Securitas Mobile Officer Marcus Johnson receives Ralph Day Security of the Year award

“On September 24 at the 63rd ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Dallas, TX, Securitas Mobile Officer Marcus Johnson was the honored recipient of Ralph Day Security of the Year award.

In his nine years with Securitas, Johnson has been recognized for consistent superior performance and exceeding expectations in increasingly responsible positions.

Now a Mobile Guarding Supervisor in the Washington D.C. Metro Area, Johnson continues to be an outstanding example of Securitas’ core values of Integrity, Vigilance and Helpfulness.

Johnson was selected for the Ralph Day Award in recognition of his heroic actions while on patrol in Alexandria, VA on July 22, 2016. He came to the aid of a police officer who was being assaulted and jeopardized his own safety to intervene. As a result of his actions, the police officer was saved from grievous bodily harm and possibly death, but Johnson was seriously injured.

As part of the award, Johnson and his spouse were invited to attend the 2017 ASIS Seminar as guests of the Security Services Council. During the award ceremony, he was presented a plaque and a monetary award. His selfless response to this incident also earned him a letter of commendation from the Alexandria, VA Chief of Police and the 2016 Private Security Officer of the Year award from his local ASIS chapter.

“We sincerely appreciate the ASIS International Security Services Council for recognizing the outstanding acts of officers in our industry. We would also like to thank the Alexandria Police Department for its recognition and support of Marcus since the incident,” said Securitas Mobile Guarding Division President Tim Keller, CPP. “All of us at Securitas are extremely proud and appreciative of Marcus, not only for his bravery and the selfless actions that are believed to have saved a police officer’s life, but also for the outstanding dedication and professionalism he demonstrates every day.”

ASIS International is the leading organization for security professionals worldwide. It is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and productivity of security professionals by developing educational programs and materials that address broad security interests. The ASIS International Security Services Council seeks to facilitate the exchange of best practices to raise the standards and increase productivity of professional security services, as well as to increase awareness of its role in protecting people, property and information. Each year it honors one security officer in the United States with the Ralph Day Security Officer of the Year Award.”

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Ranger Guard app lets businesses order security guards like Uber

“You can order just about anything from your phone these days, and that now includes security guards.

Ranger Guard works a lot like a ride sharing app, and users say it’s changed the way they protect their businesses.

During Harvey’s flooding, many business owners had to close up shop due to flood damage. That left many businesses with no one to watch out for them.

“Definitely don’t recommend that,” says Jonah Nathan, owner of Ranger Guard and Investigations.

His company offers the app, which works like a ride sharing service except instead of cars, you’re summoning security guards.

“Just ordering your security service just like you do your Uber. Just for the amount of time you need it,” Nathan said.

It doesn’t require a contract and businesses can request armed or unarmed guards to perform specific tasks– like confronting a specious person.

Nathan says many of the calls his guards are sent to involve businesses dealing with homeless people.

“Most homeless people are nonviolent,” Nathan said. “They just want to sit there in peace.”

But he says during Harvey’s flooding, the demand shifted. Many businesses used the app to protect the properties they had to flee.

He hopes once those businesses are back up and running, they’ll continue with the service.

The app is intended for businesses and it not available for residential use.”

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Santa Rosa County Deputies get free security system for their families

“Violence against law enforcement and their families is a real concern in today’s environment. Every deputy at the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office was given a free home surveillance system on Wednesday.

Sergeant Roman Jackson has been with the sheriff’s office in narcotics for many years. He has a wife and two kids at home. Due to his job, he has received threats against his family.

Sgt. Jackson said, “Just being targeted for what you do has become common in law enforcement. That’s scary, I’ve arrested people for dangerous drugs before.They’ve threatened to blow my house up, whether serious or not, we take them seriously.”

He said every time a deputy heads into work, it’s a real concern that they are leaving the ones they love most unprotected.

Sgt. Jackson said, “We work night shifts, we are away from our families a lot. We want added security for them when we are not there. We are the best protectors when we are home, but then we are out protecting everyone else.”

