Police Deaths: 37 Shot and Killed in 2018

police deaths are up in 2018

As of the August 9, 2018, the number of police deaths from gunfire is at 37.  If the current trend continues, this year could be one of the bloodiest we’ve experienced in the last decade.

2018 Police Deaths

Cops are being shot and killed at an average of five per month. At the present rate, there could be 60 police deaths this year. That would rank 2018 as the third deadliest year for cops in the last ten years.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, February was the year’s worst month with nine officers killed by gunfire. Police died in Colorado, California, Texas, Georgia, Illinois, Alabama and Maryland. There were also two officers killed in Ohio in the same incident in the Columbus suburb of Westerville.

Police Deaths Historically

Compared to this time last year, 2018 is out-pacing 2017. By August 6, 2017, there were 29 police deaths. We are already eight beyond that number this year.

To get a broader view of how 2018 is measuring up over the last decade is difficult. There are still nearly five months left in the year. However, we can compare the number of police deaths between January and July for each year to get an idea of how 2018 is shaping up:

  • 2018 – 36 between January and July
  • 2017 – 28 (out of 43 total)
  • 2016 – 33 (out of 65 total)
  • 2015 – 17 (out of 41 total)
  • 2014 – 27 (out of 48 total)
  • 2013 – 20 (out of 32 total)
  • 2012 – 21 (out of 48 total)
  • 2011 – 45 (out of 68 total)
  • 2010 – 37 (out of 59 total)
  • 2009 – 28 (out of 48 total)
  • 2008 – 25 (out of 41 total)

2018 has the second most cop killings when you compare seven-month periods with 36. It follows 2010, which had 37.

To put that year in context, the total number of police deaths was 59 and that made 2010 the second deadliest year for cops over the ten-year period. The worst was 2011 with 68 police deaths.

The Bottom Line

We don’t know what will happen over the next 4 ½ months. But there is a strong likelihood that more cop murders will occur.

There have been an average of 16.8 cop killings during the last four months of each year. If that holds true, we could experience 53 police deaths this year.

In such a dangerous world, you need to take steps to keep your property and loved ones safe. Call American Security Force at 855-722-8585 to learn how.

Homicide Rates in California

homicide rates in the worst California cities

The homicide rate in California rose again in 2016.

It’s a dangerous world out there. Unfortunately, the natural beauty and allure of California does not make it immune to violence. Our state has always had its share but in some cases it grows beyond what it should be.

The most recent data available from the FBI shows that the number of homicides increased in our state for the second straight year in 2016. It’s not a surprise to see that high homicides rates are more commonly seen in cities with high poverty.

Homicide Break Down by City

In this 2017 article of The Sacramento Bee, the top cities in California with the highest homicide rates are as follows (these rates were calculated as the number of homicides per 100,000 residents.):

     1. Compton

It’s a city of 98,861 with a poverty rate of 27%. In 2016 Compton had 35 murders giving it a whopping 35.4 homicide rate!

     2. San Bernardino

A city of 217,303 that has a poverty rate of 29%. This town experienced 62 murders in 2016. The homicide rate is 28.5!

     3. Salinas

This city in Monterey County saw 35 murders in 2016 and has a poverty rate of 15%. With a population of 158,279, it has a homicide rate of 22.1.

     4. Oakland

Located on the Bay east of San Francisco, this city has a poverty rate of 19%. Its 242,998 residents saw 85 murders in 2016! That gives Oakland a homicide rate of 20.

     5. Richmond

This city is located north of Oakland on the Bay. It has a population of 110,868 residents and a poverty rate of 15%. In 2016, Richmond experienced 49 murders giving it a 15.9 homicide rate.

     6. Stockton

Located east of Oakland and south of Sacramento, Stockton has a population of 308,348 and a poverty rate of 18%. In 2016 there were 49 murders there, giving it a 15.9 homicide rate.

Of these six cities, four are satellites of larger cities. Compton and San Bernardino are neighbors with Los Angeles while Oakland and Richmond are just across the Bay from Francisco. These smaller cities could be poor suburbs where those with low socio-economic status have ended up living.

