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«By Dave Tankenson Culver City Police Department May, 2008 COMMAND COLLEGE CLASS 42 The Command College Futures Study Project is a FUTURES study of a ...»

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Current technology practices in place at most amusement parks are usually limited to video cameras systems.19 Disneyland utilizes an extensive network of video that includes surveillance. These systems are also in place on most attractions. Future video systems such as the “Salient Stills” video capture system that utilize screen capture, analog capture and a conversion designed to allow law enforcement immediate use are being investigated by Universal Studios, Hollywood for possible implementation.20 Universal Studios, Florida has implemented a version of fingerprint technology. Upon entering the park, the person entering has an index finger electronically scanned. This information is stored in an internal data base. This system is currently being used for reentry purposes. Similar fingerprint technology is currently being investigated by Universal security in Hollywood. This technology would scan those entering theme parks using a fingerprint. The fingerprint would be entered into a data base monitored by security and the Sheriff’s Department, allowing for identification of possible terrorists.21 Law Enforcement Responses As law enforcement professionals, we must be concerned and aware about how well we are prepared to handle a terrorist incident at an amusement park. Currently, Universal Studios Hollywood falls under the policing jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, West Hollywood Station. The Universal Hollywood location has a sub-station for the Sheriffs Department located on the adjoining mall called Universal CityWalk. This sub-station is staffed by twelve deputies, two Sergeants and one Lieutenant who are assigned to CityWalk on a full-time basis. Two additional deputies are utilized on Fridays, Saturdays and Holidays. This is due to an average daily volume of 50,000 to 60,000 visitors per day that increases on weekends.22 The deputies’ primary responsibility and jurisdiction is Universal Studios Theme Park, CityWalk and the Universal Studios Lot. The Sheriffs Department staffing is supplemented by twelve plain clothes security officers. They are usually off-duty law enforcement officers and are aided by 100 private security officers from “Securitas” the contract private security company. This additional staffing is deployed on only on weekends or special events.23 In a 2005 Associated Press poll of Americans, an incident of terrorism involving mass casualties is believed to be inevitable in the United States.24 Captain Todd Chamberlain, former commander of the Los Angeles Police Department’s, Anti-Terrorist Division, believes that amusement parks such as Universal Studios could be prime targets for these types of incidents.25 Responsibility for theme park safety should be focused on how the private sector and emerging technology are utilized in partnership with law enforcement to keep these locations safe. Examples of current and proposed technologies include the use of RFID, fingerprint, and advanced video systems as ways to identify potential terrorists and provide safety. Of course, as all of the involved agencies work on information sharing and mutual cooperation, proper training on the use of technology and identification of potential threats will become the essential component for success.

According to Bob Parker of the National Association of Tactical Officers the best way to prepare for a disaster is for agencies to communicate and be well trained.26 Looking to the future Considering the events of the past decade, and the increasing use of technologies available today and emerging on the horizon, what will “security” look like in the near future? In the year 2011, visitors to amusement parks can expect to have their vehicle license plate recorded by a digital video system when they enter the parking area. As the people approach the front entrance, they will see a visible security presence of well trained professionals. Upon entering the park, a small, handheld device will record the guest’s fingerprints.

If the person is someone on a national or local terrorist watch list, that information will be information will be automatically sent with a high alert to local and federal law enforcement. Other devices such as those that conduct retinal scanning may be placed at the entrance to provide the same safety warning system in a less obtrusive manner. The relationship between public and private policing will be blurred, with both cooperating openly to enhance the outcome they both desire: a safe and enjoyable experience for anyone seeking to enter the park for its intended purposes. For those intending otherwise, the target will have been hardened, and each passing day will see new developments in technology and safety to aid in that fight.

Conclusion Law enforcement executives, amusement park executives and private security owners must look toward both the past and future. This will allow them to forecast issues that may create danger to their locations. Future forecasting, which is the ability to scan the world around us is essential to improve systems. The identification of worldwide trends and events is essential for law enforcement leaders to identify future problems. They must be able to evaluate available and future technologies that are specific to their needs.

The days of law enforcement working as a single entity without outside help or assistance no longer exists. Law enforcement leaders should embrace the stakeholders who are involved in the amusement park industry. We will find that additional funding, resources and intelligence will assist our efforts to combat terrorism and the negative impact an incident at an amusement park may have on our communities. To do less is to miss an opportunity to enhance public safety, and also to add “one more thing” to worry about.

The astute leader will recognize, and respond to, that difference.

- 16 Associated Press, “Americans believe transit attack inevitable” July 15th, 2005. www.MSNBC.com Paster, James, F., Security and Law Methods, Elsevier Inc., Copyright 2007.

Los Angeles Times, October 18, 2007, Staff Writers Wikipedia, Walt Disney Resort, November, 2007 Kovacs, Judy, Vice President, Environmental Programs, NBC/Universal Corporation, September 5, 2007.

Ibid Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, May 2008, www.discoverlosangeles.com Kovacs, Judy, 2007 Ibid Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2008 Chamberlain, Todd. Captain, Los Angeles Police Department, interview with author May 2007 See www.expertsafety.com Nominal Group Technique (NGT) panel facilitated by author, Universal Studios, May 2007 Isbell, Laura, Senior Vice President, Environmental Health and Safety, NBC/Universal Corporation, interview with author May 2007 Ibid Rubin, Judith, Editor, Funworld Magazine, “Security Procedures Change with the Times”, (2002) Isbell Talienko, Kenneth, Lieutenant Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, interview with the author, April 2007 NGT Panel Police, the Law Enforcement Magazine, June 2007, Volume 31, Number 6, pg. 72 NGT Panel Talienko, 2007 NGT Panel, 2007 Associated Press, “Americans believe transit attack inevitable” July 15, 2005. www.MSNBC.com NGT Panel Parker, Bob. The Tactical Edge, Summer 2007, pg. 64

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