That’s why State Farm, along with Canary, gave all deputies at the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office a free home surveillance system. State Farm Agent Mike Hill saw that State Farm was doing this in other communities and made it happen here.

Hill said, “You can watch what is going on in your home through your smartphone. There’s audio, video, measures temp, air quality, and see it real time through their phone.”

Sheriff Bob Johnson said it’s often hardest when deputies are working late hours and can’t get home quickly.

“If they work in Pace, live in Navarre, they can look on a smartphone and see what’s happening. It gives them peace of mind of what’s happening 20, 30 miles away,” said Johnson.”

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The Law and Science of Eyewitness Identification

“Several years ago, I sat in a tavern in a city of abandoned textile mills with a client who had been exonerated of several rape convictions by DNA testing. Like the city itself, my client saw better days ahead. The police investigations into the crimes were riddled with errors, and he would later reach a multimillion dollar settlement in his civil rights case. Yet, as we met for the first time to look over the case file, another disturbing aspect became clear: the sheer number of times witnesses had misidentified our client during the investigation.

One area of law in need of profound change is the process by which courts and investigators collect witness identification evidence. Eyewitness identification plays a fundamental role in criminal cases, and also plays a part in civil cases and internal business investigations. But this critical tool is often plagued with reliability problems. While it is important to use identification procedures to solve crimes, it is equally important to exclude innocent people from prosecution.

According to the Innocence Project, since 1989, there have been 349 wrongful convictions overturned via DNA testing. In those cases, eyewitness misidentification was a factor in over 70% of those cases—far more than any other factor.

Last year, I attended the 2016 National Symposium on Eyewitness Identification Reform along with other lawyers and investigators. We studied and discussed the latest research. Historically, many procedures for testing eyewitness identification were not validated in a scientific manner before being implemented by investigators. As a result, many of us have been trained using eyewitness identification techniques that are outmoded and flawed—and those methods have led to innocent people being implicated in an investigation.

However, forward-thinking investigators throughout the country are making changes in their techniques based on new scientific research in this area. Below, I summarize some highlights of the research and provide a link to free training materials.

The Law

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, Neil v. Biggers (1972), was one of the first cases where the court made extensive recommendations on evaluating eyewitness testimony. In somewhat of a departure for Supreme Court decisions, the court delved into the facts:

“The assailant directed the victim to ‘tell her [the daughter] to shut up, or I’ll kill you both.’ She did so, and was then walked at knifepoint about two blocks along a railroad track, taken into a woods, and raped there. She testified that ‘the moon was shining brightly, full moon.’”

Biggers was later identified during a live showup at the police station, where the victim viewed Biggers. He was made to repeat the threat uttered by the rapist. Finding the showup here met the criteria for reliability, the court listed five factors for evaluating the accuracy of eyewitness identifications:

“As indicated by our cases, the factors to be considered in evaluating the likelihood of misidentification include the opportunity of the witness to view the criminal at the time of the crime, the witness’ degree of attention, the accuracy of the witness’ prior description of the criminal, the level of certainty demonstrated by the witness at the confrontation, and the length of time between the crime and the confrontation.”

The Neil v. Biggers factors were confirmed in a 1977 case, Manson v. Brathwaite, in which the Supreme Court set a low barrier to admitting shaky evidence, holding that if the circumstances of the identification procedure were suggestive, the Court must then weigh the “totality of the circumstances” to determine whether the identification is still reliable. The law of the land for over three decades now, Manson v. Brathwaite has come under increasing criticism that its holding is inconsistent with recent scientific studies into witness identification and memory.

The Supreme Court has noted the unique power of witness testimony; Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.’s dissent in the 1981 case Watkins v. Sowders summed it up best:

“[E]yewitness testimony is likely to be believed by jurors, especially when it is offered with a high level of confidence, even though the accuracy of an eyewitness and the confidence of that witness may not be related to one another at all. All the evidence points rather strikingly to the conclusion that there is almost nothing more convincing than a live human being who takes the stand, points a finger at the defendant, and says, `That’s the one!’”

