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Month: November, 2013

Staying Safe during the Holidays

November 29, 2013

Staying Safe during the Holidays

 

                This is the 2nd part of my attempting to help you stay safe during the holidays. To fully be safe would take an entire book, which I hope will be done and published by next summer. But in the mean-time, here are the last 6 tips for this Christmas.

 

Never ever, carry so many packages that you can’t see well or your hands can’t move freely

                If your hands are full and you can’t reach your keys easily or you can’t see what is ahead of you clearly, you make a very easy and inviting target to a criminal. Whether they assault you while you’re moving towards your car or after you’ve reached it and have to put your packages down doesn’t matter. As with #1 above. ALWAYS be aware of what’s going on around you.

 

Make frequent trips to your car

                This goes along with the last tip. If you plan on ‘shopping til you drop’ then make sure that you don’t drop from being robbed! Make a purchase or two and take it to the car. Then go back to the next store or bargain special.

                This will allow you to keep your hands free and you are able to pull out your keys quickly.

 

Carry only 1 card and NEVER flash a wad of cash

                Criminals, if they are targeting you, will watch how you pay for your purchases. If they spot numerous credit/debit cards or a huge wad of cash in your wallet…

                This makes you an obvious and easily spotted target. And if you’re not aware of that person constantly following you around the store or mall…

 

Always check for frayed cords on your lights or other appliances and never put them under rugs

                This may seem a bit obvious to everyone, but it really isn’t. Christmas time is when most house fires will occur. And because of this you have to be even more careful when plugging in those beautiful lights on that glorious tree to celebrate the season.

                Fire hazards will happen if a cord is the least bit frayed and placed under a rug to prevent people from tripping on it. Inspect the cords and plugs carefully before utilizing them to decorate. If they are the least bit frayed, then use them away from other flammable items i.e. drapes, rugs, furniture, and etc. However, having said that like a proud Scotsman, you should really throw it away and buy another cord and/or set of lights.

                Going along with this is ensuring that your outlets aren’t overloaded with all those pretty lights and other items. While the multiple outlets extensions say they’re safe…

 

Take care to ensure your tree is well watered and the lights are out

                A Christmas tree can literally go up in flames within 30 seconds. It becomes a torch if ignited. So ensure that you use an artificial tree or that the tree you put up in the window is fresh and well watered every day to prevent it from drying out. And always turn out the lights when you go to bed or leave the house.

 

LOCK THE HOUSE INCLUDING THE BACK GATE & WINDOWS!

                You may think this is a duh! Thing, but it isn’t. People have to be constantly reminded to lock their windows, doors, and to try and keep ner’do wells out of their homes. Because our minds are on other happier subjects, sometimes we forget to lock the house. And if a door, window, gate, or otherwise is left unlocked, then a criminal can…

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 125 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/TodaysTraining

www.Facebook.com/OneistooMany

Staying Safe during the Holidays

November 26, 2013

Staying Safe during the Holidays

 

                It’s the most wonderful time of the year! So sang Andy Williams oh so many years ago. And it’s still a holiday classic. The warmth, fellowship, and compassion that is shown this time of year towards everyone, mostly, is truly wonderful.

                But there are innumerable hooligans out there that wish to rob you of your holiday warm and fuzzy feelings. So in an effort to try and help you to avoid those miscreants, here is a list of tips that may help you avoid them.

 

You must be aware of who and what is around you

                This sounds simple enough but during the holidays it really isn’t. It really helps you to be a tad bit paranoid and watchful of everything and everyone around you.

                While not being pessimistic and suspicious of people, you definitely need to take care and be wary of potential scammers and those following you. Those following you may want to take advantage of you and you not being wary – in more than a few ways.

 

Know where you are

                This goes along with the first tip. You must be constantly aware of where you are and how you got there. Wandering mindlessly around the mall you may forget or overlook some little issue that may become a bigger problem when you try to leave with that special gift for that beautiful significant other or child of yours.

 

Carry your wallet in your front pocket

                This may seem like a weird thing to do but stop and think for a moment. Which pocket is closer and harder to get into, your rear or front pocket? If you carry your wallet in your front pocket, and that includes you too ladies, then it is less likely to be a target of a pick-pocket!

                You never want to make yourself an easy target. Therefore make those pick-pockets and other ner’do wells find an easier person to ‘pick’ on! And ladies, if you’re not wearing pants with pockets, place your purse around your neck and shoulder and wear it on your chest.

 

Check your rear view mirror frequently

                Again, this may seem a tad bit weird and unusual during the holiday season, but the reasoning is just as simple as the above tips. If you’ve spent a hard day or night, shopping and you have your shopping done, what’s the worst that can happen? Especially if you’re on a limited budget. All of those gifts that you shopped for, budgeted for, coveted, and thought is perfect for the receiver will be stolen. That means that your entire season will be broken and you miss the joy of giving to your closest loved ones!

