Supply chain issues have deeply impacted the low voltage industry as so many components are experiencing material shortages. The Protection Bureau and CTSI have been working closely with our distribution partners and manufacturers. Our close relationships with our partners allow us to have the best communication and service.

We will continue to do everything possible for our customers as product availability and lead times remain unpredictable. Our Engineering and Procurement departments are also sourcing more readily available alternatives while not sacrificing security and compatibility. If you have security needs – don’t delay. Contact us so we can get your materials ordered and sourced as quickly as possible.

Contact us to get started today!

by J. Matthew Ladd

As anyone who has ever flown on a commercial airline since 2001 knows, security measures at airports are well enforced and the emphasis on traveler safety is all around the airport and its grounds.

Mass transportation, meanwhile, presents a special but not any less significant challenge when it comes to determining security issues. These facilities need to develop the means to protect a constantly changing and large population of passengers. And unlike airports these facilities often have hundreds of points of entry and exit on multiple modes—buses, subways, light rail, commuter trains, even ferries.

About 2 million Americans will use the nation’s airways on a given work day, while 35 million people will board some form of public transportation. In fact, statistics have shown that nearly 11 billion trips are taken on public transportation every year. In some large metropolitan areas in North America where mass transit is well established, more than 20 percent of the area’s inhabitants get around via public transportation.

Solving Mass Transit Security

For transportation officials and their security providers, solving the mass transit security issue begins with determining the key concerns and then creating the proper responses via security systems, policies and procedures to mitigate the risks.

Although vandalism and graffiti are very visible signs of criminal behaviour in mass transit settings such as bus stops and subway stations, this is not where transportation officials typically focus their energy. Fences and gates can secure out-of-service buses and train cars, as can remote surveillance methods to keep such vandalism at a minimum.

Instead, it is the day-to-day safety and security of transit riders and employees that should become the highest priority. This begins with creating the safest environment possible that is highlighted with appropriate signage and, when necessary, audible warnings, and supporting that with technology, such as surveillance cameras, that will document what has happened if an incident occurs.Analytics can also be useful in alerting security about other suspicious behaviours at a transit stop, such as an untended bag or package.

Crime Prevention In Transportation

Incidents of concern within a transit setting can take several forms, ranging from legitimate accidents or crimes to false claims such as faked fall down the stairs to potential and actual suicides. Bus and subway stations also have become magnets for homeless people who may put themselves and others in harm’s way by trying to access less secure public areas within a station as temporary shelters.

If someone is injured on a subway platform and the transit provider is held liable, it could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Suicides are a major concern for operators, with personnel now being trained to look for individuals who seem distressed, are loitering in the area or are intentionally putting themselves in a dangerous situation, such as standing too close to the edge of a platform.

The deployment of video analytics, which can be programmed to send alerts when certain pre-set actions occur, can help determine when such dangerous behaviours come into play. Analytics can also be useful in alerting security about other suspicious behaviours at a transit stop, such as an untended bag or package or a person going into a restricted area.

Whether it is on the bus, train or ferry or at the stops themselves, cameras and intuitive video management systems are the key to both active and forensic transit security.

Train Security And Safety

By using the proper cameras and recording systems in a transit environment, quick-acting personnel can locate a person of interest who boarded a train at one station, follow him during his trip and produce a crisp, clear identifiable image at the end. Those setting up the system thus should keep in mind proper camera positioning, resolution and motion-based changes to framerates or other compression settings.

A typical 30-foot bus often has six cameras—one each at the front and middle doors, two more within the bus and then one looking forward and another looking behind the bus. The latter two are important in the event of accidents to verify liability. Some cities use buses that are up to 60 feet long and those can be equipped with up to a dozen cameras.

Train cars are similarly equipped with two to four cameras to view activity down the centre aisle. Within the stations themselves, there can be from 15 to 30 or more cameras capturing wide-angle shots. Train stations, which have a restricted point of egress, often deploy high-definition cameras to better support facial recognition software to get that actionable image.

Installing The Right Technology For The Solution

Although bandwidth and storage can be a concern, with motion-based recording, the resolution can be bumped up during event, resulting in a 1-megapixel stream jumping to 4 or even 8mbps when needed. By changing the resolution on demand, end users can cut their storage needs significantly.

Transportation settings often rely on the same technology used in other security installations, primarily mini dome cameras, although there are some mini transit domes built specifically for the environment with the proper aesthetics. Because of vandalism threats, transit typically avoids pendant mounts, which can be more easily grabbed and damaged. Temperature ratings for cameras also come into play in cold climates with cameras often getting outdoor exposure.

As trains and buses move along their routes, especially those that service outlying areas, Internet connectivity becomes an issue as well. Because it may be difficult for video to be sent in transit, security bus barns are equipped with Wi-Fi so video from onboard cameras can be downloaded at the end of the day. And the use of hardened recorders at the stations allows security personnel to retrieve recorded video.

Transit Security With Modern Technology

Today’s new buses and trains are constructed with the cameras onboard and newer stations also take security into consideration at the earliest design stage. Older infrastructure from long-standing subway and bus terminals can prove to be a challenge when adding security, but these issues aren’t insurmountable.

Often the solution is to add more cameras to cover the same square footage because of less-than-ideal sight lines and to place conduit wherever it works best, which may mean positioning it under platforms or in other out-of-the-way places within older stations.

Looking ahead, transit security will continue to evolve, not only as new stations and modes of transportation are added to the system, but in terms of communicating with commuters. People can expect to get mass notification alerts on their mobile devices, and those same devices can provide vital data to transportation entities to better develop their overall systems.

This article originally appeared at Security Informed.

