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Month: March, 2014

Alternatives to Weapons for Security

Alternatives to Weapons for Security

                Since I’ve been in security, 31 years, the idea of weapons with security officers has been a debate. And it should be a debate. I believe that there are other considerations to think about as well. And some of the reasons companies don’t want their officers armed… let’s just say, well read on.

                Many companies simply don’t trust their officers to be armed. And I don’t blame the security companies, rather I blame the clients – but that’s an entirely different blog! And many companies that employ their own proprietary officers don’t want their officers armed either.

                In addition to the situation not needing them, mainly it is the cost and liability of arming officers. In order to arm the officers, with firearms in most jurisdictions, is the liability issue. Most security officers and clients suffer from WBS (warm body syndrome). They don’t care who’s on post, as long as someone is there so they can look like their protecting the property and people on it. The other reason goes hand in hand – the financial cost of training not to mention the hiring process to find an armed officer that is trustworthy enough to do the job.

                But over and above that there are weapons that a company can arm their officers with that are just as effective as a 9mm Glock (and please I hope the .38 detective special has been outlawed by security companies/departments).

                So, what are these alternatives that are just as effective? They are not necessarily cheap, nor are they a throw together and forget about it. But they are effective and should be considered where your officers/employees may be in danger or the size of the property or risk of crime is high.

  • Night sticks, ASP batons, or similar
  •  Tasers
  •  Pepper spray
  •  Training

Each of these items has their own inherent risk of either a lawsuit or not being effective. And they all require significantly more training than a state mandated requirement, including the last one training it.

                Batons can break bones and cause significant injuries and noticeable bruising as well as ‘pressure cuts’ (as what a boxer gets above the eye many times) Tasers can be effective for normal people, however if they get someone who is high on drugs or has a hidden medical problem it may or may not be effective and lead to many other legal and liability issues.

                And with pepper spray it has a tendency to disperse everywhere and could injure others in the area. And those injuries could be blindness if they already had eye issues. Or even death if they have a severe allergic reaction or breathing problems.

                Your best bet overall is training. Yes simple words and role play. By instructing your officers in the ways to verbally disarm and talk someone down from their tirade and keep them calm and others away can be just as effective as having a police officer pull their firearm on a suspect.

                Role-playing with these tactics is also effective and should be mandatory. If the officers don’t use these skills after learning them, then they will atrophy and most will be forgotten within a few days. And a hand book and continual training should also be used in conjunction with the lecture (yes no videos only) and role play. 

                Is this cheap? Absolutely not. A one-time training session can cost a company easily a few hundred to several thousands, depending on how deep they cover the subject. If you can in an expert in any of these it could cost you even more. Is it worth it? Unequivocally, YES!

                A hundred years ago 90% of security ‘guards’ were armed. Now the number is fewer is less than 7%. But the world is getting more dangerous by the day. Companies and clients are demanding higher and better levels of protection from their providers/departments. Therefore, the training that is involved in instructing your officer in various non-lethal ways to subdue someone should be considered, because you never know if the person is a hooligan, drunk, high, or having a medical emergency.

 

                Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 22 studying workplace/school violence issues.

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

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/One is too Many to see incidents of WPV/SV you may not have seen or thought about.

Dangerous Attitude

Dangerous Attitude

                There are many attitudes in a business environment that can cause an incident of workplace/school violence. All of them are either caused by or perpetuated by management and other employees; I think we can all agree with that. But do you realize what the most dangerous one of those attitudes is?

                Most people (whether they are parents, teachers, administrators, employees, or management) don’t, or wouldn’t want to, know. Unfortunately, the worst part is that most of these people just plain ignore the problem because…’It Can’t Happen Here’

 

                In my opinion, this is the absolute worst and most dangerous attitude that a company can have. It takes away all the problems and simply says that if you treat your employees so much better than other companies, that it Can’t Happen Here. There is an old song from the 70’s entitled ‘Fooling Yourself’, (by Styx) and sadly many companies take this title to the extreme with workplace violence.

                The difficult part of this is that everyone involved will say one of a couple of things

I never thought it could happen to me

I never imagined it would happen here

You would have thought this place was safe

                No one wants to think about it.  No one wants to even talk about or consider the possibility. Until of course it actually happens. Then all hell breaks loose and the accusations start to fly. Then they’ll wring their hands and wail and moan that they didn’t see it coming and there was nothing they could have done – oh woe is me woe is me whatever shall we do!

                Every single time I hear this it makes me swear a blue streak. I say so many bad things that sailors take lessons from me, in learning new words and how to put the right amount of invective in their voice!

                Telling yourself that an incident can’t happen to you, your employees, your kids, your school, and your business is like saying that an Evangelical Christian won’t go to church! It will happen, whether you want it to or not. That’s what makes it so dangerous. And just ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.

                Sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich, is not a good idea in the incidence of WPV and the world we live in today, you can get bit in the butt! The global network we live in is dangerous and can be deadly if we don’t pay attention to what happens in our schools and businesses. If you didn’t pay attention to the cash flow in your company or facility, how long would you be in business or have a job?

                If you ignore the warning signs that you’re having a stroke or heart attack, what happens? Usually, your injuries are so severe that you will either struggle to live your life normally or you’re dead! The same holds true for WPV. Just like with a heart attack or stroke, you have to try and mitigate the risks of actually having one. But you can’t do that if you are sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the potential problems – not to mention the warning signs!

                Too many companies believe that if they treat their employees with respect, perks, and the like they wouldn’t do anything violent in the office or factory. And idiotic zero tolerance policies and ignoring the issue within the school can also institute an incident. And while it’s true it may be rare, it can still happen and probably will.

 

                Just remember, WPV isn’t just murder. Whether it’s deadly or not, who knows? Will it cause injury, who knows? Will it cost you or an employee money? More than likely. And those costs could be in the recruiting process, extra security measures, lawsuits, lost wages, medical bills, and innumerable other expenses that’ll come up as you get into further trying to recover from the incident.

                The thing that you have to do is check your vulnerability to an incident. But just remember this line from earlier; Any time, anywhere, for any reason, to anyone; in new swear words and how to swear!

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 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. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit his website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/One is too Many to see incidents of WPV/SV you may not have seen or thought about.

The Blue Screen of Business Disruption

What is Your Perceived Value?

What is Your Perceived Value?

                How many companies do you know teach customer and quality service to their employees? The most common answer I get is what the difference; they’re both the same thing, so every company gets the training, or at least reminders. But this isn’t so true. Customer and quality service are 2 different things and on the other hand, they do go together. Am I confusing you yet? Good, let me take a supposedly complicated problem and break it down simply, because it really isn’t that difficult to understand.

                It is amazing how many companies purport to train their employees in customer and/or quality service and yet their employees have no clue what these 2 very common or should be items actually are. And even after I explain it, people look at me quizzically. They don’t think that these 2 things should be included because that part of customer/quality service is just too complicated and hard to implement.

                So what is Perceived value? Let me tell you in a few short paragraphs. It’s really not that hard to either understand or implement. AND it can help your company in every single transaction you conduct with customers, be they internal or external.

 

Perceived Value

                I use that one word a lot and it’s intentional. Perception or perceived is a word that you have to realize is even more important in this economy than at any other time since the dawn of science.

                To state it succinctly, you are only as valuable to the customer as they perceive you to be. If the customer/client/supervisor doesn’t perceive you to be worth what they are paying you and their perception is that you’re lazy and that you’re incompetent, then you are exactly that. It doesn’t matter what you do on the job or how much you do. If they don’t see it and perceive that you are a bum, then you might be on your way out the door!

                To put this another way, in security terms what a ‘rent-a-cop’. We are perceived as lowly paid incompetent and lazy rent-a-cops or wanna-be-cops. For 99% of the security officers and professionals out there, this is the furthers thing from the truth! Yet that is the perception and therefore the reality for many.

                To go a step further can you agree that security is generally considered a cost center and doesn’t contribute anything to the bottom line? I think we can all agree on that point. But our clients or contacts don’t necessarily realize that we DO contribute to the bottom line, just not in a definitive demonstrable way. We prevent loss which DOES add to the company/clients bottom line.

                As unfair as that may be its true. Go to a restaurant and evaluate the wait staff. Does your server treat you like a child and sounds mad or upset with you? Your perception of them is that they are just an a**h*** and won’t have that job long. And on top of that, the restaurant isn’t worth going back to if they hire people like that to serve customers. Am I correct?

                The only issue is that the server may be having a bad day for some reason. Should they have come to work that day in that mood? Probably not. Personal problems need to be left at the employee entrance and carried into work. But it doesn’t work like that and your perception is that it’s a worthless place to eat – no matter how the food tastes.

                That is the dangerous part of perceived value. One thing I’ve trumpeted for years, at least 25, is that Perception is Reality! That is the succinct definition of perceived value. What someone thinks, or perceives, of you is their reality.

                That perception can lead to a myriad of problems, in both security as well as other businesses as well. It’s one of the issues involving workplace violence (WPV). The perception that someone is or doing them wrong.

                So I will ask you succinctly; what is YOUR or your company’s, perceived value? To either your employees or customers/clients? If you study hard enough you may find at the perception is good among some and bad amongst others. So, like the restaurant server we must do what we can to improve the perception of security.

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention. He has appeared in more than 130 media outlets in the past 30 years of being in the field and 22 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. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit his website at;

www.sollarssecurityshield.com

www.Facebook.com/One is too Many to see incidents of WPV/SV you may not have seen or thought about.