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News

Port Security Improvements Through Behaviour Recognition

Pro-24 Security And Investigative Services : 28 July, 2010  (Technical Article)
Pro-24 Security and Investigative Services issue recommendations on tightening security at seaports and airports through improved non-security staff training and behaviour recognition awareness amongst staff
Principles at Pro-24 Security and Investigative Services and Pro-Tech International Security Systems have said that security measures at both airports and seaports need to be tightened. "It's astonishing just how many security breaches there have been in the last several years," said Kevin Dougherty, Operations Manager for Pro-24.

For example in 2007 at JFK, an unidentified man simply ran through a TSA checkpoint and was unable to be located by the authorities. This situation prompted a complete evacuation of the Delta terminal.

Earlier this year, at the Newark Liberty International Airport, a man ducked under a security rope at the passenger exit lane and left the terminal. The breach was discovered only after a bystander notified a member of TSA and the surveillance video was reviewed. This event resulted in major delays and the grounding of flights for over several hours. "Simply put, breaches like these just shouldn't occur," said Kevin Dougherty operations manager of Pro-24 Security & Investigative Services. I think it's clear that we need to take a different approach to help keep our citizens safe," Dougherty said.

Dougherty, a former Sergeant on the Miami-Dade Police SWAT Team and recognized authority in the area of Israeli behaviour recognition says that, with a few minor adjustments, security at airports and seaports can be dramatically enhanced.

First Dougherty said, "Training should be extended to civilian personnel." Research shows that often, the only staff that receives any training in preventing a security breach are TSA employees and other "security staff." According to Dougherty, that's only a first step. "Every person that works at an airport or seaport should receive training, no matter what their job," he said. "The goal would be to eliminate or minimize a threat before it reaches a checkpoint," Dougherty added.

Second, Dougherty says it is necessary that enhanced security measures and training receive "full administrative support." At one airport, training in behaviour detection techniques were suggested for full day but because of a lack of understanding the importance of the training, the session was reduced to two hours. "That's simply not enough time," said Dougherty. "In this type of training, more is definitely better," he added.

Third, Dougherty says there needs to be a "renewed emphasis on customer service and dialogue." Good old fashion dialogue with the customer goes a long way in detecting a problem before it can escalate. If the Disney philosophy is "Maintenance is marketing", then every airport and seaport in the US should operate with the philosophy that "maintenance is security," said Dougherty. "It takes every employee from the restaurants to the skycaps to the screeners to the maintenance personal to know what to look for and to be on the alert," he added.
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