Talking ASIS International, School Security, and Safety With Larry Fennelly
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with my friend and colleague Larry Fennelly of Litigation Consultants to discuss school security and the ASIS International School Safety and Security Council. Larry and I have both had the opportunity to Chair the Council and have seen the good, bad, and ugly of the council over the years.
As past Chair of the ASIS School Safety and Security Council Larry did an excellent job putting a council together of active volunteers and dedicated security professionals. The council and its members dedicate themselves to improving school security, safety, and putting prevention measures in place to mitigate future risk.
In 2015, Larry was the recipient of the ASIS President’s Award for “encouraging and mentoring security professionals as potential writers and authors, especially women and young professionals. These efforts, as well as your publications, have positively affected the security Body of Knowledge. Your vision and work toward an annual Security Book of the Year Award was fulfilled with the 2014 inaugural award and this year’s second one.”
Your Security Adviser’s Interview With Larry Fennelly
YSA: It’s been awhile since we had an opportunity to talk one on one. What have you been up too?
Larry: Well we just won a Big Liability Case out of state, a customer was shot in the parking lot of a bank that had 8 or 9 prior robberies, I used CPTED Principles in this case, that the bank failed to meet. This year 2016 we finished three books, Security in the Year 2025 for ASIS, Effective Physical Security 5th edition and 150 Things You Need to Know About Physical Security. The 150 Things book was hard to do, really but it’s finished, and I have to tell you we are very happy with the outcome. Oh, we also designed the cover, I let you tell me, Ben, how you like it when you see it.
YSA: What do you see as the obstacles (challenges) facing school security over the next five years?
Larry: What a question Ben, I was with a good friend of mine two weeks ago retired school teacher 37 years on the job. We drove by his school which he was very proud of. You entered the property on the left and drove around and came out on the right of the building. Four doors were propped opened. That’s one issue, schools need to have security assessment done, and professional consultants giving them advice. Yes, the local police can give advice but their untrained to do this type of work, and third I see, new Bullet Resistant Products coming out on the market. Ask a school principle or facilities manager “What keeps you awake at night”?? See what they say. It’s scary.
YSA: As past chair of the ASIS International School Safety and School Security Council, what does the organization have to do to attract young professionals?
Larry: Ben, as you know we have a mixed group on the Council. I put 7 Ph.D.’s all working security practitioners on the Council; we have a lawyer and Jason our Chair is doing a very good job. I believe in being diversified, and we also have a very talented group that are dedicated to the safety of our children. Ben, we are about to finish a White Paper on School Bus Safety Issues…..I would suggest those reading this interview look for this paper, you will be shocked on the horror facts we found, let me give you an example: “A bus driver, female, pulls over to the side of the road, shuts off the bus, opens the door, turns to the kids and says…..I quit…..I can’t take it anymore. And leaves them there. Unacceptable.
YSA: You and I have been in the security business for a long time, given your experience and expertise what advice or recommendations would give young security professionals?
Larry: Open your mind and observe everything that is going on, think PREVENTION. Study concepts and Theory. Start writing articles. What is the cutting edge of your discipline, are you ahead of the curve? This is the future.
YSA: Looking into your crystal ball, what challenges lie ahead for the physical security industry over the next 5-10 years?
Larry: Well as I said above we finished the Book Security in 2025, so let me give you short answers to this question……Drones, good and bad reviews, Body Cameras good reviews so far, LED Lighting a money saver, LEED going green is big, Bullet Resistant Materials will be the future and get bigger and bigger, access control in our schools……However as technology takes big leaps, we have to embrace it. However, school attack’s and incidents like Orlando Fl. and San Bernadino will continue to be part of our culture.
YSA: What does the future hold for Larry Fennelly?
Larry: I’m under contract to do Two more books, and I want to do a specific book. I see what’s out there in the literary field, and I have things in my head I want to get on paper and print. ASIS called me a visionary, maybe I am, I don’t know. I hope I can leave this world in a better state.
Mr. Larry Fennelly was a Sergeant at Harvard College, employed by the Harvard University Police Department in Cambridge, Massachusetts, retired April 25, 1996. His duties have included Crime Prevention and Training. He has been trained as a Crime Prevention Specialist and served in this capacity for over 21 years at Harvard. He has also been the department’s Training Officer and Assistant Court Officer. All police officers at Harvard are Deputy Sheriffs in both Suffolk and Middlesex Counties. Mr. Fennelly is also a security practitioner and security consultant.
Mr. Larry Fennelly has been to Australia where he was a keynote speaker and lecturer on CPTED, with Tim Crowe, Physical Security, Crime in U.S. High Schools and various security issues.