Army veteran TSA agent runs exploding battery away from passengers at Orlando Airport

“The Transportation Safety Administration released surveillance video showing an agent moving a smoking bag containing an exploding lithium-ion battery away from passengers during a panic at Orlando International Airport Friday.

The TSA agent, a 20-year Army veteran, said he believed the bag to be an improvised explosive device. He placed it between a concrete column and a concrete planter to mitigate any harm that might come with a full explosion.

The TSA commended the agent, saying he ran the bag away even as panicked passengers “knocked over the queuing stanchions and dropped roller bags, creating loud banging sounds which were perceived as gunshots, further spreading panic throughout the airport.”

Numerous people at OIA reported there was a panic caused by those loud noises, initially thought to be gunshots.

“Our TSA Team’s performance was outstanding. I’m very proud of our team and how they responded to both the incident and the recovery process of rescreening passengers,” said Jerry Henderson, TSA Federal Security Director.
“Our people responded as they are trained to do, and to lead passengers to safety.”

The Orlando Police Department said on Twitter that no shots had been fired and it was “a loud sound that startled people.”

The department later said on Twitter that the noise was caused by a lithium-ion battery that exploded inside a camera.

The bag the camera was in started to smolder, but no one was injured, the OPD tweet said.

The incident was first reported just after 5 p.m., airport officials said in a statement.

“As a result of the incident, a ground stop was issued and a number of flights were held while passengers were allowed back into the building and security checkpoints reactivated,” the statement said.

The incident did not pose any danger to people at the airport, the department’s Twitter post said.

Regardless, photos given to Channel 9 showed a normally busy terminal that was completely empty.

Because everyone who evacuated the terminal had to go through security screening again, travelers were experiencing inordinately long lines.

“It’s crazy. Nobody knows anything,” traveler McKenzie Golden said.
She had just gone through the security checkpoint and was preparing to get onto a flight home to Michigan when the chaos hit.

“I heard people screaming and then everybody hit the ground and people were basically running over each other, trampling each other,” Golden said.
Numerous flights were delayed due to the incident.

Hours after the battery explosion, massive crowds were still working their way through security to get to their flights.”

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Father/Son Tutoring Company Executives Sentenced for Fraud

“The father-and-son executives of two suburban Chicago tutoring companies have been sentenced to federal prison for orchestrating an $11 million fraud scheme that bilked more than 100 school districts around the country, including Illinois.

From 2008 to 2012, JOWHAR SOULTANALI and his son, KABIR KASSAM, fraudulently obtained funds from the school districts by misrepresenting the nature of their companies’ tutoring services and falsely inflating invoices for tutoring work that was never performed. Soultanali and Kassam also paid bribes to school officials and teachers to make sure the fraud was not detected. The bribes included a Caribbean cruise for an assistant principal in Texas and an outing to a gentleman’s club for a state education official in New Mexico.

Soultanali, 62, of Morton Grove, Ill., and Kassam, 38, of Wheeling, Ill., each pleaded guilty last year to one count of mail fraud. U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve on Friday sentenced Soultanali to six years in prison, and Kassam to five years and ten months in prison.

The sentences were announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; John P. Selleck, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Thomas D. Utz Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the North Central Region of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General. The Chicago Public Schools Office of Inspector General assisted in the investigation.

“Defendants abused the trust that the Department of Education placed in them to carry out a massive fraud that was not merely extensive, but also egregious,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kruti Trivedi and Barry Jonas argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “The fraud in this case had a significant impact on both the failing school districts that allocated their federal funds to defendants and on the students at those school districts.”

Soultanali served as director of operations for BRILLIANCE ACADEMY INC. and its wholly owned subsidiary, BABBAGE NET SCHOOL INC., both based on Niles, Ill. Kassam was the president of both companies. The firms contracted with school districts to provide tutoring services to students on-site at schools and via laptop computers.

According to the charges, Soultanali and Kassam furnished the school districts with false applications and marketing materials that fraudulently inflated the companies’ services. The companies falsely stated that they provided pre-testing of enrolled students, created customized tutoring programs, provided ongoing progress reports to schools and parents, and compiled accurate student improvement results after the tutoring was completed. In total, Brilliance and Babbage received $33 million from more than 100 school districts and small schools throughout the country.

