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Month: July, 2014

Designing a Training Program for your Security Officers – Part 2

This is the 2nd part of this series. It’s a long series I admit, but you can’t afford to skimp on training your security people. If you do, then you’ll regret it in the end and probably end up with union grievances or lawsuits. And you want neither one of those.

Designing, Writing, & Implementing:

                The first thing you have to do when DW&I (Design, Write, & Implement) your program is read the details of what the local law requires to be taught. The law in some jurisdictions Require that some things be taught that may not seem like a whole lot of anything. But I can assure you that even the wearing of the uniform is important. If an officer doesn’t wear their uniform properly, then they will be a laughing stock and nothing more than a rent-a-cop. And worse yet, the client employees won’t listen to such a clown very well, if at all.

                As an Account Manager for Uni-Guard Security at 2 Pershing Square in Kansas City, I had an officer assigned to me that was no way going to work at my account for long. He arrived for duty one afternoon in a totally inappropriate attire. His uniform shirt was un-tucked and unbuttoned. His pants were hanging off his butt. His shoes were worn, scuffed, & brown (shoes I could have dismissed until payday). I counseled him on the proper wearing of the uniform and he showed up one more day and that was it. I got comments from tenants that he was rude, crude, & ‘stupid’.

                There was absolutely no way most of them would have followed what he said or wanted them to do. And the officer I had training him, OJT, informed me that he was lazy and didn’t seem like he cared. I called the main office and he never again showed up.

 

How to Train:

                One of the first things you need to decide on is how you’re going to train your officers. This is just as important as what you will train them in and the demands of their post and the field itself. I don’t believe in sitting them down in a darkened room to watch videos for however long. Nor do I agree with having them read and ‘self-test’ with their manuals.

                My firm belief is that your security offices need to be trained with an actual live instructor in front of them. Someone who has worked in the field for a number of years and knows a few things as well as the standard stuff. Things such as un-freezing locks in winter, how to properly check a door and possibly hold a flashlight in a dark warehouse.

                The instructor should also utilize 2 methods of teaching when conducting the class. The first is very simple and you’ve heard it before. KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid. In other words, if you keep the material simple and easier to understand your officers won’t get as confused or discombobulated in the learning process. If you want to teach a college course in security, then teach them there, not in an orientation class.

                The other is one that I’ve also used for ‘decades’. It’s called the Socratic Method. Using this method, the officers are forced to train themselves. The Socratic Method means that you teach them but you also ask them questions and expect them to answer correctly and possibly start a discussion on the subject! This works very well for most people and brings out their intelligence, no matter what you thought before.

                If you wish to have people fall asleep and not pay rapt attention to what is being taught, then by all means start showing them videos and turn off the lights. It doesn’t take anyone with having an IQ of a genius to know that someone who stayed up too late the night before class will more than likely fall asleep in your class, no matter how much coffee, soda, or energy drinks they have. The body may function but the brain, which is what you need in class, will not absorb what they’re viewing.

                Videos are good to help show what you need to perform. However, they shouldn’t be utilized as the only training method. They should be used sparingly and used to indicate an example of good and bad things.

                And lastly, don’t give your officer trainees the answers on the test! When I was with several large national companies, the instructor gave the answers to the trainees so they would pass and that they would all have standardized answers! Giving the answers while you’re teaching is one thing, but giving them the answers on the test or whatever is out of line.

 

                Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace 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 23 studying workplace violence issues.

                His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.

                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 Facebook page (One is too Many), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Violent crimes on rise at hospitals

This is a post from Amy Canfield, the Managing Editor at Security Director News. It is reprinted with permission.

                I do have to say that if hospitals actually do something about this issue, then it will be a good thing. But I’m afraid that ‘budgetary constraints’ will stop security/risk management from beginning any new meaningful programs. And the lack of both understanding and perception of staff will also hinder any of the efforts.

 

FOUNTAIN HILL, Penn.—a 26-year-old man was being treated at St. Luke’s University Hospital here for a head injury sustained in a motorcycle accident. A few days later, he broke through a locked sixth-floor window and jumped. It was the injuries from the jump that eventually caused his death.

