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Building Security

Robert Tucker authors article about building security in Real Estate New York

June 01, 2005

Security Systems Need Constant Upgrading

By Robert Tucker
Chairman and CEO,
T &M Protection Resources


While most of New York City’s buildings are low-profile with multi-tenants, there are some with very high profiles. Such a property generally has video surveillance cameras mounted in strategic locations and several security guards on duty to check identification and sign in visitors. But what happens at this already high-profile building once negotiations begin on a lease with a UN mission, or a similar tenant with even more daunting security needs? Will its current security program be sufficient to protect the building once a more visible tenant arrives?

The time to evaluate a building’s security systems, equipment and personnel is not when a current or prospective tenant questions them or after an incident has occurred, but on a regular, ongoing basis. Security methods and equipment are constantly changing and improving to meet increasingly sophisticated threats. And these changes will occur even more rapidly in the next five to 10 years as state-of-theart detection equipment—once only available to the government—becomes priced to market for commercial use.

Many building owners and property managers take the approach that their security system continues to provide them with adequate protection and that there is no need to review these pre-existing standards with current conditions. This is a false assumption that can have deadly consequences in these dangerous times.

Building owners and managers must be absolutely certain that a property’s security techniques, equipment and personnel are up to current 21st century standards. It is also vital not only to implement necessary improvements, but continuously consult with security industry experts to stay abreast of emerging threats and challenges. As for surveillance cameras, it is surprising how many buildings in New York still utilize dated videotape cameras when they could upgrade to reap the benefits of digital technology. Savvy building owners have already implemented an effective combination of digital video recorders, access control systems and visitor registration systems to monitor daily building traffic.

A key benefit of having appropriate security measures in place is that it transforms a property into a much more attractive facility to prospective tenants. In the post 9/11 era, every employer and worker is concerned about workplace safety. Being in a desirable location in the city is often less important to many people than the assurance that the building in which they work is, to the greatest extent possible, safe from attack.

Currently, the most knowledgeable owners and building managers begin the security process by having a dependable security firm come in and perform a detailed threat and vulnerability assessment. Threats are always changing. While a catastrophic terrorist attack might loom large in many people’s nightmares, it is the threat of an unpredictable, random attack that keeps security experts on their toes. Small packages, for example, can cause staggering amounts of damage. Modern explosives, anthrax spores, and chemical/biological agents can be brought into a building in an object as seemingly benign as a coffee cup. Keeping alert to the newest security and protection resources should be one of the top responsibilities of building owners and managers.

Obviously, the type of security a building needs depends upon its size, location, the type of companies it houses and the way it is being used. If a building hosts a multinational corporation, additional security measures are needed when compared to a building occupied by smaller companies without high visibility.

Security professionals can answer questions about protection and introduce a wide range of topical issues that a building owner or manager might not have had previous reasons to consider. Security experts live in a world in which they must always stay one step ahead of the dangers and continue developing new techniques to address and overcome them.

The days of a one-dimensional security plan for buildings in New York City have long since passed. Because the threats to our safety have become so complex and ubiquitous, the security industry, with the help of technology, has inevitably improved its tactics to respond to the changes. Now, more than ever, it is time for building owners to re-evaluate and seek professional assistance on the risks they face. While there are many security options to choose from, being prepared is certainly the most important.


About T&M Protection Resources, LLC
Established in 1981, T&M Protection Resources is headquartered in New York and  provides high level security, executive protection and explosive detection services, technical security systems and countermeasures and consulting services to leading corporate, institutional and private clients with special concentration in financial services, commercial property management, major sports franchises and organizations that are part of our nation’s critical infrastructure.   Through its Forensic Investigative Associates (FIA) division, T&M also offers expertise in corporate due diligence, fraud and forensic investigations, compliance monitorships, litigation support, and global intelligence services.  For more information, please contact T&M Protection Resources at 212-422-0000 or visit our website at

In November 2007, Pegasus Partners IV LP (“Pegasus”) became a minority partner of T&M. Pegasus is an affiliate of Pegasus Capital Advisors, LP, a private equity firm that manages close to $1.8 billion in assets through several private equity funds. The firm provides creative capital solutions to middle market companies across a wide variety of industries, with a particular interest in businesses that make a meaningful contribution to society by positively affecting the environment, contributing to sustainability and enabling healthy living. For more information, visit the firm’s website at

For more information, please contact T&M Protection Resources at 212-422-0000 or visit our web site at