Saturday, March 22, 2008

Security Updates

  • The victim of the home invasion/rape in Roland Park last summer has finally returned home. There have been no arrests since the first suspect was released.
  • Friends School has suffered the same fate as Bryn Mawr and Boys' Latin: an early-morning burglary with a projector stolen.
  • The Bassett family of Roland Park has sued General Growth Properties, owner/operators of TowsonTown Center, as well as Allied Barton Security as a result of the murder of William Bassett, a faculty leader at St. Paul's school which occurred in the mall's parking garage nearly three years ago.
  • GEDCO finally got a visit from the police and is apparently determined to stay in their present location despite the recent rape/robbery of an employee last fall and other earlier crimes.
  • Charles Village had an inaugural "Citizens on Patrol" walk in order to kick off a COP program there with a lot of dignitaries and the Commish. Now comes the hard part: organizing and keeping a citizens on patrol group running and getting and keeping volunteers to keep doing it.

Morgan State campus police chief unarrests student

My computer spell checker says there is no such word as unarrest. Sheesh. Gadi Decter's article in this morning's Sun created more questions than it answered in Buz's mind. At each level, the incident could have been handle much better.

The campus security consultant in me wonders:
  • Why the student did not pay, if her card showed zero balance. Entitled, perhaps?
  • Why there was no balance in her card's account. A Morgan computer glitch perhaps?
  • Why the cafeteria manager called the campus police. Previous instructions from her bosses perhaps?
  • Why the officer who was called decided to arrest. A crime anywhere else, perhaps?
  • Why the student still refused to pay. Busy talking on her cell phone, perhaps? Or was it FTP?
  • Why the officer did not call for his supervisor before deciding to arrest. Felt it unnecessary, perhaps? (By the way, I'm wondering how many Morgan students are arrested by the Campus Police during a typical month.)
  • Why the officer had not been trained that arresting students was a last resort. Perhaps someone didn't think of it.
  • Why the Chief got involved. She was the daughter of a Very Important Person, perhaps.
  • Why the student was not just "Investigated and Released". {If my job was on the line, I'd show up and pay the $6.50.} We guess the resulting Resisting Arrest charge perhaps. 
  • Why the Chief or school didn't just speak to the State's Attorney after making payment and have the case dismissed before court? Cases are nolle prossed all the time. 
  • Why were the reports destroyed and altered. Always a bad move, Perhaps.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Identity Theft in a careless world

I sometimes wonder what is the tremendous need to have all that information out there and that these companies, and government agencies are in such a rush to have it all at their fingertips. We constantly hear about some dum-dum taking his government or company laptop home with him, leaving it in his car or around the house and having it stolen. Ok. Then we find out that they have 8 zillion clients on the laptop always with social security numbers and dates of birth and sometimes addresses, too. Sheesh, think they might soon add all your credit card numbers?

Now, when Buz was in the service ( a couple of years ago), compartmentalization was practiced: you tried never to have all the information in one place, and if needed it was very secure indeed. So the consultant wonders why organizations always insist on having both birth dates and social #'s in the same place--often unencrypted. Like, can't they create an account number of some kind which is only good there, and if they have to, look up dob in one place, and social in another?

Then we just got a mailing from the Blue Cross Dental affiliate reporting that all of our info was openly displayed on a website that anyone could look at. Ugh. Why? Don't the computer types drink a lot of coffee or something? Doesn't anyone review their own work anymore?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Re-locating to Baltimore? Consider your security along with other factors.

Relocation to Baltimore: I've been reading lots of posts on the City-Data forum site-many of which are from people re-locating to Baltimore from out of town for jobs at Hopkins and other major employers, and expressing some concerns for security. Some of the responses are a bit disconcerting. If the person expresses concerns about his/her safety, I don't think it's wise to tell them the entire city is wonderful, and they can go walking about this neighborhood or that at any time of the day or night. 

I don't know who sponsors the site, but it appears to be affected with unbridled civic boosterism and a willingness to attract people to neighborhoods in which they probably will feel uncomfortable. Now, I know there are good neighborhoods in Baltimore where the trade offs of pluses outweigh the negatives.  But Baltimore is still one of the highest crime cities in the country, and many persons living in safer areas need to be careful in where they live here.

Many relocating professionals would do well to employ the services of an independent relocation consultant to help them weigh the positives and negatives of any particular location.
And they have to weigh any potential risks of crime discomfort against other factors, such as the cost of rent, schools, quality of apartment, etc., not to mention commute times, and closeness to desirable areas.

Club Choices for Sale!

It appears that Club Choices is for sale for $25 million. The ad states that it has 3 unique licenses-the only night club in Maryland to do so: Adult Entertainment License (strippers, etc.?), an after hours license (hmmm. not much good happens after midnight, Brian Billick told the Ravens last spring), and a regular ole Baltimore City Liquor License.

Sounds like the perfect spot for Buz to open up his Vice Mall: Inside, anything goes: strip club, deprecations of all kinds, fights to the death, prostitution, all drugs ala Hampsterdam, and of course slots. Buz will be in charge of security and happily pay taxes on it to support education, horse, racing, etc, blah blah blah. He predicts that it will be so successful that Magna Entertainment will not have to have slots anywhere else. And the ad says that zoning will allow building up to 80 stories: the world's first high-rise Vice Mall! Just imagine: no new taxes for the next 10 years for the already wealthiest state in the country. Conventions, here we come.......Get in on it!