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Month: May, 2016

Training your employees in your active shooter plan

If you have read and/or listen to the new statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) you’ll notice that workplace violence doesn’t seem to be waning. According to the BLS & the FBI;

  • 5% of all businesses will have an incident of WPV (I disagree with this one, but…)
  • 50% of businesses with over 1,000 will have an incident
  • .5% of all mass shootings will occur in businesses

Many will say that with numbers like these they don’t need to plan for an incident of WPV, because “the risk is so low it’s not financially feasible to plan for such a thing!” a direct quote from a business owner I recently talked to-socially not a sales call.

But if you believe the statistics from the University of South Florida in 2004, which I obviously do, mass shootings are the least of your worries when it comes to WPV. Because shootings only account for a tiny fraction of incidents;

  • 100% of all businesses will have an incident
  • 15 million incidents will occur yearly
  • Firearms are the least used weapon used in a WPV incident by (ex) employees
  • Threats & intimidation are the most common weapons of choice

So what do you need from your employees to get them to buy-in to your WPV prevention plans? And whether you call them active shooter, disaster recovery, or business continuity plans there are a few factors that will ensure its success. Or failure if these simple facts aren’t followed;

  • Your active shooter plan is necessarily part of your Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). If it’s not, then you’ll have many more trapped, scared, & potentially dead employees in your business and on the news.

 

  • Everyone has to be on-board with an active shooter plan. Employees, supervisors, managers, support staff, & the c-suite are all resistant to such a plan for innumerable reasons. The most common? Why bother, it can’t happen here, or worse it’s just a part of the job (usually law enforcement & health care).

 

  • The next factor that needs to be considered in such a plan is that it be flexible. If you wish to be logical then the shooter won’t be. Therefore you need to be able to change items in the plan in a nanosecond & adapt to the changes just as quickly.

 

  • Your next item is that the plan absolutely be preventative instead of reactive. By this I mean your employees need to train on the plan. They need to know the warning signs and items such as those and techniques to disarm a perpetrator if possible.

The wording in your plan needs to be simple and easily understood by everyone. You may have many a person at your company that has a college degree, but what about the ones that don’t? It needs to be written at a 6th grade level.

 

  • How will you, or will you, notify the customers in your facility of such a threat. Your liability greatly increases if you don’t, but you need to decide if the risk of falling or a heart attack is worth it. This is another one of those areas that need to be flexible and possibly changed in a second.

 

  • And Lastly, I will say it again. Training, training, training, your employees need to know how to run, hide, or fight during the incident. And the preferred method, using the European model, by police officers & security professionals is to teach them to attack the attacker en masse, fight, run, or hide.

 

These are only a few of the things you need to consider when formulating your plan. There are many many more areas that need to be considered. You should always hire a consultant who specializes in WPV to help you write your active shooter and WPV prevention plans. Not that you shouldn’t trust your own security people, but a consultant will bring an outside perspective to your company and planning. And that could be crucial in getting it right, or nearly, the first time.

The outside perspective will do a couple of things; show you areas that you and your staff may take for granted and overlook, because it is taken for granted. Secondly, it may cover things that you may not think are workable, but with a little tweaking… may work out better than either one of you expected.

But the issue here remains; does your facility have a plan for WPV and what happens when it occurs? The next question should be, are the employees actually trained with it, no matter where they work?

The last question then becomes what will happen to you, the employees, and others when it does occur? Can you handle the bad publicity and negativity that surrounds it? Can you tell the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) why employees were not trained? Or possibly inform that you didn’t have a plan? I would not want to be in that deposition room then.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where 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

The manager who cried wolf

How many of you remember that old folk tale? Those of us that are older do remember the story, at least partially if not in its entirety. And to abbreviate it for this post… A young boy was sent into the fields to watch the villages flock of sheep to ensure that the wolf didn’t… He became lonely & bored. He had been told that if he saw a wolf to shout as loud as he could, ‘WOLF’ and the rest of the villagers would come a runnin. So becoming bored and lonely he yelled loudly WOLF, wolf, there’s a wolf.

Sure enough, dozens of villagers came running towards the field. Needless to say they were upset when they found no wolf. They admonished the lad not to do it anymore. But the boy then proceeded to do it again & again with the same result. Finally, the wolf did appear but didn’t attack the sheep but the boy instead. He screamed & screamed but no one came to his defense and he was eaten.

