I read your news item in the September issue of National Real Estate Investor, “Security Overload at Office Buildings.” Although Mr. Paul Beitler's remarks contained some valid points, as managing director for security firm Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, I believe these heightened levels of security and procedures now implemented in many high-rise buildings will make them better prepared for the next attack we might face — and we will face another attack.
He was right, I believe, in saying that none of the measures or systems being implemented at multi-tenant buildings would have prevented the disaster at the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The fact of the matter is, we now know that nothing would stop that type of terrorist activity. With 20 years of experience in physical risk assessments, vulnerability analysis and loss prevention, I have assisted in a number of high-rise building security assessments since Sept. 11, 2001. These security measures taken by public and private organizations since the tragic attacks should have been implemented years ago for the safety of the public and the consumer.
Airport security has increased in an attempt to prevent future terrorism scenarios and, for the most part, to limit what can be taken on an aircraft and potentially used as a weapon. The utility and chemical industries have implemented additional security procedures to provide better protection and help prevent contamination and loss of power. These industries have taken additional steps to fortify themselves and us from potential criminal activities. In my opinion, they have implemented practices, procedures and systems that were long overdue, most of which can be considered reasonable precautions.
The same is true with the high-rise and multi-tenant industry. Systems and procedures now being implemented by landlords and property management companies are long overdue in providing a safe work environment for Corporate America. Although I agree that optical turnstiles in building lobbies would not prevent a suicide bomber from entering the building and causing considerable destruction, building controls of this type do have a significant impact on unauthorized access and limit the damage that can be done to a facility or a core building system.
Systems and procedures implemented throughout the industry have helped to educate property managers and tenants about potential vulnerabilities and how to be pro-active in preventing criminal acts. Although they might not be able to prevent a commercial aircraft from crashing into their building, property managers throughout the country are taking measures to revise air-intake and ventilation systems to help prevent chemical contamination and are preparing better emergency evacuation procedures. No one wants it to be his or her building or office that is affected by terrorist activity. Risk assessments, evacuation procedures and loss-prevention plans are security must-dos for many organizations.