Magazine article Security Management

New Directions at GSA

Magazine article Security Management

New Directions at GSA

Article excerpt

In Clarence Edwards's vision, federal employees, visitors, contractors, and security staff work collectively to observe their surroundings, report suspicious activity, and otherwise thwart potential threats at federal facilities. That's why Edwards, the new head of the General Service Administration's Federal Protective Service (FPS), is making cooperation a cornerstone of his mission to protect federal facilities.

"Ultimately, if we're going to have true security, we're going to have to have involvement from our customers, employees, ... the total community," Edwards says. For example, employees can make sure that their work spaces are secured and that staff and visitors display valid IDs. Visitors can help out by entering federal facilities with valid IDs and being prepared to have briefcases and packages inspected.

This cooperative effort will extend to other business lines within the General Services Administration (GSA), which serves as the landlord for government buildings. "I want to be sensitive to [tenant] needs," Edwards says, "and I want them to be sensitive to the need for protection."

Edwards recently attended a conference in Alabama where representatives from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service aired their thoughts. One concern was FPS response time to requests for installation of security devices that had been previously promised. To ease the interaction between the agencies and FPS, Edwards has set up specific points of contact. …

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