Stopping terrorists and other criminals before they act is the central charge of Seattle Shield, an association formed by the Seattle Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Section, whose members include sites in Seattle’s metropolitan area that represent major potential terrorism targets. ABM Security Services is augmenting Seattle Shield’s capabilities by providing a secure platform that allows members of the association to share information – including photographs and video clips – in real-time about potential threats.
In addition to the Seattle Police Department and ABM Security Services, members of Seattle Shield include the Department of Homeland Security and local utilities in Seattle. The initiative also covers high-profile locations and other sites staffed by security services providers. Seattle Shield currently has more than 100 member organizations.
Launched in September 2010, ABM Security Services’ information-sharing platform gives Seattle Shield members the ability to upload comments, pictures and video of suspicious behavior to a secure web portal on the Company’s QMS Auditmatic network, where it can be shared with other members. Any member can use the system to trigger an alert. As soon as the alert is approved by the Seattle Police Department it is distributed immediately to all members of Seattle Shield in the form of a text message or email. Members click a link in the text to view the notification in QMS Auditmatic.
The system saves all reports and provides law enforcement members of Seattle Shield the ability to analyze this information for possible trends and linkages across events and time frames – a critical capability for thwarting terrorist activity as well as other criminal acts.
“This secure platform provides Seattle Shield with the ability to communicate with our partners in an environment that not only incorporates an early warning component but builds on efficient information sharing that may ultimately lead to the discovery of criminal plots against high risk targets,” said Seattle Shield manager, Detective Tim Renihan of the Seattle Police Department.
ABM Security Services developed and is maintaining the Seattle Shield application at no charge, though the Company is seeking to offset some of the maintenance costs through a Department of Homeland Security grant.
Chris Hansen, president of ABM Security Services, said: “We are very pleased to have such a vital role in Seattle Shield. Preventing terrorism is, in the final analysis, everyone’s responsibility, and all of us at ABM Security Services are proud to do our part. Since the platform we developed for Seattle can easily be replicated in other major cities where our QMS Auditmatic network is already deployed on behalf of our clients, we hope these metropolitan areas will see the value in what we’ve accomplished in Seattle and consider adopting the same solution, which we will continue to offer at no cost to members.”