Wall Street Journal Publishes VRI Chairman and CEO Howard Safir’s Opinion on Lessons for Law Enforcement From Baltimore

In opining that “Justice must trump politics”, Commissioner Safir sets forth that “Despite recent headlines, cities are no longer in crisis from out-of-control-crime.” and that “This isn’t the time to abandon the tactics that have served so well. But it is time to modify them. This includes “Assertive policing”, “constitutionally compliant stop-and-frisk”, use of technology such as predictive policing software, body cameras and license plate readers to bring “capability and accountability” and “continuing to interrupt the sale of illegal guns, drugs and gang activity—responsible for 80% of crime in this country.”

Commissioner Safir further states that “policing is a calling” where the “men and women who police this country put their lives on the line every day”.

The opinion piece is available online by clicking here: Policing in the Aftermath of Baltimore’s Bungles or page A15 of the May 7th print edition of the Wall Street Journal.



VRI Presents Implementation Guidance to the Wilmington City Council and Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission.

VRI presented implementation guidance to the Wilmington City Council and Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission on April 14, 2015. News and links below.

VRI Presents Final Report to Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission

VRI Chairman and CEO Howard Safir presented a final report on March 31, 2015 to the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission (WPSSC) that was unanimously accepted and submitted to Delaware Governor Jack Markell. VRI was hired as expert consultants for their success in public safety strategies and violent crime reduction. Along with the Police Foundation VRI was tasked to complete and present a report to the Commission including recommendations to address the issues of Police Practices and Violent Crime Reduction in the City of Wilmington, DE

“This is not a report that sits on the shelf, but a strategic roadmap on how to reduce crime and violence in Wilmington” stated Safir. “What the police department needs to do, and what Chief Cummings is certainly open to, is using technology and developing the kind of investigators in a homicide and violent crime unit that will be able to reduce crime and solve violent homicides,”. Drawing further on his experience as Police Commissioner of NYPD and as a consultant to departments throughout the country, Safir also suggested developing a detective career track for cops in Wilmington as most police departments already have.

Governor Jack Markell released a written statement, “I commend the hard work of all of the members of the commission, including co-chairs Joe Bryant and Lew Schiliro, as well as the teams from the Police Foundation and Vigilant Resources International. All involved have displayed an extraordinary commitment to developing solutions to the violence plaguing Wilmington. Importantly, the findings and actionable recommendations presented today involved a thorough examination of data and current public safety practices, as well as a significant emphasis on community engagement to ensure Wilmingtonians had a strong voice in this report.

The report and further information about the work of the Commission can be found at the links below:


Commission Report: WPSSC Final Report 3_31_15


Time Publishes VRI Chairman and CEO Howard Safir’s Article on How Police Brutality is Inexcusable and Rare

VRI Chairman and CEO Howard Safir states for Time Magazine that while widely reported incidents of police brutality are tragic, inexcusable and perpetrators of such acts must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, by every objective measure police departments are neither racist, brutal or out of control.




USA Today publishes VRI Chairman and CEO Howard Safir’s Editorial, “Invest in Fugitive Hunt”

VRI Chairman and CEO Howard Safir’s opinion regarding the importance of federal, state and local governments investing in fugitive apprehension was published by USA Today this weekend. Commissioner Safir’s opinion states that fugitive cases are “the best cases to make” to bring justice and avoid tragedies, and gives specific ideas of how to counter startling gaps in fugitive apprehension with a more proactive, coordinated and technologically supported approach. Commissioner Safir’s article can be found online by clicking here.

VRI Chairman and CEO Howard Safir appears on Katie Couric Show to discuss The Knockout Game

VRI Chairman and CEO Howard Safir appeared on the Katie show on January 10th to make clear to a national audience that the so-called “Knockout Game” is neither a game nor a trend, but cowardly acts of violence that must be prosecuted.