Cities with No Murders

But it’s not all bad news for Californians. There were six cities with populations over 110,000 that all had zero murders in 2016. Following the correlation between poverty and homicides, it’s important to note that five of the six all had poverty rates well below 10%. Only one, Murrieta, was above that number with 12%.

  1. Fremont – Population: 235,881; Poverty rate: 3%
  2. Elk Grove – Population: 169,742; Poverty rate: 7%
  3. Roseville – Population: 132,566; Poverty rate: 7%
  4. Thousand Oaks – Population: 129,853; Poverty rate: 8%
  5. Carlsbad – Population: 115,040; Poverty rate: 5%
  6. Murrieta – Population: 111,043; Poverty rate: 12%

The Bottom Line

Compared to the rest of the country, our state has a homicide rate of 4.9. That’s more than Massachusetts (2.0) and New York (3.2), but less than some other large states such as Texas (5.3), Florida (5.4), Ohio (5.6) and Illinois (8.2).

Our nation seems to be growing angrier, less patient and more violent with each passing year. Unfortunately, California is not immune to this trend. If you want to learn how you can protect your loved ones, employees and property, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

Violent Crime Stats for California from 2017

violent crime stats for the first half of 2017

FBI.gov recently released violent crime statistics for the first half of 2017. They show a slight increase in the numbers for both the State of California and the City of Los Angeles.

Violent Crime Definition

The data compares violent crime stats from January to June for the years 2016 and 2017. For this report, the FBI defines a violent crime as an incident of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery or aggravated assault.


In the first half of 2016, there were 79,215 violent crimes committed. That number includes 531 murders, 3,884 cases of rape, 17,674 robberies and 28,563 aggravated assaults.

During January to June 2017 the numbers were slightly higher.   There were 20 more murders across the state, the number of rapes increased to 4,227 and the robbery cases grew to 18,274. Only the incidents of aggravated assault dropped. In the first half of 2017 there were 27,810. Another way to look at it is that in 2016 aggravated assaults accounted for 56.39% of all violent crimes. In 2017 it was 54.68%, a 1.71% drop.

See a comparison of the two years below:

  • January to June                         2016                      2017
    • Murder                                    531                            551
    • Rape                                         3,884                       4,227
    • Robbery                                   17,674                      18,274
    • Aggravated Assault               28,563                     27,810
    • Total Violent Crimes            50,652                      50,862

Los Angeles

In California’s largest city, we experienced an increase in violent crime, as well. In fact, the trends seen at the state level match what was experienced in Los Angles.

The occurrences of murder, rape and robbery all increased in 2017. But the number of aggravated assaults dropped by 33, or from 35.9% to 35.43%.

  • January to June                        2016                       2017
    • Murder                                   135                            138
    • Rape                                        1,176                         1,212
    • Robbery                                  4,943                        5,165
    • Aggravated Assault              7,958                         7,925
    • Total Violent Crimes            22,170                      22,365

The percentage of violent crimes in LA compared to the city’s population was .55% in 2016 and .56% in 2017. For the sake of comparison, the next largest city, San Diego, saw violent crime percentages at .19% in 2016 and .18% a year later.

The Bottom Line

With violent crime figures continuing to rise, it only makes sense to take steps to secure your business, your employees and your loved ones. Call American Security Force at 877-722-8585 and find out how we can secure those things you care most about.

Police Killings: Is There a War on Cops?

police killings are on the rise in 2018

The number of police killings is up this year and on track to reach a record high.

Unfortunately, two more police officers were killed by gunfire last week bringing the total for 2018 to 22. That is a disturbing number when you consider that the total for 2017 was 35. Making it worse, we are just starting the second quarter of the year.

If this trend continues, we could see more than 80 cops killed.

Shot for No Apparent Reason

Last week the two sheriffs deputies were killed in Trenton, Florida while sitting in a restaurant. Officials claim that it appears to have been an ambush. The shooting suspect walked up to the building and shot the two through a window around 3pm on Thursday April 19. When law enforcement arrived they found the suspect deceased at the scene.

Police Killings: Is It a War on Cops?

Is there some type of organized war against members of law enforcement? An ambush such as the one in Trenton certainly leads people to wonder if that might be the case.

