September 2023 — Aggressive Customer Service Leads to Less Theft, and other Security News

By Daniel Young | October 12, 2023 | 5 min read
Security news september

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.

Nearly 16,000 Registrants from 95 Nations Participate in GSX 2023

From ASIS: Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2023 has concluded at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Presented by ASIS International, the world's largest association for security management professionals, the event offered discussion and idea exchanges for the global security community. Attendance exceeded projections, with nearly 16,000 registrants from 95 countries along with more than 470 exhibitors demonstrating the latest security solutions.

Our take: We’re always excited to take part in GSX, and this year was no exception. Circadian Risk had a booth in the expo, and we hosted a panel on using technology as a security force multiplier. This year’s GSX showed just how much the physical security industry has embraced technology; attendees were interested in integrations, data, and analytics — showing that companies are making security decisions based on data.

Seattle has surpassed 2022 homicide toll — with 3 months left in 2023

From The Seattle Times: The surge in homicides that began with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to crest in King County, where the number of killings has now exceeded 2020 figures and is on pace to surpass totals from the next two years of heightened violence. There have been 114 homicides committed in King County as of Friday, when two men were killed in separate Seattle incidents, according to a Seattle Times database. That’s five deaths shy of the 119 homicides investigated in both 2021 and 2022. This year’s tally has exceeded the county’s 113 homicides in 2020 — a figure that was up from 73 the year before.

Our take: Seattle’s increasing homicides flies in the face of the national declining murder rate. Crime is up as well. This is likely because of underfunded police, and is likely a direct consequence of the Defund the Police initiatives undertaken by the city in 2020. While alternative policing methods are worthwhile and should be explored, cutting officers is clearly not the answer to keeping homicides down.

Lowe's has an answer for Target and Walmart's theft problems

From The Street: Lowe’s has not been experiencing the same kind of retail theft that’s become so common recently, according to its CEO. Speaking at the 30th annual Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference, Lowe's Chief Executive Marvin Ellison proposed a simple solution to retail theft: customer service. Ellison made clear that having people on its store floors helping customers leads to less theft. Lowe's had a roughly 1% shrink rate in its most recent quarter, which is below industry averages. Simply paying workers well -- Lowe's is at the higher end of the wage scale for retailers in many markets -- and training them, leads to lower levels of shrink, according to Ellison. Fewer people trying to steal also enable the company's security team to operate more efficiently.

Our take: I’ve said for years that aggressive customer service is one of the keys to reducing retail theft. If a potential shoplifter is being followed by an overly-helpful sales associate, they likely won’t have as much of an opportunity to lift any merchandise.

2 teens in Las Vegas face murder charges for fatal hit-and-run they captured on video

From the Associated Press: Two teenagers face murder charges for targeting a bicyclist in Las Vegas and capturing on video the moment they drove into the man as he pedaled along the side of a road, authorities said Tuesday. Las Vegas police believe the death of 64-year-old Andreas Rene Probst, a former police chief in Bell, California, was the final hit and run attack committed by the teens. Video shot from the front passenger seat shows the vehicle approaching Probst from behind while he was riding near the curb on an otherwise traffic-free road. As those in the car laugh, the vehicle steers toward Probst and then rams the bicycle, sending Probst hurtling onto the hood and into the windshield. The police became aware that the hit and run was intentional when the suspect posted the video to social media, where it went viral.

Our take: The news of Probst’s death came just before GSX, which hit the community hard, because he was one of our own. We are appalled to see that he was killed intentionally, and that his death was used to fuel a viral video. We’ve seen several social media-inspired crimes, but a social media-inspired homicide is a new low.

September’s Top Security Grants

FEMA’s 2023 Cybersecurity grants:The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made $379 million available as part the second year of its State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP). Funding from SLCGP and the Tribal Cybersecurity Grant Program (TCGP) helps eligible entities address cybersecurity risks and threats to information systems owned or operated by—or on behalf of—state, local and territorial (SLLT) governments. Through two distinct Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO), SLCGP and TCGP combined will distribute $1 billion over four years to support projects throughout the performance period of up to four years. Grant closes: Oct. 6

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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