An article, a flash poll, and a podcast each addressed the same question: Where does the nation stand on preparedness for biological threats? As the world watches to see how West Africa manages the latest Ebola outbreak, public health officials must continue to train, educate, staff, and fund their forces to be ready when they too must face a major biological threat.
In 2001, almost 3,000 people died after the 9/11 attacks. In 2005, more than 1,800 people died because of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods. Receiving less attention, in the United States alone, more than 3,000 people die of influenza each year. With other public health threats having already crossed the border, it is time to connect the dots and better address national public health security.
An article, a flash poll, and a podcast each addressed the same question: Can a country that faces daily civil disturbances adequately secure a major special event? Many factors involved in training public and private security personnel make this question difficult to answer - temporary staff, types of training, and level of training to cite a few.
To address the gaps and concerns revealed in a recent article and flash poll, subject matter experts discussed training efforts necessary to ensure adequate security at large-scale special events. The challenge of securing special events can be compounded by daily responsibilities, especially where civil violence exists.
For any large-scale special event, it is important to expect the unexpected. The United States Park Police took the time to plan and train with private sector partners for the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run to discover gaps and mitigate potential hazards and incidents that may present before, during, or after the event.
Events such as the Boston Marathon bombing highlight the need to prepare for the unexpected. On 3 April 2014, the United States Park Police held a first-of-its-kind tabletop exercise with event organizers of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. This podcast provides insights on the importance of bringing external partners to the table during the special event planning process.
Mass protests, incomplete venues, and infrastructure concerns are just a few of the issues that Brazilian security personnel will face during the 2014 World Cup soccer tournaments. The question remains whether the training has been sufficient for personnel to protect the tournament venues while continuing to address common security threats such as: petty thefts, disorder, vandalism, public intoxication, and traffic control.
Although the primary objective of a security system is to prevent crimes, some technologies provide limited information only after a security breach occurs. Information gaps can occur when detection and identification are limited to a specific moment in time. The solution is a layered approach using radar, thermal imaging, and other technologies.
The airport security environment, especially in the United States, has changed significantly since 9/11. Technological advances have helped raise the standards at security checkpoints around the world, but technology is not infallible. Maintaining a high standard of security requires a balance between technology and human intelligence.
To address the gaps and concerns revealed in a recent article and the flash poll, subject matter experts who warned of the dangers in 2009 reunited five years later to address the issues that are still as real now as they were five years ago. Although there have been some improvements, much more is still needed.