Author: Susan Schneider, CISA, Office of Security Programs
The holiday shopping season is underway, and retailers are enticing patrons to come into their venues with sales and festive events. Given the increase of patrons during the holidays, individuals or groups intending to inflict harm or disrupt festivities may also leverage the corresponding shopping season as an opportunity to engage in grievance-based violence. Although there are currently no credible or imminent threats, shopping venues should assess existing security practices to ensure effective procedures are in place. To assist shopping venue owners and operators in enhancing their security, CISA released the updated Protecting Patrons During the Holiday Shopping Season fact sheet.
Shopping venue owners and operators should consider implementing the following cost-effective protective measures, these measures can be implemented immediately without extensive planning:
- Train employees to recognize and report suspicious behavior to managers, security, or local law enforcement agencies. CISA’s Employee Vigilance Through the Power of Hello resource provides non-security employees with tangible information that assists in identifying and effectively responding to suspicious behavior.
- Advise employees and volunteers of simple steps (i.e., run, hide, fight) to follow during an active shooter event. CISA’s Options for Consideration video demonstrates possible actions that individuals can take if confronted with an active shooter scenario.
- Conduct a visual security sweep of the shopping venue before opening and secure non-public entry points and check them regularly.
- Restrict vehicles near locations with increased pedestrians and away from entrances.
The Protecting Patrons During the Holiday Shopping Season fact sheet provides shopping venue owners and operators fundamental security measures such as the importance of conducting a vulnerability assessment, establishing an emergency action plan, identifying and reporting suspicious activity, and implementing cost-effective protective measures. For more information and additional resources to support facility and venue security, please visit cisa.gov/hometown-security.