INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR
CULTURAL PROPERTY PROTECTION

Log in

News


  • 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), www.conservation-us.org.  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 www.asisonline.org/councils.

    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 www.asisonline.org  


  • February 14, 2017 12:09 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    A gallery that has used Art Guard sensors for several years contacted me regarding a trove of works on loan for a show. The value of these pieces exceeded anything they had exhibited before by tens of millions of dollars.

    Their question concerned whether it was advisable to mix methods of security protection and whether tethering paintings to walls was worthwhile.

    “Of course, do whatever you need to do to feel secure,” was my reply.

    As you may know, tethering a painting to a wall with wire, in and of itself, will not prevent a theft. Like several other rudimentary methods, it offers resistance; that resistance -- and the resulting delay in execution -- may be enough to save the paintings from being pilfered.

    Some gallery professionals will react to that tactic by saying, “Why bother?”

    As recently as 2010, many galleries put marbles behind the frames of paintings to signal an attempt to move them. Some would say, “Incredible.”

    I say, “Why not?”

    The thief on trial for the theft of five masterpieces from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris in 2010 characterized the job as dizzyingly easy. No guards, faulty security system, unlocked window grills. Had any of those been operational, it might have given him pause before executing his plan.  

    The point is that so many professionals and collectors in galleries, museums, homes and other places that showcase art probably agonize over spending money to secure art. Or they don’t even consider security. Then the unthinkable happens.

    The message here is do something, rather than nothing, for your own peace of mind.

    There’s always a reason and a way to protect art and assets, compatible with your current security measures. Let’s discuss your options and your budget. Contact us at 212-989-1594 and bill@artguard.net.

    Best Regards,
    Bill Anderson


  • February 02, 2017 6:00 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    As America's opiate problem explodes, the nation's fire service finds itself on the front lines of a full-fledged public health crisis. As responders' resources are stretched and as opioid-related deaths climb, fire officials are faced with tough challenges: How much should the fire service be expected to do? And is there a better way to do it?

    BY JESSE ROMAN

    The 911 dispatcher’s updates blaring through the truck cabin grew increasingly darker as Daniel Goonan raced to the scene of a drug overdose last October—a desperate little boy; an unconscious mother dying on the kitchen floor; opiate use was suspected.

    “You could hear the situation building over the radio—the operator talking to this nine-year-old, telling him how to do CPR on his mother,” Goonan, the fire chief in Manchester, New Hampshire, recalled. “This was a kid who was getting ready to go to school, eating his Cheerios, and all of a sudden he looks over to see his mother lying there purple.”

    When Goonan and his team arrived, they administered naloxone hydrochloride, an opiate reversal medication that can almost immediately counteract the deadly effects of an opioid overdose—but after the first dose the woman remained motionless. After a second dose, her breathing finally returned, all while “the little boy is sitting there at the table,” Goonan said somberly.

    For the Manchester Fire Department and for thousands of others in this opiate-riddled New England city of about 110,000, the scene has become common. Through the first 11 months of 2016, Manchester had 721 opiate overdoses—an average of more than two per day—and 88 opiate overdose deaths. The fire department and local ambulance services have administered nearly 1,000 doses of Narcan, the brand name for naloxone. More than 100 overdose victims have been found unconscious, barely breathing, and dying in hotels, restaurants, and other public buildings, or in parked cars—even while driving. At least 65 people have been brought back from the brink of fatal overdoses more than once in 2016, including eight cases where first responders revived the same person twice within 24 hours.

    Goonan, a 32-year department veteran, grew up in Manchester, a brick-clad former mill city on the banks of the Merrimack River, and admits that drugs have always been prevalent here. “But I’ve never seen the problem so terrible,” he told me. “It’s like nothing I ever expected.”

    The rise of opiate abuse is hardly unique to Manchester. Opiates in the form of prescription pills, heroin, and increasingly powerful synthetics like fentanyl have indiscriminately swept across the United States like a plague, infecting all types of communities—from rural hamlets in Appalachia and the rust belt to the nation’s largest cities—with equal ferocity. In 2015, the most recent year tracked by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more that 52,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses, or about 144 each day, with the majority of those deaths opioid-related. Nationwide, fatal opioid overdoses increased 652 percent from 2000 to 2015, according to CDC statistics, and every indication is that the problem has grown worse in 2016. Many states have all but declared full-fledged public health emergencies.

