The inadequacies of security
Physical security, and I’m sure you’ll agree, is the first line of defense to prevent any incident of crime or workplace violence (WPV). But is it really the first, and possibly only, line of defense. In most cases yes. In others… eh, not so much. That’s because security is an afterthought to the business or facility, no matter what they may say.
When working in certain places, physical security is most definitely the front line. Sometimes it’s the only line of defense a company may have. If you don’t believe that, check and see how many companies simply have fences, gates, doors, and possibly a security officer at the door. Once you get past that…Sometimes these are completely inadequate to perform the necessary job of securing ‘property, people, & assets’.
But many other places have virtually no security to prevent an incident. And it will surprise you that you probably visit one at least once a month, some of you multiple times a week. And while there is an illusion of security, it is not for WPV incidents or other crimes. It is set up that way for courtesy, for the most part, & liability sake.
You’ll find security officers dressed in uniforms. They will be inside and outside the place, maybe. They may be driving around on little Cushman carts. But it is an illusion. The security operation is compromised before the day even gets started.
The main reason for this is simple. The willingness to allow openness, friendliness, & ease of accessibility to the facility. This brings up an illusion of security that can, and usually does, have deleterious effects. It may not be a fatal or even injurious issue but a crime nonetheless.
And I will admit that I have never worked for one of these places full-time. I’ve patrolled them while with Wells Fargo, Allied, Universal Protective (now defunct in Kansas City), and First Response in Mission Kansas. The employees thought we were too invasive because we drove through and locked up doors or made sure no one was in the swimming pool after it closed. Which led to us being more hamstrung than before.
So what are these places that I’ve been talking against and was never assigned to work at? Let me give you a short list and explain how they are so vulnerable with inefficient security, and no offense to the security providers. The providers do their best to ensure security, management anyway because a lost account is lost revenue;
One of the worst at preventing an incident of… anything. The uniformed ‘courtesy patrol’ has no authority to do anything but report loud noises and call maintenance for an issue. I know of several problems at apartment complexes in the St. Joseph MO. & Phoenix area where the security officer on duty had no idea anything had happened.
And why? It wasn’t within his purview, duties, or responsibility to do anything or even to know about it. How do I know that? I either wrote or consulted on, the post orders, list of responsibilities, and the patrol route as well as drafting the responsibilities to the tenants. And the tenants were instructed to call the police for parties and other disturbances not the ‘courtesy patrol’, because they were there to be management representatives and not ruffle feathers of other tenants.
They have cameras, gates, locks, lighting, and other security devices such as those everywhere. But would it ever stop a criminal act or WPV? Absolutely not. They are not put up for that purpose. The main purpose, even if unspoken, is to ensure insurance reimbursement for any loss.
Those kind of physical barriers only work if a criminal wants to stay out of the property. And camera’s? They are only good if they are being monitored 24/7. And the monitoring would need to be done by a qualified person, who would have to be trained by someone who would pass along the cost.
There have been numerous cases in the past 2 decades or so where someone perpetrated a criminal act simply by smashing through the gates, windows, or doors. They then either assaulted someone or stole thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, tools, or even a vehicle.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many. Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear