A NOTE FROM ETHAN LAZAR, CEO OF CAMBRIDGE SECURITY
I am delighted to announce that we’ll be launching a new bi-monthly publication in 2015. Cambridge Security Journal will help you stay abreast of the latest and best information in the world of security, both at Cambridge and throughout the industry. We will call on both our own considerable expertise and the thoughts and insights of security experts at federal, state and local levels—all to help you, our clients, enjoy the new year safely and securely.
In the meantime, we wanted to use this final issue of our current newsletter to offer some tips on how to stay safe this holiday season, and to share with you some of the work we’ve been doing behind the scenes to give back to our local community. I hope you enjoy it.
Seasons Greetings from all of us at Cambridge Security.
WHEN A CAMBRIDGE CLIENT NEEDED MORE THAN SECURITY
When a child is desperately ill, parents often travel far from home in search of medical care. Many end up in New York City, and a fortunate few find themselves at MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care in Brooklyn. Medical care comes first, of course, but making the most of precious time is just as important.
MJHS (the Metropolitan Jewish Health System) is a charitable organization that uses its limited funds to provide both medical care and the necessities of life for families in the most trying circumstances. But Erica Rosenbaum, a pediatric social worker at MJHS, knows how important it is to care for families’ other needs as well. There may not be a budget line for final memorable outings, but the photos and memories of such outings bring a solace bereft families can treasure for the rest of their lives.
Baco, a six-year-old from Mali who had never been to a zoo, told his dad that he hoped to see one while he was still able to. So Rosenbaum did what she had done many times before: she got on the phone and figured out how to make it happen despite the fact that there was no money for the outing. She found out that admission to the Bronx Zoo was free on Wednesdays, and she located a local photographer who would take photos of Baco and his dad as they enjoyed their day at the zoo.
And then Rosenbaum called Cambridge, which provides security for MJHS. She asked National Account Manager Charles Casale if Cambridge would be willing to provide a car and driver to take Baco and his dad to the zoo that Wednesday. Casale not only agreed, but because the family spoke only French, he arranged for a French-speaking driver to take the group on their outing.
“The driver was wonderful,” says Rosenbaum. “We didn’t know how long we would be at the zoo, so the driver just waited all afternoon until we were ready to leave. Baco’s dad told her “it was the happiest day of our lives.”
This was not the only time Casale and Cambridge have helped out MJHS families, nor will it be the last. Rosenbaum, who recently left MJHS, says, “The first thing I forwarded to the person taking my place was Charlie’s phone number at Cambridge.”
HOW DOES A SECURITY COMPANY HELP AN INNER-CITY PREP SCHOOL?
In 2007 a new kind of prep school opened in Newark. Located in the inner city, it offered neighborhood kids a combination of academic rigor and real-world work experience. With the help of Cambridge and other area companies, the school is achieving remarkable results.
Like the other 27 schools in the nationwide Cristo Rey Network, Newark’s Christ the King Preparatory School is based on a model first conceived by Father John P. Foley, S.J. in a Chicago neighborhood nearly 30 years ago. A great deal is expected of everyone involved—students, parents, faculty, staff and corporate partners—but the results more than justify the effort. To date 90% of Cristo Rey students nationally have gone on to college; and for the last 4 years, 100% of the Newark school’s seniors have graduated and been accepted to colleges and universities.
Starting in ninth grade students spend one day each week working as interns at companies like Cambridge that have agreed to help offset the cost of the interns’ education in return for the valuable work the students provide. The interns themselves gain meaningful on-the-job work experience, as well as the self-esteem that comes with helping to earn their own way through school.
Brenda Pescoran, who has been program manager of the Newark work-study program virtually from day one, says that the program is always looking to add companies so that each kid has a chance to work in a field he or she is interested in. As a result, it is not uncommon for companies to hire former interns after they graduate.
The Newark school program recently hired Blanca Pacheco as relationship manager to ensure that interns are giving all they’ve got to their jobs and getting all they need from the experience. She was delighted to hear recently from John McGee, director of marketing and sales at Cambridge, that the company couldn’t be happier with its current interns.