    The fire service is dealing with several challenges as the opioid crisis explodes. For one, call volume has risen with overdoses, leaving departments to bear a slightly heavier load, typically with the same or fewer resources. In addition, some departments have felt an economic toll as naloxone prices skyrocketed—from $6 per dose to $45 per dose since 2010, according to one chief interviewed for this story—as demand for the drug increases. To carry the slack, in some cases state and federal governments have provided funding to departments to purchase the medication, while in some communities private organizations have donated hundreds of doses of the life-saving drug.

    For the typical line firefighter, the biggest change has perhaps been adjusting to an expanded role as the opiate crisis worsens. Previously, only paramedics or higher-level EMTs were allowed to administer drugs in most states; over the last couple of years, however, numerous jurisdictions have rushed to expand the types of responders allowed to carry and administer naloxone. Training and oversight have been ramped up as a result, and for the most part states and agencies have met the challenge to get members adequately trained before supplying them with the drug, said Thomas Breyer, a former firefighter and paramedic in Ohio who is now the director of Fire/EMS Operations at the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

    “Training is critical because this is a change for a lot of providers, and when you administer any kind of emergency services you want the responder to have some muscle memory—see it, do it,” Breyer said. “It’s not as simple as ‘here is a new medication, here’s how to deliver it,’ and then give them a pat on the back and let them go.”

    Even with training and preparation, the crisis can at times overwhelm responders. Last August in Huntington, West Virginia, emergency responders saved 26 overdose victims in the span of less than four hours. In Marion, Ohio, a town of 35,000 people, the city fire and rescue department dealt with 30 overdose hospitalizations and two deaths during a frantic 12-day stretch in 2015.

    “I hate to see Marion making the news because of this, but we need some help,” said Rob Cowell, the town’s fire chief. “We’ve picked up overdoses from people who were 14 years old all the way up to 67. It’s been all over town, across every socioeconomic class. It’s a national problem that we are trying to deal with on the local level, and we are swimming in it and having a hard time keeping our heads above water.”

    SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS

    In some places, it’s easy to see why fire departments might feel like they’re sinking. In Ohio, opiate-related drug overdose deaths increased a staggering 775 percent from 2003 to 2015, according to the Ohio Department of Health, growing from 296 deaths to 2,590. Massachusetts had 1,747 opioid drug deaths in 2015, up from 532 in 2010, according to the Massachusetts Department of Health. Similarly dramatic increases have occurred in New Hampshire, New Mexico, Alabama, West Virginia, Maine, North Dakota, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and elsewhere.

    The opioid crisis and the changes it has brought for the fire service have produced frustration in some responders. Last February, a firefighter in Weymouth, Massachusetts, was suspended 90 days without pay for a Facebook post that suggested letting overdose victims die. “I for one get no extra money for giving Narcan and these losers are out of the hospital and using again in hours,” the post said. “You use, you should lose!” The department quickly issued a statement denouncing the post and said it did not reflect its philosophy or values.

    The vast majority of firefighters and EMTs, however, have met the new challenge with resolve, viewing it as a necessary response to a community crisis. “We are an all-hazard department and so it really doesn’t matter what the problem is—if lives are on the line, we believe there is a social and civic responsibility to address it,” said Matthew Levy, the medical director of Howard County Fire Rescue, a county in Maryland located between Baltimore and Washington D.C. “Whether it is an evolving threat like terrorism or an infectious disease like Ebola, when the community calls on the fire service, we have that responsibility to respond. Saying it is not our problem is not the answer or a long-term solution.”

    While difficult hurdles remain for some fire departments, most have adjusted and have handled the increased cost, training, and call volume resulting from the drug crisis, Breyer and others told me. It’s the personal toll that has been the hardest for some responders to overcome. Bringing a person back from the brink of death, only to find them blue and unconscious from another overdose a week later, is sometimes difficult to bear, they said. That’s the dark reality of the opiate epidemic that responders see every day.

