Security Plan for the Maryland Public Safety Education and Training Center Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :


Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS)

This report will provide a comprehensive safety and security plan for the Maryland Public Safety Education and Training Center (PSETC). This security plan will be broken into different sections that contain information about different security factors that are security risks for the organization and its physical assets. The organization must use its budget in the most effective manner possible to ensure the safety of the organization and its facilities. It is critical to protect lives of students, faculty members, volunteers, employees and inmates from a potential threats that could emerge during the operations that take place at the facilities.


The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is one of the largest agencies in Maryland state government, whose eleven thousand employees work as a team to protect the public and the offenders and arrestees under their supervision (Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services, N.d.). The Maryland Public Safety Education and Training Center (PSETC) is located in Sykesville, Maryland. The physical space is divided into two locations that are comprised of areas that are roughly 700 acres in size. The firearms Training Facility (FTF) and the Drivers Training Facility (DTF) are both on the same location that is about two miles from the Academic Center. Both of these training areas are open and have roads that connect them to various several residential communities however these communities are over twenty miles from this area.

Figure 1 - Map (DPSCS, N.d.)

The FTF facility has a set of unique challenges due to the use of firearms that serve as the locations primary training objective. This facility has staff offices, classrooms, armory, weapon cleaning area and outdoor firing ranges that are located about a quarter of a mile from that rest of the buildings. The Academic and Administrative Complex (AAC) also shares a location with the Maryland Springfield State (Mental) hospital. This hospital has accommodations for about four hundred mental patients. Within the AAC facility there are numerous offices and classrooms as well as computer labs, food preparation areas, dining halls, and even shops. There are two residential dorms in which guest or students can be housed overnight as well as a full gym that can be used for physical training.

Figure 2 - PSET Facility (DPSCS, N.d.)

PSETC has over a hundred staff members which also includes the DTF and the FTF. There is currently minimal security at best at the PSETC which is subject to concerns and the source of significant risk.

Physical Plant Intrusion

One of the security defenses that serves as a front line deterrent is the infrastructure that can prevent intrusion by unwanted individuals such as burglars or vandals. A physical plan is the first necessary for the PSETC as it can create environmental safeguards for controlling physical access to the grounds. Therefore the first line of defense is control unauthorized entry. The first step to this is to be able to know if someone has entered the building that does not have access. One simple step to this objective is to give authorized personnel a name tag badge that they wear on their clothing or around their neck. This provides the security team as well as the authorized visitors a quick visual clue as to who might not be authorized to be in the facilities.

In the event of an unauthorized entry, the person that discovers a possible breech in security should know exactly how to report the suspicious person. This will require that all employees, guests, and volunteers be trained in a reporting protocol. This will then allow the notification of a potential subject the security office who can start an investigation. The identification cards can also serve a dual purpose and be integrated with a security system. The cards can be used at doors of the building that allow authorized students and other personnel to access their respective areas. This would act as a significant deterrent to unauthorized visitors since it would be more difficult for them to enter the buildings.

To determine how much should be invested in a security system the benefits of the system as well as the cost should be balanced. An organization should implement only security countermeasures that affect its bottom line positively. It shouldn't spend more on a security problem than the problem is worth. Conversely, it shouldn't ignore problems that are costing it money when there are cheaper mitigation alternatives; a smart company needs to approach security as it would any other business decision: costs vs. benefits (Schneier, 2008).

The classic methodology is called annualized loss expectancy (ALE), and it's fairly straightforward and includes the calculation the cost of a security incident in both tangibles like time and money, and intangibles like reputation and competitive advantage (Schneier, 2008). However, some of the intangibles in this case also include the potential loss of human life so this provides a more complex than ordinary security system examples from the private sector. However, you can estimate some of the risks that the facility has which will provide insights as to how much should be spend to mitigate the risk. So, for example, if your store has a 10% chance of getting robbed and the cost of being robbed is $10,000, then you should spend $1,000 a year on security. Spend more than that, and you're wasting money. Spend less than that, and you're also wasting money (Schneier, 2008).

Property Damage, Interior and Exterior

The PSETC facility offices are vulnerable to theft and vandalism if the premises are left without effective security measures. To protect PSETC from malicious damage to training grounds or any of the buildings in the FTF and DTF facilities increasing the frequency of security patrols on the grounds and in buildings will increase the likelihood that a potential vandal will be seen. Vandalism is generally conducted by younger individuals who have too much unsupervised free time and get a kick out of damaging property. Although the proximity to the buildings from the residential communities is relatively large and provides somewhat of a barrier, security patrols and cameras to watch over the grounds and the buildings can be an effective tool to ensure that the grounds are protected.

Personal Security

The PSETC must provide measures that ensure the personal security for all the employees, volunteers, guests, and anyone else of the grounds. All persons on the premises should be free of any form of assault and they should feel safe at all times. To further the development of a personal security policy, the PSETC should position surveillance cameras, about the grounds and in key locations in the building. Having a surveillance system not only can monitor individuals on the grounds but it also provides a useful deterrent because people will be less likely to violate someone's personal security if they believe that they are being monitored. Surveillance equipment is scalable and there is a range of different expenses that can be associated with different systems based on the complexity. PSETC should implement the most comprehensive system that the budget allows as surveillance systems serve as a cornerstone of an effective

There should also be procedures in place to deal with any instances of assault; including sexual assault. There are different options for an incidence reporting procedure. Some facilities will have phones positioned at key locations that can connect them to the security office in the event of an emergency. Some more advanced systems also have text messaging and email alerts in case of an event that can spread a message to the entire organization as events unfold. Any and all incidences at PSETC will be investigated by security professionals and any violators will be punished to ensure the protection of employees, customers, and guests. Furthermore, the organization will not be responsible for personal property loss or damage; however the organization can provide lockers and other storage areas that are under surveillance to deter theft or personal property damage.

Information/Record Security

Information and information technology will be one of the key challenges of the security plan. It is vital that the organization take steps to control the security of both digital and paper records. Most of the records have been moving to digital forms over the course of the last several years. Each user of the network will have a unique login identity and password so that their activity on the network can be safeguarded and tracked if necessary. All computers in the facility will also be protected by firewalls and antivirus software at a minimum and should also be guarded by intrusion identification and protection software to monitor the network. The sensitive information stored on the organizations servers should also be backed up periodically to protect against data loss. The paper records should be protected by lock and key and only the relevant personnel be given access to these storage areas.

Emergency Planning and Response

Emergencies can occur without warning and at unpredictable times. There have been…

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