This is the stuff of every hospital security staff’s worse nightmare. The needless loss of life? Not to mention that events like this can lead to lawsuits and other consequences.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.securitydirectornews.com/editors-notes/hospital-nightmare

  

                And of course there was the violent incident at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, PA. yesterday the 24th. Staff, patients, visitors, and family members are all at risk inside of a hospital. Read my blog on the subject from earlier this year. It was published onJanuary 23, 2014.  

 

                Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace 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 23 studying workplace violence issues.

                His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.

                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 Facebook page (One is too Many), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Any idea that is not absurd is not worth considering!

This quote was uttered by one of the greatest minds of the 20th century and one of the greatest scientists of all time, Albert Einstein. If you think to all the grandiose theories that he proposed in his life and actually proved beyond a serious doubt. And his discoveries are still being taught today!

                Yet when he proposed them, starting in the early part of the 20th century, he was considered a crack-pot by most everyone. Even most of his colleagues thought he was a tad bit ‘out there’ with some of his theories. Theories he couldn’t possibly prove. Yet he persisted and he was proven correct.

                The same holds true with workplace violence (WPV) and other security issues. WPV is an idea that 99% of all people don’t even consider it a threat or a remote possibility. And while the threat of firearms in the business may be a rare event, the other incidences of WPV can lead to violence outside the business as well, as seen in Daytona Beach, FL. On June 20th.

                A 40-year-old man was fired for consistently being late for work and being high on drugs while at work. He went and set his bosses house and car on fire at the boss’s home. This was away from work therefore WPV occurs away from the job site as well.

                So if you take this into our realm of security and WPV, you can see that the idea of protecting and saving the lives of our employees (not to mention loved ones, friends, colleagues, and so on) is a totally absurd idea. And worse is the idea of spending money on such an outlandish and absurd idea! And worse, why train people on something that is so absurd, it’s a waste of time and resources!

                And while business owners and managers are not stupid, many times they lack the foresight needed to combat this deadly and financially draining concern. Somehow we need to convince them that they need to listen and take the proactive steps to protect their investments, businesses, financial resources, employees, friends, and family members  in preventing, or at the very least limiting the liability and reducing the risk of an incident.

 

                Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books, the latest being ‘One is too Many: Recognizing & preventing Workplace Violence’, he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace 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 through his Facebook page at One is too Many. Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Designing a Training Program for Your Security officers – Part 1

Security officer training is another one of my bug-a-boos in the security field. I don’t have many peeves, okay so I have a lot, but when officers aren’t trained correctly and then blamed by their own management for doing something wrong, that just really irritates me, mainly because I’ve been done that way and been blamed, this comes from personal experience at the field level.  And the worst part of this is that management will fire the officer for the companies screw up, blaming someone else for their lack of foresight!

                It doesn’t matter whether you own a security company or whether you are a proprietary department; it can apply to everyone and every company.

 

                In most states a private company (security or otherwise) no longer has the latitude to train how or what they want to train their security officers in. Their state licensing authority mandates what the company will teach how long it’ll be taught for, and when they’ll teach it.

                Too many, far too many, security companies refuse to train their officers to be anything but ‘guards’. And they will do it so slip-shod; they might as well not even train them.  They’d be better off many times, as would we! Not fully training them in what they need to know only increases their indifference to the job, client, and their co-workers. None of those items are good to run a safe business. Before, during, or after hours.

                In Arizona I do know of security companies training their ‘guards on post with a field supervisor. This is basically double duty for the ‘guard’ – which is all they’ll ever be in my opinion – as well as the ‘field supervisor’ (and if an issue comes up somewhere else and the FS is needed?). They have to do their normal orientation training and OJT at the same time. For the officers who want to do a good job, this is short changing them as well as the client in exchange for a quick buck. Let me ask you a question. How can you train someone in an 8 hour mandatory training, per Arizona Department of Public Safety, AND train them the intricacies of their new post all at the same time? You can’t. At least not effectively and safely and expect them to retain and comprehend what they’re being taught.