    “It causes first responders to say, ‘there has got to be a better way,’” Breyer said. “If I make the same run on the same guy week after week, we’re not solving any problem, we’re just making sure the same person doesn’t die. But we’re not helping these people all the way—this person needs treatment.”

    The mounting desperation in communities has led many fire departments to think differently about the crisis and to assume a larger role in finding solutions. “It’s to the point here where folks begin to realize that this is not just a problem that someone else’s family has to deal with—we’ve had very tragic overdoses in this county, including family members, friends, and close relations of personnel at the fire department,” Levy told me. “When you look at the sheer numbers and impact on the community and put it in that perspective, you start to realize that we need to begin to craft more out-of-the-box strategies.”

    One of the more innovative strategies is Manchester’s Safe Stations program. Beginning last May, drug addicts seeking help were invited to visit any of the Manchester Fire Department’s 10 fire stations—24 hours per day, seven days a week—to begin their road to recovery. The program works in partnership with a recovery center called Serenity Place, which is located adjacent to the central fire station downtown.

    Chris Hickey, Manchester’s director of emergency services, got the idea for Safe Stations last spring when a relative of a Manchester firefighter showed up at a station looking for help. He was homeless, addicted, and desperate. “When he started talking to us it was apparent he was serious about getting help, but he said there was nowhere for him to go—he had made calls and went to a few websites, but nothing was happening,” said Hickey, a longtime EMS provider in the city. “I was doing some work at a local recovery center at the time. I contacted them and they said just bring him in.”

    The experience gave Hickey an idea: instead of merely treating the symptoms of addiction by rushing around the city bringing addicts back from death, perhaps the fire department could play a larger role by getting addicts into treatment. Hickey took the idea to department leadership, and the program was up and running within weeks. According to Goonan, “We jumped into the program with both feet—our thinking was, ‘let’s stop talking and let’s start doing something.’” When addicts looking for help arrive at a Manchester fire station, they are greeted with a quick physical and mental health assessment. A counselor from Serenity Place is summoned to the station to meet with the patient, who can register on the spot in the center’s outpatient program. On average, a patient sees a licensed drug and alcohol counselor within 12 minutes of entering a fire station.

    “When someone is ready to make a change you have to get them at that moment,” Goonan said. “They are greeted with no judgment, just a handshake and a comfortable place to go. Historically this is what the fire service does—help people.”

    When the department first opened its doors to addicts, nobody knew what to expect. Goonan thought they’d see maybe five to 10 people a month. From May 4 to December 1, though, there have been a total of 821 visits to Manchester fire stations from people looking to get clean, an average of nearly four per day. Patients have ranged in age from 18 to 70, and have come from all over New Hampshire, as well as a substantial number from Maine, Massachusetts, and as far as Alabama. More than 400 patients have been brought into the Serenity Place recovery program through Safe Stations.

    “Some use us as a first option, some as a last,” Hickey said. “A lot of people who come in are broken. They are mentally worn out, physically a mess. Many had made phone calls and got on waiting lists, but nothing happens and they end up frustrated.”

    “UNINTENTIONAL BOOST”

    The proactive rather than reactive approach to the overdose epidemic has also lifted spirits inside firehouses, Hickey told me. At first, some firefighters were wary of the idea, and worried that violence might follow addicts into the stations. But in the nine months the program has been operating there hasn’t been a single incident. Instead, the program “has worked wonders for our department mentally,” Hickey said. “We were getting tired, angry, and frustrated going to dozens of overdoses every month, seeing families ripped apart, doing CPR, watching kids do CPR on their parents because they had overdosed. But these people are coming to us before they overdose, before they are dead, and it has quite unintentionally given everyone a boost.”

    Goonan himself handles many of the intakes, like the 22-year-old woman with two young children suffering from endocarditis who, when asked her drug of choice, replied, “anything I can get my hands on.” Or the 61-year-old house painter who became hooked on pain medication when he hurt his back on the job and two years later was addicted to heroin and crack.

    “He told me ‘I’m desperate for help, I’m going to lose everything I have ever had—my wife, my home, my children,’” Goonan told me. “We see people like him every day. I think the stigma is starting to lift a little bit. People are more willing to come in and admit they have a problem.”