Lending credence to this idea is the fact that members of the MS-13 gang have been instructed to “take out a cop.” NYPost.com reports that a credible informant told New York area tipped police off that the gang wanted to make “a statement” by killing a cop in the Hempstead, Long Island area.

According to the DailyCaller.com, police in the area have been cracking down on the gang too hard so it was “…time to take the streets back and take out a cop like we do in El Salvador.”

The Bottom Line

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, the number of law enforcement officers shot to death has fluctuated considerably in the last five years.

  • 2017 – 46
  • 2016 – 64
  • 2015 – 41
  • 2014 – 48
  • 2013 – 32

But the current trend in 2018 raises concerns that police slayings this year could reach a new high. We feel a kinship with law enforcement officers and support them for the dangerous job they do every day.

If you have questions about protecting your property or employees call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

School Safety Measures After Parkland

school safety measures after Parkland

Since the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February that resulted in 17 students killed by a former student, it seems like lawmakers and education officials are beginning to take school safety measures to make them more secure.

In response to the tragedy, the Florida legislature passed a bill that would raise the minimum age for purchasing a firearm to 21-years-old. Governor Rick Scott signed the bill into law on March 9.

Congress and President Trump also moved quickly with the signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018. The law restores funding for school safety grants. It will supply $75 million in matching grant money for school safety infrastructure, training and technology.

Florida and the federal government are not alone in creating new school safety measures. Here is a sample of some of the changes that are being implemented around the country.

School Safety Measures


At the end of February, the Ohio House introduced a bill that would standardize the qualifications for school resource officers. SecurityInfoWatch.com explains that the bill requires officers to have a minimum of 40 hours of training and standardizes the qualifications and the exact duties of a resource officer.

Also in Ohio, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District has implemented a new video surveillance system. The district is the second largest in the state and because of its size, it will require over 5100 cameras. They are meant to be a deterrent to vandalism and violence.

To ensure that there is never a lapse in video coverage due to failing equipment, the automated system that was installed continually checks the camera streams to ensure they are working properly. 


A Chicago area school hired three additional security guards. Glenbrook High Schools District 225 planned to have those officers work after school when students are on the grounds participating in athletics and other programs. ChicagoTribune.com reports that the officers will protect buildings and screen people as they come and go from the campus.


Democrats in Michigan’s State Senate introduced a number of bills intended to increase school safety. According to SecuriotyInfoWatch.com, the new laws if passed would place more controls on guns. The bills also allot a $100 million investment on school resource officers and provide for additional safety and security measures.


A Texas school district has chosen to physically fortify their buildings. The Cleveland Independent School District, located just outside of Houston, is installing doorstoppers in every classroom in the district. The barricades are meant to keep an active shooter from entering. In tests, doors equipped with the devices have withstood numerous shots from handguns and rifles.

The Bottom Line

Prior to the Parkland shooting, there seemed to be a reluctant acceptance of school shootings. No organization or legislative body took the lead on this issue, so nothing ever happened to keep these tragedies from happening.

Since Parkland, though, there seems to be new energy toward school safety. If there is anything good that could come from this tragedy, perhaps it is this new dedication to securing our schools.

If you have questions about protecting your property and employees, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

YouTube Shooting: Another Case of Workplace Violence

YouTube shooting is more workplace violence

A 39-year-old YouTube creator became frustrated over recent changes by the service. That anger resulted in Tuesday’s YouTube shooting.

The Details

ABCNews.go.com reports that Nasim Najafi Aghdam was a content creator on YouTube. She made money from the videos she posted there. Recently, the video service changed its filters and the number of Aghdam’s viewers dropped.

Aghdam grew angry and blamed YouTube for censoring her content and not paying her for her videos. Rather than take the changes in stride, though, left San Diego, driving north to Mountain View, California, the home of YouTube.

Sometime during the morning of Tuesday April 3 Aghdam visited a gun range and then left for the video channel’s headquarters. She parked behind another business and accessed the YouTube building through the parking garage. That’s when she opened fire, wounding four people.

Aghdam then shot and killed herself.

