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.
France deploys troops, evacuates Louvre and Versailles, after threats following deadly school stabbing
From the LA Times: France will mobilize up to 7,000 soldiers to increase security around the country after a teacher was fatally stabbed and three other people wounded in a school attack by a former student suspected of Islamic radicalization, the president’s office said on Saturday Oct. 14. Meanwhile, two of the world’s most-visited tourist sites, the Louvre Museum and Versailles Palace, evacuated visitors and staff Saturday after receiving bomb threats, police said.
Our take: Radicalization is a real problem, and one we’ve written about before. Extremist groups of all types are adept at using the internet and social media to create relationships with disaffected or isolated young people, and rally them to their cause. While not all radicalization is violent, this alleged case is. The attackers went after educators and institutions that teach French history. It’s important that parents and teachers learn to recognize the signs of radicalization, and that security forces act quickly to prevent such attacks.
From the Associated Press: For two days, authorities searched forests, waterways and small towns for a U.S. Army reservist who killed 18 people and wounded 13 in a mass shooting at a bowling alley and a bar on October 25. Before the shooter’s body was found Friday Oct. 27 in a recycling facility, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the state of Maine waited in fear. Schools, doctor’s offices and grocery stores closed and people stayed behind locked doors in cities as far away as 50 miles from the scenes of the shootings in Lewiston.
Our take: We often talk about the dangers of disgruntled workers, especially former workers who aren’t getting the mental health support they need. The Maine shooter is an example of this. He was found dead at his former place of work, a facility from which he was fired. This is an illustration of why it's so important to be aware of your employees’ mental states, and to ensure that those who have been terminated cannot get back onto your site. This is not to say the former employers could know that he would go on to murder 18 people. That’s a much bigger issue. Until action is taken to make mental health a priority in this country, this will continue to happen and innocent people will keep dying.
From Newsweek: The number of carjackings soared last year, with more cars being stolen by groups of thieves, FBI statistics released in late October show. Nearly 90 percent of thieves were carrying a weapon when they forced the owner out of the car.
Our take: The end of lockdown sent criminals back into the streets, and it appears that what they’ve been after the past couple of years have been cars. The trend might be a result of a scarcity of cars in the market, or of viral social media car theft challenges. Whatever the cause, authorities are reminding people that carjacking can happen anywhere, and while thieves often have a weapon, they usually don’t attack car owners who hand over their keys. No car is worth a life.
From the Associated Press: Despite the rise in carjacking, violent crime across the U.S. decreased last year — dropping to about the same level as before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — but property crimes rose substantially, according to data in the FBI’s annual crime report released Monday.
Our take: With a dip in murders and assaults, it appears crime is mostly returning to some kind of equilibrium post-lockdown, although property crime remains high. This might be related to the fact that many people are still working from home, and with fewer people on the streets, it’s easier for criminals to commit theft and vandalism.
October’s Top Security Grants
Community Assistance Program State Support Services: The purpose of the Community Assistance Program – State Support Services Element (CAP-SSSE) is to provide, through a State grant mechanism, a means to ensure that communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are achieving the flood loss reduction objectives of the NFIP. CAP-SSSE is intended to accomplish this by funding States to provide technical assistance to NFIP communities and to evaluate community performance in implementing NFIP floodplain management activities with the goal of building community and State floodplain management expertise and capabilities. Grant closes: Nov. 27
The CDC’s Research Grants for Preventing Violence and Violence Related Injury: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is soliciting investigator-initiated research that will help expand and advance understanding of approaches to prevent community violence and eliminate racial and ethnic inequities in risk for community violence. This initiative is intended to support effectiveness research to evaluate innovative programs, practices, or policies to address risk for violence and inequities in risk for violence among groups experiencing a high burden of community violence. Innovative approaches are those that have not been rigorously evaluated for effectiveness in reducing community violence. Grant closes: Dec. 1
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