June 5, 2002
JSA Enhances Crime Fighting Efforts for Traveling Jewelers
The Jewelers' Security Alliance successfully lobbied for the creation of a task force directed against the South American gangs operating in the southeastern U.S., said John J. Kennedy, JSA president. The task force is based in Miami and is composed of FBI and police personnel from South Florida departments. Due to the large number of attacks on traveling jewelry salespersons in the Southeast over the last year, this task force was JSA's primary lobbying goal for 2002, said Kennedy.
JSA has also been working closely with the Southern Jewelry Travelers Associaton. SJTA has taken a strong leadership role in improving the security of its members on the road, said Kennedy. As a result of its efforts, two other offices of the FBI in the Southeast and one local police department have demonstrated a strong interest in responding to crime against the
jewelry industry. Agents in Birmingham, AL, and Atlanta, GA, as well as a police detective unit in Houston, TX, are the interested law enforcement officers.
Through a grant from Rolex of $25,000, JSA has greatly increased the number of contributions of $500 to $1,000 that it makes to private organizations composed of law enforcement personnel, said Kennedy. As a result, JSA is asked to speak and be a conference sponsor at many law enforcement functions. This increases the jewelry industry's visibility among active police personnel, he said.
JSA has also been working closely with an ad hoc task force of the New York City police department, focusing on the pattern of crimes against traveling jewelry salespersons between Boston and New York. Kennedy says JSA is expecting this ad hoc group to become a full task force soon.
Finally, JSA collaborated with Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America and the Jewelers Board of Trade to lobby security officials of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to focus on the problems of traveling jewelers at airports. "This was the beginning of an effort to educate the security personnel of this agency abot the special security risks and needs of traveling jewelers," said Kennedy.
by Peggy Jo Donahue