Women in Security – spotlight on Liz Alford
BY ASM ON NOVEMBER 1, 2013
By Kema Rajandran
Liz Alford knew she wanted to be in the police force since she was a young girl. As soon as she turned 19 years of age – whilst many others her age would have been enjoying the partying stages of young adulthood – she went and signed up to the police force and has stayed within the security and risk management industry ever since.
In Liz Alford's current role as Physical Security Manager at the Bank of Queensland (BOQ), Liz is responsible for the security risk management strategy for BOQ’s network of more than 270 branches around Australia as well as managing all security incidents that occur within the branch network.
It was not an easy or even a carefully planned path that led her to this position. A former member of the NSW Police, Liz served in the inner city areas of Sydney where she spent time as an investigator in the anti-theft squad and the National Crime Authority (now known as the Australian Crime Commission).
Investigating organised crime syndicates, she specialised in surveillance and undercover work and also had experience in New York with the Drug Enforcement Agency and New York Police Department in the area of organised crime; coveted experience many police cadets would yearn for.
Liz talks about the challenge of the National Crime Authority in targeting high-level organised crime figures using surveillance and other technologies as one of the highlights of her long-standing career but it is clear from the depth of her skills, work experience and stories that she has remained very passionate about investigation training and CCTV advisory work.
“I am excited about the advancement in security technology systems such as CCTV and the positive feedback to the development of the online training products to assist in educating people and taking a proactive approach to addressing and preventing security issues,” says Liz.
“The development and integration of technology into all aspects of security and risk management has transformed this industry over the past 20 years.”
Comparing the equipment used to conduct complex surveillance operations at the National Crime Authority in the 1980s, Liz says nowadays it’s all done with resources that are available at a fraction of the cost.
“For example, the handbag cameras we used back then were state-of-the-art, however, they were large and the quality of the images captured varied enormously. In 2013, cameras loaded into pens that consistently produce high-quality pictures are readily available,” says Liz. Read More