Make Your Security Calendar Now
As political and social fracturing continue, it appears there is little let up with the violence that we've seen in certain cities across the globe.
Specifically in the U.S., it is not a huge stretch to predict violence on and around the 2020 presidential election. The New York Police Department is warning residents of upcoming violence and recommending adding extra security.
“Everybody is worried about security,” an insider told the Post. “Every top building is adding security. It’s out of control. We hope it won’t be needed, but we will be ready.”
The building is working with the NYPD and Homeland Security, the insider said.
“There will be officers with submachine guns,” the source said. “We’ve always had immense security, but there will be more. We’ll have extra patrols. The entire building can be shut down with one button.”
Many buildings are hiring off duty cops instead of private security companies because they fear a repeat of Denver, where a private guard shot and killed a protester, said one real estate insider.
Another luxury building board member said high-end residents have been warned to take precautions by the NYPD.
“The NYPD is advising buildings to get the extra security,” the source said. “They’ve never done this before.”
According to the article, one wealthy New Yorker has secured two former Marine snipers to protect his building in Florida "to stand on guard, with guns, on the roof, on Election Day and after."
Police departments across the nation are planning on responding to potential unrest before and after the election on Nov. 3.
There are reports of business owners around the country working with their municipalities and associations on how to avoid losses and damage like what was seen in Chicago this summer. Businesses, already negatively impacted by COVID lockdowns, are pondering if they should be open before or after the election.
One business publication has even published an article called Why Election Day 2020 May Go Down in History as Riot Night 2020.
Make a Risk Calendar for Your Family
Security professionals routinely make risk assessments regarding threats or hazards faced at different locations, events, and environments which affect their clients. These assessments take into consideration:
The risks that an entity or individual could possibly face;
The potential loss or the magnitude of the damage that each risk entails;
The probability or the odds that those risks or hazards actually happening.
Out of the risk assessment, you can then do your security plan with the steps that should be, and can be, taken to provide security to negate those risks
For us as individuals, we need to look at the risk of upcoming events which could pose a threat to us. These should be added to your calendar so we are prepared for the potential violence we could face.
Here are some of the upcoming events which you should be tracking:
The U.S. Presidential election on Nov. 3, 2020. The examples above of cities and businesses planning on unrest is indicative of what you can also expect. There is the very real risk of violence regardless of which candidate wins, especially in communities that have had violence before.
Additional or more stringent COVID lockdowns. Thousands of people have marched in London protesting the lockdowns and the trace and track stipulations rolled out by the British government. Similar protests have been experienced in Italy and Spain. Here in the U.S., hundreds of people protested in Brooklyn. There might also be an underlying growing resentment against the stringent enforcement of mask and lockdown orders which have manifested as highly publicized cases where force has used against individuals who are not complying. Expect more protests should additional lockdowns happen.
Riots following police shootings. This relates to all of the anti-police sentiment that can be brought up in communities with results like we've see in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Waukegan, Chicago, and Ferguson after shootings or in-custody deaths. Expect violent outbreaks if and when shootings happen like the recent shooting of a man armed with a knife in Philadelphia. Even the rumor of a police shooting can create an outbreak. In Rhode Island, the rumor that police ran into a man on a moped after a chase caused street rioting.
The verdicts/acquittals of police officers. The catalyst for many of the riots noted above have been from officer involved shootings. Cases that are pending include those of: Officers Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis; and Officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan in the death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. Any news regarding these highly-charged cases could strike the match for more violence. If charges are reduced against the officers, there will be riots. If the officers are acquitted, there will be riots. If the officers are found guilty, there will be celebratory riots.
Local protests staged through national groups. Other wild-card events can be protests in your local area that are organized or supported by national activist groups.
Stay Informed of the Risks in Your Area
Check your local TV and radio news stations websites. They seem to be updated more quickly thannewspapers and magazine sites.
Set up Google Alerts to email you news as it's published. Click on the link and you can begin getting any info on search terms you want to track. The great thing about Google Alerts is that you can set up alerts for specific areas and for specific subjects. You can also choose which email address gets those alerts. If you commute a considerable amount, you might want to develop search terms for areas at your work, home, and the area between them.
Use social media to follow your local, county and state police departments. Departments are getting pretty good about posting breaking situational information on platforms like Twitter.
What Can You Do to Prepare for Violence Now?
Knowing the situations we will most likely face, we need to be aware of and how to react to these types of situations to keep our family safe.
Go to links here for more on how to protect your family:
Riots in America: Protect Yourself
Self-Defense Lessons from the L.A. Riots
Control What You Can Now -- And Always be Improving for Self-Defense
A very real concern you should be addressing for your home and your business is fire suppression. It's not a coincidence that many of the photos attached to the riots show blazing fires. It's one of the primary ways rioters damage the community causing huge economic and financial losses. Through out this summer we've seen incendiary devices used like Molotov cocktails, flares, pyrotechnic fireworks, and even plain old newspapers and wood. These are standard tools used by the rioters. You need to have a plan for suppressing fires. Go here to see our post on fire extinguishers. You'll need multiple extinguishers distributed near the areas you believe the most likely to be attacked. The multiple fire extinguishers will be needed for larger fires and fires with an accelerant. They will also be needed for multiple engagements.
Many security teams have Quick Reaction Forces designated to defend a location or to rescue or extract clients from office or home. Do you have options for security when the police are overwhelmed and not responding to 911 calls? Talk to your neighbors of your concerns. Talk with family members who would be willing to help during an emergency.
Stay alert. Be prepared. Have a plan to respond.