    Manchester Fire Department officials believe the program can work elsewhere and are helping others adopt it, including the nearby city of Nashua, which recently started its own version of Safe Stations, and a fire district in the Bronx that is planning to launch a pilot program this year.

    Community engagement and cooperation from various public and private organizations, ranging from hospitals, safety agencies, health departments, local charities, and church groups, have been key to the program’s success, Hickey said. “We now have open lines of communication with all of these groups, which is a huge advantage,” he said. “I think that is one of the biggest first steps to addressing this issue.”

    That holistic community approach is one others should try to emulate, said Breyer, the fire and EMS director at IAFF. “If we really want to solve the opioid epidemic, fire, EMS, and all these public safety agencies need to be a part of the bigger solution,” he said. “We all need to realize that we can’t operate in silos. We need public health, social services, mental health, fire—we need everyone working together through a network.”

    Many fire departments across the nation are starting to take that approach. Beginning December 1, overdose victims transported to the hospital by fire and rescue in Marion, Ohio, are now met in the emergency room by a drug councilor, a significant shift for the city.

    “It used to be that an overdose was charged with possession [of a controlled substance], but we’re not doing that any more. We’re just trying to get these people help,” Cowell said of the program, which has involved coordination between fire and rescue, police, and a local hospital and counseling center.

    Howard County, Maryland, recently formed a community-wide drug task force with representatives from the fire department, police, health department, corrections, hospitals, and other stakeholders.

    “We all see this problem from different angles, and so I think the most impactful thing we can do is come together to share ideas, observations, and trends,” Levy, the fire department medical director, told me. “We are trying to break down those barriers and begin to create a plan for a comprehensive solution.”

    The group is working to create an interagency data dashboard where the various agencies can view each other’s information with the hopes of uncovering patterns that can lead to better-targeted intervention. They are also discussing policy changes, such as making naloxone nasal spray publically available in strategic places across the county for the public to use in overdose emergencies.

    “This is not a problem that is going away soon—this is not Ebola, or Zika, not something that comes and goes,” Levy said. “This is a problem of epidemic proportions and it is going to be with us for a long, long time.”

    It’s too early to know the impact these initiatives will have, but there’s no doubt it will continue to be an uphill slog. Despite efforts to combat the roots of the problem, initial estimates in Marion, Howard County, and Manchester are that each had a record-high number of opiate overdoses again in 2016. Marion had more overdoses and deaths through the first 11 months of 2016 than it did in all of 2015; Howard County averaged about 22 percent more opiate-related overdoses per month in 2016 than it did the year before; and in Manchester, total opiate overdoses were up about 6 percent through November compared with 2015.

    But there’s hope, too, and signs that Safe Stations is making progress. From August through November, Manchester saw 51 fewer overdoses and five fewer deaths than it did during the same period in 2015. Goonan and Hickey are hopeful that the trend will continue, but they are also realistic about the foe they are up against.

    “We could be trending lower for months, and the next thing you know a new dealer comes in with a new synthetic opiate and we have seven or eight deaths and people start saying it’s not working,” Goonan said. “But in my professional opinion we are certainly saving lives, and every time someone walks through our front doors we are giving them a real shot at recovery.”


  • January 24, 2017 12:19 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Stevan P. Layne, CPP, CIPM, CIPI

    Some of our postings are in response to, or soon thereafter, a major tragic event.  I’m going to step out of the box and offer some strongly preferred preventive, defensive measures.   We are (as a country) going to continue to be victimized by a growing number of “lone wolf” attackers, and in all likelihood, small groups of attackers, who may or may not be affiliated with large, more organized entities.   These attacks may occur at any location where the opportunity exists to cause considerable damage, destroy property, and kill or injure Americans.  Every reputable law enforcement agency and the Department of Homeland Security recognize this threat.  Our “soft targets” are everywhere.

    It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict or prevent an act perpetrated by a lone wolf, and almost as difficult to prevent or predict those acts of small, unaffiliated groups.  Cultural properties present ideal targets.   They are, for the most part, not easily protected from armed assault.   They are hosts to numerous special events and gatherings.  They house valuable assets, in many cases, closely identified with our culture.