The Research

What do we mean when we refer to eyewitness identification?

Eyewitness identification can occur in several formats: a showup, live lineups, or a photo lineup. Showups—where a suspect is apprehended and shown “live” and in-person to a witness, close in time to the event—have been demonstrated to have higher percentages of both correct and incorrect identifications as compared to lineups. Showups tend to be have heightened problems with suggestibility, given the fact that they involve just one person who is surrounded by multiple police officers.

Lineups occur at a time somewhat removed from the event, but because they are planned and staged, a process exists to minimize contamination by suggestive elements (for example, a suspect standing closer to the victim than all lineup fillers; police clapping after a successful identification of a suspect).

How often are witnesses successful in their identification? In one study of 11 peer reviewed studies and over 6,000 actual police lineups, witnesses selected the suspect 41% of the time; witnesses selected a lineup filler 37% of the time (i.e., they selected a person who was known to be innocent of the crime).

Several phenomena have been observed in studies where a crime is staged—say, a person enters a classroom in front of student “witnesses” and steals a purse—and the students/witnesses later are interviewed in a controlled setting about their observations.

Here are a few key findings:

1. Proper eyewitness instructions can reduce false positives.

Research has demonstrated that eyewitnesses tend to identify the person from the lineup who, in the opinion of the eyewitness, looks most like the culprit relative to the other members of the lineup. The problem became readily apparent when experiments were run where the actual culprit was not present in the lineup. Under controlled conditions, a concept called the “relative judgment process” will often yield a positive identification—even when the true culprit had been removed from the lineup. While this may seem to be an obvious, simple observation, research shows the effect is incredibly damaging to accuracy.

But research has demonstrated that this problem can be partly remedied with a simple instruction to the witness that the true culprit may not be in the lineup. Some state courts have adopted a set of instructions to be given to eyewitnesses—such as a caveat that the witness need not feel compelled to make an identification, and that police will continue to investigate this incident, whether or not the witness makes an identification.

“These instructions can reduce pressure on the witness to feel as if they must pick a culprit, and this leads to more accurate results.

2. Double-blind identification procedures can prevent information “leaks.”

A double-blind eyewitness identification is one in which neither the administrator nor the eyewitness knows the identity of the suspect. Research has shown that witnesses were adept at picking up clues from the person administering the lineup when that administrator knew the identity of the suspect. The lineup administrator tended to “leak” information about the suspect in subtle (and not so subtle) ways: leaning forward at certain times; raising his hands; making a comment like “take another look at the third guy;” smiling or nodding in agreement when a positive identification was made; or conversely, frowning when the wrong person was chosen. These kinds of cues lead to inaccurate identifications, as well as false levels of confidence in the witness.

Studies have shown there is far less chance of contamination of the process when double blind testing is implemented.

3. Confidence statements from the witness are most reliable at the time of initial identification.

The role played by eyewitness mistakes in the DNA exoneration cases has helped to create a growing impression that eyewitness memory is inherently unreliable. I have heard several witnesses tell me this on recent cases, in essence doubting their own ability to remember accurately. But this overstates the case. Researchers have discovered—perhaps surprisingly given the general trend— that when eyewitnesses are questioned using proper identification procedures, the confidence they have in their initial identification usually is a highly reliable indicator of accuracy.”

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Public Safety Academy At School Aims To Prepare Students For Careers

“Is high school too early to figure out what career path to follow?

The Olathe School District doesn’t think so.

When the new Olathe West High School opens for all students on Thursday, the district will have a total of 17 specialty academies in its five high schools.

For as long as most people can remember, the main mission of Johnson County schools has been preparing kids for college.

“I think we’ve done, for years, a really good job of helping kids be college-ready, but the career piece is something that kind of went in a different direction,” says Jay Novacek, principal of the new high school.

