Magazine article Security Management

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Magazine article Security Management

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Take a look at the front page of a major U.S. newspaper and you're bound to see at least one article, often more, relating to terrorism, crime, or security. Security professionals know that when they need a broader view and deeper analysis of issues, Security Management is the place to turn. And Security Management Online is an important supplement to the print version, presenting the full text of regulations, statutes, guidelines, and best practices that are discussed in the magazine. These documents are available online wherever you see an @ symbol in the magazine. Some of the most recently posted materials are described below.

Food security. When Tommy Thompson resigned as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, his parting words included a stark warning that the nation's food supply was an inviting and vulnerable terrorist target.

Recognizing the need to beef up food-chain security, the United States Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference and the Conference of the American Trucking Associations, has developed a guide for secure transport of food.

Secure practices are provided for drivers and for commercial agricultural and food transporters. The latter, for example, are urged to protect their water supply system, such as by locking wellheads, pump houses, and water storage tanks. They should also assess their facilities for potential sabotage of bulk ingredients, such as by ensuring that access to corn syrup, flour, and other foodstuffs is controlled.

The jointly developed food safety guidelines were fashioned as a result of a survey of 24,000 commercial agricultural and food transporters to identify vulnerabilities in food transportation. The sponsoring organizations hope the guidelines help industry. Get them via SM Online.

Terrorism. Some mathematicians believe that virtually everything can be boiled down to numbers and equations. True or not, researchers are currently drawing on statistics and formulas to better identify the causes of terrorism. In a paper that is part of the Faculty Research Working Paper Series of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Alberto Abadie invokes such rarefied mathematical principles as "ordinary least squares" and "heteroskedasticity-robust standard errors" to conclude, among other things, that "terrorist risk is not significantly higher for poorer countries, once the effects of other country-specific characteristics such as the level of political freedom are taken into account."

Political freedom correlates with terrorism levels, with countries that give citizens an intermediate level of freedom being more prone to terrorism than are authoritarian countries and countries with high levels of political freedom. This relationship suggests that countries in transition away from one political system, when governments are less stable, are more prone to terrorism, as is the case in Iraq.

Abadie also concludes that certain geographic factors may be important to sustain terrorism: "In particular, variables which measure average elevation, tropical weather, and country area are powerful predictors of terrorism," he concludes. Read the paper by linking at SM Online.

Nonlethal weapons.

When a police officer killed a young woman with a so-called nonlethal weapon after a Red Sox World Series game, it was a tragic reminder that any weapon can be lethal.

The incident doesn't mean that nonlethal weapons are going away, though; they remain tools of choice to suppress mobs, subdue violent people, and quash prison riots. …

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