Doug Bedell — February 15, 2007, 8:45 am

Pittsburgh’s Regional Security Model

Kudos to the Pittsburgh Regional Business Coalition for Homeland Security and the foresight among Pittsburgh regional business and civic leaders that brought it into existence in 2004.

As reported in an article, “Collaboration Works,” in the January, 2007 issue of “Access Control & Security Systems” the Pittsburgh group exists to promote cooperative security and disaster planning among businesses and public institutions in the Pittsburgh area. “Western Pennsylvania is 2-3 years ahead of other regions of the country in regional collaboration to prepare for either natural or man-made disaster,” says George Foresman, the U.S, Department of Homeland Security’s Under Secretary for Preparedness.

With an office, executive director, a monthly newsletter and a website, the regional coalition can spot trends and advances in security/disaster planning, tactics and equipment and spread them readily among its public and corporate members. This can save any given company or institution – like the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – from having to develop such insights single-handedly. That sort of mutual information sharing can save both time and money. It’s a great model for other U.S. regions to become acquainted with and adapt in their own collaborative interests.

Regions without corporate traditions or resources as ample as Pittsburgh’s may have to be especially creative in developing their own versions of the Western Pennsylvania coalition, but the effort is definitely worth making.

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