The Kansas State Department of Education wants to refocus districts so students are ready for college or a career when they graduate.

So Olathe West will offer courses for kids who are looking for a first-responder career.

“Not every kid has to go to college to be successful,” Novacek says. “There are a lot of awesome professions, public safety included, whether I’m a police officer or firefighter, an EMT person, that are going to give kids a great opportunities and a long career.”

Jeff Van Dyke, who was a Wichita cop for eight years, runs the public safety program and most recently taught middle-school physical education. He says there is a lot of practical experience students can get in the large space that houses the public safety program.

“We can use it for all kinds of real world-type learning situations such as setting up a crime scene, having the kids come in and process the crime scene in here,” Van Dyke says.

The Public Safety space is tucked into the side of the $82 million dollar building. Students pass a girder from the World Trade Center as they enter.

It’s a reminder, says Olathe Fire Chief Jeff DeGraffenreid, of the kind of people police and fire departments around here want to hire.

“A strong moral compass and a willingness to assist their fellow man is really what we’re looking at. Helping these students see the value of that, and hopefully someday we’ll be able to hire a great student from here,” he says.

An Olathe fire captain will teach the firefighting classes in the academy.

Olathe West is certainly not the first high school in the country to offer courses in public safety. But it’s one of the few that’s fully integrated with the rest of its academic courses, DeGraffenreid says.

Students, he says, will get a quality Olathe School District education and, after passing the state firefighting test, be ready to work.

“They’re great at math. They’re great at science. They’re great at writing. But they’re also fully prepared to work on a fire truck soon after graduation,” he says.

In addition to the public service academy at Olathe West, the district has also created a new, green technology academy at the school. It’s the 17th such academy the district has added since 2003.

Most of them, like the engineering or business academies, are geared toward college-bound students.

The crucial thing, says Deputy Superintendent Allison Banikowski, is finding the student’s passion and finding it early.
“And making sure, then, all the content and course work is geared toward that passion,” he says.

The Public Safety program is an acknowledgment, the district says, that it plays a significant role in getting kids ready to work in the community.”

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Security officer finds woman critically injured in hit and run crash

“Philadelphia Police have released the identity of the woman who was struck and killed in a Center City hit-and-run early Sunday morning.

As officials continue to search for the driver of a newer model white Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a white top and front-end damage, last seen traveling eastbound on Race Street.

Police say the victim 53 year-old Ann Broderick, from the Kensington section of Philadelphia was hit about 3:15 a.m. Sunday near Broad and Race Streets.

She was pronounced dead at Hahnemann University Hospital around 3:45 a.m.

Broderick is believed to be homeless and was reportedly sleeping nearby when she got up to cross the street and to use the restroom.

That’s when police say the car struck her.

Police say there were no witnesses and that it was a security guard patrolling the area that found her with trauma to her skull on the street and notified police.

“Ann was vibrant, a beautiful soul even though her situation was her situation,” said Abby Anderson, who volunteers with the homeless and says she met Broderick six months ago. “She was a human being. It broke my heart that had happened to her. She was family. I thank God I had the opportunity to give her a hug on Saturday.”

There is no description of the driver at this time, but police say surveillance images in the area captured a newer model white four-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with a white top, large tires and a spare tire attached to the back of the vehicle.

Investigators say the vehicle should have front end damage.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.”

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Texas churches allowed to hire in-house security staff

“Security at Texas churches is about to get a big boost. In September, churches will be able to arm members of their own congregation, rather than hire private security firms under SB 2065.

Security at churches has been top of mind after horrific scenes like the 1999 tragedy at Wedgewood Baptist in Fort Worth and more recently in Charleston, South Carolina.

“You can’t just tell everybody bring your guns to church and here we go, it needs to be people who are legally allowed to carry,” said retired Hurst Police Officer and church security expert of Sheepdog Seminars,

Jimmy Meeks. He believes the new law will soon give churches more choices for security.