    The presence of armed security, even special police, to protect public entries may not do any more than present an immediate target.   Besides, gunfights at our public entries are not really in keeping with the welcoming image preferred by institutions.  There are, however, definite measures which may, in fact, deter attempts at initiating an attack, and may well delay or deny the ability to enter the facilities.

    We must protect our perimeter.  Every conceivable entry point should be controlled in such a manner as to make unauthorized entry too difficult to attempt.  Vehicle approaches, or entries where vehicles may gain access should be prevented from doing so by installing removable or fixed solid bollards or similar barriers.  The objective is to make it impossible to crash through an entryway with a vehicle, especially a vehicle that may be loaded with explosives.

    The entryway itself should be constructed as a Sally Port…a controlled entry with both outer and inner doors and a protected space between the doors.  Video surveillance should be installed to observe approaches to all exterior entries. A Sally Port may be installed to meet size requirements of any institution.  Bullet resistant material should be installed to protect entry area glass and Sally Port walls.   Wireless panic/duress signals should be available to staff working at each entry point.   A facility-wide emergency notification system should be installed to include notification through all electronic devices utilized by staff, volunteers, interns, and long-term contractors.   Entry staff should have the capability of securing each entry with little warning.

    These measures are not inexpensive.  The costs to recover from an armed assault are considerably higher.   The costs to install preventive measures after the fact, are always higher than costs occurred during construction, or when not pressured by recovery efforts after considerable loss.

  • January 11, 2017 6:17 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Lynn Ieronimo, CIPM II, CIPI
    Head of Security, Yale University Beinecke Rare Book Library

    We are very excited for the IFCPP’s 2017 conference hosted by Yale University from September 16th – September 20th.  This year’s conference is easily accessible for travelers near and far.  We are 2 hours from Boston and 1 ½ from New York, about an hour from several major airports and directly accessible by Metro-North and Amtrak train service.

    We have a tentative agenda, with a complete agenda coming soon, but here’s what you can expect so far:

    2 days of included pre-conference activities.  A trip to Yankee stadium and seats in the owner’s suite, including food and drinks, on Saturday September 16th and a trip of your choice to either Mystic Seaport and Aquarium (included aquarium admission) or to Mohegan Sun Casino (included food and gambling vouchers) on Sunday September 17th.

    3 nights of included dinners on Monday September 18th – Wednesday September 20th.  Enjoy great local pizza and beer/wine on Monday, a reception and dinner at Yale Cultural Properties sites on Tuesday and a night out to a local restaurant for dinner and open bar on Wednesday.

    3 days of exciting, new keynote speakers.  Each day will start with one of our hand-picked speakers to kick-off the day’s events.  Other speakers currently confirmed for the conference will discuss our Cultural Properties model at the University, Active Shooter planning, Business Continuity planning and a Citizen’s Police Academy.

    CIPM I certification opportunity.  Get certified, or re-certified, as a CIPM professional.  The class has been designed so you don’t miss out on all the day-time activities.

    Tours of Cultural Properties sites across the Yale campus.  Included tours of the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale West Campus Cultural Properties holdings and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Peabody Museum of Natural History.  We are also working on other surprises!

    *New this year—a one day class on Tuesday September 19th on “Security for Special Collection Librarians”.  This class is designed to help librarians prepare and/or improve the security at their facilities.  Complete syllabus and registration details are coming soon.

    Conference registration, tradeshow and reception on Sunday evening September 17th.  We expect to have a wide variety of vendors participating at the tradeshow.  Come see what’s new in the industry!

  • December 20, 2016 4:13 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Esq., CIPM

    Museums routinely protect their collections from threats of loss posed by theft, fire, natural disaster, and infrastructure failure. But do they effectively shield their collections from legal confiscations? To prevent artifacts from being seized by law enforcement, lawyers, or the courts, cultural institutions must guard against acquiring stolen or smuggled artifacts. They can do this by applying rigorous due diligence when performing provenance investigations.

