapter 2: Security Officer Code of Conduct
    Chapter 3: Personnel Security
    Chapter 4: Legal Rights and Restrictions
    Chapter 5: Physical Security
    Chapter 6: Fire Protection
    Chapter 7: Customer Service and Visitor Relations
    Chapter 8: Emergency Evacuations
    Chapter 9: Theft Prevention
    Chapter 10: Documentation
    Chapter 11: Protecting Valuable Collections
    Chapter 12: Protecting Rare Book Collections
    Chapter 13: Unruly Patrons and Conflict Resolution
    Chapter 14: Use of Force
    Chapter 15: Workplace Violence Prevention
    Chapter 16: Retail Theft Prevention and Apprehension
    Chapter 17: Special Events Protection

  • October 20, 2014 7:42 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    On Tuesday January 28th at approximately 3pm, Sunstates Security officer Dorian Williams was on post at the control center for the Telfair Museums in Savannah GA. When he noticed on one of the monitors that a fire had started outside the dock door where the trash receptacles are stored. He instructed another officer to call 911 and he secured a fire extinguisher and went to the scene of the fire. Although the fire had spread quickly, due to his quick response Officer Williams was able to douse the fire with the fire extinguisher.  The fire department did respond and verified that the fire was in fact out.  The cause of the fire was a cigarette.  Part of the training curriculum for Sunstates Security at the Telfair Museum includes Fire extinguisher training.  “We were very happy with the officer’s response, that fire could have been very serious”, stated William Forrester, Director of Operation for The Telfair Museums.


    IFCPP extends our praise to officer Williams and Sunstates Security for a job well done!

  • October 01, 2014 7:44 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    We are proud to announce the release of “Safeguarding Cultural Properties:  Security for Museums, Libraries, Parks, Zoos, and other Public Institutions.”   Scheduled for release on April 25, 2014, this timely publication is authored by Stevan P. Layne, CPP, CIPM, CIPI, recognized as a leading authority on cultural property protection, security management, and training.  The publisher is Butterworth-Heinemann, a United Kingdom based publishing company specializing in professional information and learning materials for higher education and professional training.

    This manual is intended to provide useful information, best practices, and practical guidelines for protection planning and implementation in a variety of cultural, educational, and public institutions.   Advance orders will be offered online soon through IFCPP, and also available at special IFCPP workshops and seminars.

  • September 29, 2014 7:45 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    by Stevan P. Layne, CPP, CIPM, CIPI

    The latest in shooting events, one in a public shopping mall, the other in a busy airport terminal confirm what is unfortunately a sign of the times, and probably a sign of things to come. One of these acts was committed by a disturbed individual with known drug problems.  The other with a grudge against a government agency. Neither predictable.  Both however, may have been preventable.

    Most of our businesses and public institutions do not recognize the daily threat from misguided, mentally disturbed, or substance influenced individuals with easy access to dangerous weapons. Gun control isnotthe answer.  Putting more guns in the hands of private security, or even putting more police on the ground is not necessarily the answer. Security awareness, immediate reporting, and immediate response all contribute to the possibility of reducing or preventing similar attacks.

    Workers need to be advised about recognizing the signs of mental illness, depression, or substance abuse. Management needs to be prepared to confront employees with potential problems and get them the help they need. When necessary, problem employees need to be removed from the property and restricted from returning. We can’t stop every threat, in every case. We can do more to prevent potential threats before they become a reality.

  • September 08, 2014 7:51 PM | Gwin Coleman (Administrator)

    Bag Checks
    We have been receiving numerous requests regarding the initiation of, or refinement of, package inspections and bag checks. In particular, there's a growing concern about training staff how to spot explosives or weapons (and how to deal with the discover of such items).

    Before initiating bag checks, make sure you have a clearly written, published, distributed policy.  What items are restricted?  What do patrons do if they have prohibited items with them when they arrive?   What is the policy for staff (incoming and outgoing bag checks)?   How does staff bring laptops or other personal items into the facility? How would you handle spotting explosives or weapons?
    We normally begin by posting a conspicuous notice that states anyone entering the property is subject to inspection/search. This posting should be visible at all public entries.   It's possible the notice alone will deter someone from attempting to bring contraband onto the property.

    Once the policy is established and security officers and staff have been briefed on the policy (they need to have written copies in advance and at the point of inspection), you’ll want to determine how you're going to conduct the inspection.   You’ll need a platform or table of some type on which to place containers, packages, and bags. Placement of this table should not impede flow of traffic or block emergency egress. You’ll also need flashlights, gloves, and/or plastic paddles or rulers to conduct the inspection safely.   Officers (or whomever is performing the inspection) should never put their hands into any container, backpack, purse, etc.   To look inside, they should use the paddles to move things aside. 

    Prohibited items should be clearly defined and identified.  These include weapons of any type, controlled substances, or any type of explosive or explosive/flammable material.  Make sure to decide in advance what to do if prohibited items are discovered during the bag check.  Placing these items a locker is not normally an acceptable practice.

    Lockers may be provided for other items, as long as you recognize the potential problems that lockers pose, and the fact that they must be cleared at the end of each business day.  Under no circumstances should security personnel hold or "watch" any item, for any visitor, contractor, or staff member.   The responsibility for storing items is on the owner.  Some businesses allow visitors to leave restricted items in coat checkrooms, which we do NOT recommend.

    Weapons & Explosives
    Explosives, as well as weapons carried by others are another problem all together.   Your weapons policy should address the rights of police officers, but only officers in their own jurisdiction (ask us for a copy of our sample weapons policy). For persons with valid concealed weapons permits, but not serving as police officers, we recommend advising them that they cannot bring their weapons onto the property. Where they store them while visiting the business is their responsibility.

    Any hint of explosives is a serious problem. Officers should always observe the demeanor of all persons being inspected. Undue nervousness, looking around, acting jittery, not being responsive to questions or looking directly at the person asking questions...all are indicators of potential problems.   Attempting to keep all or portions of the bag closed is also suspicious. Any sign of wires, timer devices, or unusual electronics the subject can't explain are worthy of further investigation.   The inspector needs to call a supervisor immediately. Ask the subject to wait aside from the queue of other patrons. Separate the subject from the bag. Use a telephone if available, avoiding the use of two-way radios. If there is no doubt that the bag contains a suspicious device or is recognized as an explosive device, evacuate the area immediately.

    Customer service is extremely important in the initiation and management of package inspection, and the practice of checking bags requires professional, consistent, and ongoing training.  We normally take two hours for this type of training, giving everyone with the potential for serving in that role the opportunity to go through the motions, in a hands-on training session. This whole process, especially if an emergency evacuation is called for, requires considerable discussion, planning, and rehearsal. You certainly don't want to evacuate the building because of an IPAD or DVD player. Walk through realistic scenarios with the people performing inspections.   Make sure that senior management has an active voice in determining policy and procedures.

    Please contact us if we can provide additional information or assistance.

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