Thursday, November 11, 2010

Odds and Ends from scraps of thought re: crime and police and security in Baltimore

Buz has not posted for a while since he's been a busy beaver with several security-related projects. However, there's been a lot going on in the crime/police/security world in Baltimore (and everywhere else, too).
So, some random, eclectic thoughts:
  • Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police members are voting on a new contract offer today. This is the first offer that I can ever remember, after 30 years working on the city police force, that the city offered a reduction in pay (in this case 1.95%). In exchange, the officers get 5 more days off in 2012. Part of ongoing strife between the city and FOP.
  • A small nonprofit Christian school in Hamilton got broken into, and all of their recently purchased (from a grant) computers were stolen, along with a lot of other items. Wonder why they think it's an "inside job"? Large scale computer room thefts associated with burglaries are not unusual. We can think of several, all unsolved: Bryn Mawr, Boys Latin, UMBC, a lawyer's office in Mt. Washington, et al. And I agree: in most cases, there is at least some inside connection, if only with information.
  • Recently, a whole tractor trailer loaded with new laptops bound for a Wal-Mart was stolen from a trucking company in Southeast Baltimore. The tractor was found not too far away, in Rosedale. The empty trailer was found a the Maryland House rest stop on I95. Betcha some insurance company is upset. Buz drove around the site and saw only very modest security arrangements. The Christmas season has begun! (This case almost certainly involved inside info!)
  • Speaking of non profits, I once wrote a letter to the head of a foundation, announcing the kickoff of my security consulting business. He wrote a nice letter back, saying he couldn't think of anybody who might use my services. Yet, like the nonprofit school mentioned above, many grant recipients get money to buy computers an other things, but have scant security measures in place to protect the foundation's investment. Nonprofits are especially vulnerable, me thinks, to criminal activity of all kinds.
  • The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations was supposed to have received a report from Johns Hopkins Hospital by now discussing the incident recently where a patient was shot and killed, and the shooter, her son, took his own life. I wonder what Hopkins' Risk Management wrote as to what processes they will put in place to see that an incident like this is not repeated. The Joint Commission only rarely gets involved in crime issues--mostly medical issues--but in this case a patient died. Magnetometers to check for firearms at Hopkins and most hospitals would be difficult to implement, costly, and of dubious effectiveness.
  • Your consultant recently was mentioned on the Mt. Washington list serve as a resource for people wanting to better secure their homes against burglaries. As a result Buz performed 3 residential security audits for homeowners in that beautiful community. Everybody was really nice and easy to work with!
  • Over the last year, we've made presentations to community associations on this very subject, home burglaries, including folks in Rodgers Forge and Bellona-Gittings in North Baltimore.
  • One doctor who works and teaches at Hopkins medicine had his house broken into and almost all his lectures were on the laptop which was stolen during the burglary. However, he said the police were very nice, and spent several hours processing the scene. And detectives came to his house almost every night during the next week to check on him and followup for any new leads or information. Well done!


Michael N. said...

If you look at the Sun's story about the computers stolen from the school, there were also several items taken from other locations such as "behind a stage", and someone took a dump on the floor as well. To me, that sounds like somebody who has a grudge.

buzoncrime said...

Yes, Michael, I agree that it certainly looks that way, but one cannot be certain without more information. It's quite possible that the burglars included a rejected, suspended or dismissed student, or a terminated employee.

It makes it sound like a juvenile school vandalism, but the level of theft also indicates a desire to steal for gain. Not sure what behind a stage exactly means, but my guess it wasn't terribly hidden.

The level of insider-ness could be anywhere from a long past student to a current staff member. Who knows?