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AFIMAC CEO Peter Martin quoted in USA Today article “Experts: U.S. airports need more armed officers outside terminals”

July 5th, 2016 Comments off

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In the aftermath of the deadly bombing Tuesday at Istanbul’s international airport, security experts urged airports to assign more armed officers at terminal doors to prevent attackers from reaching crowds of travelers farther inside.

The three suicide bombers killed 42 people, but the death toll was likely lower after an encounter with guards at the doorway forced them to split up and set off the explosives earlier than planned.

“The explosive effect of that same bomb going off (farther inside the airport) is exponential, the collateral damage and casualties is exponential,” said Anthony Roman, president of Roman & Associates, which consults on security and risk management. “It would have been hundreds dead.”

All three attackers arrived together at the lower-level arrivals hall; one went inside, opened fire and then detonated his explosives, an Interior Ministry official and another official told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

The second attacker went upstairs to departures and blew himself up. The third man waited outside during the whole episode and detonated his explosives last as people flooded out of the airport, the officials said.

One of the attackers drew the attention of guards posted outside the terminal because he wore a jacket in 80-degree summer heat, Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported. The guards followed the suspect as he met up with two other men. When the men realized they had police attention, they hurried to hit their targets.

“When the terrorists couldn’t pass the regular security system, when they couldn’t pass the scanners, police and security controls, they returned and took out their weapons out of their suitcases and opened fire at random at the security check,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildririm said Wednesday.

The airport’s new security approach of placing armed guards at the doors came after bombings at Brussels airport and a nearby subway station killed 32 people in March. Brussels airport shuttered for weeks after suicide attackers detonated bombs at a checkin area, causing extensive damage. The explosions in Istanbul caused far less damage, and the airport reopened Wednesday.

The Brussels attacks spurred calls for the Transportation Security Administration to move security checkpoints to doorways, but experts pointed out such a move would only push crowds of travelers onto sidewalks or parking lots where they would remain targets.

A better goal, security officials said, is to post armed officers such as local police or National Guard members at all terminal doors to gauge the behavior of suspicious travelers before they enter the building. Checkpoints inside would still screen passengers and bags for weapons and explosives.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey posted more armed police and National Guard members Wednesday at John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports.

Any checkpoints should be behind bollards — short vertical posts that can halt a vehicle — to reduce the threat of car bombs, according to Jeff Price, an aviation-security professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver.

“Putting screening checkpoints too close to the entrances creates an additional vulnerability as you’re exposing those waiting in line to a much more powerful vehicle bomb, versus a less powerful backpack or suicide bomber farther inside the terminal,” he said.

Peter Martin, CEO of AFIMAC Global, a consultancy that assesses threats at airports and gauges risks in high-risk environments such as Istanbul, said the key is to push security out as far as possible to blunt the impact on crowds.

“There’s not anything really designed to keep those areas from being overrun,” Martin said. “This is a prime example of people targeting where the people are.”

Martin said the hope is for security to appear the strongest so that terrorists will move on to a different target. “You don’t want your target to be the softest perceived target,” he said.

Another tactic, adopted by Los Angeles airport, is posting armed officers along airport roads to observe vehicles that appear weighed down with explosives or are carrying people who look uncomfortable or suspicious.

“You need to have armed personnel outside the terminal, as well as inside the terminal, so that if a threat is engaged, it’s engaged effectively,” Roma.

Presidente AFIMAC América Latina Ruben Mena analiza la respuesta SWAT en situaciones tirador activos – Telemundo WSCV Canal 51

June 23rd, 2016 Comments off

SWAT respuesta relacionada con los tiradores activos – Telemundo WSCV Channel 51.

AFIMAC Latin America President Ruben Mena discusses SWAT response in active shooter situations on Telemundo WSCV Channel 51.

WLTV entrevista sobre los tiradores activos con Ruben Mena, AFIMAC experto en seguridad

June 23rd, 2016 Comments off

WLTV entrevista sobre los tiradores activos con Ruben Mena, experto en seguridad

WLTV interview on active shooter situations and response with Ruben Mena, AFIMAC Global security expert.

UNIVISION 23 Miami: AFIMAC Art Garffer, un experto en seguridad analiza la masacre de Orlando

June 13th, 2016 Comments off

UNIVISION 23 MIAMI: Un experto en seguridad analiza la masacre de Orlando y la califica como crimen de odio y un posible ataque terrorista.

 

USA Today ‘Schools, churches and theaters take steps to prepare for unexpected attacks’ by Adam Stone

January 18th, 2016 Comments off

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AFIMAC’s Peter Martin quoted by Associated Press related to Workplace Emergency Plans, as featured on ABC NEWS

December 16th, 2015 Comments off

Workplace Balance

The terror attack at a social services facility in California has become a sobering reminder to companies of how vulnerable workplaces can be when employees are confronted with active shooters.

