Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Safety

This Halloween take the necessary steps to ensure that your family and you are safe. We all have heard stories of crimes committed while children are trick or treating. There are some simple steps you can take to keep those you love safe. Some of them are as simple as planning ahead and being alert. Consider the following list while trick or treating this year:

  • Plan a well-lit route. Whether you are accompanying your children or they are old enough to venture on their own; the safest place to be is in a well-lit area.
  • Teach your children to never enter a stranger's home or vehicle. It seems like common knowledge, but unfortunately, these incidents occur every year.
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home. Upon returning home inspect the packaging of the treats. Any unsealed or homemade treats should be discarded.
  • Instruct your kids to be cautious around unfamiliar animals. It’s likely that your children will encounter strangers pets when entering someone else's property.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  • Use extra caution if driving. The children are excited and may forget to look both ways before crossing.
  • Make sure Trick-or-Treaters can see, and be seen. Give them a flashlight to light their way (Glow sticks are often a fun and safe option).
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Check local city ordinances on appropriate trick or treating times. Most municipalities have a designated time that they would like the activity to start and end at.  

Before going trick or treating this year, please consider these safety tips. Charlesbrook Protection Services wishes you a fun and safe Halloween!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Vehicles as a weapon

Dealing with a Hostile Vehicle

Numerous people of expressed concerns about a new trend continuing all across the world. That trend is using a vehicle for destruction or as a weapon. There have been multiple incidents here in the U.S. as well as the U.K. The unfortunate part of this method used by ISIS and other criminals is that it is hard to avoid and it can easily go undetected. All they need is a car, but there are a few things that your industry can do to help prevent such an attack.

The following three areas seem to provide the best possibility of preventing such an attack. It is suggested that you speak with building/facility managers as well as local law enforcement to create a plan for such attacks on your industry.

Manage Vehicle Access – evaluate what can be put in place to limit access to vehicles with business reasons for access to your facilities.

Slow the Traffic – There is nothing you can do about the traffic around your property. However, the traffic around your facility can be easily managed by things like temporary speed bumps or cement barricades.

Security Barriers – use substantial protective barriers to protect areas that are susceptible to a hostile-vehicle attack. Active barrier solutions may be an option that should be explored. Discuss with other business leaders at your corporation about vulnerable areas that may need barriers set in place. This could be areas with a large group of people often travel or a structural support of a building.

Overall, it should be something that officials in your industry should take seriously and they should be prepared for. Starting a dialog about this issue is a first step in preventing these attacks from happening further.

Security Blog

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Armed Robber Plagues West Michigan

I'm sure many of you that reside in the west Michigan area are aware of the news stories of an armed robber striking multiple gas stations/convenience stores in the area. An unknown subject in west Michigan is responsible for three armed robberies, first in Muskegon county (occurring on 7/10), second in Oceana county (occurring on 7/19), and the last in Newaygo county (also occurring on 7/19).

As many are wondering, what can we do to prevent further attacks like this from happening? The lack of an accurate description appears to be impeding this investigation. As the picture shows below, the suspect covered his face and wore similar clothing in each robbery. All witnesses have stated they believe it is a white male between 5’ to 5’4”. That however, is the only description available. With such insignificant details as these, it's almost impossible to begin an investigation on who is responsible. suspect.jpg

It's important that third shift retail clerks in these types of environments are trained in safely retaining descriptions of robbery suspects. The situation can be very frightening in the moment but it's important that people committing robberies do not get away with them. First, in many stores there is an height measure next to the door. They allow you to quickly look at the approximate height of someone as they enter or exit. This is a great tool to utilize.

Next, look for some insignificant details they can lead investigators on to the right path. For example, maybe a tattoo or scar on their hand, eye color, skin tone, etc. Sometimes you can tell what someone's ethnicity is just by hearing their voice. Lastly, remember that people who commit these crimes often talk to others about committing them. If someone around the area states that they have details on who did it. Be sure to contact the police and get the information where it needs to go.

These situations are incredibly unfortunate, but we are happy to hear that there were no reported injuries. Remember to stay safe and to be vigilant. You never know what you may witness or encounter.

Friday, July 21, 2017

What is considered Terrorism?

