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European Conference tackles 2000.

In May, more than 100 attendees took part in the ASIS European Regional Conference in Rome. Each year brings security professionals to a different location to hear presentations regarding security issues unique to Europe. The special focus of this year's venue was security in the "Eternal City" during the Great Jubilee for Catholics in the year 2000.

Pope John Paul II has designated 2000 as a Holy Year for charity, penance, and the renewal of faith, and to commemorate the birth of Jesus and the establishment of the Catholic Church. Throughout the year, special religious and cultural events will be staged in Rome. The Pope also wishes to use the Holy Year as an occasion to talk with representatives of other religions - in particular Islam and Judaism.

Despite the Catholic Church's goal of reconciliation and understanding among religious groups, European security professionals also foresee a yearlong state of vigilance against terrorism staged by militant religious groups, including those influenced by Millenarianism - the belief that the century's end also means the end of the world.

The opening ceremony was presided over by ASIS Vice President Cynthia P. Conlon, CPP, Italy Chapter Chairman Roger Warwick, and ASIS Region XX Vice President Hans Wermdalen, CPP. Then Enrico Rossi, commissioner of Italian Police, gave attendees an overview of the security problems facing Rome and the rest of Italy during the year 2000.

This presentation was followed by a roundtable debate on the issues featuring Aldo Setti, general secretary of the Italian Consortium for Scientific and Technological Research.

Conference sessions looked beyond Rome to lessons that could be learned from security at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta and this year's Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. Vincent Salvo, director of security 'for IBM Global Services, discussed IT and physical security at those events. (IBM provided computer support for the Atlanta and Nagano Games.)

Richard Hudak, head of security, for ITT Sheraton Boston, also spoke to the group on "New World Security in Old World Hotels." Hudak explained that while European hotels are famed for their charm and service, they must also provide appropriate fire protection and security in the face of possible terrorist attacks launched during the, Holy Year.

On the second day of the conference, Col. Vittorfranco Piscano of the U.S. Army's Military Police Corps (ret.) and adjunct professor of International Relations for Troy State University's European Region, put political terrorism into perspective, underscoring that "religious fanaticism can be an integral part of political motivation [for terrorism] when religious extremists, instead of practicing their religion as faith, pursue it as ideology."

Piscano was followed by Chief Superintendent Graham Marshall of the City of London Police, who discussed the English capital's constant vigilance for terrorist attacks. Marshall reviewed the Bishopsgate bombing of 1993 in which a large vehicle was used is the delivery mechanism for a two-ton bomb that caused more than $140 million in structural damage and took one life in London's city center.

In the wake of the Bishopsgate bombing, City of London Police initiated antiterrorist tactics such as closing off certain routes in and out of the city center with barriers, using entry point policing, and installing an extensive CCTV camera system to identify each motor vehicle entering and exiting the zone. As a result of changes, not only have terrorists been thwarted, but incidents of crime and vandalism in the city center have also fallen significantly.

The conference's final speakers were Security Councilor Dino Finollo of the City of Milan and William Bratton, former commissioner of police for New York City. Bratton addressed the stunning drop in crime and violence in New York City during the 1990s, with recorded incidents of the top seven crimes measured by the Uniform Crime Report down 50 percent. He attributed the success of the city in reducing crime to community policing and the building of partnerships between the NYPD and private business and community organizations.

The 1999 European Regional Conference will be held in Dublin, Ireland, next October. Interested attendees can find information about the event at the Society's Web site at
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Title Annotation:European Regional Conference of the American Society of Industrial Security focusing on security issues of the Great Jubilee for Catholics in year 2000
Publication:Security Management
Date:Aug 1, 1998
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