A conversation over coffee between Bonnie Michelman, MGH Police and Security director, and Una Riley, SectorGuard Security Institute
fellow, in London last spring was the catalyst for the development of an innovative exchange program between members of security departments in the United Kingdom and at the MGH. What sprang from that discussion was the establishment of the SectorGuard Anglo-American Exchange (SAAE) program – an international initiative to exchange knowledge and information about security best practices, training and management as well as strategies for deterring and responding to acts of terrorism.
Sponsored by SectorGuard, which provides security services to businesses in the United Kingdom, and with support from a local hotel and airline, the SAAE program launched its first exchange in August. Two members of MGH Police and Security – William E. McLaughlin, day shift supervisor, and Matthew Kirwin, night shift supervisor – were selected based upon their exemplary work performance from among 20 applicants to represent the MGH in London. In exchange, the MGH hosted two distinguished U.K. security professionals – Rhett Brown, security operations manager for KnightsBridge Guarding Company, and Paul Aisbitt, security control operator for First Security Limited.
Each pair traveled "across the pond" for a weeklong visit during which they experienced firsthand the country's security fine points by shadowing their counterparts and visiting with security leaders. McLaughlin and Kirwin learned about the national security system of England as well as security functions at British hospitals and retail and corporate settings. Likewise, Brown and Aisbitt visited with MGH Police and Security, the Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and security officers and leaders from a number of area organizations and companies.
"We were absolutely delighted to host Mr. Brown and Mr. Aisbitt here at the MGH," says Michelman. "We also were especially proud to have MGH officers McLaughlin and Kirwin represent the hospital in England where they had the opportunity to learn different protection strategies and see best practices at work abroad. I think that both the participants and the hosts have learned some things that they will use in their own programs. We look forward to continuing to participate in this novel and educational program."
SECURITY EXCHANGE: From left, John Driscoll, MGH Police and Security assistant director; Aisbitt; Michelman; and Brown