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Security Managers Talk About Security and Technology

ASIS International Philippine Chapter meeting held in F1 Hotel (Photo by John Ray Ramos)
ASIS International Philippine Chapter meeting held in F1 Hotel (Photo by John Ray Ramos)

The Philippine Chapter of ASIS International held their latest chapter meeting and fellowship on May 30, 2013 at the F1 Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines.

The topic for the night was Security Technology Integration and its crucial role in loss and crime prevention. The presentation was given by Stephen Cutler, Manila Country Council Chairman of the Overseas Security Advisory Council.

OPEN FORUM: Stephen Cutler (center) answers a question during the open forum with James Robinson (right) and moderated by Ace Esmeralda (left). (Photo by John Ray Ramos)
OPEN FORUM: Stephen Cutler (center) answers a question with James Robinson (right) and moderated by Ace Esmeralda (left). (Photo by John Ray Ramos)

Concerns for CCTV and Security Systems

After Cutler’s presentation, Ace Esmeralda, the Asst Regional VP of ASIS International and Managing Director of Ace And Associates, Inc, moderated an open forum that brought about a lively discussion regarding various concerns dealing with Closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras and electronic security systems. Such concerns involved security systems as deterrence, the issue of personal privacy and the reduction of security personnel.

Cutler explained that electronic security systems particularly CCTVs can be used in preventing and solving crimes. CCTVs can help deter petty crimes like theft and robbery. But Cutler emphasized that CCTV cameras don’t deter violent crimes like active shooters and riots. CCTV cameras and systems can pose various concerns for security managers and companies that they should be carefully studied before installation. One such concern for CCTV systems is the issue of privacy.

In the United States, the use of security systems need to conform to society’s reasonable expectation of privacy, which is clearly defined in their legal system. Unfortunately, such matters are not clearly defined in Philippine laws.

Atty. Paul Yusi, ASIS International – Philippines Chapter Chairman provided legal perspectives during the discussion. A point he raised was when surveilling activities inside private property,like malls and hotels, there should be a proper advisory or notice to people that there is a reasonable monitoring in areas inside the property to avoid legal implications when a guest objects or invokes an expectation of privacy.

Bing Mendezona of Aboitiz Power emphasized the importance of policies in the use of not of CCTVs and other aspects of security.

The discussion went on indicating that privacy issues need to be clarified in company policies and personnel regarding the use of CCTV cameras. This is to avoid unacceptable violations of privacy which could violate certain laws and invite lawsuits to be filed against the company.

Reduction of Guards

A common concern of security managers when it comes to installation of new security systems is the pressure from higher management to reduce the number of security personnel.

Alvin Matabang, Chapter Auditor, said during the discussion that, “If a [security system] alarms, who will respond? What if the CCTV malfunctions, who will maintain [it]? And if there is an ongoing incident, who will respond?” He adds that companies install CCTVs and other systems to enhance security measures but reducing guards will only defeat the purpose of security.

Therefore, security guards are still an important element in safety and security and could never be replaced with the most sophisticated equipment.

Technology Integration in Security: a must for Security Managers

Overall, security managers need to effectively manage both manpower and technological resources to secure and protect their respective establishments and the people. They are the ones responsible to coordinate with management and other departments in crafting policies that will enhance security without violating any laws in the use of CCTVs and other security systems.

In today’s world, integrating technology in security should be an essential skill for any security manager.