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Summertime Security – Protests & Gatherings



The season of summer, a time of rest and relaxation for many, is a period of heighten vigilance for those in the security industry.

 

Organized protest activities often see a spike in attendance thanks to warm weather and seasonal work schedules. This creates security concerns given recent riots across college campuses and the general dissent about the upcoming presidential election.

 

According to the National Weather Service, this year many places will be subject to heat advisories, warnings and watches. As summer unfolds, extreme heat conditions may prevail, which can serve as an agitator that increases aggression among protestors. Otherwise peaceful demonstrations can easily devolve into violence affecting protesters, nearby observers, and those going about their business in the vicinity.

 

Protests aren’t the only type of event that has increased attendance in the summer. Public gatherings like street fairs, sporting events, festivals and concerts are in full swing drawing tourists and locals alike.

 

All these events are known as “soft targets” and may attract lone wolf actors who are drawn to unpredictable situations. The FBI issued an advisory that lone wolf attacks continue to be a heightened concern globally in correlation with increased antisemitism and islamophobia related to the Israel-Hamas war.

 

Maintaining a high level of situational awareness is critical to navigating the security challenges this summer season may bring. Know where you are at all times. Always have an exit plan, routes of exit/egress, and safe havens in mind.

 

Other risk reduction strategies include:

  • Avoid demonstrations and do not engage with any individuals who seem to be participating in protest activities.

  • Be aware of significant dates and holidays that may spur protestors to take commemorative action.

  • Always have an alternate route or means of getting home, should you be faced with a disruption.

  • Report any suspicious or unusual activity to a nearby law enforcement official. Follow all directives issued by the authorities.


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