Now as security professionals, managers, & even officers, do you do the same thing? Calling the police, human resources, or some other authority figure?  Even as a manager should you be making empty threats such as that? Does it help you to make such idle or empty threats of getting them into trouble?

The answer is emphatically NO! Why doesn’t it work you ask. You’ve used it in the past and it worked. So why not continue to make empty threats of authoritative action and prosecution? The answer is fairly simple and just like the boy who cried wolf. Sooner or later someone will call your bluff. They will come back; because of course you won’t do anything except blow balloon juice. The reason it worked in the pastis because they weren’t that committed to harming someone.

But over and above your integrity, honor, & duty making such empty threats can be fatal to officers and employees. How, you may ask? If an officer or employee has an order of protection dutifully signed & delivered, against a significant other and then they show up… What’s to stop them from bringing in a firearm or other tool to take you, and everyone else, out?

An incident that I heard recently was basically the same idea. Although he didn’t come back with a firearm, he drove a pick-up through the front of a strip mall store. The resulting damage, both physical & psychological to the employees, will take weeks, months, & years to get over.

You all know the law enforcement standard of “Don’t pull out your firearm unless you plan on using it.” The same strategy holds true with a threat of calling the police. Don’t threaten to call them or any other authority; you must follow through with the action. Another old cliché “Don’t make promises you won’t follow through with”.

Will it make things harder on the company, yourself, the employees & everyone else if you do actually follow through? It’s possible but not likely. The possibility of someone bringing a firearm back into the business to commit an act of WPV is remote. While it may happen… That’s why you need a plan, and training, in place to combat a potential incident.

But knowing that you will not call the police and try to appease them, like Neville Chamberlain & Adolf Hitler, will emboldened them to push harder towards intimidation, and possibly, following through with their  threats. Don’t give them any leeway in their response. Leave or be arrested or terminated. And most people will leave the business and resolve not to come back if you follow thru with the threat. And if necessary you may have to resort to a restraining order

In this day of increased threats of violence, workplace, school, domestic, terrorist and innumerable others, it is imperative that you back up your words with actions. Alert your officers, and any other front line employees such as receptionists, about the issue, every single time. Take the necessary protocols to protect the company, employees, property, and etc. And just remember, most times, when confronted a bully will back down from what they are doing and leave.

This falls in line with the philosophy of the new active threat response of ‘fight, run, or hide’. If we allow these people to bully us and we roll over like dead dogs then we have lost. If we have a chance to knock them off, by calling a ‘higher power’, before anything happens they’ll run like the cowards they usually are. And if they do that, it is most likely that they’ll simmer but not eat you for lunch as the fable states.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where 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

Should the 50s attitude of observe & report be dead?

If it isn’t, it should be. And here is one of the reasons why; A few years ago in Seattle, a young woman was beaten and stomped in front of three security guards who made no move to intervene, citing they had standing orders to not get involved but rather observe and report. Was there any legal, moral, or ethical justification for not getting involved?

This is yet one more episode where the observe & report mentality is used as justification by security companies, their clients, or companies to do nothing but stand around with their proverbial thumbs up their noses. To stand around and do nothing while someone is killed or severely wounded crying for help is both morally & ethically wrong. And what would have happened if they had intervened? Probably gotten fired.

If you look at the headlines across the country in recent years you’ll notice a plethora of incidents where a security officer, store clerk or other person, fought a robber to a standoff and chased them away. Then the business fired them for not following company policy or protocol. And while it is normal procedure to give the robber what they want, is it the right thing to do?

I’m not asking security officers or anyone else, to become the moral & ethical police. We have enough to do already with the duties and responsibilities that we are tasked with. Nor am I saying that officers should go off property for any reason, unless lives are at stake. But as I stated last year after the verdict against U.S. Security Associates of Georgia, observe and report is outdated and doesn’t work anymore.

https://todays-training.com/2015/04/14/security-contractor-fined-47-million-over-wpv-incident/

But since it is still around, and causing consternation amongst myself and some of my peers, I thought to bring up the argument again. And yes it is an argument no matter what anyone may say. It is outdated, outmoded, and there is only one reason for it to be around. Liability for the contractor & client/company.

The argument comes in because contractors don’t want more than an observe & report mentality from their officers. I believe that there are several reasons for this;

  • They don’t trust their officers to do the right thing. Which directly relates to training, pay, & selection/recruitment.
  • The contractor may get sued if the officer does the wrong thing in the situation for which they may not have been specifically trained. Hmmm kinda relates to the above
  • They lose the contract for doing something the client doesn’t want done on or off property, even if it was the right thing to do. Again, kinda relates to the other 2 dudn it? And this is the big one…not losing a revenue stream even if it violates moral & ethical concerns.

