Hugh O'Rourke



Our blog series focusing on top security concerns for the year ahead concludes by taking a closer look at solutions to address the ongoing rise in crime across most major U.S. cities. The Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ) released its mid-year 2022 crime report, examining crime data from 29 cities. Their findings point to a continued high rate of violent crime which requires ongoing diligence and the expansion of security strategies with proven effectiveness.

More than a dozen major U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Chicago, are experiencing violent crime at the highest numbers in years. New York City experienced a 22 percent increase in overall major crime compared to the prior year. From coast to coast, carjackings and assaults are surging. Smash-and-grab and “flash-mob-style” robberies occur daily. How should organizations work to improve their security posture amid this crisis?


Ongoing Threat Assessments

When was the last time your organization’s security plan was reviewed? Even the most robust and comprehensive plans can quickly become ineffective if not regularly examined. Gaps in security can easily go unnoticed until it is too late, which is why threat assessments are recommended at least annually. Partnering with an industry expert often provides fresh and intuitive expertise that can lead to important countermeasures to help fortify security.


A Hardened Appearance

One of the most operationally efficient and cost-effective security measures to prevent hostile activity is to create a formidable appearance to your building or campus and its perimeter. Active patrol, counter-surveillance, proper lighting and physical security system enhancements serve as visual deterrents to criminals seeking a soft target. 


Early Detection of Unwanted Activity

Monitoring and surveillance solutions can serve as a second line of defense against unwanted activity. Explosive and Firearms Detection Canine Teams provide an active visual deterrent while simultaneously sniffing out the possible threat of improvised explosive devices and guns even in high-traffic areas. Armed or unarmed protective services – whether uniformed or covert – can also provide surveillance on emerging hazards.  Well trained to meet a variety of threat scenarios, these professionals respond to ever-changing risk environments and de-escalate confrontation – all while maintaining optimal discretion and a professional demeanor.


Well-Defined Communication and Response Chain

If and when a breach in security occurs, it is essential that organization personnel understand how to rapidly communicate that security issue to key stakeholders and outside response agencies. Every response plan should clearly identify the team or individuals responsible for engaging security, local law enforcement, fire and emergency medical response. The response must be in real-time.


Leverage Local Intelligence

Real-time intelligence as to the ongoing risk of criminal activity in a particular city or neighborhood can be garnered by building relationships with local law enforcement. This open line of communication can be essential to anticipating threats and building a culture of safety in the fight against crime. This information exchange should include transparency on the current threat and ways to identify early risk factors.


Defending an organization’s people, assets and brand against a multitude of security threats requires a commitment to vigilance. Organizations of every size must continually reevaluate processes and techniques. To learn more about how to identify and mitigate any of the threats discussed in this blog series, schedule a consultation with one of our subject matter experts by emailing

Stay tuned for our next blog in this series focusing on the top three threats to watch in 2023. To never miss timely content from MSA’s subject matter experts, be sure to subscribe to our blog.

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