After September 11th, one of the first things on most people's minds was beefing up security. Almost immediately, the presence of police and guards became much more visible in public places, and many buildings considered investing in tougher security measures of their own. But two years later, how much has security actually changed?
Opting for more stringent building security seemed like an obvious move, especially after the terrorist attacks. But in reality, it's not an option for everyone. One of the major reasons for this is sheer cost, says Richard Taylor, managing director of security for decision strategies at Fairfax Consultants Ltd., in Manhattan. It's up to the board to decide how much money should be budgeted for security, and many times, the costlier security systems and methods are simply beyond the budget's reach.
"Security is very, very expensive," says Taylor. "There are a lot of people who think they need a lot implemented, but won't do it when they find out the costs."
But is it okay to simply do nothing if you can't afford the latest in security measures? In a word: No. There are options for all budgets, from hiring a security person to monitor visitors, all the way up to having armed guards on hand. Boards must assess their building's particular needs against the available funds to see what type of security will work best.
According to Taylor, most buildings depend primarily on their doormen or concierge to handle the security. In one respect, that seems like a simple solution. After a short time on the job, the doorman or concierge usually knows everyone, and is aware of who belongs in the building and who doesn't.