The fraud scheme also involved numerous bribes paid to some school officials, with the expectation that the officials would assist in procuring federal funds for the tutoring services.

In addition to Soultanali and Kassam, the investigation resulted in criminal charges against Brilliance and Babbage, as well as three school officials in Texas and one state education official in New Mexico
who pocketed the bribes.”

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Security officers capture Utah murder suspect after tip from alert librarian

“As Austin Jeffrey Boutain stepped out of an elevator at Salt Lake City Main Library Tuesday afternoon, an alert librarian recognized him as the man officers had sought in a massive overnight hunt after the fatal shooting of a University of Utah student.

The librarian greeted Boutain — as he does everyone who visits the third floor — then waited until Boutain was out of earshot and called security, according to City Library Communications Director Andrew Shaw.

Within minutes, security officers apprehended Boutain, who had appeared to be unarmed, in a restroom, Shaw said.
“A big shout out to a librarian,” Salt Lake City police Chief Mike Brown said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, announcing Boutain, 24, had been taken into custody at about 1:10 p.m.

Brown said Boutain was being questioned and would be booked into the Salt Lake County jail in connection with the Monday night shooting death of 23-year-old ChenWei Guo, an international student at the U. Guo, who is from China, was killed during an attempted carjacking near Red Butte Canyon, police said.

University authorities have declined to say whether Guo was alone in the vehicle when he was shot.

Also Tuesday, University police Chief Dale Brophy announced that Boutain and his wife, 23-year-old Kathleen Elizabeth Rose Boutain, may be connected to a recent suspicious death in Golden, Colo.

Salt Lake City officers had asked Golden police to check on the owner of a green 2000 Ford pickup truck with Colorado plates that Boutain was allegedly driving in Utah.

When Golden officers arrived at the Clear Creek RV Park, they found 63-year-old Mitchell Bradford Ingle dead inside a trailer, the department said in a Tuesday news release. “Preliminary investigations indicate that the man had been deceased for a few days,” the release said.

There were obvious signs of trauma to Ingle, who had been staying at the RV park on a short-term lease, and the Boutains are considered persons of interest in the case, Golden police said.

The stolen pickup truck was still being sought by Salt Lake City area police on Tuesday.

Events in Utah began at about 8:15 p.m. Monday, when Kathleen Boutain went to the U. campus and reported that her husband had assaulted her while they were camping in Red Butte Canyon, Brophy said. She was being treated for an unspecified injury just before 9 p.m. when Guo was shot, Brophy said.

Kathleen Boutain admitted to police that she was “traveling in a stolen vehicle which contained stolen firearms,” according to a probable cause statement filed with the Salt Lake County jail.

She was arrested Monday night and booked into the jail, where she was being held without bail on suspicion of theft by receiving stolen property and drug possession charges. Police said she had a prescription bottle of generic Ambien that was not labeled and other drug paraphernalia.

Police are still stitching together a timeline of how Boutain got from the foothills above the university on Monday night to the library, at 200 East and 400 South, and how long he had been in the library Tuesday before he was spotted.

The earliest Boutain could have been in the library is 9 a.m., when it opened, Shaw said. It had closed at 9 p.m. the night before, at around the time of the homicide.

In an interview Tuesday, security guard Johann Gonzalez-Rubio described approaching Boutain in the library’s restroom on the third floor. He said Boutain nonchalantly told him, “Hey man, I just need to use the restroom real quick and then you can arrest me.”

Boutain appeared calm and unarmed, Gonzalez-Rubio said. Because a bystander also was in the restroom, the guard said, he stepped outside to wait for backup to arrive and for the other man to leave. Then he and another security guard went back in together.

“Hey, you got me,” Boutain said, as he knelt down and put his hands behind his back, according to Gonzalez-Rubio.

The Boutains had been in Utah “a couple days,” Brophy said. Their campsite in Red Butte Canyon was located Monday night, Brown said, and police recovered a rifle and ammunition cans. Police were not sure if the rifle was the same weapon used in the U. slaying.

Police and prosecutors from Golden investigating Ingle’s death were expected to travel to Utah on Tuesday to gather more information, which could include interviewing Kathleen Boutain.

Boutain reportedly has family in Minnesota and as recently as 2015 lived in the Cincinnati suburb of Millvale, in Ohio, according to Fox 19 TV. The station noted that he entered a guilty plea in May 2015 to “obstructing official business” in exchange for a disorderly conduct count being dismissed.

