JSA Celebrates 125th with Good Crime News

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance‘s 125th anniversary luncheon at the Rainbow Room Saturday began with relatively good news—only one person in the jewelry industry had been killed on duty in 2007.
Compared to years when the number of fatalities regularly topped double digits, it’s an impressive achievement, said JSA executive director John Kennedy. “Just five or six years ago, there was a lengthy list,” he said. “This is the first person killed since March 2006. That’s a tremendous achievement.
“The industry has grown much safer and less violent,” he continued. “We get such spectacular assistance from the FBI and law enforcement that criminals now try to avoid the jewelry industry. There is a tremendous increase in sharing information with law enforcement and the FBI. We have launched a major project to start grass-roots jeweler crime prevention networks.”
The planned speaker, Robert S. Muller, the director of the FBI, could not make it, but sent in his stead Mark Mershon, the assistant director in charge of the New York division.
Mershon urged the industry to continue its communication with his agency.
“The more you inform us, the better we are able to articulate internally that your crime problem is so serious,” he said.
He noted that his department’s main responsibility these days is protecting Americans from threats of terrorism. He noted a plan was disrupted which would have blown up a number of aircraft over American cities in the summer of 2006. The death toll could have exceed Sept. 11’s, Mershon said.
“There are people who have become somewhat complacent about the threat to our company of an accomplished attack,” he said. “We are still very much at risk.”
The JSA also honored Jewelers Mutual, Rolex Watch Co., the JCK Group, and Jewelers of America for their contributions to the group.