Police Talked with Her Before the YouTube Shooting

Ironically, police talked with Aghdam just eleven hours before the shooting. CNN reports that Mountain View police found her sleeping in her car around 1:40am early Tuesday morning. She was parked about 30 miles from the YouTube headquarters.

Police discovered she had been reported missing by her family after they ran her license plate. While checking up on her, they found Aghdam to be “calm and cooperative.”

The Bottom Line

The YouTube shooting is another example of workplace violence. This one just happened to be a higher profile target. But it proves the point yet again that businesses need to conduct security audits and improve those areas that are vulnerable.

We live in an angry world and it doesn’t look like these types of events will end anytime soon.

If you want to take steps to protect your employees and your business, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585. We can develop a detailed security plan that addresses your needs.

Smartphone App for Active Shooter Situations

smartphone app for active shooter situations

A California county sheriff’s office will equip teachers in nearby schools with a new smartphone app. If all goes well, it will enhance communication and reduce response times in active shooter situations.

The move is in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. March 14 marked the one-month anniversary. Seventeen lost their lives in that incident.

Since that incident, the debate over how to offer security to our schools seems to have been reinvigorated.

Rave Mobile Safety Smartphone App

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office will be launching a smartphone app called Rave Mobile Safety. According to the company’s website, the app, “…provides organizations with innovative tools to prepare better, respond faster and communicate effectively during incidents.”

The goal for using the app is to have law enforcement arrive at the scene faster.  As a result, the length of the shooting incident will be shortened, thus saving lives.

Included in the smartphone app is a large red button labeled “Active Shooter.” Pushing it notifies the local authorities that a shooting incident is happening. Teachers or administrators can also communicate with the entire school or campus in seconds, informing them of the situation and providing safety instructions.

The Roll Out

According to Security InfoWatch.com, teachers at the three largest schools in the county will test the system starting in April. The app will be implemented at the remaining schools over the summer.

It’s the first use of the app on the West Coast. The company’s website states that it is in use at over 2,000 schools nationwide.

The Bottom Line

Since the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Florida, it seems like the issue of school security has become reinvigorated. Students are protesting and demanding action from the adults in authority while new ideas such as the Rave Mobile Safety app are being implemented. These are important first steps toward keeping our children safe.

If you have questions about keeping your property or employees from harm, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

Security Guards: A Dangerous Profession

security guards keep us all safe

The view of security guards in popular culture is not always a positive one. They are often portrayed as over weight, lazy and even sleeping while on duty. The reality, though is much different.

Security Guards: A Dangerous Profession

While many security guards might have quiet postings, many more put their lives at risk everyday guarding people and property.   The following news stories from the last five weeks illustrate just how dangerous the job of a security guard can be.

     December 31, 2017

Two Las Vegas security guards were shot and killed after responding to a disturbance in one of the rooms at Arizona Charlie’s Casino.

     January 21, 2018

After a retail theft at a Kmart store, a Rockford, Illinois security guard was seriously injured. The robbery suspect carjacked the guard’s vehicle, dragging him before the guard fell away.

     January 26, 2018

An ex-soldier was sentenced to life in prison after he shot and killed 56-year-old Scott Von Lanken, a Denver transit security guard.

     February 4, 2018

49-year-old Shawn Patilla was fatally shot while working at a Columbus, Ohio bar as a security guard.   When police arrived, Patilla was lying on the floor still alive. He later died at a nearby hospital.

A Very Stressful Job

Security guards perform a mix of tasks and often find themselves in stressful situations. You can find guards working in bars and clubs trying to keep the peace. When a fight breaks out, it is the security guard that must break it up and protect others.

You will also see guards working at retail stores observing shoppers and looking for thieves.

Guards work at sporting events and concerts to help control crowds, and they protect employees at businesses, as well.

They can also be on the receiving end of harsh comments from the public, like those Joseph Hernandez dealt with while he was working a conference in California last June.

NBCNews.com reported that after dealing with a separate physical altercation, Hernandez was asked to guard a door temporarily and keep conference goers from entering. That’s when an attendee who wanted in the room began to verbally assault him. “You’re blue collar as f*ck,” the attendee said, “You should kill yourself.” To his credit, Hernandez stood there and took the abuse quietly and did not make a difficult situation worse.

