Security

DHS Provides Resources, Training To Combat Church Active Shooters

In the wake of the Texas church shooting, houses of worship may be wondering how their congregation might prepare for and respond to an “active shooter.” One resource worth exploring is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website, specifically “Active Shooter Preparedness.” From that section:

Welcome to the Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage. Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly. In the midst of the chaos, anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to enhance preparedness through a “whole community” approach by providing products, tools, and resources to help you prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident…

Visitors can obtain active shooter preparedness resources as a private citizen, human resources or security professional, active shooter workshop participant, and first responder. Key resources available to the “private citzen” include:

-“How to Respond” Resource Materials: “A series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter” like a booklet, pamphlet, poster, pocket card, and more (translated into other languages too)
-“Options for Consideration” Active Shooter Preparedness Video: Almost 8-minute video which “demonstrates possible actions that individuals can take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.”
-Active Shooter Emergency Action Plan Video: 1-hour 36-minute video that “describes the fundamental concepts of developing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for an active shooter scenario…”

According to TIME magazine, under the Trump Administration DHS has actually been ahead of the curve with training places of worship to deal with active shooter incidents. Elizabeth Dias reported Sunday:

Even before Sunday’s shooting at a small Baptist church in Texas, the Trump Administration was moving ahead with efforts to train houses of worship on emergency security procedures, including active shooter situations.

Now, an Administration official says he’ll be working even harder to train religious leaders on how to secure their members and property.

In the past four months, [director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships office Jamie] Johnson the said his team has collaborated with religious groups on more than a dozen efforts to improve security, but he has plans for more.

“We are going to be a whole lot busier in the months and years to come when it comes to safety and security for houses of worship,” he says. “This issue will now come to the forefront of the religious conversation in America.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Good to know. One more thing. Religious institutions might want to investigate if any local resources are available to help prepare for/respond to an active shooter if they haven’t done so already. I’ve stumbled upon a few articles on the Internet these past few days where local law enforcement are offering assistance to churches and such.

DHS’ Active Shooter Preparedness Program webpage can be accessed here. And readers can keep abreast of what’s new out of the DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships here.

Know of any religious facilities that might benefit from this information? Pass it on!

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Dias, Elizabeth. “Trump Administration Might Ramp Up Security Training for Houses of Worship After Texas Shooting.” TIME. 5 Nov. 2017. (http://time.com/5011069/texas-church-shooting-trump-security-training/). 7 Nov. 2017.

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Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke: Mainstream Media Now Democrats’ ‘Propaganda Wing’ As Trump Defends Nation

Let’s turn our attention north of the “Cheddar Curtain” now. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Jr., appeared on FOX News Saturday morning and really let the mainstream media and opponents of strengthening the borders/homeland security have it. On the sparring between President Trump and the mainstream media, Sheriff Clarke informed FOX & Friends Weekend viewers:

Well, first of all, the mainstream media, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC- they have become the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party and of leftist ideology. They abandoned their responsibility under the Constitution, their First Amendment protection. And we want them to have First Amendment protection but we don’t want it to be used against people whose political views they don’t agree with or that they oppose. They’re supposed to be a watchdog but instead what they have become, like I said, is an echo chamber for leftist ideology. So I think it’s good because the media has changed. And organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others do not realize that this is a new media age and every person in the United States now is their own reporter. And that is competition to them as well and they don’t like it.

On President’s Trump’s initiatives to protect the nation’s borders and strengthen homeland security, Clarke said:

First of all, I’m tired of these one-percenters like Mark Zuckerberg and others lecturing us about who we are. I know who I am, and most Americans know who we are. We are a sovereign nation. If you’re going to be a sovereign nation, you have to have borders and you have to protect those borders. Mark Zuckerberg has no idea of who’s coming into this country and what it takes to vet those individuals. I as a law enforcement officer- I’m in my 39th year- we do a lot of vetting of people. I know how it’s done. But you have to have databases with which to compare. So you take a name, someone coming in as a refugee. And we’re not talking about the kids. I’m tired of all this crocodile tears about the kids, the poor kids coming. We’re not talking that. We’re talking about abled-bodied, grown men, fighting-age, that should be back in Syria and back in the Middle East fighting for their country coming over to the United States to spread jihad. So that’s who we’re talking about. But if you don’t have a database, someone gives you a name, and you don’t have a database in Syria, because they don’t have the record systems and the databases like we have with people- you have nothing to compare it to. So they give you a name and you look and there’s nothing there. That doesn’t mean that they’re safe to come in. So Donald Trump is right on this. And I hope that the rest of the people in Washington, D.C., realize that this thing is a mess and we have to get our arms around it. And at least President Donald Trump recognizes that…