    When a museum fails to acquire good title to an object because the object is stolen property, or when a museum finds itself in possession of illegally imported cultural contraband, then the illicit object may be seized either through a private lawsuit (called a replevin action); a civil forfeiture claim, usually brought by federal a prosecutor; a search warrant; or some other legal remedy that ultimately strips the artifact from the museum’s possession.

    If the artifact is stolen, then the rightful owner—usually a country like Italy, Greece, or Turkey in the case of a looted antiquities—will regain the property because, under the law, the owner never loses title to it. That is the result even if a museum acquires the stolen property in good faith, because an innocent purchaser generally cannot claim legal title to stolen property when confronted by the true owner. What’s more, the true owner is not required to pay compensation to a museum that is forced to surrender the stolen property, which means that a museum could lose thousands or millions of dollars. In addition, a museum that acquires specified archaeological or ethnological material that smugglers illegally imported into the United States in violation of federal customs rules must relinquish it. Federal authorities usually seize and forfeit this contraband before returning it to the country of origin.

    Many archaeological artifacts have been removed from museum display cases over the years because they were looted or smuggled. The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Getty Museum; and the Princeton Museum together have surrendered hundreds of looted and smuggled antiquities to Italian authorities in several highly publicized cases. The Dallas Museum of Art too returned six objects from its permanent collection to Turkey, including a pair of shields purchased from a dealer under investigation by U.S. Customs for several years. The same dealer was able to sell objects to at least eight major American art museums because no one carefully checked the goods he offered for sale. Cultural property watchers also remember a winter’s day in 2008 when federal agents in California raided the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bowers Museum, the Pacific Asia Museum, and the Mingei Museum, armed with search warrants to “seize in place” ancient objects. That police investigation led to the felony convictions in 2015 of a pair art dealers who ran an antiquities import and tax fraud scheme involving antiquities originating from Burma, Cambodia, China, and Thailand. 

    Cases like these prompted some cultural institutions to make meaningful corrections. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts set the gold standard in 2010 with its addition of a curator for provenance, a full-time professional who carefully checks the collecting histories of objects. Operational improvements, like this one, have proven beneficial in today’s world where law enforcement and the public are more keenly aware that recently surfaced and undocumented ancient objects likely are the fruits of destroyed temples, plundered tombs, and vandalized ceremonial centers, which are sold on an art market that has earned a reputation for its lack transparency. Law enforcement and legal watchdogs, moreover, are on elevated alert after the FBI warned last year that antiquities trafficking may supply financial support to terrorists in the Middle East. For cultural institutions still lacking solid protective measures that guard against collecting illicit artifacts, this means that they will continue to face acute risk, both legal and reputational, particularly in cases where collected objects come from countries that suffer from, or that have recently experienced, widespread or highly publicized heritage site looting (e.g., Afghanistan, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Mali, Syria).

    Typically what causes a museum to unknowingly acquire illicit artifacts is a lack of due diligence. Due diligence is the term used to describe the background investigation that cultural institutions should employ to discover an artifact’s origin and its collecting history, particularly the details of its excavation, ownership, possession, transportation, conservation, sale, and so forth. This inquiry may be referred to as a provenance check. It is a pre-acquisition investigation meant to uncover whether an object is authentic or fake, whether its export and import were compliant with applicable laws, and whether its title can transfer legally to the museum. Flawed due diligence may result in a museum acquiring an antiquity or other object that later could be removed by police, lawyers, or a court order.

    To prevent losses to their collections—and the bad publicity that ultimately follows—museums first should understand their fiduciary duty of care, which is the legal obligation imposed on trustees of nonprofit cultural institutions to exercise reasonable care when managing assets. This duty requires artifact accessions to be done lawfully and in good faith. The duty of care is embraced, in some measure, by museum codes of ethics like those published by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the International Council of Museums (ICOM), which outline specific due diligence standards.

