Gov Watch

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Saying Congress should heed President-elect Obama’s call to “build in security” to our critical infrastructure, the Security Industry Association on Dec. 17 urged Congressional leaders to “use economic stimulus funds for physical security enhancements within new construction and modernization projects.”

SIA sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi noting President-elect Obama’s stated commitment to “protecting and modernizing our national critical infrastructure” and to “build in security” to that infrastructure.

The letter quotes Obama saying that security should be built into the design of new infrastructure “so that our critical assets are protected from the start and are more resilient to natural occurring and deliberate threats throughout their lifecycle.”

SIA wants provisions included in the economic recovery package to allow “funding to be used to ‘build in security’ and ensure that the public transit systems, schools, ports, wastewater treatment facilities, bridges, and other components of critical infrastructure can immediately use these funds for the acquisition, installation and use of life safety and physical security solutions.”

“If adopted, this provision would ensure that physical security investments are specifically authorized and prioritized within any new public works funding included in the stimulus package,” said Don Erickson, SIA legislative director.

In mid-December, SIA was setting up meetings on the Hill to discuss its proposal. The letter also requests that Congress fully fund the “Secure our Schools” program, a $50 million program passed unanimously by the House in September.