Clients don’t want more than an observe & report mentality either for just about the same reasons. They want an insurance break. And if the officer does more than the normal observe & report then they can be sued by …whoever may want to. And in our overly litigious world today, even the delivery man 20 miles away may want to sue because they’re scared because of what the officer ‘caused’ and may do while they are on site.

As I have stated several times in the recent past this mentality of observe & report MUST be executed and buried for all time. As security professionals it is up to us to change this somehow, some way. And do it before an incident like San Bernardino, Paris, or Brussels occurs again in this country.

We need to start thinking as if we’re under siege in a war. Not saying that we need to hunker down, arm our officers and police with Uzi’s, and have armored vehicles patrolling the grounds or building. But we need to get our officers better trained and stop treating the security field, at least for those at the bottom, as a stepping stone for something more.

If you read my post a couple of weeks ago about the Israeli model of private security and the model of security in the United States, you can clearly see what needs to be done.

https://todays-training.com/2016/04/26/should-security-be-closer-to-israel-of-16-or-the-united-states-of-the-50s/

It is a matter of the 3 things above, recruitment/selection, training, & pay, and not the old fashioned warm body syndrome that we absolutely must avoid.

But because of the competitiveness of the industry, which hasn’t changed in the 33 years I’ve been in it, it will always come down to who does it cheaper and with fewer problems to bring to the clients attention than a competitor. One of these days, I postulate that in the next 5 years or so, we will regret that mentality. And unfortunately, it will be regret, born of the body count or financial resources that were lost. And because, usually, they couldn’t see past the $$$$ signs.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where 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

Heg’leH NeH QaQ jajvam

Many perpetrators of workplace violence and school violence (WPV/SV) believe in the phrase from Star Trek: The Next Generation – Heg’leH NeH QaQ jajvam – It is a Good Day to Die! Even if they don’t like Star Trek or voice this phrase openly. But if you look at their motives and the way that they attack their victims, you can see how they do, in fact, believe this.

To them, the killing of a hated enemy, real or perceived (and generally they are just perceived), is the greatest thing they can accomplish. At this point in their life when anger overwhelms and rules both the day and thinking processes. And whether it seems, as is so often spoken, senseless and a tragedy it really isn’t. At least to the perpetrators it makes absolute perfect sense to kill their hated enemy and do it in the heat of battle, which they perceive they are in one.

Do you remember any of these names below?

  • Patrick Sherrill, Edmond OK. Post Office
  • Nathan Farris, Mid-Buchanan Middle School, Faucett MO.
  • Dylan Clebold & Eric Harris in Littleton Colorado at Columbine High School
  • James Homes in Aurora at a movie theater
  • Adam Lansa, New Town, CT. Sandy Hook Elementary
  • Aaron Alexis, Washington D.C. Washington Navy Yard
  • Cedric Larry Ford, Hesston, KS. Excel Industries
  • John Edward Parsley, Alva, OK. Comfort Suites

Too them, obviously, it was a good day to die. They planned to die along with their victims. They confronted and killed their hated enemies, whoever they were, before dying themselves, except for Parsley, in battle.

These individuals decided it would be better to die on their feet rather than die on their knees. Yet another phrase from Star Trek and the American Plains Indians. Whether they were distressed by anything more than rage and blind-sided mental illness doesn’t matter. They wanted to kill their perceived enemies and then die themselves, as evidenced by the taking of their own lives at the scene.

66% of all perpetrators will die at the scene of their crime. A few will die at the hands of another person or police, aka suicide by cop. Their violent confrontation and failure to comply, forces the hand that holds the opposing firearm.

And the enemies of the perpetrators can be real or imagined. Perception is Reality. This is so very true in many WPV/SV incidents. If the individuals are troubled by mental illness, or simply blind rage, then their perception is the only reality they will accept, nothing else, or anyone else’s opinion, matters!

And of course there are numerous ways that can set off the blind anger that causes their mind, for lack of a better term, to crack. From romantic jealousy, 48% of all WPV is caused by this, whether it is from an adult relationship or teenage romance.

Then of course there are the incidents of bullying, jealousy of other sorts, mental illness issues, and innumerable other potential causes, and triggers, of a WPV/SV incident. Those of us who work in this specialty of security can readily point out the cause, in most cases, after very little research.