Commissioner Safir discussed with Ms. Couric that while assaults have been dramatically reduced over the last twenty-five years nationwide, we must remain vigilant in prosecuting them.

The video segment featuring Commissioner Safir can be found online by clicking here.

Ideas for Federal, State and Local Governments

Protecting and serving the public requires specific skill sets, clear goals and the maintenance of organizational excellence.

The Four Ideas below are designed to position federal, state and local governments to reduce casualties, injuries and property damage from crime, fire, medical emergencies and disasters and otherwise forward effective and efficient public safety in their jurisdictions.

1) Determine the goals, standards and metrics by which your police, fire, emergency medical and emergency management professionals operate.

Do your public safety departments set goals and measure how effective there at preventing crime, fire and avoidable accidents? How quickly and effectively they respond to a crime, fire or accident? Do they deploy people, equipment and technology based on current requirements or simply rely on past practices? How is excellent performance by individual police, fire and EMS workers rewarded? How is sub-par performance addressed? Is there a merit-based career path – from recruitment through retirement – for all qualified applicants?

2) Determine opportunities for coordination, command, control and consolidation within and across departments, agencies and jurisdictions

How do your public safety departments plan for changes and developments in your jurisdiction’s population? crime patterns? building codes? traffic? How does your jurisdiction work most effectively with other federal, state and local agencies to achieve its core mission? what processes are best handled regionally? by a task force? what technology can best enable multiple jurisdictions to effectively and efficiently work together? who pays?

3) Implement methods to improve the safety, morale, integrity and well-being of police, fire and EMS responders

What policies, procedures, equipment and training does your department deploy to ensure that your first responders operate as safely and effectively as possible? maintain physical and emotional health and well being? maintain the highest levels of morale and integrity? how are such resources made available to your first responders? how is a culture of excellence and productivity established and maintained? what happens when a first responder is injured? killed? commits a crime?

4) Strategically manage and budget salaries, overtime, compensatory time and sick time expenditures

Do your public safety departments strategically consider the total cost of salaries, overtime, compensatory time and sick-time when negotiating union contracts? when submitting annual budgets? when setting work hours? when deploying resources?

To learn more about how VRI can help your organization effectively address the questions and capitalize on the ideas above, please contact Adam Safir @ (212) 537-5048 or adam@vritechnologies.com.

Law Enforcement Education & Advocacy

Law enforcement is a dangerous and demanding profession. For most it is as much a calling as a job, with daily work very different from what is commonly portrayed in popular media – in some ways more exciting (i.e “you just can’t make this stuff up”), in others as mundane as any vocation that requires extraordinary time, effort and strict adherence to policies, procedures and protocols.

VRI advocates for the safety, morale, integrity and welfare of those who serve.

Our Chairman Howard Safir’s work on the IACP Foundation’s Board of Directors supports injured and fallen officers and their families, protects the safety of officers, and supports the goals and programs of IACP.

Our “Five Star Police Academy”, under development with the National Forensic Science Training Center in Largo, Florida, informs, educates and entertains the public by immersing them in hands-on experiences and decision making with all aspects of law enforcement.

Our production of the Badge radio show and our Chairman’s frequent appearances on news and talks shows, editorial columns, and blogs inform the public about the realities of the profession.

For more information about VRI’s initiative educating the public about law enforcement, please call our New York Office at 212-537-5048 or email us at Adam@VRITechnologies.com

Safir: Appeals court decision to remove stop-and-frisk judge will keep New Yorkers safe

Reason prevails on stop-and-frisk.

The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued a stay of Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s decision on stop-and-frisk and took the extraordinary step of removing her from the case.

This is not only a huge victory for Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, but most importantly a victory for the citizens of New York City.

Ideas for Corporations and Their Professional Advisors

Casualties, injuries, fraud, theft and regulatory violation can reduce and, in extreme cases, destroy shareholder value.

The six ideas below are designed to position your organization to achieve immediate and lasting impact avoiding security, integrity and emergency incidents and effectively responding to what cannot be avoided.

