Category Archives: Safety

Homegrown Terror The Newest Worry

The Whitehouse has stated that home-ground terror has entered a new phase as radicals are increasingly plotting attacks inside the U.S.   the “new phase” in which al Qaeda is “increasingly relying on recruits with little training is on the rise. 

For the full story, click HERE.

Safehouses and Panic Rooms for Executives

Securityinfowatch just wrote a great article on the value of safe houses for corporations and executives.  Long thought of (if thought of at all) only for the uber-rich, the safe house is a valuable security precaution for protecting a very precious commodity for a businesses–its senior leadership.

“Corporate safe rooms — fortified environments that act as a protective refuge in the event of a home invasion or other threat — are an increasing necessity for people and organizations of all interests. And, while films and television programs continue to mythologize safe rooms as an indulgence for the super rich or eccentric, actual events tell a different story: safe rooms are and have been an integral part of corporate structures and residences worldwide, an otherwise well-kept secret that immediately captures the public’s imagination.

Daily new headlines confirm these threats, and rare but brutal attacks against executives underscore the harsh reality of life in a dangerous world. Far from being a luxury, safe rooms are often seen as essential for businesses across the economic spectrum”.

A knowledge of Panic Rooms and their benefit to clients is another tool for the Executive Protection Professional in successfully providing 360 degrees of coverage.  ~ES

To read the full article, click HERE.

Actor Kal Penn robbed at Gunpont

Another celebrity is a victim of a crime. This time in the nation’s capitol.

The “White Castle” actor, who recently stepped down from a position at the White House, was robbed at gunpoint early this morning while walking in Washington, D.C., reports TMZ.

Penn told police a man carrying a gun approached him around 1:20 a.m. and took his wallet, along with other personal property, a source told the entertainment website.

Police are investigating the incident.

Earlier this month, Penn ditched his role with the Obama administration — where he served as an associate director the Office of Public Engagement for nine months — for Hollywood so he could resume his acting career.

~Unfortunately in this economic climate anyone can become a victim, however there are certain steps that everyone can take to ensure their personal safety, particularly celebrities.

Pope Attack Raises Security Concerns

The Vatican will review security procedures after a woman jumped a barrier and rushed at Pope Benedict XVI for the second time in two years, this time managing to knock him down before being pulled away by guards, the Vatican spokesman said Friday.

Benedict, 82, wasn’t hurt and delivered his traditional Christmas Daygreetings in 65 languages from the loggia overlooking St. Peter’s Square. While a bit unsteady at first, he also delivered a short speech about the world’s trouble spots without problem.

The incident in St. Peter’s Basilica raised fresh questions about security for the pontiff, however, after officials said the woman involved had jumped the barrier at the 2008 Midnight Mass in a failed bid to get to the pope. She even wore the same red-hooded sweat shirt.

For the full story, click HERE.

Much like when the United States Secret Services has a breach you can believe there will be some finger pointing and people held accountable.  In the end, I think this incident will result in some altered security changes for the Popes movements among crowds, much like the introduction of the Popemobile after 1981.

Footage of the attack and security response.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpDffQJjm9c[/youtube]

Anarchists planned kidnapping of RNC delegates

RNC Welcoming Commitee Flyer

A year ago, the Ramsey County sheriff’s office began looking closely at a group called the Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee.

What it found, according to an 18-page search warrant application and affidavit, led to weekend raids on two Minneapolis homes and a temporary St. Paul office for the self-described anarchist group.

According to the document, investigation learned:

The self-described anarchist group — whose main goal was to “crash” the Republican National Convention,” according to its Web site — traveled to or communicated with affinity groups in 67 cities to recruit members and raise money.

Group members discussed the possibility of kidnapping delegates, blockading bridges, using liquid sprayers filled with urine or chemicals on police and throwing marbles to trip police and their horses.

At an “action camp” held from July 31 to Aug. 3 in Lake Geneva, Minn., one member talked of concealing inside giant puppets “materials” that could be used on the street. Others discussed the need for Molotov cocktails, paint, caltrops (devices used to puncture tires), bricks and lockboxes for protesters to lock themselves together.

Erik Oseland, one of the six group members arrested here, produced a video called “Video Map of the St. Paul Points of Interest.” It included such major companies as Travelers Insurance and Qwest, hotels such as the Embassy Suites and the Crowne Plaza.

Click on the exerpt for the full story.

What Event Planners Need To Look For In Security

with the 2008 Democratic & Republican National Conventions right around the corner, Event Solutions Magazine recently asked me to write a column for their readers discussing the various types of security concerns savvy planners should be aware of when putting on events of various sizes. Below is an excerpt from their March 2008 issue.

“Often when [event] planners begin their work, security arrangements are relegated to the bottom of the to-do list. But when security becomes an afterthought, procedures are put into place that creates headaches such as bottlenecks at entrances and exits. It’s easier for security to be proactive rather than reactive, so build a relationship that fosters early communication between you and security.

In the wake of post-9/11 terrorism concerns, longer lines at the airport are understood but no client wants to endure long lines at a corporate event. So security planning, like successful event planning, comes down to the details.

The most important part of a security professional’s job is in the risk assessment phase i.e., what disaster could possibly happen and how could I prevent it? An experienced security coordinator will ask you for the big picture, then start cutting the pie into smaller segments, such as physical security, crowd control, loss prevention, first aid and disaster preparation. Even if your venue has some form of security on-site, you may be wise
to bring in your own security team to monitor guest lists, VIP speakers and the cash box.

If you’re dealing with VIPs who travel with their own security, discuss with their security the run of show and special needs the VIP may have.”