Terrorism Targets

Terrorism is the use of force or violence against persons or property in violation of the criminal laws of the United States for purposes of intimidation, coercion, or ransom. Terrorists often use threats to:
  • Create fear among the public
  • Try to convince citizens that their government is powerless to prevent terrorism
  • Get immediate publicity for their causes Acts of terrorism include threats of terrorism; assassinations; hijackings; bomb scares and bombings; cyber attacks (computer-based); and the use of chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons. High-risk targets for acts of terrorism include military and civilian government facilities, international airports, large cities, and high-profile landmarks. Terrorists might also target large public gatherings, water and food supplies, chemical plants, utilities, and corporate centers. Further, terrorists are capable of spreading fear by sending explosives or chemical and biological agents through the mail.

Homeland Security Begins With Hometown Security

The Justice Department recently launched the Nationwide SAR (Suspicious Activity Reporting) Initiative—NSI—a program that sets up “fusion centers” where reports of suspicious activities made by citizens and local police are collected and analyzed. NSI establishes a uniform process for gathering and sharing information among federal, state, local and tribal agencies with the aim of detecting underlying patterns of “precursor conduct”—activities that may signal a potential terrorist attack. The public plays a large part in the NSI program. Authorities are depending upon ordinary citizens to provide the dots to connect. As Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano put it, “Homeland security begins with hometown security.” But what exactly should the public be looking for?

See Something, Say Something

Certain kinds of activities can indicate terrorist plans are in the works, especially when they occur at or near high-profile sites or places where large numbers of people gather. The FBI urges citizens to keep an eye out for such precursor conduct—like that listed below—and to report it immediately.
Surveillance: Are you aware of anyone recording or monitoring activities, taking notes, using cameras, maps, binoculars or other observation equipment near a key facility? Deploying Assets: Have you observed abandoned vehicles, stockpiling of suspicious materials, or persons being deployed near a key facility?
Suspicious Persons: Are you aware of anyone who does not appear to belong in the workplace, neighborhood, business establishment, or near a key facility?
Suspicious Questioning: Are you aware of anyone attempting to gain information in person, by phone, mail, email or other communication method regarding a key facility or its personnel?
Acquiring Supplies: Are you aware of anyone attempting to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunitions, dangerous chemicals, uniforms, badges, flight manuals, access cards or identification for a key facility, or to legally obtain items under suspicious circumstances that could be used in a terrorist act?
Dry Runs: Have you observed any behavior that appears to be preparation for terrorist activity, such as mapping out routes, playing out scenarios with other people, monitoring key facilities, timing traffic lights or traffic flow, or other suspicious activities?
Tests of Security: Are you aware of any attempts to penetrate or test physical security or procedures at a key facility or event? Recognizing and reporting precursor intelligence-gathering activities can interrupt potential terrorist events, crimes and other threats before they occur. While on the job, security officers should follow post orders for reporting suspicious activity. Otherwise, the FBI encourages citizens to contact local police, the FBI or the nearest Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) to report suspicious activity or behavior. If there is an emergency or immediate threat, call 911.
For more information on the NSI program go to
For additional resources on detecting and reporting indicators of terrorist attacks, and for guidelines on preparedness and response to terrorism threats, visit

Source: Samantha Dutcher

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Vacation Security Risks

Vacation Security Risks

Most of us have pledged to unplug while on a vacation—a “digital detox”—only to back-pedal on that promise at the onset. Staying connected, however, can expose travelers to more than a less-than-relaxing excursion.
Security risks are high for vacationers. They are especially vulnerable because they are less inclined to be vigilant while on vacation.
Security experts recommend vacationers remain on alert for thieves targeting smartphones, as well as to secure devices that may otherwise give cyber criminals access to personal data.
To lessen the impact should your phone be stolen, back it up before you travel, and set up a password or PIN code for added protection, the security experts suggest.Avoid posting information about your vacation on social media before and during the trip. This is type of information can give thieves and cyber criminals the green light to burglarize your home and/or attack your devices.
While on vacation, avoid using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Connecting to an unprotected network could inadvertently give cyber criminals access to your data, including private work-related files you may be viewing while traveling.

Do not unplug, however, when it comes to your finances, security experts advise. Monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. If you believe you have been victimized by a cyber criminal, take action immediately to recover any losses.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Burglar proofing your window AC

While most of us look forward to the summer season, we occasionally need relief from the summer heat. For those people who don't have central air condition, a window air condition unit is a welcome alternative.  However, window units can make our homes more appealing to burglars and easier to break into. Below are some tips on keeping your home secure when using a window ac.