And in practically every single incident that you can investigate the act of violence against another is justified in the minds of the perpetrators. It’s never senseless to them. Everyone wants to say, for the 24 second news cycle, that they just snapped in a senseless act of violence.

But these people never snap, it takes planning to commit this type, and range of planning, of violence. And as I stated earlier, it makes perfect sense to them. Maybe not to the public, media, family members, or friends, at large but to them it is absolutely defensible and justifiable.

And they usually want to die after vanquishing their enemies, whoever they may be. Their clear duty of honor has been fulfilled. Their only other recourse is to live in an environment where they are monitored and told what to do 24 hours a day. And that is one reason they did what they did, to re-claim some control over their, failed & miserable, lives and not let someone else manipulate them.

 

Star Trek & Klingon words and phrases are registered trademarks of CBS STUDIOS INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where 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

Excuses Preventing Prevention

That may be oxymoronic to you. But it’s got you thinking now about excuses. And the excuses that I’m talking about are the ones that are directly responsible for people not reporting potential issues with workplace Violence (WPV). There are excuses that employees, and employers, have that prevent the reporting of co-workers, friends, loved ones, & others who may be on the edge.

The main issue you need to know if they are on the edge is if they are acting differently after something has happened. Whether that is at work or in their personal lives, the employer rarely knows. Unless a co-worker trusts management enough to report it. Just because someone is loosening up after a tough time is not necessarily a reason to worry, normally. Only your Threat Assessment Team (TAT) can figure it out.

There are always warning signs before an incident, subtle or not. And always excuses why the person wasn’t reported. I don’t use a lot of research on the incidents I report because I can usually gather enough from media reports, especially a mass shooting. And if I can gather that information from media reports how could everyone around a troubled  Co-worker/student miss the signs?

I believe that the answer is simple. Probably too simple to be accepted by most business owners, managers, & even security professionals, at times. It is our choice to either act upon or ignore the signs. And in most cases the signs are simply ignored and excuses made. There are plenty of excuses to go along with the signs.

Some of the excuses people ignore the signs are below. These are just as ambivalent as ignoring or acting upon them. Here are some that you may see or tell yourself about someone you know, co-worker, or someone a loved one may know. And unfortunately, ignoring them could lead to an injury, verbal or physical, or at worse a fatality;

He was just going through a tough time

He’ll come out of it

He’s not that kind

He would never do something like that.

He’s not capable of doing that.

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.

They won’t listen to me.

Should I continue on with the excuses, there are many more excuses for ignoring the signs than these? A lot of them

Come down to the most dangerous attitude that a business can have about WPV. And like WPV it’s just 3 letters, CHH. Of all the attitudes this is the one that will cause the most consternation within the c-suite. I would also place it at the top of the list of attitudes that can get people killed while at, or because of, work.

Employer Excuses:

I don’t have time to talk to them all the time; I’ve got others to coach/motivate/work with

That kinda stuff Can’t Happen Here. We pay & treat them well

We can’t worry about that. Let others company’s come up with answers first before we do anything

I’ll get into trouble for profiling them as trouble-maker

I’ll get into trouble for being a bully & picking on them

I’ll tell HR and let them handle it

They’re a good Joe, they’ll work it out themselves

We need to keep production up so we can’t afford to lose them

If we discipline (suspend or  terminate, it’ll slow down the production

We don’t have time for that crap Lethem work it out themselves

 

Any of those sound familiar? In my 33 years in the security field I’ve heard every single one of them. Sometimes it worked out. Other times the employee, even a valued one, exploded because of a personal issue that was dogging them. And had been for days, weeks, months, and in several cases years. The company then took action after the lawsuit was filed, and not for a fatal incident.

You may think that excuses are a prime example of a bad company. You may think that all good supervisors, managers, & business owners would see the signs and not perform the attitudes that foster WPV. But many times the signs are so subtle, you really have to know the employee them to realize.

And then again, you can simply make an excuse for it and ignore it. Will it bite you in the butt like a rabid dog or raccoon? More than likely yes. And then you’ll be in deep financial trouble, either from bad publicity, financial expenditures, or the lawsuit forcing you out of business, or all 3.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 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

Contracting for security officers

One of the biggest problems that companies, of all sizes, face when contracting for security officers at their facility, or a remote one, is the contract. What needs to be added and what is the client responsible for. Or not responsible for, which to many instances is not enough.

I hope that this post will help those of you who are on one side or the other to determine which points should be addressed and included in the contract. This is mainly because you can’t just say “There is the spot. Now go guard it!” You, contractor & client, have to be far more involved.

