In 2020, the security industry strove to innovate, adapt and overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19 and proved resilient in continuing to provide solutions and services to help keep people safe and secure. Consistent with our core mission – to be a catalyst for success within the global security industry through information, insight and influence – the Security Industry Association (SIA) worked throughout the year to advance policy priorities that matter to SIA members, including a variety of state and local issues.
Here are SIA’s top 2020 successes in state and local policy:
- Outreach, education and advocacy on policies regarding facial recognition technology. SIA testified at hearings on facial recognition technology at seven state capitols and in several cities across the nation, with advocacy in many others as well. Statewide bans on public-sector use of facial recognition failed in every state in which they were proposed, including Massachusetts, where conditions specific to law enforcement use were enacted in lieu of a blanket ban originally passed by the legislature. Additionally, the nation’s largest state legislator organization – the American Legislative Exchange Council – adopted a model policy on facial recognition that supports safeguards for responsible use while rejecting technology bans.
- Support for school security legislation. SIA voiced support as “Alyssa’s Law” was considered and passed in the state of Florida. The new law requires each public school to implement a panic alarms linked to local law enforcement, which helps keep schools safer and more secure for students, faculty and the community at large, by ensuring quick response to active threat situations.
- Successful coalition efforts to address problematic “Right to Repair” legislation. SIA worked alongside other industry stakeholders in raising concerns about proposed legislation that could force security manufacturers to disclose proprietary information to unauthorized parties, putting the integrity of security and life safety equipment at risk. Despite introduction in more than a dozen states across the country, no such measures were enacted in 2020.
- Guide to navigate state cannabis security requirements. SIA recognized the need for more centralized information regarding the state-by-state requirements in the cannabis industry and created the SIA Guide to Cannabis Security Requirements. The first-of-its-kind guide identifies parallels across state regulations, bidding processes for vendors and points of contact for programs.
- State-by-state guide to sources of funding for school safety measures. More than ever before, security enhancements are being sought by school districts as one of many key components of their comprehensive school safety strategy. In 2020, SIA created its essential Guide to School Security Funding, which provides a listing of primary sources of grant funding supporting these projects.