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 CNN: Dick’s Sporting Goods warned that retail theft is damaging its business and would lead to lower annual profits. The sporting goods and athletic clothing seller reported second-quarter results that included a 23% drop in profit, despite sales that rose 3.6% in the period.The company blamed shrink, the industry term for theft and damaged inventory, for its surprisingly poor earnings. Although other national retailers have also warned investors about growing theft, Dick’s is among the first to blame its lackluster quarterly financial report primarily on theft.
Our take: We have often talked about the impact of retail theft on this blog, but this is the first time we’ve seen a major retailer blame diminished profits on retail theft. If this sort of theft is left unchecked, we will likely see more such announcements, and even more sales will be driven online.
From Fox5: A truck driver caught on camera doing donuts in an intersection in Atlanta's West Midtown area is now in custody. In a video shared by ATL Uncensored, the black Ford F-150 was seen doing donuts in the middle of a large crowd at the intersection of 17th Street and Northside Drive on Sunday, August 20. Officials with the Georgia State Patrol say a trooper saw what was going on and activated his emergency equipment, causing the truck to try and speed away into the crowd.The Georgia State Patrol says the truck hit multiple pedestrians while trying to escape. There were no fatalities, but one was injured.The trooper performed a pit maneuver, turning the truck and stopping it.
Our take: Cars are often overlooked as weapons, and this video shows exactly how devastating a car or truck can be. Not only did the perpetrator hit several bystanders as he tried to get away from the police, but the trooper used his car as a weapon to stop the perpetrator. This is why we constantly write about protecting your buildings and campuses from motor vehicles - the moment someone engages in reckless driving or an outright attack, there’s not much you can do to stop their vehicle.
From Texas Public Radio: When Texas’s new school safety law goes into effect on Sept. 1, school districts will be required to have an “armed security officer” assigned to every campus during school hours. That’s left school districts across the state scrambling to find the funds — and enough qualified officers — to meet the mandate at a time when many districts were already struggling to balance budgets and find enough staff.
Our take: Armed officers in schools are not necessarily the answer to crime and attacks. However, in this case, the problem is that Texas schools can’t find or pay for the guards they are now mandated to hire. According to the report, Texas lawmakers are giving districts $15,000 per campus and an additional 28 cents per student for a total of $10 per student. Districts are saying this amount falls short of the cost to pay for the salary and equipment needed to outfit an officer. Officers are routinely underfunded, and offering low salaries and poor equipment isn’t likely to attract the best candidate to schools, which are already vulnerable to crimes. Rather than solving problems, this legislation may actually cause more problems.
From the Associated Press: Willy the rodeo goat, who has lassoed the hearts of residents in a rural South Texas county ever since she escaped from an arena enclosure in July, has been found. The elusive goat had hidden in sugar cane and corn fields, avoiding capture for weeks in Willacy County, about 300 miles southwest of Houston. Residents searched for her on horses, all-terrain vehicles and by drone. Local businesses aided the search by donating 90 prizes and gifts worth $5,000 in total — including brisket, bales of hay and beef jerky — to be given to whoever found her. Ricardo Rojas III didn’t have to go far to find Willy. He and a friend caught the slippery goat in his backyard, about 1 mile away from where she escaped.
Our take: We have discussed protecting your assets on this blog, but what about protecting the assets from running away? While we have very little knowledge about goats, we do know a security breach when we see one. It’s clear that this baa-aa-aad actor needs increased security around her pen. Anyhow, we’re glad the Willacy rodeo got its goat (back).
August Top Security Grants
National Fire Plan-Wildland Urban Interface Community Fire Assistance: To implement the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy and assist communities at risk from catastrophic wildland fires by providing assistance in the following areas: Implementation of community programs that develop and enhance local capability in the areas of risk assessment and planning, training, mitigation activities, and community and homeowner education and action; Planning and implementation of fuels management reduction activities aimed at mitigating the threat of catastrophic wildlife to communities and natural resources in high risk areas, including associated monitoring or maintenance, on federal land an/or on adjacent non-federal land; Enhancement of local and small business employment opportunities for rural communities; and providing education and training focused on increasing knowledge and fire protection capability of rural fire districts. Projects that include a cost-share or in-kind contribution will have priority for selection. Grant closes: Sept. 1, 2023
The Shelter and Services Program (SSP): The SSP makes available federal funds to eligible recipients and subrecipients for costs associated with providing shelter and other eligible services to noncitizen migrants who have been encountered and released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Recipients of SSP may also seek grant funds for renovations or costs associated with modifications to existing facilities in support of individuals who have recently been released from the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Grant closes: Sept. 11, 2023
The Next Generation Warning System Grant Program (NGWSGP): Having in place an effective system for warning and informing the American public of impending natural and man-made disasters is an essential part of America's emergency preparedness. FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is the national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency and life-saving information to the public. The Next Generation Warning System Grant Program makes federal funds available to enable the adoption of emerging digital broadcast technology. Grant closes: Sept. 12, 2023
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