The Education Fund was established in 2005 by Keith and Mary Ladd, owners of The Protection Bureau, for the benefit of children of current employees who enroll in formal programs for post-high school education. “Looking back, it’s hard to believe that 14 years have gone by. It’s heartwarming to see these young adults at our company events — hearing what they’ve accomplished and how far they’ve come,” said Mary Ladd. “This project was one that was close to Keith’s heart. I know he would be very happy that we’ve been able to continue it.”

Recipients are selected each June for the ensuing school year and these awards help to defray the costs of tuition and/or books. Initially, distributions of only four awards per year (up to $1,000 each) were anticipated. This year seven scholarships were distributed to families in the office for students attending colleges and universities. To date, 74 students have received scholarships totaling $74,000 over the past 14 years. Of these applicants, some received scholarships for three and four years running.

A panel of three independent judges received the unopened applications and made the decision with no input from the company other than to verify eligibility of the applicant. These awards are entirely outside the control or influence of company management. Judge Vicki Pry, pastor of caring ministries, Hopewell UMC, said, “As a former teacher, I’m passionate about education. What a blessing it has been for me to serve on this review team since the inception of the Ladd Education Fund! Reading the applications submitted by these young folks year after year gives me a hope for the future. I believe it is incredibly important to resource persons who value education and who long to make a difference in the world. These scholarships do just that.”

(Exton, PA)—The Protection Bureau, the premier Pennsylvania-based integrated security system specialists, recently announced their new partnership with CSR Professional Services, Inc.

As a company that is fully committed to providing the ultimate protection for their customers, The Protection Bureau has partnered with CSR to provide a full suite of the industry leading data protection services for their clients. More information about these services can be found on The Protection Bureau website. (more…)

Technology changes, major shifts in the market and evolving customer expectations bring a wealth of opportunity — along with challenges — to both the commercial and residential markets.

By Karyn Hodgson, SDM Managing Editor

2017 was a good year for the economy. The housing bubble has almost entirely recovered; the stock market saw record gains; and new construction was on the rise. In November, single family home building surged to a 10-year high, according to the Commerce Department, while ConstructConnect reports commercial construction enjoyed modest gains. All of these elements are highly favorable to the security industry — and manufacturers, dealers and integrators definitely felt the positive impact of these trends.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, included two important changes to the U.S. tax code providing incentives for businesses to invest in new security, fire protection and alarm systems. These incentives were part of the broader effort in the new law to produce long-term economic growth by
encouraging business to make capital investments.

Generally, the costs of commercial-use security, fire protection and alarm systems are capitalized and depreciated over a recovery period of five, seven, 15 or 39 years, dependent on factors such as the type of system purchased, the integration within a building structure, whether the installation involves owned or leased property, and the
relationship to business activity.

Beginning in 2018, the new tax law allows many businesses to write off the full cost of such systems as an expense for the tax year they were placed in service, eliminating the capitalization requirement. (more…)

When it comes to central stations, there are benefits to hosting your own and benefits to subcontracting a third-party wholesale monitoring company. The right decision depends on each company.

by Tim A. Scally, SDM Magazine

It’s a decision that every security dealer has made or is in the process of making: What is the best option for monitoring? While there is no universal answer, there is a choice that is best for each company, but one that only that company can determine.

In the world of monitoring services, there are four basic types of companies: those that only provide monitoring; those that only install and service alarms and contract with wholesale central stations; those that monitor their own accounts as well as the accounts of others; and those that do their own monitoring only. (more…)

by Matthew J. Ladd, The Protection Bureau

The security market is very active right now. Business is strong, according to most of the people that I talk to in the industry. In 2017, we at The Protection Bureau had one of our best years ever revenue-wise. Because of a strong economy, businesses are spending money on security.

2017 growing trends

The trends that happened in 2017 vary. One trend that is growing is the national account concept. This is because clients are deploying more and more enterprise-level systems and taking advantage of network-based systems.

Another trend this past year is growth of the IP video market, a strong technology in the market because and where many integrators generate their revenue. We also saw many clients with older surveillance systems invest in updating their technology, such as replacing older IP-based systems with newer versions and taking advantage of analytics and greater recording options and storage solutions. Many of our customers also invested in updating their access control systems by replacing their older Weigand cards with more secure card formats. (more…)

By Allan B. Colombo, Facility Executive

Effective integration of access control and visitor management is one tool in tracking building occupants.

Security is an important part of business in high-rise office buildings, manufacturing facilities, campus settings, and facilities of all sizes. This includes the development of an intelligent security network that provides for secure, automatic access security policies; and seeks to provide actionable data related to the comings and goings of regular employees; outside, on-site consultants; as well as short-stay visitors.

“Corporate security has become a high-profile issue since the events of September 11, 2001 exposed America’s vulnerability to terrorist attack,” says Thomas E. Cavanagh, author of Corporate Security Measures and Practices, An Overview of Security Management Since 9/11.

In this article we’ll talk about the need and function of access control and visitor management systems. We will look at how these systems are sometimes connected internally by a single software solution as well as other integration methods. (more…)

by Paul Rothman

It was a normal day at Ft. Lauderdale’s Hollywood International Airport until the shots rang out. Pandemonium ensued. A man was firing a Walther PPS 9mm semi-automatic pistol at travelers in the baggage claim area. The terror lasted a little more than a minute, and then it was over. The shooter was out of ammunition. He laid on the ground and waited to be arrested; meanwhile 11 innocent people also lay on the ground – injured or killed by the bullets.

To say this is the worst-case scenario for your security clients is an understatement. This is the nightmare. And while some facilities are inherently safer than others, the active shooter scenario is indiscriminate – it can touch any facility or vertical market, whether a hardened courthouse, an open house of worship, or a school, corporate campus or airport.