Archive for April, 2012

Drug Free Workplace – Undercover Investigations

April 24th, 2012 Comments off

Undercover Investigations

The State of Florida recently signed a bill to allow drug testing in the workplace – The Drug Free Workplace Act.  The test can be done randomly every three months and include up to 10% of a company’s workforce.  Positive tests can result in immediate termination.

While this may assist companies with on the job usage that could cause potential safety risks (e.g. forklift drivers or other machine operators), it doesn’t address other drug related issues that may be going on in a workplace.  There are cases where drug dealers have applied for employment with companies to open themselves to a new clientele in a relatively ‘safe’ zone free of police patrols like they would encounter on the streets.

To investigate possible drug activity like dealing, which can lead to workplace violence if deals go bad, an undercover investigator would be suggested.  Undercover investigators will document who is involved and where the violations are taking place.  This can also include video and the company can take appropriate action with the evidence collected.

Drug Free Workplace enacted in Florida

By: By Maggie Rooks | Special to the Floridan
Published: April 19, 2012

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law that allows Florida state agencies to randomly test workers for drugs.

The Drug Free Workplace Act will let state employers test up to 10 percent of their workforce once every three months. The first time an employee tests positive, he or she will be fired.

The testing was first proposed in the 2011 Florida Legislature session but was passed in the state House of Representatives and Senate during the last week of the 2012 session, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Previous Florida drug testing laws only allowed for the random testing of state workers in “safety sensitive” situations and treatment options instead of automatic termination on the first positive test, according to the statute.

Victoria Mock, 20, has never been drug tested for her job as a student worker for the Leon County School Board. However, she isn’t worried about the new statute.

“I wouldn’t find being tested inconvenient because I have nothing to be worried about,” Mock said.

For the purposes of the Florida Drug Free Workplace Act, the term “drug” can refer to alcohol, prescription medicines, narcotics, hallucinogens, amphetamines, opiates and any other addicting substances.

Read more…

Robbery Suspect Unmasked

April 24th, 2012 Comments off

Diligent police work and observant staff have potentially unmasked a robbery suspect responsible for at least ten bank robberies in California.  Bank staff were able to provide police with information about suspicious activity prior to a bank robbery that was likely the suspect casing the bank.  The suspect dubbed the ‘Snowboarder Bandit’ because of wearing ski-type clothes in early robberies was difficult to identify because he also wore a helmet and glasses.

Observation skills are not only important during a robbery, but as this instance has proven, pre and post robbery.  Being able to recognize when there is something not right in your work environment pre robbery, focusing on specifics during a robbery, and practicing the appropriate post robbery actions can greatly assist an investigation.

Officials Release Sketches of ‘Snowboarder Bandit’

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KTLA) — Sheriff’s officials have released three composite sketches of the man they believe is the “Snowboarder Bandit,” who is wanted for robbing at least 10 Southern California banks.

Local and federal investigators hope the sketches will lead to the bandit’s arrest.

Click HERE to view the sketches.

The sketches are based on surveillance footage and witness accounts, including some from the last bank authorities say he was seen in.

The suspect was inside the bank, but he did not rob it, Orange County sheriff’s officials said.

Investigators believe he was casing the bank — planning for a future heist.

“The bank employee became suspicious because (the bandit) walked in and looked around the bank, they asked if they could help him, he made some idle conversation that didn’t really make sense and then he inquired about a safety-deposit box,” said sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino.

Read more…

Social Media Investigations and Penguins?

April 24th, 2012 Comments off

Seems that security needs to be stepped up at Sea World, but luckily social media saved the day penguin this time.

(CNN) — A trio of men faces charges after allegedly stealing a penguin from Sea World on the Gold Coast of Australia’s Queensland and then bragging about it online.

Dirk, one of the park’s 29 fairy penguins, was found under Southport pier Sunday night, frightened but apparently not hurt.

The theft on Saturday night was the first of an animal in the park’s 40-year history, the park’s spokeswoman Renee Soutar said on Monday.

Police alerted Sea World after someone saw pictures of the penguin on Facebook allegedly posted by the three men, who were releasing it nearby.

Read more…

No Way? Seriously Dude? Social Media Investigation Win

April 20th, 2012 Comments off

Well, a man in Kentucky has just made my list of social media investigation subjects that just make it way too easy.  The man ran out of gas and decided to fill up by stealing gas from a police cruiser.  But in case that wasn’t risky enough, he had his girlfriend take a picture while in the act – even flashing an obscene gesture.

The big opps though…he then posted the picture on Facebook.

Police bust man over Facebook pic – See video on CNN here.

Workplace Violence in the NFL

April 18th, 2012 Comments off

Absolutely the NFL is susceptible to workplace violence.  Keep in mind everyone from the players to the doctor to the water boy are employees of a team and staff of the stadium teams play in are also open to violence.

There have been player fights during games and practices:

The San Francisco 49ers can’t seem to get along during practice. In the middle of a ball security drill, cornerback Shantae Spencer nailed linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Everyone seemed to laugh about it, but Brooks didn’t think it was funny. The linebacker got up, hit Spencer in the head and the two started to fight.