                Some criminals, knowing that you have a car load of gifts may not assault or rob you in the mall parking lot. They’ll follow you home and take what they want when you’re most vulnerable – in the driveway or garage unloading those special packages.

 

Wrap those pretty packages and place them in a closet

                Another weird suggestion to most people. But did you realize that it’s not unusual for a thief to break in thru the front window and take the packages from under the tree? Despite the racket it makes, criminals will do most anything to give gifts they didn’t work, shop or pay for!

                Soooo, make it hard for them! If they do break in and steal your packages, then they’ll be sorely disappointed when they open them and find…nothing!

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 125 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/TodaysTraining

www.Facebook.com/OneistooMany

It Doesn’t Affect You?

November 24, 2013

It Doesn’t Affect You?

 

                So the thought in the front of your brain is that workplace violence (WPV) doesn’t affect you at all. But in the back of your head you know that’s not true, just too many facts running around for you to ignore – at least subconsciously.

                10% of employees are physically or verbally assaulted every year. And 75% of employees are subjected to a form of WPV in the same time frame. Harassment, bullying, intimidation, threats, and the actual assaults are all considered WPV.

                So you’re saying that WPV doesn’t affect you? The statistics say otherwise. 52% of all employees state, admitted, that they knew of a WPV incident. Of those, 29% didn’t report it for some reason. It could be that they just didn’t recognize it as such. But with the statistics from the University of South Florida listed above and these stats, I feel these numbers are actually much higher.

                WPV is something nobody likes to discuss because ‘It Can’t Happen Here’. But it can happen to any business, anywhere, at any time. For any reason, to anyone. I am willing to state, for the record, that 100% of ALL businesses, and their employees, throughout the world are affected by WPV, in one form or another.

 

                The perpetrators of WPV can’t be shoved into any one particular group of people. It comes from several groups. So, what groups are most likely to cause an incident of WPV?

Customers

Co-workers

Supervisors, managers, or owners

Significant others

Individuals with an association with the business i.e. students or patients

 

                Before we can even begin to try and prevent an incident of WPV, you have to understand where it comes from. After that, then understanding the principles of prevention is a good start. But there are other steps that must be taken first. They are;

Understanding what constitutes WPV

Not being afraid to admit those facts

Learning, and understanding the warning signs

Taking a comprehensive and all-encompassing approach to prevention

Planning, developing, and implementing that all encompassing approach

TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN!

 

                Still not convinced it affects you? Look at these stats and try to ignore or deny that it doesn’t linger in the back of your mind, and affect you in some way (think of your livelihood and loved ones). Remember what I said above – 100% of businesses and employees are affected by an incident;

  • 17% of all workplace fatalities are because of homicide
  • The #3 cause of death in the workplace is MURDER
  • MURDER is the #1 cause of death for women
  • 40% of all murders in the workplace involving women are related to domestic violence
  • $120 BILLION in costs to American business yearly
  • $4.2 billion in costs to American businesses per year in missed days of work and legal fee’s
  • $5.6 million settlement for each employee killed
  • $1.2 million attributed to inadequate security lawsuits
  • 6 – 8 weeks for productivity to get back to 100%

 

Another item that can cause WPV from the above groups is the corporate culture. Yes there are certain companies that promote workplace violence by the way they conduct their day to day business.  There are far too many companies that believe that ‘It Can’t Happen Here’ so they refuse to deal with the possibility and create an atmosphere of intolerance. And going along with this is typically a lack of communication In many forms.

                WPV is one of those issues that every employer dreads, yet avoids because they do not know how to deal with it. Or worse, it’s not within their company so why worry about it – It Can’t Happen Here   in my business!

It can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone, for any reason

 

HOLIDAY NOTE:

                Next week there will be 2 blogs on staying safe during Christmas. There are only 10 tips in it, for brevity, and I’m sure that you know many more. However, I think a couple of these may be kinda surprising to you. So, keep watching your twitter feed and let me know if you like them.

 

            Clients rely on the 30 years of skills, knowledge, & expertise of Sollars Security Shield to ensure the safety and security of their property and their most important asset’s – their people. He helps these companies to avoid the multi-million dollar lawsuits that can result from a single incident of WPV.

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in numerous media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            Robert utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his experience and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/TodaysTraining

www.Facebook.com/OneistoooMany

Profiling

November 14, 2013

Profiling

 

                A lot has been made in recent years about profiling certain ethnic groups. And living in Arizona, we hear, constantly, about the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and America’s toughest sheriff – Joe Arpaio, and how he allows his officers to profile those who are of Hispanic descent.

                But is this fair? Literally, are Hispanic background individuals being singled out for a closer look for illegal immigration, because 75% of illegals are Hispanic? Or are Muslims in New York City singled out because most terrorism incidents have been from Muslims? Or possibly black kids because they wear ‘hoodies’ and innumerable crimes have been committed from people, kids and adults, wearing them? I have your answer right here. YES!