“They’re helping us and we’re helping them, and the school is helping all of us,” says McGee.
If you would like more information about Christ the King Prep’s innovative Corporate Work Study Program, please contact Anthony Caldwell at 973-483-0033, ext. 317.
STAY SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Whether you’re shopping at the mall or online, getting the house ready for the holidays or traveling to see friends and family, you’ve got enough to do without also worrying about how to keep everyone safe. Here are 15 tips that will help you relax and enjoy the festivities.
When you’re out shopping with kids:
1. Teach them to stay close at all times, and agree on a rendezvous site if you become separated.
2. Make sure younger children know their full name, address and phone number, and who they can safely ask for help if they lose sight of you.
3. Don’t allow kids to go to a public restroom without an adult.
4. Make sure children know to always tell you if a stranger is bothering them in any way.
When you’re shopping online:
5. Make sure your web browser is secure. The Department of Homeland Security offers clear, detailed instructions about how to configure your browser for maximum security.
6. Never enter sensitive or financial information on websites unless you know they’re secure.
7. Use passwords that are easy for you to remember but hard for someone else to guess. Mix together upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, using things only you know and can easily remember (“Cindy will be three next July” can become: Cwb3in7/15!).
8. Update software promptly (updates often include security features).
When you’re decorating your home:
9. The Tree — Hang breakable tree ornaments out of kids’ reach; keep the tree well watered; and check any lights you hang for exposed or frayed wires and loose connections.
10. Candles — Keep holiday candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and don’t forget to blow them out when you leave the room and before you go to sleep.
11. Plants — Some holiday plants are dangerous to children and/or pets. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common:
To reach your local poison center, anywhere in the country, call 1-800-222-1222.
If you’re traveling by car over the holidays
12. Always park in a well-lit area, and avoid parking next to vehicles with tinted windows.
13. Park as close as you can to your destination and take note of where you parked.
14. Do not leave packages or valuables where they can be seen in your car.
15. Be sure to locate your keys prior to returning to your car, and don’t approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
GEARING UP FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON: SECURITY TIPS FOR RETAILERS
From our archives: No time of year is more critical to retailers than the holidays; but the coming month can also mean unmanageable crowds, short tempers and shoplifters. To help you ensure a safe and successful season, we’d like to share security tips in three critical areas: Crowd Management; Pre-Event Training; and Systems Checks.
Crowd Management. It’s not just the big-box retailers who have to worry about crowds. Stores of all kinds can be quickly overwhelmed by shoppers if retailers are not properly prepared.
- Set up physical barriers – wood horses, traffic cones and rope stanchions – to organize the flow of customers into your store. And be sure to have a designated person stationed outside to let waiting customers know exactly how many people will be allowed to enter at a time and at what intervals. Physical barriers are only effective if they are accompanied by clear instructions from someone in a position of authority.
- Analyze which departments are likely to attract the most customers, so you can develop ways to route patrons safely and efficiently where they want to go (clear signage and well-trained personnel can go a long way).
Pre-Event Training. The holiday shopping season presents your staff with unique challenges. Employees and customers both benefit when store personnel are well prepared.
- At the exits: establish clear procedures for checking receipts and for deactivating sensormatic tags that have been mistakenly left active.
- Train all employees – full-time, part-time and temporary – in your store’s policies and procedures, including how to handle potentially challenging situations.
- Just as important, make sure store personnel know how to recognize when they need help and how to get the help they need quickly.
- Be sure that Loss Prevention staff are fully trained and prepared for the extra demands they are likely to face.
- If you think you may need to supplement your own Loss Prevention staff, contract a professional security service well ahead of time. This will allow the additional personnel to be fully trained in your policies and procedures.
Systems Checks. There is no good time for a false alarm, but the peak of the holiday season is probably the worst. And it’s certainly no time for the failure of safety and security systems to endanger people or property.
- Be sure to check and test all security and safety equipment well in advance, so you have time to take care of any problems.
- All exits should be checked both for security and for easy access in the event of an emergency.