Fox 19 reported that he had been accused of fleeing police in connection with an unspecified disturbance at Cincinnati’s Good Samaritan Hospital.

Alabama court records system show Boutain was arrested in March in Marion County on drug manufacturing charges, according to WAFF 48 TV in Huntsville, Ala. He also was arrested in February 2016 on charges of theft and attempting to elude in another state. Court records also show he is a registered sex offender who failed to notify officials in Marion County when he moved there in 2016, WAFF 48 TV reported.

On Monday night in Utah, the hunt for Boutain initially focused on an area east of Mario Capecchi Drive. Classes were canceled and that area of campus — which includes the school’s main residence halls, medical complex and research buildings — was locked down until about 3 a.m.”

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Clarion Security company founder named “Women Business Owner of the Year’

“The founder of a Memphis security guard firm has been named the “Women Business Owner of the Year” by the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Kim Heathcott was honored at the association’s four-day meeting in Minneapolis this week for growing her 8-year-old company, Clarion Security, into a $10 million business.

She founded the firm with one employee and no clients in 2009, and now it’s the largest woman-owned business in Memphis with 450 employees.

The national association was founded 42 years ago and has 26 chapters across the nation.

Before founding Clarion, Heathcott worked in financial services, with an emphasis in fraud auditing and control investigations. She served as president in 2013 of the Memphis Chapter of the National Association of Woman Owned Businesses.

She holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Vanderbilt University, with a minor in business administration, and received an MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Clarion has made a mark in part for the way it treats its employees. For example, concerned that Clarion’s security officers were eating most of their work-time meals out of vending machines, she and her husband, Larry, started providing a free meal to each employee every shift, the Heathcotts told The Commercial Appeal in 2011.

The couple even started attending the earlier Sunday morning church service so employees would not have to wait as long for the lunches, often delivered by the Heathcotts themselves.

Clarion contracted with a nursing company to provide monthly wellness clinics for employees.

For the security guard industry, Clarion has experienced a much lower-than-average turnover rate among employees.”

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City banning anyone who’s not a licensed security guard

“Hamilton city councilors, eager to discourage militaristic white supremacists, are banning anyone who’s not a licensed security guard from flexing muscle on city property.

But some worry that’ll make it harder for volunteer groups who provide their own security at small rallies and festivals.

City council’s general issues committee voted Wednesday to make a new rule that anyone acting as a security guard at functions on city property needs a provincial license.

This comes after the self-professed “patriot group” Canadian Three Percenters did security detail at city hall on July 29, when the Canadian Combat Coalition rallied against federal anti-

Islamophobia Motion 103. Local anti-fascists counter protested.

Council is being “bravely naive” if it thinks these tense events won’t happen again, said Matthew Green, the Ward 3 councillor who moved the motion. And one day, someone will get hurt.

City looks at banning white nationalist groups from flexing muscle on city property

“It’s not a one-off event,” he said.

With the new rule, Green said, when militaristic white supremacists show up for security detail, the city can charge them with trespassing.

Councillors voted in favour of this. But some worried it would unfairly penalize volunteer groups.

“I worry about the unintended consequences,” said Terry Whitehead, Ward 8 councillor, while Judi Partridge of Ward 15 said she needed more information.

Green said later that he can’t think of any group that fits that category.

Larger events hire their own licensed security guards or police, Green said.

Events on outdoor city property, or in the city hall forecourt, are booked through the city’s special events advisory team (SEAT). Security typically isn’t required when the event doesn’t

require opening a city building, says a staff report.

City council will cast a final vote on Oct. 25th.”

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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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Woman arrested on suspicion of battery, hate crime against security officer

“Davis police arrested a 24-year-old woman Thursday night following an alleged assault that initially has been classified as a hate crime.
Lt. Paul Doroshov said officers responded shortly before midnight to Red 88 Noodle Bar, 223 G St., to investigate a report of an intoxicated woman assaulting a security employee.

“Security personnel told officers the suspect made comments directed toward the officer’s race,” which is African-American, Doroshov said. “The suspect grabbed the victim by the face, and attempted to strike her. The suspect was overpowered by security staff and subsequently arrested.”

