Often times in our articles, we talk about how to protect you, your family and property. We have in the past talked about security officers and the role they have in the work place. For this article, we want to bring attention to those that never get mentioned when disaster strikes. We rightfully see the stories of policemen, fire fighters and military personnel, who have lost their lives in service to their community. We rarely read about the security officers that are injured or killed in the line of duty. Here are a couple of their stories.
In New York City, two officers, Edwin Sawyer and Evans Jean-Jacques, were found dead in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in late October. Sawyer was guarding the building he had watched for more than twenty years. He was found the next day on the sidewalk. Jacques drowned while guarding his site on Fulton Street. There were also reports of three other security officers that were seriously injured during the storm in New York and New Jersey. These individuals stayed, knowing that they could be harmed, but they followed their directives and remained behind to protect their assigned sites. In Tampa, FL, security officer Michael Valentin was killed in mid-November. He was patrolling the Grand Oaks apartment complex. He was shot to death, and reports are that it was at point blank range.
On September 11, 2001, we don’t have to be reminded of the tragedy that happened in New York. Nearly 3000 people were killed, including policemen and firefighters. We honor those that ran into a building that was on fire and eventually collapsed around them. We know about the people that were saved by their efforts. But what you do not hear about is how many security officers, which stayed in the buildings directing people to the exits, helping the police and fire fighters get to the trapped victims; were also killed when the building collapsed. The Security Officers code says “we are the last to leave.”
In Salinas, CA, a female security officer guarding the Northridge Mall was trying to detain a person who was drunk in public. As she approached the man, the suspect got into his car and drove away; running over and critically injury the security officer.
In Madison, WI, a security officer working at JC Penny was injured when two Black Friday shoppers attacked him after he accused them of shoplifting. The 24 year old was attacked by two females-- 22 and 14 years of age. The officer witnessed them placing clothing beneath a baby in a stroller. The officer received a cut near the ear.
At this time of year we reflect on the past; what we have gained and what we have lost, we also look to the future, to brighter days. As you go to the malls and stores, when you see a security officer, please remember these officers are not there to put a damper on your holiday fun, unless you intend to be “naughty.” These officers are there to provide a safe environment for your shopping enjoyment. We hope you plan to be “nice” and be safe during this Holiday Season.
By: Brian Black of Madison Security Group