Fans have pelted players and staff with objects:

During a game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos at Cleveland Stadium, officials had the teams switch end zones in the fourth quarter to protect Denver players from batteries and other objects being thrown from the Dawg Pound.

Fans have had fights in the seats that inevitably involve security staff:

Fans of football Bay Area rivals, the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, got into a brawl at a recent preseason game between the two teams.

With the NFL releasing the 2012-2013 schedule, I am looking forward to seeing what Peyton Manning will do for the Broncos with the exit of Tim Tebow, but I also couldn’t help think of the recent Bountygate issue that has been a hot topic in the NFL lately.  How is that for a case of workplace violence?  Imagine it in an office setting.  A manager requests that an employee targets a competitors employee to inflict pain or fear so they cannot perform their job duties.  Workplace bullying most definitely.

Eating Snack Foods For a Nonverbal De-escalation Technique?

April 11th, 2012 Comments off

Not your typical nonverbal de-escalation technique or one that is taught in nonviolent confrontation management, but eating potato ships certainly worked in this instance.  Well done!

Watch the video here.

Video and Social Media Investigations – Follow up

April 10th, 2012 Comments off

Yesterday after posting my blog I caught a story on the news that clearly reinforced one of my suggestions that public video often gets posted without a victim reporting an incident or police even being aware a crime has been committed.

Very true was the case of a tourist in Baltimore that was beaten and stripped (literally if you can believe it) after celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.  In this case, the man woke up the next day at his hotel not remembering what had happened, how he got the bruises and cuts or where his belongings were – this would probably be linked to possible intoxication, but also from the hits to his head.  I don’t think that self-applied protective measures would have helped this gentleman unfortunately, because situational awareness was probably completely muted given his assumed blood alcohol levels.
People at the scene that shot video of the violent incident posted it on video sharing sites and police began a social media investigation.  One of the victim’s family members even saw the clip and notified him.


Onlookers jeer as man is beaten, stripped and robbed in Baltimore
By Lisa Sylvester, CNN

Baltimore (CNN) — Onlookers laughed and did nothing to help as a man was beaten, stripped and robbed on the street in Baltimore.

The attack, which police say happened on March 18 after St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, was captured by at least two cameras. Video of it went viral.

“Not only did they rob him, but they attempted to strip him of his dignity. They tore his clothes off; they mocked him. That behavior just will not be tolerated,” said Detective Nicole Monroe with the Baltimore police.

Police say they have identified one suspect, but have made no arrests.

They are not releasing the victim’s identity except to say he was a 31-year-old man from Arlington, Virginia.

The victim was on the way to his hotel from a downtown Baltimore club when he was attacked, according to a police report. The man had been drinking. He told police he couldn’t recall exactly what happened, but the videos fill in the blanks.

In them, a man is seen standing, unsteadily, against a row of mailboxes. A crowd starts to gather and women dance suggestively against him. Someone notices his watch and a hand seems to grab something from one of the man’s front pockets.

He pursues the supposed thief and is punched in the face. The man falls over backward and his head hits the sidewalk so hard it can be heard on the video.

Watch the video and read more…

Video and Social Media Investigations

April 9th, 2012 Comments off

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, and while tidbits of new evidence trickle in, mixed with some eyewitness accounts, there doesn’t seem to be anything to clearly assist the ongoing investigation.

With incidents like this, the existence of video would typically speed up an investigation or clearly define the happenings – but no video of this incident has surfaced to date.  Often when video captures an incident, it almost immediately finds its way on social media sites before the authorities have access to it if it was filmed by the public.  This allows the public to make their own judgments from visual evidence instead of trying to piece things together as they are fed information through private news channels as with the Trayvon Martin case.

When video is posted online it allows for a social media investigation element to a case.  There have even been instances of videos showing a crime being posted that originally went unreported because a victim didn’t think that just their reported claim would be enough to ensure justice.  But viewers have notified authorities of criminal activity seen on video sharing sites and then an investigation is opened and the victim comes forward (e.g. the Brandon White beating).

Would video everywhere reduce violent acts?  More than four million cameras monitor life in Britain – is it a positive or a negative and how accepting is the general public of constant surveillance?

GPS Tracking for Marketing?

April 2nd, 2012 Comments off

On my way to work this morning, I couldn’t help notice the truck in front of me when I merged onto the highway had a big sign stating ‘THIS VEHICLE IS LIMITED TO 98 Km/h’

The number 98 seemed odd and stood out to me given that the limit is 100Km, and also because I was doing between 110-119Km for a while – as was the truck (117Km when the photo was taken).  I wondered if the company (which will remain nameless and blurred in the photo) marketed the 98Km as a special logistical feature to clients to ensure safe delivery of their product, or for internal insurance purposes, or maybe because they’ve had issues with their staff drivers speeding.

With anything, if you market a service or feature, you need to deliver on it (yes, a trucking pun).  So in this case, vehicle tracking through GPS may not be a bad idea to back up claims and give clients real time information to monitor their assets.

If the question of my speed and using a device to take a photo is raised – I had a passenger take the photo and my speed is Photoshop’d!

GPS Tracking for Marketing

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