                So, what should you be training your security officers to do in their duties and how? It’s not just as simple as following your states mandated training. These laws are only a guideline to use. There is nothing that states that you can’t go further and train them even better than what the state/municipality mandates, is there?

                The training program that I developed in Missouri for First Response, Inc. grew from 2 hours to 8 hours over the course of a year. Part of that was the way that I taught. Another part was the amount of time it took to cover everything the new officers needed to know. The training program before I arrived there was only an hour and had been dropped for lack of interest. By the time I left I like to think we had the best trained officers in the Kansas City area.

                The next post in this series will talk specifically about what is needed to have a fully operational, effective, efficient, and comprehensive training program. Be watching for it soon.

 

            Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace 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 23 studying workplace violence issues.

My New book to combat WPV

‘One is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace Violence’ is ready to be bought and read by all. I wanted to write this post on the book itself, so that you’ll know a bit about it.

                It is intended for an audience of anyone who is interested in this deadly, time consuming, and detail oriented issue. Hopefully it will help them understand the issues and ways to attempt to resolve it.

                From human resources and security managers/supervisors, business owners and C-suite executives, and even line and security officers on the front line. It is meant to be easily read by anyone who may not have a full comprehension of the issue.

                Hopefully it’ll open their eyes and their minds to new different approaches to the life altering problem. From the actual employee who is a victim to the families of those murdered. Additionally, remember the psychological damage to those who only witness or are affected by it (they are ignored most of the time in the media and by others).

Section 1

                This section focuses strictly on the problem of WPV within businesses. I quote statistics that I have accrued over the course of my 31 years or so in the security field. And yes I’ve researched enough to get the up-to-date numbers.

                I’ve also worked to expand what exactly WPV actually is. There are many different facets to it. Many of those people, including business people don’t even think about, much less the media. So I attempt to sort it out and present in plain English.

                There is also a chapter on the ‘Diary of an Incident’. This tells, briefly, the germination of an incident in a plastics manufacturing plant – completely fictional. I utilized my experiences and the hundreds of stories I’ve accrued to make this as factual as possible, as well as dramatic.

Section 2

                This section contains 21 chapters, but no need to get worried about long boring chapters! This section focuses on the warning signs I’ve gathered in the past 23 years or so it isn’t an all-encompassing list, just the most prevalent. You can, and should, make your own lists about your employees.

                I tried to be brief and succinct in the chapters. Hopefully, you’ll get an idea on what to look for and what the major signs are. I’m hoping it’ll help you to ‘connect the dots’. Additionally, all of the warning signs are tied together, by the time you’re done with this section, you should see it.

Section 3

                The 3rd and last section, also the longest, is prevention. From policies & procedures to physical security to TAT, DRP, CMT, zero tolerance, and customer service. All of that is included. Yet another tease for the book in the abbreviations.

                This is obviously the longest section because of the subject matter. I’ve tried to be as concise and succinct as I could be with it, but sometimes I’d have to expand things in length to ensure there were no misunderstandings.

                And this is the section where you will find all of the non-CW thinking about workplace violence and the way I think about it.

Appendix

                This part includes some resources throughout the United States of security companies, mental health professionals, & other places you can contact for information or services, including myself of course. It also includes an article that I wrote in 1991 which details more than I did in one chapter.

Conclusion

                I utilized my more than 31 years of experience in the security field and 23 in workplace violence to write this nearly 300 page ‘guidebook’. I’m hoping to be able to save at least one life. As the book title states One is too many.

                Here is a list of the e-book sites it can be bought from and And you can read my blogs on the subject (www.todays-training.com) and see updated incidents at the Facebook page – One is too many.

                Kindle,iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Books, Baker & Taylor                     e-Sentral, Scribd                                    Flipkart.com, Oyster, Ciando, eBooks, goodReads.

Diary of a plot

 

(An actual chapter from the book)

These diary entries are a fictionalized account of one workplace violence incident. The names, location, and dates are complete fiction. I have pulled this from the thousands of incidents I’ve heard and seen in the past 23 years.