What’s interesting is former President Barack Obama said that they were already doing it. So if he said- and they weren’t- but if he said they were already doing it, and now President Donald Trump comes along and says we’re doing it and now these same people who said, “Well, hey, Barack Obama’s taking care of it”- these same people are now being critical of it. The hypocrisy of this is profound. But, President Donald Trump understands that his first obligation is to defend and protect American citizens, and defend and protect America from foreign threats. That is his first and most important obligation. So he is rising up to that. And people should be proud of that. It makes me feel more secure that finally, somebody understands that the defense of this nation is government’s number one priority.


“Sheriff Clarke: Mainstream Media Has Abandoned Its Constitutional Responsibility”
FOX News Video

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Chicago Tribune Letter: ‘Chicago, And Its Surrounding Areas, Have Become Hell on Earth’

This morning I headed over to the Chicago Tribune website to see what’s cooking locally. On their homepage was a “story” link with the following headline:

“Letter: I’m leaving Chicago and I’m never coming back”

Figuring this should make some “entertaining” reading while I finished my coffee, I checked out the proclamation. The author sure didn’t pull any punches. Here’s a snippet:

I’ve come to understand that Chicago, and its surrounding areas, have become Hell on Earth for any thinking person with a modicum of self-respect.

The caustic combination of corrupt politicians with nothing but contempt for the public; a police force so broken down in spirit it visibly resents interaction with even law-abiding citizens; a criminal underclass empowered by the incessant drone of liberal rhetoric wandering the streets posing clear and present danger to everyone around them; and the enablers, who are everywhere, to say nothing of the ugly, decaying infrastructure, poor economy and joyless entertainment and leisure opportunities – it is for these reasons I have made the decision to disconnect forever…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

As regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know, I am one of those who left Chicago (Northwest Side) only three-and-a-half years ago due to concerns over increasing government mismanagement, crime, and costs of living- in no particular order. Besides, even though I really liked the neighborhood I had lived in for eight years, it was time for a new pad and home prices were just too damn high!

My girlfriend and I did what was right for us at the time and in advance of what we suspect lies ahead. But Chicago is still a great city with fantastic people (minus the criminal element), so much so not only do I understand why one might still choose to reside there, but even I won’t go so far as to proclaim “I’m never coming back.”

I remain optimistic about the long-term prospects for the “Windy City.” That being said, I do believe conditions in the city will erode before improving again. For those dead set on remaining in town, please do yourself a favor and take a good, hard look at your financial and personal safety capabilities for successfully navigating any “storm” that may lie ahead. For example, how do your finances look with the real prospect of future tax hits down the road?

More later. And to read that entire letter sent to the Chicago Tribune, head on over to their website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Gallup: ‘Americans’ Direct Experience With Crime Is At A 16-Year High’

Ever get the feeling that crime is underreported these days?

If one is a politician, the motivation (survival) is definitely there. Particularly around election time.

So I wasn’t too surprised to learn of the following on the Gallup website the other day. Reporting on the findings of the company’s annual crime poll, Lydia Saad wrote November 10:

Twenty-nine percent of U.S. adults report that they or someone in their household was the victim of at least one form of conventional — meaning nondigital — crime in the past year. This is in line with the average 27% over the past four years, but up from an average of 24% in the early 2000s…

The conventional crimes that comprise Gallup’s crime victimization metrics include four different property crimes and three violent crimes that Gallup has asked about each year since 2000. In terms of the household numbers:

-17% of Americans say that property or money was stolen from someone in their household in the past year
-14% report having a home, car or other property vandalized
-5% say their home was broken into
-4% say a household member’s car was stolen

Smaller proportions of Americans say that a member of their household was a victim of any sort of violent crime in the past year. Of the three types asked about, the most common is a mugging or physical assault (3%), followed by armed robbery (2%) and sexual assault (1%)…

Americans’ direct experience with crime is at a 16-year high, consistent with a gradual increase — from 22% in 2001 to 29% today — in the percentage saying that they or a household member was the victim of a robbery, vandalism or violent crime in the past year…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The results for this Gallup poll were based on telephone interviews conducted between October 5-9, 2016, with a random sample of 1,017 adults across the country.

