It should be noted that Federal Protective Service (FPS) is in charge of protecting a lot of employees. FPS’s major responsibility is to prevent and oppose any potential violence or terrorist attacks. To achieve these goals this organization resorts to the use of such security measures as: contracted and federally employed security guards, barrier material and closed-circuit television cameras. It means that FPS provides all important federal buildings with security guards in special uniforms that are visible for everyone. The obligation of this organization is to respond quickly to any sort of unpredictable situation or crime. It protects federal buildings with the help of installing and controlling various reliable security services and devices. FPS is also in charge of investigating even the most complicated incidents and crimes that occur in federal buildings. Any type of physical security surveys is also performed by FPS. In case of occupations this organization is expected to work out a comprehensible plan to use in this situation. Working out new and better security awareness programs is also one of the measures applied by FPS. Moreover, it enforces traffic laws in case of necessity. It is necessary to stress that the measures used by the organization under consideration are comprehensible enough at first sight, but there are no details how they are done in case of any terrorist attack or other form of unexpected violence. It is unclear if FPS has any concrete program of action for a crime, robbery in a federal building.
In fact, there are two kinds of services provided by FPS. They are:
- Primary protective services
- Additional protective services
The first group means providing the building with all security measures and checking the employees working there. The second group means all other measures. It should be noted that not all potential threads are mentioned in the report. There is no information how federal buildings should be protected in case of any natural disasters. It may be such disasters as hurricanes or earthquakes. There may be also some unexpected man-made disasters (for example, bomb explosion inside or outside the building).
Security measures suggested by FPS are not ideal ones in comparison with other methods of protection applied in some commercial buildings. When I was in One World Trade Center I saw that the methods of security applied there are more contemporary and the building itself is constructed so that it is practically impossible to damage it somehow. For example, the visitors of the September 11 memorial placed there are screened the same way as in airports (Nadel 2004, p. 98). The windows of the building facing West Street consist of a special blast-resistant plastic. It does not differ much from any other glass applied in the rest of the building. There is a special set of stairwells that can be used in case of fire. All ventilation system has both chemical and biological systems. Moreover, there is constant improvement of these security measures. It is known that very soon there will be about four hundred special surveillance cameras in the area of this commercial building. New video-analytic computer software will be applied for working with a computer system.
FPS has some evident weaknesses. The first one is that the organization does not apply a risk management approach. It is a very serious disadvantage as this approach gives an opportunity to foresee any threats and unpredictable terrorist attacks. In fact, it is impossible to achieve all FPS’s goals without this approach and there is no use of its program without it. Another weak point of the organization is that it goes on to work without any good human capital plan. Moreover, there seems to be no proper estimate of its future and current needs in workforce. There are even no signs that the organization is planning to change something in these issues. It is also unclear how FPS is able to work efficiently together with FSC that has never created a concrete program of its actions and policy. There is the information that the majority of FSC’s workers do not have the authority to perform their work (Reese 2010, p. 109). This fact influences FPS’s reputation negatively and makes a lot of people to doubt the reliability of this organization.
As for my nearest federal building, it has the following security measures: 1) there are numerous cameras near the entrance, in front of the building and inside. 2) There are two guards in uniforms in front of the entrance and there are guards on each floor of the building. 3) All the windows have bulletproof glass. 4) Each visitor is checked with a special detector for the existence of any weapon. 5) There is an additional exit in case of any attack. 6) There is a plan for evacuation in case of unpredictable violence. Although these security measures are not the same as in One World Trade Center, I think that they are enough to control security in this federal building. A good plan for evacuation and cameras everywhere are the best things to protect the employees, from my perspective.
It should be noted that FPS has both strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless it is still an important organization trying to guarantee safety and peace to all federal employees. To my mind, it will be successful only if it forces FSC to act in a proper way and start applying a risk management approach.