March 20 – 3rd shift won’t be easy here, but it’ll work for now. I’ve been told that I have a shift of squirrely workers so I best get out there and start meeting them!

March 23 – Dad wasn’t kidding, these are a bunch of squirrely workers! It is definitely a bit eclectic! It’ll take some getting used to these personalities, business school definitely didn’t tell me about this!

March 30 – …others well… There is only one or two that really kind of bother me. Richard Reilly and Sandra Boil, they’re both a bit close to the edge if you ask me, but I’m not a psychologist.

April 10 – It does not help that Reilly has really started acting weird lately. Don Jackson told me he muttered a threat to him under his breath. I’ll have to keep an eye on him.

April 30 – Things are really going well. I’ve learned a lot about almost everyone here except Boil and Reilly. Boil still sits alone most of the time and Reilly is starting to get on my nerves about stuff. Also his production is becoming increasingly erratic.

May 10 – Well I just had a long talk with Boyle. I didn’t realize that things were so bad with her and her husband. It took a bit of coaxing and candid talk about her work performance but…

May 15 – I sat Riley down and tried to talk to him about his work issues. His concentration is off and he is constantly walking into and tripping over things, like he’s drunk! I checked him and he’s not. Sent him for a drug test yesterday and it came back negative for anything…

May 29 – I had to fire Riley this morning. …mumbling something about everyone was out to get him and he’d take care of the problem later.

June 3 – When I came in tonight, there were security guards everywhere! Dad said that Riley had called and said that he was going to shoot up the place. Scary stuff to be sure. I’m glad that dad has ordered a lock down of the factory, but man it’s going to get hot in here without the doors open!

Oh my God, I hear gun shots. There he is and he’s got a gun! He’s shooting everyone in sight. He just walked by Boyle and Hoolihan. He’s coming this way! Oh N…

Gunman kills 3 wounds 2 at plastics plant

Compiled by: Trent Margolies

Today’s News On-line

Monday 8:54AM

Any Town and state – A gunman walked into the Morris Modern Plastics manufacturing plant this morning and shot 5 people. Initial reports are that 3 are dead, including the daughter of the plant owner and the gunman.

The alleged shooter has been tentatively identified as Richard Riley, 43, a former employee of the plant. He was supposedly fired a week ago.

‘This is all so sudden and we never expected it!’ said one worker who didn’t want to be identified. Another employee, Garret Preston, stated that ‘There were security guards everywhere for the past couple of days, but no one expected Riley to do this.’

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace 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 23 studying workplace 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 through his Facebook page at One is too Many. Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Excuses stopping the reporting of a potential problem

(Here is another post based on my forthcoming book.)
Far too many times, when I hear an incident of workplace violence (WPV), there is always some talking heads in the media, personalities, psychologists, and others, including security and law enforcement, who are glad to tell you, ‘They just snapped with no warning’. Granted they say those because they make excellent sound bites, which is exactly what the general public and news casts demand (unfortunately).
There are always warning signs of anyone who is about to go off and start harming people. And it doesn’t really matter whether it’s with their fists, pipe wrench, pencils or staplers, or knives and firearms! There will always be warning signs they are about to hurt someone.
There are numerous instances throughout the recent history of WPV where the shooter either ignored or didn’t shoot people who were right in front of them. In several cases the shooter looked them straight in the eye and continued walking by, or saying ‘I don’t want you’.

The Key:
We can either choose to act upon them (warning signs) or ignore them. Which way we decide to act could determine whether someone will live or die. And in reporting the warning signs there are several things that stand in the way of reporting them to a supervisor or manager.

Excuses:
So what are some of those excuses that people give for not reporting the warning signs to the proper individual(s)? This is only a partial list. I’m sure you’ve heard many more than these. And before I list them, a quote;
He, who accepts evil, without protesting against it, is really cooperating with it.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
• He is just going through a tough time
• He’s not that kind
• He’s got problems, who doesn’t?
• I don’t want to get him in trouble.
• I don’t want to get involved.
• It’s not my problem
• Why should I care what happens to him?
• I hate this place, why should I warn them?
• This company needs a wake-up call anyway.
• They won’t listen to me.

