President's Report

by Almeda Dunn

 

The second session of the 109th Congress is well under way and many bills that threatened us still present a challenge to our legislative committee. It seems like each week there is a new incident soon followed by newly introduced legislation. There are several bills that we need to examine further and monitor very closely. Multiple bills affect database providers more than investigators and emphasize breach notification, but there are also possible restrictions on identifiers, which cause a great concern to all professionals in both investigation and security firms. Any bill introduced that prohibits investigators or security professionals from performing legal, duly authorized work needs to be examined closely, especially laws that will affect our ability to access personal identifiers.

With more and more security breaches being reported, it is imperative we be ever more vigilant. In reading the PI listserves, l am amazed by the requests for information that cannot be legally obtained or seemingly under questionable circumstances. We have to work together as professionals to see that those who make such requests are informed of the law. Thanks to the efforts of our listserve moderator, Eddy McClain, "NCISSnews" is free of such requests. Our ethics committee, chaired by Peter Psarouthakis, has been working to determine how best NCISS should address this issue, particularly with the few members of this association that have come under scrutiny in the press and before recent congressional hearings.

Since our Sarasota conference in February, several important items on the agenda have come to fruition. First, an amendment to our bylaws was passed in order to allow the council to accept non-licensed (inhouse) investigative and security personnel, as members under a new membership classification. This new classification, entitled "Affiliate Member," would allow the new member all the benefits as a regular member, except the right to vote and hold office. Secondly, Bruce Hulme was appointed as our Legislative Director. Bruce has always worked hard on behalf of NCISS and continues to go above and beyond to help preserve our rights. Last, but certainly not least, past NCISS president (1982-1983) Ralph Day was unanimously granted "Life" membership.

Another successful AAC (Associations Advisory Council) meeting was held in Sarasota. Many state association presidents or their representatives discussed unique situations facing licensees and legislation within their states. I encourage all state associations to send at least one representative, more if possible, to attend our next "Hit the Hill" meeting in Washington, DC. Details are in this issue of The Report. Congressional appointments should be scheduled for Thursday, Sep. 14th. Members attending for their first time will be paired with experienced legislative advocates and members of the NCISS Legislative Committee. Our mid-term board meeting will take place on Friday, Sep. 15th and NCISS members are invited to attend.

As I pen this report, 2nd VP Francie Koehler is at the CALI conference, manning our booth and spreading the word about NCISS. Bruce Hulme has returned from a Vancouver board meeting of the International Association of Security and Investigative Regulators, where he obtained a resolution from the IASIR board recognizing the common practice of pretext as an investigative tool used in lawful investigations by both the public and private sector. I want to thank the many dedicated officers, directors and members who volunteer their time and funds to support NCISS and to those that have assisted me as president.

There are increasing challenges before us and together we will face them. As NCISS continues to be the national voice of this industry, I will continue, as in the past, to be the voice of NCISS in my area and on the national level. Thank you for this opportunity and for your continued support. I sincerely hope that I will have an opportunity to personally meet with you in Washington this September.