Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Metro Security (or Lack Thereof) UPDATE: Mayor Dean Announces Internal Audit in Wake of Security Questions

Tennessean reporter/blogger Jennifer Peebles underscored the question I raised last night regarding the lack of weekend security at the Howard School Building Offices, which are located in a transitional neighborhood. Peebles posts a map that shows that seven homicides occurred last year within a one-mile radius (all southwest and southeast of the campus). She also points out that the campus is proximate to an interstate exit, which makes criminals' access to high-speed flight easier. Finally, she ponders the possible justifications of the Election Commission spending tens of thousands of dollars to send the notification of theft letter out to Davidson County voters. I can't decide whether that is a wise use of funds or not.

The Tennessean is also reporting that Mayor Karl Dean is calling all Metro Departments to conduct full-scale security audits, which--as I argued yesterday--is the right thing to do. In fact, it is common knowledge and constant news that identity theft has soared astronomically; so why are government agencies late in conducting security audits? Common sense should tell anyone that if you require something as sensitive and vulnerable to abuse as a social security number, you better measure and tighten your security protocols and firewalls like an obsessed sentry. Obsession would have kept Metro from being put in the position of merely reacting to fires rather than preventing them in the first place. Let's hope the Mayor learns to be more proactive in the future about forestalling the cascading effects of what looks like a rather apathetic, cavalier, or lax system of governance.

UPDATE: Tennessean reports that the burglary occurred on December 24th at 9:45 p.m., based on on-line records of when the laptops went off-line. Also, the burglars may have left behind physical evidence in the form of blood from the broken window through which they entered the building.

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