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Eyes Wide Open March TPP - Low Res

Eyes Wide Open March TPP - Low Res

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Published by: ParkingMattersBlog on May 11, 2012
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M
ishka Chorny, senior parking specialist, Boise State University, says that a ewmonths ago, the guy putting a camera in a tree on campus might have caused
anything rom a quick “What are you doing” yelled over the ence to a ull
sweep o the ootball stadium where a game was going on.
Because a university parking ocer noticed the odd
visitor shortly ater going through the First Observer
parking-specifc, anti-terrorism security awareness pro-gram, instead o quickly questioning the man and letting him carry on, he did what he’d been trained to do: get an
accurate physical description and call the authorities.“Our ocer stood o to the side or a minute andwatched the man jump down rom a ence,” Chorny
says. “Our guy talked with him and got a reasonable
answer about what he was doing, but he still reported
it to the higher-ups.
As it turned out, the mysterious camera-wielder
was a Homeland Security ocer placing surveillanceequipment on the ence as part o his job. The ocer’s
quick call clarifed that, and saved everyone the trouble
and expense o urther investigation.
“The Department o Homeland Security represen-
tative we talked to thanked us or calling it in,” saysChorny. “That’s the sort o thing we were trained to
do in First Observer, and beore that, we might not
have ollowed up.”
That’s exactly the kind o thing First Observer
administrators say illustrates the value o the program,
which launched in 2008. The parking module was devel-
oped through a partnership between the InternationalParking Institute (IPI) and the ederal Transportation
Security Administration, and launched in February
2010. Since then, response has been antastic.
“Since the program started, we’ve taken 10,000 calls,”
says First Observer Call Center Operations ManagerPat Rather. “O that 10,000, 354 were deemed suspi-
cious or terrorist in nature—situations that could haveturned into something, but where somebody took the
training, called in, and stopped it.”Those who’ve completed a First Observer course
say it helped change the way they think about security
in their jobs, and that’s more than enough reason to
encourage others to be trained as well.
eyeS wide
First Observer elps parking professionalstink differently about potential security treats.
By Kim Fernandez
32
InternatIonal ParkIng InstItute
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MarCH 2012
 
OPEn
www.pi./pp MarCH 2012 | InternatIonal ParkIng InstItute
33
 
A lot o our employees are saying they’re more aware o things
ater that training,” says Wanda Brown, assistant manager, UC Davis
Health System. “They’re thinking about why something doesn’t
look right as opposed to just that it’s violating a parking policy.”
how it Works
Bill Arrington, general manager, Transportation Sector NetworkManagement/Highway and Motor Carrier Division, Transporta-tion Security Administration (TSA), says parking frst piqued his
interest or a very good reason.
“Parking matters,” he says. “Parking is important, and a little
over two years ago, I saw
The Parking Professional
and becameamiliar with IPI. Upon reviewing the magazine, I became ex-
tremely interested in the industry because I saw the nexus between
transportation security and parking.”
“I thought about it rom the standpoint o the World Trade Center
bombing in 1993 and the Oklahoma City bombing o 1995; in both
cases, the terrorists were parked in the acilities and could have
been observed by parking proessionals. Had those proessionals
been trained in First Observer, could we have made a dierence?”
Since partnering with IPI, the program has trained more than
7,000 parking proessionals across the United States. All o that
training has been ree o charge to participants thanks to unding rom the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and
is currently available online and in-person. Also available is a cus-tomizable training website or organizations o 100 people or more.
“It initially started o as a security grant program geared or
directed at training truck drivers,” says Arrington. “It expanded to
school bus drivers, and in 2008, it was renamed and re-branded,and then spread to all modes o transportation.Parking, he says, is critical in that mix.“I spent 28 years with the Maryland State Police,” he says. “I an individual’s home is burglarized, chances are that the criminal
drove a car o vehicle to the place o that crime, and then hauled thegoods away with a vehicle on the roadways. There is a transporta-
tion nexus to all o the things we see happening today.
That holds true or large-scale terrorism events as well. “When
a target is selected, casing surveillance takes place,” he explains.
“They do dry runs and have rehearsals. So a parking proessional
may start to see the same person in the same location or no apparent
reason. And a rehearsal will look an awul lot like the real thing.”First Observer trained proessionals call their suspicions intoa 24 x 7 call center, where inormation is routed to the Inorma-tion Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC). There, analysts work to
determine i what’s been reported may be a sign o terrorist activity.
“The specialists start to ask probing questions,” says Rather.“We get a really good, detailed report, and then the inormation
evy wh uccully cmplt  Fit obv tiigcl civ  Fit obv cd d ctifct.Th Idipli Clt tbll tm htd Fit obv tiigi ppti  th 2012 sup Bwl. Cductig th tiigw (m lt) Bill aigt, gl mg, Tpttisct ntwk Mgmt/Highwy d Mt CiDivii, Tptti scuity admiitti; Ly Hll,Idipli Clt vic pidt  tickt pti d gutvic; d Fit obv Pgm Mg Chl Hll.Ly Hll d Pt rth, Fit obv Cll Ctopti Mg (ight) hw  th Clt’ igdltt dig th Fit obv Pgm  Iduty aflit d suppt.
34
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MarCH 2012

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