A primary mission of public transit agencies is to ensure (as best as possible) the safety and security of their customers, employees and infrastructure. Since September 11, 2001, ensuring the successful development and execution of security programs has become an increasingly critical responsibility for transit agencies and their staff. However, managers of commuter rail, subway and light rail systems are constantly being challenged to deliver safe and reliable services within the framework of perpetually shrinking budgets. Over the past several years, transit operations, safety and security professionals have applied elements of a Security Program Lifecycle process to assess, design and implement cost-effective safety, security and emergency preparedness initiatives. The process includes the following components: 1. Threat and Vulnerability Assessments 2. Capital Program Security Budgets and Funding Sources 3. Functional Requirements 4. Design 5. Procurement 6. Startup and Testing 7. Training, Operations and Maintenance On Monday, June 13, as part of the 2011 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Rail Conference in Boston, a panel of experts will discuss the Security Program Lifecycle, sharing personal experiences and lessons learned from both the federal government and transit agency perspective. Panelists include representatives from the: • Transportation Security Administration (TSA), • Federal Transit Administration (FTA), • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA); and • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York. The discussion will focus on common challenges facing both government and agency staff. • How does a transit agency conduct a Threat and Vulnerability Assessment to not only identify potential system weaknesses but to also ensure the procurement of proper government funding? What does the government look for in these assessments when considering the award of funding? • What are the critical steps a transit agency must take to meet government security guidelines and directives? • How can agencies balance the need for security with other operational needs? Are there best practices for including security as part of an agency’s capital program, particularly in tough economic times? • What technical and operational goals do the federal government look for when assessing agency security program designs? Is there assistance available to help agencies meet design demands? • What is the agency experience in procuring security program resources, given internal policies and timelines? How does this process align with the requirements of meeting the government grant funding process? • How do agencies implement training programs so employees can properly maintain and operate security equipment and technology? Is outsourcing some of the work problematic due to contractual labor constraints? In addition to sharing direct experience and lessons learned about developing a security program following the steps of the lifecycle process, panelists will direct audience members to important resource guides and documents, highlight specific training opportunities, recommend standards to follow, point out required planning elements and offer grant information. We hope you will join us for the Security Program Lifecycle panel discussion at this year’s APTA Rail Conference in Boston. Operational, safety and security professionals are sure to gain important and useful insights that can be immediately applied to support their own critical security initiatives. Security Program Lifecycle Panel: June 13, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 2011 APTA Rail Conference Boston Marriott Copley Place - Boston, MA http://www.apta.com/mc/rail/Pages/default.aspx Jose Fernandez is director of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness at TRC Companies Inc., a national engineering, consulting and construction management firm providing integrated services to the energy, environmental and infrastructure markets. Chris Costello is manager of Systems and Technology at Jacobs Engineering Group, one of the world's largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional and construction services.