Since a picture can be worth a thousands words, I invite you to head on over to the Gallup website here to read the piece in its entirety, charts included.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, November 17th, 2016 Crime, Public Safety, Security, Self-Defense No Comments

Chicago Water Treatment Plant Breach Worrisome?

Back on August 16, 2014, I wrote on Survival And Prosperity:

Chicago residents and those from surrounding suburbs who get their tap water from the city really should consider setting aside an emergency supply of water if they haven’t done so already…

This was mentioned in light of a Chicago Sun-Times piece about security concerns at Chicago’s James W. Jardine Water Purification Plant- the largest water treatment plant in the world.

Water plant security in the “Windy City” was in the news again right before the weekend. Brad Edwards reported on the CBS 2 Chicago website on November 10:

Clean drinking water is essential for our health, so when a man with a foreign passport is discovered trespassing in a protected Chicago water plant, the FBI and Homeland security are alerted.

Authorities say Shahroon Augustine entered the Eugene Sawyer Water Purification Plant with a duffle bag, containing a passport from Pakistan.

He was charged with trespassing, then vanished…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Was this simply a case of criminal trespassing, or something more sinister? Regardless, unauthorized parties having access to a portion of Chicagoland’s supply of drinking water isn’t a good thing.

Once again, those potentially-affected really should consider socking away an emergency supply of H20 if they haven’t done so already. And it’s something that can be done relatively inexpensively.

You can read the entire article on the CBS 2 Chicago site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Robert Shiller: ‘Neither Farmland Nor Housing Has Been A Great Place To Invest Money Over The Long Term’

Yale University Economics Professor Robert Shiller just torpedoed long-held notions about farmland and residential real estate in this country. The Nobel Prize winner, who correctly-called the dot-com and housing busts of the last decade, penned the following on The New York Times website on July 15:

Despite solid price increases over the last few years, land and homes have actually been disappointing investments. It’s worth considering why.

Let’s start by looking at the numbers. The best long-term data on land in the United States is for farmland, which is valuable in its own right and can also be considered a great reservoir that can be converted to housing and other purposes at opportune times.

Over the century from 1915 to 2015, though, the real value of American farmland (deflated by the Consumer Price Index) increased only 3.1 times, according to the Department of Agriculture. That comes to an average increase of only 1.1 percent a year– and with a growing population, that’s barely enough to keep per capita real land value unchanged.

According to my own data (relying on the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which I helped create), real home prices rose even more slowly over the same period — a total increase of 1.8 times, which comes to an average of only 0.6 percent a year.

What all that amounts to is that neither farmland nor housing has been a great place to invest money over the long term…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Neither farmland nor housing has been a great place to invest money over the long term”

Obviously, this goes contrary to what many Americans have believed all along.

However, the fact that farmland can produce income from crops should not be ignored.

Residential real estate may also offer benefits beyond property value. In my case, the single-family dwelling in the Chicago suburbs which my girlfriend and I own is a significant improvement in such areas as security and food production, for example, compared to our previous rental unit in a multi-family building on the city’s Northwest Side.

An interesting piece from Dr. Shiller, which you can read on the Times’ website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Message For Chicago, Cook County, And Illinois Readers

Readers of Survival And Prosperity might get the wrong impression that I’m rooting for Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois to “fail” based on my routine blogging about their financial, crime, and political woes.

Actually, I do this because I care deeply about the region and its residents.

It’s been my experience that Chicagoans and Illinoisans are pretty decent people overall. I’ve found many of them to be down-to-earth and quick to lend a helping hand to neighbors and strangers alike.

It’s my personal opinion that these woes (interconnected in my mind) I speak of will only intensify in the coming years. The trend is not our friend here, and if anything, since many of the people who helped bring about this mess are still in charge, is it reasonable to expect they’ll be the ones to fix it?

In the meantime, I predict many Illinoisans will be subject to varying degrees of financial and physical pain while this debacle plays out.

As this is a plausible scenario, have local readers of Survival And Prosperity contemplated what’s at stake should conditions keep deteriorating? What would be your personal exposure if events play out the way I expect them to? Financial vulnerabilities? Personal safety shortcomings? Individual circumstances will undoubtedly vary.

Are the wheels turning in your head?

Good. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish with such posts.

The intent is not to scare. Rather, it’s rooted in care.

It’s my hope that informing Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois residents of the precarious situation at hand and providing food for thought might aid successful navigation through what will likely be unfamiliar territory for most.

Wishing everyone all the best with that,

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

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