Managing an event amongst all the chaos is not an easy job neither for the wedding planners nor the security, but despite all this it is their duty to take care and manage everything. If you are in the market and are searching for a trusted event planner, then click here.

To read the full article, click here.

Event Planners can also subscribe to and receive the latest issue of Event Solutions (For Free) by visiting: www.event-solutions.com/register

Elijah Shaw, CEO
Icon Services Corporation

Mexican Kidnappings of US Citizens On The Rise

Organized, well-financed and violent Mexican kidnapping cells are targeting a growing number of U.S. citizens visiting communities popular with San Diegans and other California residents. Last year, at least 26 San Diego County residents were kidnapped and held for ransom in Tijuana, Rosarito Beach or Ensenada, local FBI agents overseeing the cases said yesterday. In 2006, at least 11 county residents had been kidnapped in the three communities…Most of the victims have business interests or family members in Mexico.

Click on the link for the full story.

Ladies and Gents the War on Terror is not just being fought overseas.  Celebrities are also not the only ones that have security concerns.  Sandwiched in between Iraq, Brittney and the race for President was the above story.  (Thanks Damien)

 If your traveling to Mexico, please take reasonable precautions.

Bodyguard To the Stars Extends Safety Net

Abused women now have Icon’s Elijah Shaw in their corner
By Carolyn Will

Elijah Shaw spent the last three weeks traveling around the country as the personal bodyguard for music mega-star Usher. This week he is back in his St. Paul office, the national head-quarters for his $3 million Icon Services Corporation, setting up meetings with battered women’s shelters. Shaw, 33, of Highland Park, plans to provide free protective services to women who have been victims of domestic abuse. The new program, called ISC Safety net, will provide trained security personnel to escort women heading into potentially volatile situations, such as contentious court hearings or the victim’s home or place of employment to collect personal belongings. “I decided it was time for me to give back,” Shaw said. “I work all the time and I love my work, but it’s given me very little time to reflect. This summer, I spent time with my brother at a family gathering. He lives a very different lifestyle from me. He’s 10 years older, adopted two kids and devoted his life to working with the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Iowa City. It started me thinking I should slow down and use my resources to provide these services in my community.”  Shaw, who bears a strong resemblance to movie star Denzel Washington, has built an elite company over the last eight years with a roster of 29 agents. Icon provides bodyguard protection to Fortune 500 executives, celebrities and politicians. Icon’s business has a Grand Avenue mailing address, but Shaw likes to keep the actual location undisclosed for security purposes. The waiting area of the office is graced by autographed pictures to Icon Staff from such celebrities as Chaka Khan, Naomi Campbell and Christina Milan.

Other notable Icon clients include Jehan Sadat, widow of assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat; international businessman Koris Perleman, who makes frequent trips to Minnesota transporting jewels; and corporate executives from Lawson Software, International Dairy Queen, Ford Motor Company and others.

“When some of these people travel outside the U.S., the threat of kidnapping is very high, especially in Mexico,” said Shaw, referring to the corporate executives. When Icon agents were pitched with the idea of volunteering their services to protect battered women, Shaw said everybody was enthusiastic. Icon security agents typically charge between $30 and $80 an hour, depending on the level of threat and length of the assignment.

Shaw said all of his agents are licensed by the state. They have training in firearms, martial arts, First Aid and CPR. They need to be physically fit and skilled in conflict resolution.” Our line of work requires a tremendous amount of mental discipline,” Shaw said. “An agent needs to make a lot decisions on his own very quickly. We don’t need 800 pound linebackers with knuckles dragging on the ground. On the other hand, we want to make sure that if the clients are feeling anxious, our presence will make an overt impression that the clients are not there by themselves and they can’t be pushed around.”

Women’s Advocates, a battered women’s shelter on Grand Avenue, serves about 500 women a year, and executive director Raeone Loscalzo said ISC Safety Net could be very useful in some circumstances.

“The woman in Washington County comes to mind,” said Loscalzo, referring to Teri Lee, the 38-year-old woman who was killed in her home on September 23 by her ex-boyfriend. “She’d been to several shelters, returned home and had a security system. Those women who choose to stay home and use court-ordered restraining orders may be looking for protection. (ISC Safety Net) could be a perfect solution for them.”

At Women’s Advocates, Loscalzo said most of the women have severed ties with their past and removed themselves from dangerous situations. However, she said there could be many women in domestic abuse situations where Women’s Advocates don’t know about, especially women from Asian and East African cultures.

Shaw recently met with the executive board of Asian Women United of Minnesota, which operates the first Asian women’s shelter in the state. “It’s a great thing that Elijah plans on doing for battered women and their children,” said executive director Melani Suarez. She plans to use the company’s services immediately to provide security at the shelter and to help women retrieve personal belongings from their homes.

Shaw grew up in the housing projects in Chicago and was raised by a single mother who fostered a positive family atmosphere. While attending Columbia College in Chicago to study film, he worked security in the nightclub of Chicago Bulls forward Cliff Levingston.

“It was the start of the Bull’s dynasty and I was exposed to a lot of celebrities,” he said. “My work evolved from there.”

The ISC Safety Net will start in the Twin Cities and eventually may be expanded to Icon’s other offices in Orange County, California, and Miami, Florida. For now, Shaw said he is happy to be helping the metro area where he is raising his 12-year-old son.

All potential applicants for ISC Safety Net must be assigned by an approved shelter or social service agency. For information about Icon Services, visit http://www.industry-icon.com/

Source: Villager Newspaper
Vol. 54, No. 18.  Nov. 15-28