Thursday, November 17, 2011

Safety and Survival in Protests & Civil Unrest:

Since the political protests, now known as the "Arab Spring" grabbed headlines around the world, XBRM has been increasingly called upon by business leaders and public officials to provide insight into human behavior in group, crowd and mob situations, and help develop effective strategies to reduce the risks and address safety concerns associated with protests and acts of civil unrest. As the "American Autumn" has become defined by the various "Occupy" movements in cities across the country, these largely peaceful protests have been punctuated by increasingly aggressive behavior, and in one instance in Oakland, a violent death.

See the guidance from XBRM here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hate crime reports released

2010 FBI Report Released/ADL studies

Intimidation…vandalism…assault…rape…murder. These are crimes by anyone’s definition. But add an element of bias against the victims—because of their race or religion, for example—and these traditional crimes become hate crimes. And based on data from the FBI’s  Hate Crime Statistics report for 2010, the 6,628 hate crime incidents reported to us by our law enforcement partners stayed consistent with the 6,604 incidents reported in 2009.

The ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents cataloged 1,239 examples of assaults, vandalism and harrassment in 2010. Its 2011 Survey of American Attitudes Toward Jews in America found that anti-Semitic attitudes are rising in the US.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Shocking arson in Flatbush

Statement of
Michael S. Miller
Executive Vice President and CEO

We were shocked to learn of the horrific arson of cars -- with accompanying anti-Semitic messages -- on Ocean Parkway in Flatbush. We are gratified that the precinct and the Hate Crimes Task Force are investigating and are confident that the NYPD will follow the evidence wherever it leads.

The track record of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force was further enhanced today as they arrested a suspect accused of defacing two Queens libraries, a synagogue and a church. We congratulate them on their success. Anyone contemplating a hate crime in New York City should think twice when the Hate Crimes Task Force is on the case.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Airport x-rays, new technology

The JCRC was invited by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to join a group of religious leaders to critique the implementation of the airport passenger screening process. Leaders of many faiths expressed concerns regarding modesty and safety. Today, TSA officials reached out to us to update us on pertinent developments.See the TSA "readout" here.

The TSA is in the process of introducing new Advanced Imaging Technology which will substantially address the questions of modesty. Any potential threat items that are detected are detected by an automated system and indicated on a generic outline of a person (rather than the passenger's body). If no potential threat items are detected, an "OK" appears on the monitor with no outline.(See the illustrations below.)

Click here to can get more information on the new system. Deployment of the new technology is not yet scheduled for the major NYC area (see the current list here), but the TSA plans to eventually  install it everywhere.

The backscatter technology used in the system  was evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). All reported that it is safe and meets national health and safety standards. Click here to read more and download the evaluations.

They also informed us of new Risk-Based Security and Pre-Check pilot programs which will allow passengers to voluntarily provide more information about themselves, so that the TSA can better segment the population in terms of risk and provide expedited screening for "trusted travelers". See more information here.

On Nov. 9th remember: it's only a test

FEMA wants everyone to know about the upcoming, nationwide Emergency Alert System (EAS) test on Wednesday, November 9th at 2PM.All broadcast stations are scheduled to participate. Although the EAS is frequently used by State and local governments to send weather alerts and other emergency information, there has never been a national activation of the system. The purpose of the November 9, 2011 test is to assess the readiness and effectiveness of the current system.

Click here for more information from FEMA. Please share this message with your communities and through your social networks.