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Should we have a building security plan?

A building security plan isn't required but is a good way to organize and document the procedures that are required and will make the building safe for employees and visitors.

A 1995 presidential directive requires minimum security standards for each of the five building risk levels for Federal buildings. Homeland Security Presidential Directive No. 7 includes a requirement that all Federal agencies develop plans for protecting critical physical infrastructure. The USDA Integrated Physical Security Standards & Procedures Handbook (Web site available only to USDA employees) explains how this is to be accomplished. Each building security plan will be different, depending on the building risk level, minimum security standards for the building, and what issues were discovered during the threat and vulnerability assessment for the building.

The unit leadership team members must be involved in decisions about security measures and should sign the completed plan. Any unit with employees who are covered by the Master Agreement between the Forest Service and the National Federation of Federal Employees or another union agreement must notify the local of its intent to develop a security plan, and be prepared to include union representatives in partnership negotiations or other bargaining methods specified in the Union agreement.

Each building security plan should identify all the security measures at the building and explain how the security measures will be accomplished, who is responsible for implementing them, what (if any) reporting and records are required, and may identify consequences if the procedures aren't followed. The Forest Service law enforcement officers serving the unit can provide valuable expertise that should be considered in assembling the security plan. Most Forest Service buildings have relatively low risk levels and are located with a group of other low risk buildings at stations or compounds. It may make sense to assemble a security plan for an entire station or compound in many cases. Isolated buildings with the lowest risk levels probably don't really need a building security plan and can be covered under general security plans for the entire unit.