Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Police Officers Shot, Train Derails, DHS Focuses on IoT Security

EDM Monday Briefing: Police Officers Shot, Train Derails, DHS Focuses on IoT Security


Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 21, 2016

  1. Late Sunday, a police officer was shot in Sanibel, FL by a drive-by shooter during a routine traffic stop. It was the third in a string of similar police shootings around the country in one day. The suspect allegedly fled on foot and an exchange of gunfire resulted when the alleged suspect was tracked to a nearby neighborhood where he barricaded himself in his home. The suspect later surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident. The officer, who sustained some injury, was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital.
  2. A St. Louis, MO police officer who was shot twice in the face over the weekend is expected to live. The suspect allegedly pulled up next to the officer's vehicle and opened fire, hitting the policeman, who is a 20-year veteran of the force, in the face. The police officer, who was taken to Barnes Jewish Hospital, is listed in critical, but stable condition. The suspect, a 19-year old male, was killed after an exchange of gunfire with undercover officers after they had tracked the suspect, who was in a vehicle driven by a woman, to an intersection in St. Louis.
  3. In San Antonio, TX, yet another police officer was shot while in his police vehicle writing a traffic ticket. An unknown suspect allegedly shot Det. Benjamin Marconi, a 20-year veteran, twice in the head, killing the officer. Police are searching for the suspect who they considered to be dangerous to police and the public. Officers have been advised against making traffic stops alone. Authorities believe the individual stopped for the traffic citation had no relationship to the shooter and have asked for help in identifying one person.
  4. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a set of strategic principles aimed at securing the Internet of Things (IoT) from future cyber attacks. The IoT is loosely defined as the growing list of devices and gadgets connected to the Internet that affect daily lives. Devices include phones, fitness trackers, vehicles, thermostats, pacemakers, cameras and much more. DHS noted concerns about infrastructure, and, in turn, public safety, due to the current insecurity of the IoT. It is these concerns about cybercrime specifically targeting these devices that largely spurred the urgency and creation of guidelines.
  5. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked Argentina on Sunday, near the province of San Juan. The depth of the quake was estimated to be approximately 71.9 miles, and felt as far away as Santiago, Chile. However, due to its depth, little damage occurred and there were no reported injuries in either country. Chile cites its strict construction codes and frequent drills as also lessening any impacts from the frequent earthquakes they receive.
  6. The death toll continues to rise from a train derailment near Kanpur, India that occurred early morning on Sunday. Authorities estimate that nearly 120 people have been killed, with most of the victims having been riding in the two carriages closest to the engine. Officials are not certain what may have caused the derailment, but sources suggest it may have been a track fracture. Late Sunday, workers were using heavy equipment to try to reach survivors, but cutting through the metal carriages has proved difficult.
  7. Weather officials are watching newly formed Tropical Depression Sixteen, which occurred late Sunday. A well-defined low pressure area discovered by hurricane hunting planes was found Sunday afternoon over the extreme southwestern Caribbean Sea, off the shore of Nicaragua. By late Sunday evening, the low was better organized and producing shower and thunderstorm activity. Although conditions are favorable for further development, the National Hurricane Center is not expecting any cyclone development over the next 5 days.
  8. South Carolina's Forestry Commission issued an update on the Pinnacle Mountain Fire Sunday evening, indicating that the fire had spread all the way up Rocky Mountain and had not yet been contained. An additional crew had been dispatched to hand dig lines around this new section of the fire, and two amphibious CL-415 water scooping aircraft arrived to assist firefighting efforts around 3:30 p.m. Evacuees were being warned to stay away since the fire was still not contained, but Pickens County Emergency Management officials believe they will be able to allow residents to return home late Monday. The fire is the largest in the county's history, encompassing more than 5,000 acres and requiring over 120 fire personnel to combat the blaze.
  9. Plummeting temperatures, driving winds, and blinding snow brought an abrupt end to seasonably warm temperatures and the longest growing season ever in Minnesota on Friday. Areas in the north and west of the state were inundated with more than a foot of snow in some locations due to blizzard-like conditions, creating treacherous road conditions and cutting power to many residents. Saturday, residents began to dig out from the storm and several power companies were expecting additional crews to assist in restoring power.
  10. The U.S. Army announced its first ever bug bounty challenge. The program will be set up to offer a series of challenges where participants look to discover current security weaknesses. Eligible hackers will be able to try to exploit the Army's systems and earn competitive bounties. This Army-backed bug bounty program is an extension of the DoD's "Hack the Pentagon" which exposed 138 vulnerabilities in about 24 days.  

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.