It isn’t the Great Wall of Houston, but a wooden barrier helps keep the Money Show of the Southwest secure, according to Carl Schwenker, show chairman of the event that was held Dec. 5-7.
“As you know, Houston’s Money Show is very security conscious,” he explained. Our security team is composed of off- duty senior officers of the Houston Police Department’s robbery division. In addition all vehicles that leave the show are offered the additional service of electronic and visual inspection to assure that GPS devices now used by the more sophisticated robbery gangs are not on the vehicle.”
The show was held in Hall B-3 on the third floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. There are five ways to reach the third floor. All are secure.
The fifth entry route goes through the corridors of the facility to an escalator that runs from the second floor corridor to Hall B-3. The escalator bank can be turned off, but even when shut down there remains an open stairwell to the bourse floor.
Rather than just putting a security guard right at the top or bottom of the escalator all night long and having him concentrate on the escalator stair well to the exclusion of other potential entry points, the show decided to make it difficult and noisy for a bad guy to use this route, Schwenker said.
A barrier was designed and built by one of the Greater Houston Coin Club members. It is 8 feet tall and its nine pieces fit together to provide a formidable obstacle.
Recognizing that someone may still try to climb around or over the barrier, it has noise-making devices attached which alert the security team in the hall above to any attempted entry.
But there was more to the show than the security detail. Over 500 dealers were in attendance to do business.
A merit badge clinic was held Saturday morning for both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
Mike Fuljenz, of Universal Coin & Bullion, Beaumont, Texas, was given an award for more than 20 consecutive years of participating in the educational seminar series and for his support of the Greater Houston Coin Club and its youth programs.
A ribbon cutting opened the show. Participating was American Numismatic Association Vice President Patti Finner, Gail Brichford, president of the Greater Houston Coin Club, Schwenker and Money Show Treasurer Francis Townsend.