1)  Determine WHAT “security” means in your organization, WHO is responsible for it and HOW you are organized and equipped to protect lives, assets and reputations.

Do you have a “Security Director” / “Chief Security Officer”? Do they have responsibility, authority and budget to work with facilities? legal? IT? risk management? executive management? the board of directors? What do they do “in house” and what do they “outsource” to specialists and advisors? What concerns do your employees have for their own protection and protecting your organization’s bottom line? When and where are you responsible for the safety and actions of your employees and when and where are you not? Do levels of security – and perception of same – effect morale and productivity within your organization? with your customers?

2) Determine how easy or difficult it is for an employee, authorized visitor or intruder to cause deaths and injuries at your facilities.

Do your employees know what to do if they identify a person or circumstance that could cause death or injury? When is security and/or “management” made aware of an internal or domestic conflict that could cause an incident at the workplace? What, if anything, makes the people in your facilities attractive targets to third parties who would do physical harm? How is physical access to your facilities managed?  Do you know who is in your facilities and why they are there? Do your employees know what to do – and what not to do – during a violent incident? How does your organization best recover from an incident that causes deaths or injuries?

3) Determine how easy or difficult it is for an employee, contractor or third party to steal, defraud or otherwise cause economic harm to your organization.

Do your employees know what to do if they identify a person or circumstance that could cause economic harm to the company? When are “management” and Boards made aware of both weakness/potential incidents and actual incidents of fraud, theft, and other economic malfeasance? What, if anything, makes the people, assets and systems in your organization attractive targets to third parties who would do economic harm? How do you best protect your brand – both from those who would literally infringe your trademarks, patents and copyrights and from those who would otherwise undermine your reputation? How does your organization best recover from an incident that causes economic harm?

4) Determine how effective or ineffective your organization is in discovering, analyzing and presenting facts for litigation, regulatory review and core business decision-making.

What factual data, information and intelligence does your company maintain on employees? customers? vendors? partners? competitors? How does your company collect, store, analyze and utilize such data, information and intelligence? Does your company maintain an effective document retention policy? What happens to work product and other corporate information when an employee involved in its creation and/or maintenance leaves the company? If and when you change IT and/or systems vendors? What actions has your organization taken to maintain the security, confidentiality and/or attorney-client privileged nature of proprietary data, information and intelligence? Have you considered the total cost of E-discovery and strategically planned accordingly to save money and time? To include how relevant Electronically Stored Information (ESI) is created and maintained in your organization both before, during and after its use in legal proceedings? How do you learn about new and foreign markets?

5) Know who you are doing business with.

Is your organization fully compliant with legal requirements such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations? What substantive due diligence do you perform on prospective and current employees? vendors? partners? companies that you acquire, merge with or invest in? What due diligence information helps your organization substantively reduce risk and identify opportunities and what due diligence information merely “checks a box”?  Do you keep your due diligence knowledge of employees, vendors and partners current? Do you know what to do if an employee, vendor or partner commits a crime?

6) Determine how prepared and capable your organization is to continue operating during and after a natural disaster or large scale industrial accident

Does your company have a clear policy covering when operations stay open or close before, during and after a natural disaster or large scale industrial accident?  Where employees go? How their responsibilities and duties may or may not change? Who’s in charge of the evacuation? the recovery? Is your company capable of communicating effectively if it loses its primary telephone, email, public address and other communication systems? Do you know what critical company assets are physically located, accessed or controlled by the compromised facility(ies)? How about critical customer or third-party assets? Do you have backup center(s) to effectively accommodate assets, networks and employees? Do your contracts with employees, customers, vendors and partners specify what happens during and after a natural disaster or large scale industrial accident?

To learn more about how VRI can help your organization effectively address the questions and capitalize on the ideas above, please contact Adam Safir @ (212) 537-5048 or adam@vritechnologies.com.