Lawmakers have also introduced legislation that would make it easier for people to sue gun manufacturers and target unregulated, unregistered, and untraceable “ghost guns” made from kits.
With the recent surge in violence across many U.S. states, authorities are now reconsidering how best to protect their cities from shootings, stabbings, and beatings with a population fed up with Covid-19, mask mandates, lockdowns, curfews, and supply chain issues.
What remains alarming in this spate of violence is the number of security officers who are often injured or killed on the job.
In Riverside, a security officer was sent to hospital after being beaten with his own baton by a homeless man after the officer asked the man to leave the shopping center. The homeless man was arrested for felony battery at a gas station shortly after the assault.
In Malibu, a 58-year-old security officer who worked the overnight shift at a local-area shopping mall was recently discovered suffering from blunt force trauma. He was still wearing his uniform. A spokesperson for the city expressed his sorrow at the officer’s death, who was well-liked by the neighborhood and a familiar face that shoppers greeted regularly.
A security officer protecting a San Francisco Bay Area television news crew was fatally shot by three suspects who tried to steal the news crew’s camera equipment. Ironically, the news crew was on assignment covering a store robbery.
A 32 year-old-man was recently charged with a felony count of vehicular manslaughter for crashing his SUV into a Long Beach apartment complex. A second count – hit and run driving – was dismissed.
Security Officers Turned Podcasters as First Responders
April 3, 2022: In Sacramento, gunfire erupted in an upscale neighborhood of hotels, nightclubs, and bars, marking the third time in the U.S. this year that at least six people have been killed in a mass shooting and the second mass shooting in Sacramento in the last five weeks. Security officers from nearby nightclubs, including security officers Wynton Griffiths and Rob Coasts, were the first to arrive on the scene and assessed the situation, and began administering first aid to the victims. Still, for six victims, it was too late.
In the aftermath of the deadly K Street shooting, the security officers turned podcasters recounted the night’s events in their live streaming podcast “About the Night.” The show host Wynton Griffiths enlisted the help of fellow security officer Rob Coates to recount the scene, trying to aid victims and exchange ideas about keeping guests and visitors to the area safe.
On the podcast, they recommend that more security officers need to clear the streets when the bars close at 2 a.m. so liquor-fueled crowds don’t linger around late at night, causing brawls to break out. In addition, they say a more substantial police presence is also required to serve as a deterrent. Meanwhile, the nightclub owners continue to work closely with local police to implement any additional security protocols that they recommend.
Increasing Violence Against Security Officers in the Other U.S. States
California isn’t the only state experiencing increased aggression towards security officers. In March of this year, a security officer died at a Team Wellness Center in Detroit, Michigan. Another officer was injured as a man walked through a security screening protocol. Also, in March, a security officer was shot and killed as she filled up her car at a gas station during an attempted carjacking in a Chicago suburb. In Philadelphia, a man dressed in a security officer uniform was discovered shot and killed in his home in what appeared to be a random act of violence. And unfortunately, there are more incidents.
Using Technology to Protect Security Officers
Over the past few years, the physical security industry has transformed in part due to much technology-based innovation and leading-edge workforce management software. Not equipping your security teams with available technology puts officers’ safety at risk. Security workforce management solutions that supply your officers with a handheld smart device or mobile phone are essential for keeping your team connected in real-time to managers and supervisors.
Real-time communication capabilities update and notify security officers on the ground of any changes so that they can make adjustments on the fly. It also enables the organization to rapidly identify potential threats, security incidents, and vulnerabilities in real-time. Security officers’ other vital tools and technology include real-time incident reporting and video recording, GPS tracking, and a panic button.
Stemming the Wave of Crime
So what are cities in California and elsewhere doing to stem the spate of attacks on security officers and citizens? In Sacramento, the city established the Downtown Sacramento Partnership – a Property Business Improvement District (PBID) in 1995 whose mission is to make downtown Sacramento a better place to live, work, play, and invest. In 2021, the city approved plans to redirect federal funding initially earmarked to help the local businesses recover from Covid to revitalize Old Sacramento. Plans include installing light fixtures and security cameras and adding private security officers and unarmed patrols to take over from the PBID’s ambassadors at 6 p.m. when they are off duty.
There are over 1000 Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the U.S. BIDs play an essential role in implementing safety and security measures for local businesses, city residents, tourists, and security officers. These measures include deploying security officers on foot patrols, installing surveillance cameras and extra lighting, and posting security officers alongside safety ambassadors to assist foot traffic. New York City has the most extensive BID program in the country, with over 76 BIDs.
Workforce management software provides detailed tracking, reporting, and monitoring throughout the district, so teams have visibility into ongoing safety and security operations. Armed with real-time information, teams are better able to uncover insights and spot trends to get ahead of any potential problems before they occur.
To learn more about how a security workforce management solution can help protect your security officers, visit TrackTik.