Jessica Garza-Herrera was booked into the Yolo County Jail on battery and hate-crime charges, though Doroshov said detectives will conduct further investigation into whether race was a motivating factor in the incident.”

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1st Armor security firm emphasizes local hiring, community relations

“Private security company 1st Armor Protection Services makes community service central to its policing approach and, so far, that philosophy seems to be working. The minority-owned and operated company reports that in the past four years no shots have been fired on any of the 1,000 or so properties it protects, and there have been only two arrests.

Several members of the firm’s leadership team sat down with the Banner at 1st Armor’s Dorchester-based headquarters, near the Field’s Corner T stop.

1st Armor provides ongoing security patrolling and services to more than 1,000 properties through contracts with roughly a dozen property management companies. Matt Breveleri, operations director, likens the firm’s role to that of university campus police, only in their case, they work on any property that hires them. Under Boston Police Department policy, such private firms have the same legal power to make arrests and function much like police.

Larry Celester, director and co-founder, says that one advantage to hiring 1st Armor is that while a more minor issue such as a residential noise complaint may be lower priority on the BPD’s long list of situations to which it responds, that complaint still matters to residents. Because it focuses only on its properties, 1st Armor can respond quickly. While residential security forms the bulk of the firm’s work, the team also serves commercial clients such as Hen House, McDonalds and Victoria’s Diner. It also provides event security.

While there are other private security companies, its focus on community service sets 1st Armor apart, according to Breveleri and Celester. The business only hires employees who live or grew up in Boston’s neighborhoods, in order to recruit those who understand the communities.

“We police a little differently because we were those kids,” Celester said. “It’s not that these [so-called gang member] kids are criminals or violent — they’re bored. … I was that poor kid in that neighborhood, bored with nothing to do. When security came around, then I had something to do.”

This summer, to keep kids out of trouble, 1st Armor used its 14-seater van to take youth to the beach, while staff continued to hold barbecues and seek out other events for kids to attend, Celester said.

Bringing ice cream or refreshments to community parties, hosting cookouts and helping out locally — for instance, offering to fix an off-kilter air conditioning unit — are critical parts of company strategy, as is getting out of the cruiser and walking or biking the areas, both Celester and Breveleri said.

Security officers need to establish positive relations and not be known locally only as impersonal figures that are there to lay down the law, Breveleri said.
“You can’t just show up and put handcuffs on people and leave, and then come back and expect to be well received,” he said.

While the BPD is a leader in its practice of community relations, especially in districts B2 and B4, Celester said, it lacks the type of resources that 1st Armor can provide.
the Bay State Banner”

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Sacramento neighborhood hires private security, sees crime drop

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) — Sacramento’s Woodlake neighborhood is among a growing number of communities that is adding an extra layer of protection against crime: private security.

“It’s just another set of eyes on the situation,” said Andy Hernandez, a homeowner and member of the Woodlake neighborhood safety committee.

Hernandez helped push Woodlake residents to hire the firm Paladin Security in 2012.

In the past five years, they’ve seen a drastic change.

“We’ve seen a major drop in the everyday petty crimes, and it seems to have reduced the number of car break-ins,” Hernandez said.

Now, more neighborhoods and organizations are following suit.

“We’ve certainly gotten a lot busier,” said Matt Carroll, Paladin’s vice president of operations. “We’re seeing an increase in our call volume of 20 to 30 percent every year over the past five years.”

Paladin now services about 450 customers in the greater Sacramento region.

That includes neighborhoods such as Woodlake, regional transit stations and a growing number of business districts.

“Police have to work for everyone, and we only have to work for the people who are paying us,” Carroll said.

And police said they support the efforts of security officers like Ryan Giarmona to help reduce and identify crime.

“I think it takes a lot of pressure off their shoulders, and they actually like us assisting them and helping them,” said Giarmona, who works with Paladin Security four times a week, serving 12-hour shifts mostly at Regional Transit light rail stations.

Sacramento police sent KCRA the following statement: “We appreciate the presence of private patrols in the city. It is important to remember that private security officers do not have peace officer authority and do not have the training that police officers in California have.”

But for Hernandez and his neighbors, who voluntarily pay about $20 a month per home for private security, it offers peace of mind he can’t put a price on.

“Quite frankly we wanted to be able to help our law enforcement officers any way we could in solving crimes and preventing crimes,” Hernandez said.

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