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 KKTV: A shooting ended with one officer in the hospital and one suspect dead in the morning of Nov. 8 in Colorado. Lafayette police said they responded to an alert of a stolen vehicle at about 1:20 a.m. at a gas station on South Boulder Road. As officers arrived, they said the suspects exited the store to return to the car but fled on foot. Police said one suspect returned to the stolen vehicle and started firing at officers. One officer returned fire, and the suspect was found dead in the vehicle. Police said the officer shot was transported to an area hospital and police say the officer’s last reported condition was “stable.” Boulder County officials said they will be investigating the officer who returned fire.
Our take: The nation has been experiencing a rash of car thefts and carjacking lately, and it’s no surprise that these crimes are escalating to violence. That said, it’s concerning that shootouts are happening over stolen vehicles.
From CNN: Two men arrested in connection with online threats to attack a New York City synagogue were arraigned on multiple charges over the weekend, court documents show. Officers from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) arrested Brown and Mahrer as they were entering Penn Station in Manhattan early on November 19. The men were armed and in possession of Nazi paraphernalia. Law enforcement sources told CNN the threats began appearing on a Twitter account on November 12 and were traced to a computer at a veterinary clinic where one of the suspects worked.
Our take: This is a strong example of the way rhetoric and hate speech on social media can translate into plans for violence. It’s reassuring to see law enforcement taking online threats seriously and taking action to prevent attacks.
From Fox News: An Illinois man was found guilty last week of robbing two banks last year, heists that were committed while he was on supervised release for committing two other bank robberies, authorities said. Demontrion Deshan Phillips stole $5,930 on April 27, 2021, from the Midland States Bank in Rockford, and another $4,408 in a robbery of Midland States Bank in Belvidere weeks later, the Justice Department said. The robberies were committed while Phillips was on court-supervised release following a federal conviction for two 2017 bank robberies in Rockford.
Our take: Old habits die hard, even if you’ve done time for them. Although no one appears to have gotten hurt in any of Phillips’ heists, we’d like to see the Justice Departments keep a closer eye on convicts who are on court-supervised release.
From WNEM: The attorney for two Oxford School Board members who resigned are releasing new information about the deadly 2021 school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan. The attorney representing both members says they did so out of frustration and are now coming forward to provide information they were told not to share while they were on the board.
Our take: Active shooters and mass shootings at schools are an epidemic, and it’s important for the authorities to provide information to the public that can shed light on past incidents or prevent shootings in the future. This is particularly true when an entity, like a school board, promises transparency. Very little can be gained by secrecy after these events.
News 5 Cleveland: With Black Friday in the rearview mirror and Cyber Monday’s deals set for shoppers, the holiday shopping season is officially in full swing. With online sales expected to hit record sales again, the Mentor Police Department in Ohio is stepping up patrols and reviving the department’s undercover Porch Pirate Detail.
Our take: Porch piracy is big business thanks to the rise of online shopping. More than a third of U.S. residents have reported a package stolen from their porch in the last year. Police are stepping up efforts to catch these thieves, but you can protect your own packages by creating a way for delivery drivers to leave packages inside a garage or porch, or by bringing packages in as soon as you can.
Gunman kills 5 at LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs before patrons confront and stop him
From CNN: A 22-year-old gunman entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, just before midnight Saturday and immediately opened fire, killing at least five people and injuring 25 others, before patrons confronted and stopped him, police said Sunday.
Our take: The epidemic of gun violence and hate crimes are unlikely to stop anytime soon. It is heartbreaking that the LGBTQ+ community is once again suffering because a young man decided to take his rage out on the patrons of a nightclub.
From Fox 4: A Utah man was arrested and charged after reportedly bringing a straight-edge razor on board a JetBlue plane and holding it to a woman’s throat mid-flight.
Our take: Holiday travel is stressful, and it’s no secret that passenger behavior has been getting worse on airplanes and in airports. This, however, is a surprising level of violence, considering the safety precautions taken before passengers board airplanes. We’d be interested to know how the attacker got his razor on the plane and what steps will be taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
From Newsweek: Four University of Idaho students may have been stabbed by an "incel"—short for involuntarily celibate—who felt rejected by one of them, a forensic psychiatrist told Newsweek. Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Kernodle's boyfriend, Ethan Chapin, were found dead in their beds in an off-campus house on November 13.
Our take: The incel community is another online community with a propensity for violence, particularly against women they perceive as rejecting them romantically. While law enforcement has not yet named a suspect in the University of Idaho murders, it’s important to keep on eye on online communities where threats of violence may be posted.
November top grants
2023 Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program Formula Solicitation: The Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program (Byrne SCIP) provides funding for the creation and/or implementation of extreme risk protection order (ERPO) programs, state crisis intervention court proceedings, and related gun violence reduction programs/initiatives. Grant closes: Dec. 12, 2022
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. 27 2023
Fiscal Year 2022 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. 27, 2023