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.
From the AP: Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges on Friday, Nov. 19 after testifying he acted in self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice in the U.S. The verdict in the politically combustible case was met with anger and disappointment from those who saw Rittenhouse as a vigilante and a wannabe cop, and relief and a sense of vindication from those who regarded him as a patriot who took a stand against lawlessness and exercised his Second Amendment right to carry a gun and to defend himself. Supporters donated more than $2 million toward his legal defense.
Our take: The Rittenhouse verdict is likely to pave the way for more vigilante behavior as more potential vigilantes feel emboldened to take the law into their own hands. This is something businesses should be wary of — be they sites being monitored by vigilantes, or simply sites in areas where employees may want to carry guns at work. From a liability perspective, your organization should never ask someone who is not legally able to carry a gun or perform security functions to act as a security officer. Follow the proper paths to protecting your business by performing a risk analysis, instilling proper procedures and training, and hiring qualified and licensed professionals.
'People are freaking out': From martial arts to high-end locks, S.F. residents are investing in self-protection
From the San Francisco Chronicle: With San Francisco mired in an intensifying debate over crime and public safety, self defense lessons are in greater demand this year. Several operators of self-defense schools and people who sell security equipment said they are seeing an uptick in business. San Francisco — which has long struggled with a high rate of theft crimes — has not experienced major increases in violent crime this year, according to police figures, but more burglaries, robberies and other crimes are being captured on videos that spread virally on social media, and the city has been consumed by the war of words over progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin and his efforts to reduce incarceration in favor of treatment and rehabilitation.
Our take: We will probably see more of this sport of behavior as crime increases in areas that aren’t traditionally considered hotbeds of criminal activity. Unfortunately criminals tend to go to the areas where there’s more opportunity for theft and break-ins. This should be a concern for businesses in the suburbs.
From Intelligencer: Calls to the police complaining about public whip use, or mistaking its sound for gunfire, began coming in with more frequency around summer 2018. Those calls have doubled over the last year, Lieutenant Ryan Connelly of the Reno Police Department said. Since they are often reported as shots fired, such interactions were tying up considerable police resources. The City Council ultimately passed an anti-whip ordinance 6-1 on October 13. Reno PD will begin to enforce it on November 20. The new law will make using a whip downtown illegal without a permit. But citywide, whip use is only prohibited if the whip is used to “injure, annoy, interfere with, or endanger the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety.”
Our take: While this is certainly an unusual problem for a city to have, it’s worth noting that whip use started to spike in Reno during the pandemic, when more people had time on their hands to learn how to use – and make — whips. This is something that may happen in other cities, especially since the further west you go in the U.S., the less likely a whip is to be classified as a weapon by state or local law. Regardless, whenever a hobby starts affecting public safety, lawmakers and police are right to crack down on it.
From NPR: Traffic came to a stop on California's Interstate 5 on the morning of November 19, after an armored car happened to spill cash across the freeway just north of San Diego. Several drivers and passengers jumped out of their vehicles to grab what they could. But the police want it all back. Some arrests of people who collected money have already been made.
Our take: While we like to think of armored cars as invincible, armored carriers aren’t invulnerable. In 2019, the last year for which the FBI has data, there were 10 reported incidents of armored car-related theft. In 2015, there were 28 cases of theft. Those numbers are small, but don’t take into account accidents, which is what this incident appears to be. If you’re using an armored car service, be sure of their reputation and also pack up your cash so that if a door does swing open in transit, your money is secured.
From Jewish Insider: Within the’ $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” budget proposal announced on Thursday is an additional $100 million boost for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). Both the House and Senate have proposed holding funding 2022 for the NSGP — which provides grants for nonprofits and religious institutions to upgrade their security — steady at its 2021 level of $180 million. If passed, the new budget would bring the total for 2022 funding up to $280 million.
Our take: Security is often treated as a necessary but inconvenient line item by companies that generate revenue. In nonprofits, which often operate on shoestring budgets, the situation is more dire. Nonprofits often rely on security grants, like the ones listed below, to supplement their budgets so they can keep their people and sites safe. A rise in funding for the NSGP will help more nonprofits invest in their physical security.
November top grants
Fiscal Year 2021 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG): The Department of Homeland Security’s AFG program provides direct financial assistance to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organizations and State Fire Training Academies (SFTA) to equip and train emergency personnel in order to foster interoperability, strengthen community resilience, and enhance the safety of the public and emergency responders before, during, and after hazardous events. Grant closes: Dec. 17, 2021
Fiscal Year 2021 Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA): 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). It does so with a recognition of the growing flood hazards associated with climate change1, and of the need for flood hazard risk mitigation activities that promote climate adaptation and resilience with respect to flooding. These include both acute extreme weather events and chronic stressors which have been observed and are expected to increase in the future. Grant closes: Jan. 28 2022
Fiscal Year 2021 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC): The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S territories, federally recognized tribal governments, and local communities for hazard mitigation activities. It does so with a recognition of the growing hazards associated with climate change1, and of the need for natural hazard risk mitigation activities that promote climate adaptation and resilience with respect to those hazards. These include both acute extreme weather events and chronic stressors which have been observed and are expected to increase in the future. Grant closes: Jan. 28, 2022