Connecting the Dots:
I stated above that no one just ever snaps. There are always the warning signs. Unfortunately, it’s as much the companies fault as it is employees that these signs are ignored. In addition, to the excuses above, no one can or is willing to ‘connect the dots’. It is a simple exercise, especially when you know what to look, and train employees in.
And it’s not just that simple either. Supervisors, managers, human resources, security, top management, literally everyone needs to know not to ignore what an employee brings to them. And they need to ‘buy-in’ to the security and WPV prevention program 150%. And demonstrate that fact.

Another person’s view:
Forensic psychologist Robert Fein, PhD, now a national security psychologist, “targeted violence is the end result of an understandable and often discernible process of thinking and behavior,” In other words, people don’t just “snap,” he says.
Specifically, studies found that attackers usually plan for days and months before committing a crime. In addition, while perpetrators don’t often threaten their targets directly, other people usually know enough to be concerned before a plan is carried out. “It seems increasingly clear that when bad things happen, there are people around the person who know enough to have concerns,”

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

Who wants some good burgers?

(Excerpt from the book)

                One of the biggest obstacles to success in any business is the sacred cow. And I mean getting rid of them, not just re-directing. If you can’t get rid of that way of thinking, you’ll never get out of your own way to be successful, especially if you’re a small business or a highly competitive one.

                Sacred Cows, if you don’t know, are those things that every business absolutely states that they can’t do without. Or the fact that we’ve always done it that way and it works – never mind that it works against the customer and not for them. Or the all too famous ‘If we do that, then someone might get into trouble!’

                Several of the items standing in the way of the sacred cows and taking them to the slaughter house are;

  • Management doesn’t trust the employees to solve customer problems without giving away the ‘store’
  •  Upper management doesn’t trust their own supervisors/managers to do the same
  •  They are entrenched like a WWI trench in their thinking
  •  They hold on to CW – even if it doesn’t work
  •  The old Major Frank Burns saying ‘If we do that, someone might get into trouble!’

 

As an employee and on up the ladder you have to convince the ‘powers that be’ that there is a better way. And how do you do that? Don’t just think of a good idea, run it through with your own analysis to see if it it’ll work! Don’t over analyze, but give it a ‘good look see’. If it’s feasible then do it.

                Nothing in the business world is ever 100% guaranteed to be successful. Heaven knows, I’ve made my share of mistakes and decisions. But if you are afraid to take the risk and get rid of those sacred cows then you’ll never be successful. And this also means that you can’t necessarily follow what others have done or even your industry association or organization. What works for one may not work for you.  Be prepared to plow your own field!

                Yes, they all put out best practices and guidelines. And they are fine as far as they go. And of course you’ll be challenged if you don’t follow them. But if you’re wrong, so what!

                I’ve worked with a great many people in every single sector of the economy in my career. Clients, co-workers, vendors, & managers all were set in their ways like a 90-year-old Ebenezer Scrooge. They refused to change anything in their way of thinking because they ideas were the sacred cows of the organization.

                What everybody needs to do is change their way of thinking and observation. Just because it didn’t work 2 years ago, doesn’t mean it won’t work now. The world changes fast and we have to change with it or fail.

                So how does a business get rid of the sacred cows and change the culture to make it better? You have to start with analyzing every aspect of the operation. I literally mean everything, from the ordering and delivery process to hiring the right people (no WBS please warm body syndrome), to discipline, store set up, how many people on duty at a time, and checking people out at the cash register.

                When was the last time you updated your employee/policy & procedure handbook? Has it been more than 5 years? Too long, get busy reading, revising, and deleting those sacred cows.

                Throw out the CW. Toss those old tired ideas out the window into the dumpster. Try something new and exciting. The worse that can happen is that you fail. So what you fail, it’s something we all need to do once in a while to keep us humble!

 

            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 Facebook page at One is too Many. Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.