Monday, December 21, 2009

Reader Comment 12-19-09 Security Systems II

A reader, Security Systems, left a short note to a posting about an earlier reader’s comment about security systems. Security Systems wrote: “Security problem is not an easy thing to deal with. But security systems does [sic] make the work much easier these days.”

We’ve Come a Long Way 

I fondly remember my first security patrol (guard duty) in Basic Training at Ft. Ord, CA back in the winter of 1973. I was dressed in fatigues with highly polished boots, equipped with a pistol belt/canteen, a fiberglass helmet liner and a baseball bat for a weapon. My post was to walk the flight line at the local aviation detachment and I had to prove that I had a dime to call the Commander of the Relief in the event of a problem.

The flight line was well lit, but the coastal fog made it nearly impossible to see even the parked helicopters from more than 30 feet away. Today that post would be watched via video cameras backed up with motion detectors, fence alarms and key-padded gates.

Vehicle teams would spot check that post along with a dozen others periodically through the night. The fog would be effectively transparent, and any intruders would have a much more difficult time approaching an aircraft undetected than when I was guarding those birds those many nights ago. 

Security systems have advanced by leaps and bounds over the years. The advent of cheap electronics has made it much easier to design a multi-tiered security system with multiple methods to detect intruders. The large numbers of systems from a seemingly endless supply of providers have made security planning more difficult, though, instead of less.

This increased complexity has given rise to a new industrial specialty, the security system integrator. This is the person that integrates the variety of human and electronic security systems that need to work together to form the seamless security package required for the high-risk facility. If you ignore the complexity of the systems involved, and as a society we have become very adept at ignoring system complexity, then the wide variety of security systems now available to help secure critical facilities does make the job of security easier.

All we have to do is fob off the hard part to those trained and experienced to handle that chore.

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