The Bottom Line

Today’s security guards are working in an angry world that seems to get angrier everyday. They deal with more assaults, both verbal and physical, than ever before. Based on the news stories above, it is accurate to say that guards risk their lives when they go to work.

The next time you see a security guard, you don’t have to thank that person or say anything special. But a smile and a “Hello” would certainly mean a lot.

If you have questions about protecting your employees and business, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

Active Shooter Training

active shooter training helps businesses be ready

Shooting incidents are becoming more and more common in today’s world. In this present environment, it seems more prudent to say we should prepare for “when” this type of event will occur, rather than “if” it will. In response to the ever-increasing violence, some businesses and organizations are looking into active shooter training to help them be ready.

A Violent World

Are you wondering if this type of training is really necessary for your company? Consider the following shooting incidents. They resulted in seven deaths, all within just 42 days of each other. No part of the country is immune to this growing trend in violence, either. Except for two, these events occurred in different parts of the country.

Active Shooter Training

In an attempt to keep their employees and customers safe, many businesses are engaging in this type of exercise so their employees will understand what to do in the event of an active shooter.

Fox News recently covered this type of training as it happened. A beverage distribution company located in Mechanicsburg, New York worked with the Saratoga County Sheriffs Department to arrange the exercise.

The local SWAT team told Fox News that in the past, they only received one to two training requests per month. Recently, however, that number has jumped to 10 to 15. It’s not just businesses that want trained, either. Schools are scheduling the sessions, as well.

The drill involves a police office acting as a shooter. He enters the business with a cap gun and “shoots” anyone he sees. Of course, employees play along, pretending to be dead.

When shots are first heard the staff inside the building call 911 and the police are sent to the scene. Everything happens in real-time so employees get a sense of what to expect.

As police teams enter the building, also with cap guns, uninjured employees are instructed to flee the premises. The exercise ends when the police subdue the shooter.

The drill not only helps businesses and their teams learn what they should do during an active shooter event but also gives local police the chance to practice their skills as they train others.

The Bottom Line

The United States Justice Department is supporting this type of active shooter training. It has allocated $5.4 million to make sure law enforcement agencies around the country are prepared to offer it to businesses and organizations in their local communities.

Want to learn more about protecting your business from active shooters, call American Security Force at 855-722-8585.

Lawsuit: Mandalay Bay Sued for Improper Security

lawsuit filed against Mandalay Bay for October shooting

More than 100 survivors of the fatal Las Vegas shooting massacre filed a lawsuit this month.  It maintains Mandalay Bay did not have proper security in place. On October 1, 2017, shooter Steven Paddock opened fire on a crowd enjoying a concert outside of the hotel. Fifty-nine people were killed and more than 500 others injured.

The Lawsuit

According to KGTV’s 10News, the lawsuit is described as massive and is being brought against the hotel and MGM Resorts, its parent company. The suit argues that survivors suffered unnecessarily and claims their injuries could have been avoided.

The reason for that assertion is because the Gaming Commission had already warned Mandalay Bay that it needed to improve its security but the casino and its parent company chose to do nothing about it. The Gaming Commission described the hotel as a soft target for a mass shooting. The survivors’ attorney maintains that the hotel and its owners knew there was a problem and had a responsibility to fix it.

Not The First Suit

This most recent lawsuit against Mandalay Bay is one of more than 20 filed since the shooting. KTLA.com reports that more than 15 suits were brought in October 2017 as victims sought compensation for their injuries. In November 2017, five additional lawsuits were filed on behalf of more than 450 victims .

The November suits maintain that the hotel “breached their duty of reasonable care” because they did not notice the large amounts of weapons and ammunition that Paddock brought into his room. It also argues that the Mandalay Bay staff did not respond quickly enough when security guard Jesus Campos was shot. That happened prior to Paddock firing on the crowd.  According to the suit, a more timely response might have avoided the massacre from ever happening.

Many agree that these suits could be in litigation for years.

The Bottom Line

If you have a security concern, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585. We can help consult on any security issue and provide the right solutions to put your mind at ease.