A crowd composed of members of the public service, government officials, private sector professionals and other interested members of the community came together on Monday, May 27 to discuss public security and the duty of care incumbent upon us all.
Rethinking Urban Infrastructure – Making Public Spaces Safer was a conference sponsored by the Infrasecure Group, an Ottawa-based company that brings together security sector experts, technicians, engineers, construction and material designers and threat identification specialists under a single umbrella company.
The conference was opened by the Honourable David Pratt, former Minister of National Defence, and Deputy Chief Uday Jaswal. Both men welcomed the diverse crowd and highlighted the need for more dialogue about and action on traditional and emerging threats to public safety in Canada.
The first speaker of the morning was Mr. Richard Fadden, OC, long-time member of the public service, former Director of CSIS and former National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of Canada. He shared his understanding of the current threat environment in Canada. He also spoke about the real need for cooperation and collaboration, between the private and public sectors, between levels of government, and between nations.
Building on the picture painted by Mr. Fadden, the next speaker was Mr. Ken Stewart, QPM, Detective Chief Superintendent, Head of Crime and Counter-terrorism for the City of London Police. Mr. Stewart shared his experience providing security for some of London’s most iconic landmarks while preserving open access to the public. Additionally, he outlined a number of initiatives undertaken in the UK to reduce and mitigate the effects of attacks against public security. He also spoke about the concept of “designing out crime”—that being the use of aesthetically pleasing security features that maximize protection while remaining welcoming to the public.
The final session was presented by Jamie Marment and Dr. Michael Seica of the Explora Foundation, a UK-based charity dedicated to research into resilience and physical protection systems. They outlined the process of identifying and categorizing threats, and how to mitigate them. Looking specifically at a number of iconic landmarks in Canada, the presenters discussed techniques for improving the security of our vital infrastructure.
In his closing remarks, the moderator, Retired Major-General Jerry Pitzul summed up the takeaways from the conference as follows: 1) The threat is real and persistent; 2) All can do something about it, whether as a public servant, an educator, a private-sector entrepreneur or professional; 3) Infrasecure has stepped up to the challenge by instigating a dialogue and providing access and information on real solutions; and 4) an investment in perimeter security (blast, ballistic and intrusion mitigation, as well as cyber, data and physical security) is much cheaper and more responsible than the alternative.
The Infrasecure Group Inc. (Infrasecure™) is a company headquartered in Canada with international partnerships that brings together security sector experts, technicians, engineers, construction and material designers and threat identification specialists under a single enterprise.
Ottawa-based Terlin Construction established the venture in 2018 with three international firms, Dynasystems and Exsel Group from the United Kingdom and Perimeter Protection Group (PPG) from Germany.
Infrasecure works closely with public and private sector entities and offers an integrated, single-point design-to-delivery portal for modern and evolving physical security needs. The company specializes in government, industrial, institutional and commercial construction, as well as perimeter, high security and diplomatic consultancy services.
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