                Now let me go a bit further on this issue and explain;

 

                We all profile people every second, minute, & single day of the year. Whether we believe we do or not, we profile them. Here are some examples for you to think about of ways we profile someone or groups;

All of those damned ‘rent-a-cops’ who just want to make your job harder

The man walking down the street, who may wobble – he’s drunk

The teenager who is wearing their pants on their butt and can’t walk right –gang banger

What about the idiot who cuts you off in traffic?

Or the brat in the grocery store throwing a tantrum?

What about the employee with red rheumy eyes?

The person who can’t seem to concentrate very well

Possibly the security officer with food on their shirt

The person who rants and raves against everything

The young boy who profiles a gorgeous classmate

The elderly people in the mall who look warily at a group of youths being loud and boisterous

The job applicant who doesn’t wear appropriate clothes to the interview

The ‘hard-assed’ security officer at the entrance to an office

The person who never smiles or goes out with co-workers

                These are all examples of the way we profile people. There may be good reasons for any and all of these groups doing what there are doing. But all we do is profile them. And after we profile them, then that profile sticks in our mind, possibly forever. At least until it is changed by the person or group.

                Look at your own lives and see who you profile every day. Do you remember the old cliché’ ‘Making a good first impression’? Well, that is the basis for profiling someone. If they make a bad impression then we are profiling them. Maybe not intentionally, but…

                Every single day we make hundreds, possibly thousands, of profiles of people we see. Some of them may be valid and others may not. Some of our profiling will target bad people and unfortunately other profiling will render judgment on good people that isn’t fair.

 

                In the security field, it’s not necessarily the right thing to do to profile someone, yet we instruct our officers and managers to profile employees, vendors, & visitors one way or another. But taking a different perspective on this, do we have to profile others in order to protect the company, client, employees, visitors, and even the United States?

                Unequivocally YES we do! Because if we don’t then we’re not doing our job. Do we need, as security professionals, to temper this with common sense and training so we don’t accuse someone recklessly of theft, terrorism, or other hooliganish behavior? YES WE DO!

                Take a look at the items above and see where we can profile inadvertently. Then look at the fact that we may be mistaken and we need to take a second look and dismiss any threat. All I ask is that next time you begin to accuse someone of profiling, look back and see who YOU have profiled in the past hour or day yourself, and why.

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 125 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/Today’s Training

www.Facebook.com/One is too Many

What do ‘reasonable precautions’ really mean Part 2?

November 9, 2013

What do ‘reasonable precautions’ really mean Part 2?

 

                This past Monday, I answered this on a broad basis. On October 22nd, there was an incident in Santa Rosa CA. (Sonoma County) that illustrates my point very clearly. What is reasonable and how it is interpreted by different people in different ways.

                A 13-year-old boy was expelled from school. He was on his way home along a road next to a farm field. He was wearing a hoody and carrying a pellet rifle and a toy pistol in his belt. The rifle was manufactured to look like an AK-47, and being a pellet rifle it had no red tip on it to differentiate it from the real thing.

http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/calif-sheriffs-deputies-shoot-kill-13-year-old

                2 Sheriff’s deputies were making their patrol of the area when they came upon the boy. They obviously were startled by this, especially in a largely Hispanic neighborhood. They got out and ordered the boy to put the rifle down and stay put, several times.

                As I have heard said several times, the boy did what anyone would have done. He turned around holding the rifle. The rifle was up and seemingly aimed at the officers. The deputies opened fire. He was struck at least 8 times by law enforcement bullets and died at the scene. Now the community is up in arms that they shouldn’t have been so willing to shoot a kid.

                The reasonable expectation for civilians is that law enforcement should be absolutely positively sure that they are in no danger before they open fire. And law enforcement officials (including those of us that are ‘quasi-law enforcement) will agree that reasonable means something entirely different.

                Civilians and those not involved with the vermin of the world find it hard to understand law enforcement tactics many times. Those officers had less than a second to react to a potential threat that could have, literally, shredded them and their vehicle into smoldering bloody ruin. As their training had been ingrained upon them, they opened fire. At 30 yards they couldn’t know that the pellet rifle was a fake AK-47, not that they could have known that the person wearing a hoody was only 13.

                Is it possible that the deputies ‘profiled’ this kid? Of course! But as I have said before, we ALL profile people every day on things i.e. the idiot on the highway, the little brat throwing a fit in the store, the white kid wearing his pants around his ankles, and anyone wearing a hoody.

                Could they have waited and been friendly and walked up to him and asked him politely to turn around and show them his rifle. ? ‘Golly gee whiz Wally, can I see your gun that is so neato?’ That isn’t exactly reasonable either because of the history of violence against law enforcement officers by individuals with firearms, or that the rifle looked like the real thing.

