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.
Chick-fil-A employee stops man carjacking mother with infant
From The Guardian: An employee of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Florida is being praised as a hero after he fought off a man trying to steal a car from a woman getting her infant out of the vehicle in a harrowing parking lot confrontation captured on video. According to sheriff’s deputies patrolling Okaloosa county, Thomas “Mykel” Gordon was working his job at a local Chick-fil-A on Wednesday when he heard a woman outside screaming while holding a baby. Gordon heard her, ran to her and began tussling with the assailant. A bystander’s cellphone video recorded Gordon taking the other man down, rolling around with him on the pavement and putting him in a headlock.
Our take: Carjackings have been on the rise this year, according to law enforcement, and the perpetrators are largely in their teens. Many have been killed and injured as their cars have been stolen. Many factors have been cited as the reason for the increase in carjackings: the pandemic, the depressed economy, and the shutdown of more positive outlets for teens. However, the fact of the matter is that drivers need to be aware that carjackings are more common and should be aware of their surroundings.
Memphis Abduction: Body Identified As Eliza Fletcher
From Forbes: A body found in Memphis, Tenn. has been identified as 34-year-old elementary school teacher Eliza Fletcher, an heiress to the Orgill company fortune, who was abducted while on a run Friday, September 2, police confirmed. Fletcher had been missing for four days, after being last seen on a run shortly after 4 a.m. Friday morning, appearing in surveillance footage to have been abducted by a man driving a black GMC Terrain SUV.
Our take: Kidnappings like this tragedy have been common in Memphis, with more than 100 kidnappings taking place in each of the last few years. With those numbers in mind, and with the recent uptick in human trafficking, it’s incredibly important that businesses monitor parking lots, and people remain alert and aware of their surroundings.
Memphis shooting spree suspect indicted
From Fox 13: Ezekiel Kelly, 19, has been indicted on 26 charges related to a Sept. 7 shooting spree that terrorized Memphis, Tenn. The violence left at least eight crime scenes across the city, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD). The shooting spree unfolded on Sept. 7 after a 24-year-old man was shot and killed on Lyndale Avenue around 1 a.m. Hours later, a 62-year-old man was shot dead at a BP gas station on S. Parkway, and a woman was shot and critically injured on Norris Road near I-240. MPD then confirmed a shooting at an Autozone on Jackson Avenue, where Kelly appeared to shoot a man during a Facebook Live video. Another victim was identified as Allison Parker, a medical assistant in West Memphis, Arkansas.
Our take: The Memphis shooting spree shows another aspect of the tragic trend of active shooters. Rather than going to a crowded location, this shooter instead traveled around the community, shooting people apparently at random. Unfortunately, when one shooting happens, other potential shooters see that incident as permission to copy it. Until mental health becomes a priority in this country, this will unfortunately, continue to happen.
The number of schools using armed security is increasing
From KCCI 8: A growing number of schools nationwide are turning to armed security to protect kids in the wake of the massacre in Uvalde. School officials say the point is to be visible so potential threats know the school has armed security. But armed guards are not an automatic deterrent. A study in JAMA Network Open found in 1 in 4 school shootings, the school did have armed security on site.
Our take: Every organization has a different risk profile, and for that reason, every organization has to make a choice about what they want when it comes to arming security. If a company feels it can’t keep its people safe with other methods, armed security is potentially the way to go. A concern is that some organizations may look at arming security officers without considering the other alternatives first. All security measures can be dangerous if they’re used incorrectly, and armed guards have particularly high consequences, particularly around kids and teenagers, who may push against boundaries just enough to anger an officer. If that officer isn’t well trained, the consequences can be severe.
September’s Top Security Grants
FEMA’s 2022 Cybersecurity grants: On September 16, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a first-of-its-kind cybersecurity grant program specifically for state, local, and territorial (SLT) governments across the country. Funding from the State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (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. This year, the TCGP will be released after SLCGP.
FEMA’s 2022 Flood Mitigation Assistance Swift Current (FMA Swift Current): 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). Grant closes: October 3
DOT’s Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program: The purpose of the RCE Program is to provide funding for highway-rail and pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects that focus on improving the safety and mobility of people and goods. Grant closes: October 4
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