Saturday, May 15, 2010

Parking attendants trained to watch for terrorists

While recently attending a course in the "Entertainment Capital of the World", a colleague in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, told me that 17 of the 20 largest hotels in the world are located in Las Vegas. That is a truly significant statistic, with many implications. One of those implications is that large numbers of people congregate in, and move around, "The Strip" and other major attractions in the city. A second implication is that with such large assemblies and its iconic status, that "Sin City" is a target for terrorist attacks, maybe as much as New York City is.

However, Las Vegas and other cities are fighting back with parking attendants and meter maids being drafted into the nation's latest line of defense against terrorist attacks. A new government program aims to train thousands of parking industry employees nationwide to watch for and report anything suspicious — abandoned cars, for example, or people hanging around garages, taking photographs or asking unusual questions. Organizers say parking attendants and enforcement officers are as important to thwarting attacks as the two Times Square street vendors who alerted police to a smoking SUV that was found to contain a gasoline-and-propane bomb.

“We can no longer afford as a nation to say, `It doesn't impact me or my family, so therefore I'm not getting involved,'" Bill Arrington of the Transportation Security Administration told parking industry professionals at a convention this week in Las Vegas. "We're saying, 'Please, sir, get involved.'" The program has been in the works for about a year and gave its first presentation at the convention, attended by hundreds of people who run parking operations for cities, universities, stadiums and other places around the country.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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