                So what could a 24 year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, who is a prolific writer, speaker, and trainer in firearms safety and usage done differently? Not a thing. He did exactly what he should have done to protect his life and the lives of the citizens around the area he was sworn to protect. And he did this with only a Nano second to think about it.

                So in retrospect what does reasonable mean? It means different things to everyone involved in an incident. From the Hispanic citizens of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County who are fearing law enforcement to the actual law enforcement officers and administrators in that county.

                Unfortunately, this is one instance where ‘reasonable’ will wind its way through the courts and take millions of dollars away from other uses, months and years in legal issues and anxiety by the county and the deputy involved. And then of course, there are the parents who will grieve for a kid who didn’t know enough to not turn around with the rifle up in a position pointing towards the officers.  

                Again reasonable to 2 separate groups of people. Different perspectives different opinions, different reactions. The courts will decide another case of ‘reasonable precautions’, after the citizens spend millions of dollars in the inevitable lawsuit by people who don’t quite understand.

 

            Clients rely on the 30 years of skills, knowledge, & expertise of Sollars Security Shield to ensure the safety and security of their property and their most important asset’s – their people. He helps these companies to avoid the multi-million dollar lawsuits that can result from a single incident of WPV.

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in numerous media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

            Robert utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his experience and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/Today’s Training

www.Facebook.com/One is too Many

What do ‘reasonable precautions’ really mean?

November 4, 2013

What do ‘reasonable precautions’ really mean?

 

                We see the term ‘reasonable’ innumerable times in our lives. And it’s not all in the same context. We hear it from our parents, lawyers, doctors, managers, kids, and politicians. But, I believe, the term is fairly ambiguous.

                It leaves a lot of room for companies and managers to deny items and get away with not actually protecting their employees the way they should. And it also leaves plenty of wiggle room for managers as well when it comes to following the rules, regulations, and/or laws. What do I mean by that statement?

                That is fairly simple to quantify. Reasonable means something different to everyone you ask. Here are a couple of examples of someone being reasonable or not depending on your mindset;

When do you change a baby’s diaper?

                When it’s soiled – but how long after it is soiled – immediately or wait until the baby is done? Some people say immediately is reasonable, but others say wait until the baby is done with their business. Even others say that it’s reasonable to change a baby only once or twice a day – no matter how many times they go (yuck!).

When is security needed?

                Some managers state that security is never needed and isn’t necessary. Some owners/managers state that security is only a made up profession that is there and fulfills itself by making everyone paranoid or scared. Some say that reasonable expectations say not until an incident or an actual ‘credible’ threat has been received. Still others will say it’s reasonable to not even talk about security because then it’s a liability if they do.

There is no reasonable expectation…

                Far too many companies use this excuse to justify many things and not upgrade or change policies, procedures, or their security program. Even if they are advised by a consultant, manager, provider, or even an employee, they will just let it go and not think about it, even if those policies/procedures/programs are years out of date. To them, reasonable doesn’t enter the equation until it threatens their capital.

                And therein lies the rub. Until an incident actually begins to hamper their profit margin or business is it reasonable to take these precautions. They don’t listen to these people because to them it’s not reasonable to spend money on something that may happen.

                In California a new law states that a business must take ‘reasonable’ precautions to prevent a victim of Domestic violence (DV) from being assaulted at work. Again, what is reasonable?  That can’t, and won’t, be defined until an incident occurs and it goes to court.

                If a DV victim has a husband who may be a certified locksmith, and knows how to install and pick locks, is it reasonable to expect changing the locks on employee doors enough? No. If an ex-employee who works in the IT or security department is fired and expected to turn in their access card, is it reasonable to take no other precautions? No, other precautions need to be taken to avoid an incident.

                Reasonable leaves companies, employees, courts, law enforcement, hospitals, and everyone else wiggle room to get out of a problem. But is it reasonable to expect us as security professionals and others to expect simple ‘reasonable precautions’? Or should we take what we consider reasonable and present it to our company and/or client and then let the liability fall upon them if an incident occurs?

                We just need to ensure that all ‘reasonable’ actions are taken when making these security preventative measures to our companies or clients. And we need to ensure that we completely inform them of the potential risk of not following our advice on certain situations. In Writing, so it’s in plain view.

 

            Clients rely on the 30 years of skills, knowledge, & expertise of Sollars Security Shield to ensure the safety and security of their property and their most important asset’s – their people. He helps these companies to avoid the multi-million dollar lawsuits that can result from a single incident of WPV.

                Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in numerous media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 20 studying, writing, and speaking about WPV/SV.

                Robert uses the 30 years of field experience to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his experience and the news headlines. Let him do this for you as well. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit the website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/Today’s Training

www.Facebook.com/One is too Many