Boston Marathon bombings motivate hotels to tighten security | There's no guarantee of safety, says Secret Service vet: | Understanding suspicious activity:
April 17, 2013
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Hospitality Risk Management
Boston Marathon bombings motivate hotels to tighten security
Hotels in Boston, and also in New York and Washington D.C., have increased security measures after bomb attacks near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. Some hotels have been evacuated, while others are restricting access to guests only or encouraging guests to stay indoors. USA Today/Hotel Check-in blog (4/16)
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There's no guarantee of safety, says Secret Service vet:
Branch Walton, a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service, said the Boston Marathon bombings showed that no matter how much money and manpower is put into it, there's no guarantee of safety. According to Walton, "pre-incident indicators" are usually in the form of suspicious behavior. "There's no guarantee you can prevent it, but you sure can reduce the possibilities," he said. USA Today (4/16)
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Understanding suspicious activity:
Recent incidents, including the Boston Marathon explosions, remind us that we must be constantly vigilant for threats of terror in our country. Understanding what suspicious activity may look like and what to do if you witness the behavior can mean the difference between life and death. Valor Security has compiled information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and our own "Doesn't Look Right" program into a "Suspicious Activity Guide" to help prepare security personnel to assist federal, state and local efforts to deter, prevent, preempt or respond to terrorist attacks. To download the guide, click here.
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Hotels should watch out for signs of meth labs on-property
Hoteliers face the growing threat of rooms being used as methamphetamine labs. Statistics from the El Paso Intelligence Center show 1,334 reported meth lab incidents in rooms from 2008 to February 2013. AH&LA President and CEO Joe McInerney says meth producers generally pick "older-style properties with direct access to the parking lot." A number of hoteliers recommend training staff to spot common warning signals, such as requests for rooms close to side entrances, unpleasant odors and excessive amounts of garbage in rooms. Developing strong relationships with the local police and fire departments is also helpful. (4/8)
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Retail Risk Management
Retail crime reaches epidemic proportions
Jack Baillio, owner of a retail electronics and appliance chain in Albuquerque, N.M., says retail crime has reached epidemic proportions. The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention estimates that $13 billion in goods are stolen annually in the U.S. "It's a lot easier now to become your own distributor or fencing operation," said Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz. "You can sell stuff (online) ... pretty easily." Albuquerque Journal (N.M.) (subscription required) (4/8)
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Market conditions necessitate retail storefronts for security integrators
Tony Collums, president of The Alarm Company, recently blogged that his company's recent opening of a retail storefront in central Mississippi was necessitated by market conditions. "The time has come for us in the security industry to come out of our hiding places and to become visible and accessible," he wrote. "So we have to create an environment that will draw [potential clients] to our turf. That is where a retail store front comes into play," he continued. (3/25)
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Women suspected in Russian theft ring arrested in Fla.
Loss-prevention officers at the Town Center at Boca Raton mall in Florida caught four women accused of shoplifting $32,000 worth of clothing from Saks Fifth Avenue. The women are suspected to be part of a Russian organized retail-theft ring. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (4/9)
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Retailers get database help to weed out workers who steal
U.S. retailers are using national databases such as First Advantage Corporation's Esteem to weed out workers and applicants who have been accused of stealing. Critics say the databases are often short on details and often don't involve criminal charges, while retailers say the information is a useful tool in combating employee theft, which cost merchants an estimated $15 billion in 2011, according to NRF. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/2)
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Innovation & Developments
Hotels appeal to mobile workers with dedicated spaces
Hotels are launching work space concepts to cater to mobile professionals. "We're really trying to transform the way people think about hotels," said Peggy Roe, Marriott International's vice president of global operations services. "We want people to think of Marriott as a place not just to come and sleep, but to work." CNN (4/10)
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Business Operations & Strategy
Out-of-office replies can give up too much information, experts say
According to security expert Andy O'Donnell, people put far too much personal information in out-of-office replies. "It's amazing what people put in them and reveal about themselves," O'Donnell said. "My rule of thumb is, 'If you wouldn't tell a room full of strangers the information, you shouldn't put it in your [out-of-office] reply.' " (4/11)
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What Yahoo's security problems can teach you about customer service
Yahoo's handling of recent security problems provides some valuable customer-service lessons for business owners, writes Amie Marse. The next time there's an issue at your company, let your customers know and keep the lines of communication open, she recommends. Also, gather feedback and fix problems as quickly as possible. "When you rectify a negative situation, the customer remembers the good experience and will do business with you again," she writes. Small Business Trends (4/14)
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Legislative & Policy Monitor
TSA to proceed with policy change on small knives
The Transportation Security Administration is moving forward with a policy change on April 25 that will allow passengers to carry small folding knives. TSA administrator John Pistole has not changed his mind on the policy, a spokesman said, despite opposition from flight attendants. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/15)
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News from Valor
Valor Security: SAFETY Act Certified and Designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Valor Security was initially certified by DHS according to the provisions of the SAFETY Act in 2006. After a complete and thorough review of Valor's training, operations, policies, and procedures, DHS renewed our Certification in 2012 and in addition, provided Designation. In essence, DHS has determined that Valor's training and methodology is certified and designated as an anti-terrorist technology. Certification provides significant liability protection to not only Valor, but according to the regulations implementing the SAFETY Act, DHS has indicated that our customers will benefit from our certified technology and are also protected against liability resulting from an act of terror. Contact Mert Price at to learn more.
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Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials."
-- Lin Yutang,
Chinese writer, translator, linguist and inventor
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About Valor Security Services
Valor Security Services provides security management services and risk management expertise nationally to over 260 retail, hospitality, and mixed use properties owned or operated by a variety of successful developers, owners, and management companies. Valor is exclusive to the hospitality, retail, and mixed use markets. As a result, our training, operations, and efforts are focused on, and based on the requirements of, these markets.
Contact Valor Security
Mert Price
Vice President of Business Development
770-218-6000 Ext. 150
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