Under current legislation, in order for churches to have armed security they must hire a private licensed company or officer. The new bill will allow congregations to make up their own security teams with members who are legally allowed to carry a gun on a volunteer basis only, but that person cannot wear a uniform or badge portraying themselves as “security.”

It’s a bill that has been the subject an ongoing discussion in Austin.

“The waters are no longer muddy as of September 1st. They’re more clear now and you just realize.. hey we can protect our own flock without employing an outside service,” said Meeks.

State Representative Matt Rinaldi released a statement to NBC 5 that read in part: “The passage of SB 2065 ensures that churches are empowered to make their own decisions about how they want to implement their security policies without jumping through unnecessary training and licensure hoops.”

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San Antonio Security Officer discovers human trafficking-aids victims

“Police now say that is was a Walmart security guard in a southwest section of the city that made the discovery of human trafficking after a tipster identified a tractor-trailer in the parking lot that was apparently full of migrants, said Joe Arrington, a spokesman for the San Antonio Fire Department.

The tipster, who was not identified, had been in the truck and approached the security guard to ask for water, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus later told reporters.

The security guard found the dead and sick when he searched the back of the truck, Arrington said.

A total of 39 people were inside, the U.S. attorney’s office said Sunday afternoon.

Officials reported earlier that 38 people were found in the trailer, but they said later that they had found an additional person in a wooded area nearby.

“The truck was loaded with people,” Fire Chief Charles Hood told reporters.

Eight people were initially found dead in the tractor-trailer, and an additional victim died at a hospital, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement told NBC News.

All of the dead are adult men, the U.S. attorney’s office said, and 30 others were being treated at hospitals.

ICE had said earlier that two people died at hospitals, but it later revised the number, citing miscommunication with hospital officials.

A Florida truck driver was in custody Sunday after nine people were found dead in the back of a cramped, overheated 18-wheeler in San Antonio, Texas.

More than a dozen other people — whom authorities described as victims of a “horrific” human smuggling operation — suffered life-threatening injuries.

In a statement, the U.S. attorney’s office for western Texas said the driver, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Fla., was in custody pending criminal charges. A complaint will likely be filed Monday morning, the statement said.

Some inside the semi ran into nearby woods, triggering a search by helicopter and on foot, McManus said, adding that police would look for the missing again in the morning.

“We’re looking at a human trafficking crime here this evening,” he said, describing it as a “horrific tragedy.” He added that the Department of Homeland Security was working with local police.
After the victims are treated, they will be investigated by ICE, McManus said.

First responders raced to the scene shortly after 12:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. ET), officials said. Hood said that the people in the truck were “very hot to the touch” and that there were no signs of water inside. The air conditioning was not working, he said.

“Our paramedics and firefighters found that each one of them had heart rates over about 130 beats per minute,” he said. “You’re looking at a lot of heat stroke, a lot of dehydration.”

San Antonio police said in a statement later Sunday that all of the dead were believed to have succumbed to heat exposure and asphyxiation. Official causes of death will be determined by the

Bexar County medical examiner.

Police added that they do not yet know the exact country of origin, destination or demographics of the dead and injured, although Mexico’s consul general, Rayna Torres, confirmed Sunday that

Mexican nationals were among them.

Citing the U.S. law enforcement investigation, Torres said she did not want to provide specifics, but she said that some were minors. Some could not speak, she added, because they are in grave condition.

Police said that the two youngest known victims, both of whom survived, were 15 years old.

Had it not been for the quick response by the security guard there would probably have been many other deaths said police.

The National Weather Service said the temperature in San Antonio hit 101 degrees on Saturday and didn’t dip below 90 degrees until after 10 p.m., according to The Associated Press.

Closed-circuit TV images from before emergency services arrived showed several cars turn up to pick up many of those who had survived the journey inside the truck, McManus said.

The driver and anyone else involved in the incident will face state and federal charges, McManus said.

“This is not an isolated incident,” he said, as he urged anyone who sees anything similar to call 911. “Fortunately, we came across this one. Fortunately, there are people who survived. But this happens all the time.”

Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said in a statement Sunday that smuggling networks “have repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for those they smuggle, as last night’s case demonstrates.”

“By any standard, the horrific crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling networks must be pursued, caught and punished,” he said.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said the deaths were “tragic and avoidable.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement that Texas is “working to eradicate” traffickers, while Jonathan Ryan, executive director of the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, said the political environment was partly to blame.

“You can draw a direct line between the hostile policies and rhetoric against immigrants that are happening nationally, and here in our state, to events like what happened today,” Ryan said.

“You can change laws. You can change policies,” he said. “But you cannot change the fact that people fleeing violence, people seeking to save and protect their families, are going to do whatever they can to flee that danger and find safety.”

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Per Mar Security ‘Grow Our Own Program’ Marks First Student Hire

“Per Mar Security Services has come up with an (albeit partial) answer to the security industry’s chronic problem of recruiting and hiring qualified talent. The super-regional security and guarding provider, based here, launched its “Grow Our Own Program” to create its own potential talent pool.

Here’s how the outreach program works: Per Mar employees visit high school classrooms to discuss with students Per Mar’s company culture and employment opportunities. The program was started by Carri Waack, a human resources coordinator for Per Mar. Waack saw an opportunity to reach out to high school students and inform them of what Per Mar has to offer as far as careers beyond high school.

The company just announced its first student hire, Luis Miranda, who attends Moline High School in Moline, Ill.

After hearing Waack’s presentation, Miranda told her that he was interested in becoming a security officer at Per Mar following graduation. Miranda completed the hiring process, including a thorough background check and interviews, and is currently a security officer in training.

“I think this is a great program. Not only does it educate the students on what Per Mar does and has to offer, it may also help a student decide on a field they would like to go into after college,” Waack says. “I am very glad to have met Luis as he is an outstanding young man, and I am excited for his future with Per Mar.”

Miranda says he is thrilled to be a part of the company, commenting, “Working for Per Mar has been a great experience. I am really enjoying it, and I look forward to having a long career at this company.”

Since the launch of the program, Per Mar has worked with local high schools around the Quad City, Des Moines and South Bend areas. Students are recruited for all positions at the company, including for its electronic security division. Per Mar’s goal is to expand the program and offer it to other communities in which the company serves.
securitysales.com”

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Horry County Schools officially using private armed guards

“Private armed security guards will protect your kids next year.

The Horry County school board voted Monday to approve a $550,000 contract with U.S. Security Associates to provide 18 armed security guards who will patrol the 15 schools that Horry County police previously patrolled as well as three new schools scheduled to be open by next year.

Chief Financial Officer John Gardner said doesn’t recall the district ever using private security inside schools before.

U.S. Security Associates is an insured, American-owned company that provides over 50,000 security professionals with 160 branches in the United States, according to its website.

The firm also provides unarmed security outside Horry County schools and its existing contract with the district provides that it may supply armed security guards for an additional cost if needed.

The security guards in the schools would have arresting authority on school property, according to district spokeswoman Teal Britton.

Unlike police officers, they would operate at the disposal of the school district.

The company in its proposal told the district that all armed guards would receive all necessary training required by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division as well as an additional 16 hours in training from U.S. Security Associates.

“The company will be required to provide proof of all background checks and training,” Britton said last week.

U.S. Security Associates District Manager Ed Leitgeb said the firm puts its employees through extensive social security and background checks and would like to recruit veterans and law enforcement to fill the positions in Horry County Schools.

Leitgeb said all security guards are required to be trained in CPR, first aid and automated external defibrillator operation.

The district already has budgeted $801,000 in the 2017-18 budget for all SROs, including $592,000 for officers at the schools that Horry County police would have patrolled this year: the amount budgeted for the officers under the previous agreement with the county.

The district began looking at private security options after the county in March abandoned a long-standing agreement to split the cost of school resource officers’ salaries, and most recently asked for more than $1.6 million to patrol the schools.”

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