Keeping a national laboratory safe and secure by protecting thousands of people and government assets both on- and off-site is no easy task, especially in the time of a global pandemic. However, Pete Spizzirri of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has risen to the occasion, leading significant initiatives that have recently garnered him the DOE Office of Science Security Manager of the Year Award, recognizing him for excelling in the performance of his security duties and services supporting protective missions.
Throughout his tenure at Argonne, Spizzirri has continuously improved and strengthened Argonne’s Security, Travel and Emergency Services division where he leads more than 75 employees whose mission is to safeguard the laboratory and its people.
Some of Spizzirri’s most important and impactful achievements include developing Argonne’s Foreign National Hosting Validation Program. The program takes a proactive approach to compliance by randomly meeting with hosts of non-U.S. citizens in the field to ensure hosts are aware of their responsibilities and order requirements. The program gained national attention and is now considered a best practice amongst DOE and the U.S. Department of State.
To help educate and keep Argonne employees safe, Spizzirri developed a workplace violence preparedness training that includes live onstage active shooter response demonstration with actors, props and simulated gunfire. The demonstration empowers employees to respond to an active shooter event by implementing A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate).
As part of Argonne’s COVID response, Spizzirri managed and coordinated improvement to site access efforts by implementing self-serve kiosks at the Argonne Information Center minimizing human contact while providing a more efficient way for visitors to access the laboratory. Spizzirri also led efforts to scan badges for site occupancy and accountability purposes.
Spizzirri also has helped to create a more cohesive workforce by contributing toward the development of Argonne’s Core Values Shout-Out program, in which employees recognized each other for demonstrating Argonne’s core values of respect, integrity, teamwork, safety and impact.
“Pete exemplifies the best of Argonne. He promotes innovative and effective safety techniques that empower the laboratory to fulfill its scientific mission,” said Argonne director Paul Kearns. “I, and the rest of his colleagues, congratulate him on earning this recognition from the Department of Energy.”
Spizzirri also recently received the Lindberg Bell Security Executive of the Year award, which is presented to one security executive who has made outstanding contributions to the security profession across the Chicagoland area. Outside of his work at Argonne, Spizzirri also helps to manage security operations for the Chicago Bears.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.