Since a gun-wielding husband-and-wife team killed 14 and wounded 21 others this month in San Bernardino, California, employers across the country have been reassessing their emergency plans to ensure they are prepared to deal with workplace violence.

More companies have been calling security and human resources experts to get information on how to prepare for an attack. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said big companies have asked for permission to use its nine-minute video, “Surviving an Active Shooter,” which portrays shootings in an office, a shopping mall and a school.

And “Run. Hide. Fight.,” a six-minute video created by Houston officials on what to do when someone opens fire in the office, has been viewed tens of thousands of times daily since the rampage, the most views since its release around the time of the mass shooting in a Coloradomovie theater in 2012. Jackie Miller, the city of Houston’s community preparedness programs manager, said one company asked for 6,000 wallet-sized cards with the mantra from the video, encouraging workers to hide if they can’t run, and fight if they can’t hide.

The company inquiries come as workplace violence in the U.S. has made international headlines. The most recent official statistics are two years old and show the rate of workplace violence to be steady for the previous two decades. Still, deaths resulting from workplace violence were the second leading cause of job fatalities in the U.S. after transportation incidents in 2013, the latest data available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And studies show that most companies are ill-equipped to deal with workplace violence. A government survey in 2005 found that 80 percent of companies that experienced a violent incident didn’t subsequently change workplace violence policies or programs. The survey did not spell out what a policy or program would include.

In practice, companies’ response plans range from highly detailed to nonexistent, security experts say. Brent O’Bryan, vice president of AlliedBarton Security Services, said when he gives seminars on workplace violence awareness across the country, about half the attendees say their companies have no policy. “I am not confident that most employers are prepared,” he says.

Part of the problem is that most companies don’t know how to create a workplace violence plan, says Peter Martin, CEO of AFIMAC Global, a security consulting company based in Miami.

Also, there’s a belief by some that workplace violence won’t happen in their office: Indeed, smaller companies may not be particularly concerned about workplace violence following shootings, says Jay Starkman, CEO of Engage PEO, a human resources provider based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“A lot of employers, especially small and medium-sized businesses, believe even in the wake of all the things you read about: ‘It can’t happen here, not in my company, not with the people I know,'” Starkman says.

Some companies that are aware of the potential for workplace violence are preparing in the event of an active shooting. Choice Hotels, for instance, designates employees who are able to block access to elevators and direct other staffers to evacuation routes. Its response plans are continually evolving, but no changes have been made since the San Bernardino shootings, says Anne Hendrick, vice president of human resources for the hotel company.

Some companies also include in their plans an emphasis on preventing violence before it starts. Beer and wine distributor Monarch Beverage, which has about 650 employees at its Indianapolis headquarters, has a doctor and nurse practitioner onsite who are able to handle mental health issues. Supervisors also are trained to recognize changes in workers’ behavior or to alert security if they anticipate trouble from a negative job review.

“Our people are hyper-vigilant to make sure they involve our security team if they have any concerns whatsoever,” says Natalie Roberts, senior vice president with the Indianapolis company, which also has an emergency plan.

But even when companies prepare for workplace violence, the end result can be tragic. Some of the San Bernardino shooting survivors followed workplace violence training they were given about a year before the killings.

Employees at the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Services division had gotten “active shooter” training in the same conference room where the shootings took place. Two survivors said colleagues reacted by trying to do as they were trained — dropping under the tables and staying quiet to avoid attracting attention.

Rob Shuster, AFIMAC VP on WTAP NEWS – Active Shooter Critical Moments

December 14th, 2015 Comments off

WTAP NEWS – Active Shooter Critical Moments

 

Rob Shuster of AFIMAC discusses active shooter incidents with WTAP NEWS.

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Shootings in businesses and public offices are nothing new.

But in the past, they’ve been motivated by people with largely personal issues.

Because of that, companies have surfaced to help employees take a pro–‐active stance to deal with them.

“People can, out of panic and out of fear, do things you wouldn’t expect them to do,” says Ron Shuster, Vice–‐President for training, AFIMAC “They’ll freeze; they’ll take things out with them, some of them will understand that priority one is to evacuate; some of them will not. Some of them will do things that will make things more difficult for the responding police officers,  and they have to be schooled not to do those things.”

AFIMAC provides active shooter training for businesses and similar organizations. Another company, Dark Angel Medical, helps responders prepare for those incidents.

But one of its officials says fighting back is one way not to deal with a mass gunman.

“Police are going to be coming, and I’m not going to be running out of the store with my gun out, because they’ll think I’m the bad guy,” says Dark Angel co–‐founder Lynn Davis. “I’m going to be trying to move away from the dangerous situation, and my main mission is to protect my husband and my child.”

Both companies say due to events of the past month, active shooter training may be evolving.

“I suspect that will happen, given Paris,” Shuster says. “I think it’s ridiculous to assume that won’t happen here. But it did happen in Paris.” AFIMAC was started in the 1980s by former Washington County commissioner James Vuksic.

Dark Angel plans a training exercise next June in Reno, Ohio, just outside Marietta.

 

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