June 2022 — Bad Flyers, Retail Workers Want To Fight Back, & Other Security Headlines and Grants
There’s a lot going on in the world of physical risk and vulnerability; it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news and developments. We’ll keep you informed with the best content to keep your organization safe and secure. Check out the top news and headlines from the past month.
Suspect steals Portland security guard's gun, shoots him in bulletproof vest, police say
From KATU: Portland police are searching for someone who allegedly stole a private security guard’s gun early June 26, shot him, hitting his bulletproof vest, and then ran off. Officers arrived to find a uniformed private security guard who had been shot in the chest, saying that his ballistic vest stopped the bullet from injuring him. Initial reports said the guard asked someone to leave the private property when the suspect “suddenly lunged for his holstered firearm” and a struggle ensued. “The security guard was able to press the button to release the magazine. But the suspect shot the victim with the chambered round,” the police bureau said. The guard was taken to the hospital, but had no observable injury, police said.
Our take: This could happen to any officer with a weapon; there’s always a risk of a perpetrator stealing a weapon. We commend this officer for having the presence of mind to get the clip out of his gun, but we worry when there are armed guards at sites. It’s important to ask yourself if having an armed officer on your site increases your risk rather than decreases it. If you’re not thinking of the potential of introducing a weapon into a situation where there was no weapon before, you could be opening yourself up to new threats.
Retail workers want to fight back against crime
From RetailWire: A RetailWire headline last October asked the question: “Who protects store associates when shoppers lash out?” The answer to that question may come in new labor contracts being negotiated by unions representing frontline retail workers and their employers.
A New York Times article reports that the United Food and Commercial Workers union made sure to include the right of self defense for workers if they are attacked on the job. Associates in the past have been terminated from their jobs after physically engaging with customers or shoplifters over safety and liability concerns.
Our take: While we appreciate that workers want to defend themselves against shoplifters, but is the right time to fight/defend yourself — it can expose the employee to injury and you to liability. Instead of fighting criminals, encourage your employees to observe and report the incident, document the crime on camera, get the perpetrator’s license plate number and call the authorities. That is a much safer way to fight back than by engaging a criminal.
Flight Attendants and Weary Travelers Are Once Again Dealing With Unruly Fliers
From Inside Edition: Flight attendants are apparently seeing bad and just plain obnoxious behavior, all made worse with summer flight delays and cancellations on the rise.
Our take: Bad behavior on airplanes is on the rise again, driven by frustrations and other tensions. As more cancellations happen, or more of a polarizing public opinion on other individual’s beliefs, we will continue to see tensions rise. It is important to ascertain if your aggression management programs are working, as more flight attendants are exposed to this behavior.
TikTok star pleads for help in son’s killing
From Fox 10: A TikTok influencer is pleading for answers after her son was shot and killed in late June in Prichard, Alabama. “I have never asked y’all for anything -- but I need your help with this there’s almost 7-million people that follow me -- somebody’s got to know something,” said a tearful Ophelia Nichols, known as Mama Tot on TikTok (account: ‘shoelover99′). “He was just 18 years old -- that’s the best part of somebody’s life. And I know they’re out there in my town -- they’re out there.”
Our take: Social media is changing the way victims’ families interact with the public. In the past, a parent might have had a press conference or spoken to the media through a statement. In this case, Nichols is making her appeal directly to her audience via TikTok. It’s a new way of gathering information, and we hope Nichols is able to learn more through it.
June Top Security Grants
FEMA’s National Dam Safety Grants: The National Dam Safety Program's mission is to reduce risks to lives, property, and the environment from dam failure by guiding public policy and leveraging industry best practices across the dam safety community. Grant closes: July 15
FEMA’s Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grants: The FY 2022 Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP), as appropriated by the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. No. 117-103), provides funding to close known capability gaps, encourages innovative regional solutions to issues related to catastrophic incidents, and builds on existing regional preparedness efforts. The purpose of the RCPGP is to build regional capacity to manage catastrophic incidents by improving and expanding collaboration for catastrophic incident preparedness. Grant closes: July 29
FEMA’s 2022 Flood Mitigation Assistance Swift Current (FMA Swift Current): The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S. territories, federally recognized tribal governments, and local communities to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Grant closes: October 3
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