Placement: Usually we think of placing our AC where our needs inside are best suited. Before installing your unit this year, view your house from the outside. Ideally, your ac unit will be placed in a window that faces the road or other populated area. This should also be well lit. A criminal will be less likely to try and breach your home if they don't have they privacy to do so.

Window rod: When installing a window ac, the window is usually shut on the unit it self. This leaves the ability for the window to be open the rest of the way, allowing for the unit to be removed. Some units come with a metal bracket to be installed to prevent this. If your unit came with one, we advise using it. We still recommend reinforcing that concept with something stronger. A metal rod snugged from the top of the window, to the top of the window frame will make opening the window extremely difficult.

Curtains: The ac curtains are the pieces on the side that slide to cover up the gaps to prevent outside air from getting in. These should be secured into the window and not leave any openings. If you have a window where the screens don't completely cover, consider buying new ones or using a solid material to cover the gap that can't be secured.

Top mounting rail: On the top of the ac unit is a mounting rail that once the window is closed, prevents it from falling out.  Depending on your model it may come with predrilled holes to screw it in. If not create your own.

Alarm: A stand alone window alarm can be purchased for relatively cheap and if the window is opened will create an audible alarm.

Crime prevention stickers: If you have an alarm on your house or on your window, place an ample amount of stickers on your windows indicating this.

Please let us know if there are any other ways you secure yours below!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Knowing your employees

Great article by Law Officer. Charlesbrook Protection Services, LLC has great success because of the relationship between command staff and our officers. Investing time and forming genuine relationships with employees is key to maintaining a healthy work environment.
"Several years ago, I attended a very beneficial leadership course.  One of the things that I took away from that class that I still do today is knowing your officers.  The instructor encouraged us to get some index cards and a recipe box (yes this was before smart phones) to capture important information about each one of our staff members.
You can use the old style index cards and recipe box, or enter the data into your smart phone.  Regardless of what you use, it is important to capture this information to gain respect and trust.
Information of your staff that you should capture:
  • Name of spouse
  • Name of children
  • Name of grandchildren
  • Name of parents
  • Birthdates
  • Anniversaries
  • Hobbies and special interests
  • Favorite sports teams
  • Goals (professional and personal)
  • Anything else you feel important to enhance your professional and personal relationship
It is important that when talking to your staff formally or informally, you should talk to them about some of these topics.  More importantly, you need to be genuinely interested when mentioning these topics.  Just talking about something of interest to strike up a conversation without being genuine is not as productive in your relationship building as really being interested.
Instead of asking, “How is your wife and kids?”  Ask, “How is Shannon and Tim doing?”  It is much more personable when using names rather than titles.  When you demonstrate a true interest in your entire staff, they will feel valued and you should see an increase in morale.
Dallas Sergeant Keith Wenzel (ret) made it a practice each year to send each spouse of the those that worked for him, a personal letter.  He addressed the family by name and made sure they knew who he was and had his phone number.  You can never underestimate in showing a personal interest in those that work for you and Wenzel saw the benefits of that.
One of the key components of gathering your staff’s information is having exceptional listening skills.  We are bombarded with so much information and technology in today’s society and often times, our listening skills are diminished.  Our minds are always processing information when people are talking to us.  Taking a deep breath and concentrating on listening when our staff is talking to us is critical.
Put the phone down, get off of Facebook, and listen!
If it is important to your staff to talk to you, it should be important for you to listen intently to them.
You do not need to be in a leadership position to capture and use this information.  This works up the chain as well as down the chain.  Gather this information on your Sergeant, Captain, etc.  Strike up a conversation with your lieutenant and ask him how Tim is doing in football or how was Julie’s first day of school.  I’m sure your relationship with your Lieutenant will be a valued relationship.
Working with others that have a great bond no matter what the rank is makes for a much more productive and cohesive work environment.  Your goal should be to maintain a healthy and genuine connection with each person you work with.  Continuously and intentionally go out of your way to strengthen and develop your relationship with your co-workers. You will not be disappointed!  You may be very surprised and gain a new fishing buddy!"