    The variety of standards, however, are neither uniform nor sufficiently rigorous in many cases. For example, ICOM’s Code of Ethics and AAMD’s Guideline on the Acquisition of Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art disagree with each other about whether due diligence should include a review of customs compliance in a country through which an artifact passed. An examination assessing whether customs rules in a transshipment country were followed is important because smuggled artifacts typically pass through intermediary countries so that smugglers can surreptitiously mask the export and import trails of loot. So while ICOM’s due diligence rule properly asks museums to “establish the full history of the item from discovery or production,” AAMD’s diminished rule limits a museum’s background check to “compliance with the export laws of the country of immediate past export to the U.S,” ignoring compliance with the laws of every country of export and import.

    There is little agreement too about the standard of review that should be applied. For example, one major museum’s collections policy declares that there must be “clear and convincing evidence” to prove that an object, already in the museum’s collection, had been stolen, looted, or smuggled before the object will be removed (deaccessioned) from the collection. Yet this same scrupulous standard is watered-down when the museum exercises due diligence before it adds new archaeological objects to its collection.

    The best due diligence, of course, is rigorous due diligence. It is the kind of diligence that directs museum personnel to ask pointed and comprehensive questions and to insist on sufficient and credible documentation from dealers, auction houses, and donors. It is the kind of diligence that demands answers about whether an artifact has been stolen, illegally exported, or smuggled before an object is acquired, and even afterwards. Rigorous due diligence easily satisfies the duty of care and best prevents the loss of objects from a museum’s collection.

    As a practical matter, we should ask what rigorous due diligence is actually due? One answer comes from a recommendation presented by collectors in 2009 to the Ancientartifacts Yahoo! group. Titled A Code of Ethics for Collectors of Ancient Artifacts, it offers the following quoted suggestions:

    ·       “Ask the vendor for all relevant paperwork relating to provenance, export etc.”

    That means asking for the bills of lading, invoices, customs entry forms, export permits, and all other paperwork that track the object’s movements.

    ·       “Take extra care if collecting particular classes of objects which have been subjected to wide-scale recent looting.”

    For example, avoid acquiring artifacts that are listed on one of ICOM’s publications known as Red Lists, which identify at-risk cultural heritage originating from countries that suffer severely from cultural heritage looting and plunder. 

    ·       “Verify a vendor’s reputation independently before buying. Assure yourself that they are using due diligence in their trading practices, and do not support those who knowingly sell fakes as authentic or offer items of questionable provenance.”

    Learn more about the dealers, auction houses, and donors offering artifacts by getting client references, scanning publicly available court records for criminal or civil claims against them, and reviewing corporate records (available on many secretary of state offices’ web sites) to verify legitimacy. 

    ·       “Do not dismember any item, or acquire a fragment which you believe to have been separated from a larger object except through natural means.”

    For instance, beware of acquiring a single object that would have been paired with another object. You would be suspicious if a salt shaker were sold without its companion pepper shaker, so be suspicious if a single statue that is commonly found a part of a pair is offered for sale.

    ·       “Consider the implications of buying an item from an associated assemblage and the impact this could have on study.”

    Be cautious when considering the purchase of one portion of an entire temple wall or a single cut-out from a complete ancient papyrus roll, for example. 

    ·       “Liaise, where possible, with the academic and broader communities about your artifacts.”

    Have open conversations about the object and its collecting history in order to learn more perhaps about its provenance from experts.

    ·       An item not suggested by the ethics code, but which is absolutely important, is conducting a visual inspection of the object. Use a black light to spot unusual marks or cover-ups like nail polish, which can be used to remove an identifying registration number from an inventoried museum object. Examine edges to see if they are straight and smooth to help determine whether an object has been cut recently from its original archaeological source as when looters use diamond-tipped steel circular saws to cut decorative slabs from ancient tomb walls.

    Effective loss prevention involves the application of this kind of rigorous due diligence. It helps cultural institutions acquire valid legal title to licit cultural objects and protects museum collections from legal seizures, all while instilling public confidence in museum collecting practices that aim to preserve humanity’s precious cultural heritage.

    Ricard A. St. Hilaire, Esq, CIPM
    st-hilaire@culturalheritagelawyer.com
    877-603-8777 
    www.culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com

     


QUICK LINKS

TRAINING & EVENTS

  
 

1305 Krameria, Unit H-129, Denver, CO  80220  Local: 303.322.9667
Copyright © 2015 - 2018 International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection.  All Rights Reserved