Being involved with and having been on both sides of this for more than 20 years I think I have some insights on the issue. And yes, I’m kinda biased when it comes to security officers, which is one reason I was so good at it and I had the loyalty of my officers, even when being in management and having to discipline them.

The hours they’ll work. This has to be fairly set despite the fact the company should be flexible enough to accommodate hours that change, even on a frequent basis, just give the contractor enough notice. While working for Allied (now Allied-Barton) we had a major account that required us to fill any post, anywhere, & any number of officers (up to 10 by the next morning), with qualified officers within 2 hours of the contact calling us. When they did this, which was at least twice a month, it through the entire office into a frenzied chaos and meant the office staff had to stand post instead of regular duties, including the Branch Manager.

Uniforms. Yes as the client you are tasked in what they wear. Do you want them in a military style uniform or soft corporate look? Possibly you want them in coveralls for a dirty post. The type of uniform they wear will determine how much they are respected by employees, and others, and how they carry out their duties & responsibilities. And the client should help cover the cleaning costs if it is a soft look.

Training. As with pay, the client is responsible for knowing how much training is required on the post itself and providing that training at a reasonable bill rate. If the job is complicated and the operations manual is long and involved, then several days of training may be necessary to get the officers adjusted to the post. Sometimes this may mean 40 hours or more.

Likewise, if the post only requires the most basic of patrols and reports, then maybe only 1 shift of training is necessary. Whatever the training time required, the client should be willing to pay for at least half, hopefully all, of it.

You also need to train and inform the officers on crisis procedures. It’s not enough anymore to just train them to observe and report. Your officers need to be more professional & know how to handle any incident that comes up with professionalism and not the mentality of observe & report.

          Pay. You must make sure that the officers get paid at least as well as your contracted janitors. Ensure that the wages they are making reflect the duties they are expected to perform. If those duties require officers to make patrols, write reports, access control, monitor systems & alarms, providing excellent customer service & professionalism then doubling the pay rate is an absolute requirement.

Post orders and who is responsible for writing & maintaining them? From the initial set when the post is started to additions, the innumerable changes (in the first few months), or other revisions. The client needs to be responsible for writing the first set of them. Why? Who knows the facility better than the client? The contractor should obviously review them for operational efficiency but…

For years, clients have played contractors off one another for a better bill rate. And usually this results in someone responsible for the safety & security of your employees, facilities, research, computers, & etc. being paid much less than what the contracted janitorial staff did, which I was as an Account Manager, $3.00 less than the janitorial on-site supervisor. All of these will get you nothing but problems and turnover in the long run, which is not a good thing for the safety & security of employees & facilities.

Are these all the points you need to cover? Absolutely not. There are a myriad of items that need to be looked at in the contract. Without any explanations, here is a short list of those items

  • After hours and on-site supervision & management
  • Scheduling
  • Equipment, company or personal (including what is prohibited)
  • Client contact during and after business hours, as well  as vacations
  • Emergency call lists
  • Performance requirements for customer service
  • Licensing and background checks, if not required by the state or municipality
  • Officer ‘extras’ i.e. vacations, medical, time off, & etc.
  • Any special requirements that may be needed

 

This is only a short list of what you need in the contract! Depending on your company and situation you may need a whole lot more. But it is up to the contractor & potential client to work together to ensure security, not just added to the bottom line of each company.

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where 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

Clients are happy because of the bill rate and…

Those who read me on a regular basis know that I used to work for several security companies in the Kansas City/St. Joseph, MO. Area. I spent 20 years with them. So I believe that I can adequately comment on them and their clients. Let me say that I am not trying to detract from the officers who work hard.

I am not a big fan of security contractors that provide officers. I have a lot of arguments with the corporate mentality which also extends to their clients. Being honest…I’ve never been greatly admired by management of these contractors either, and to a lesser degree clients.

The field is littered with companies that will grovel, and lick, at the feet of clients so they can have the account. And whether that account is a construction site on a river bank or a Class A office building in an exclusive shopping district doesn’t matter. But the corporate mentality & the warm body syndrome (WBS) attitude…

The corporate mentality, WBS, & following the bottom line is the ruination of these companies, managers, & officers who wish to protect lives & property. The reasoning?  They aren’t allowed to make any decisions on their own and only expected to be automatons and blindly follow orders.

There are several ways to remedy this situation and put officers in the forefront of protecting lives & property as they should. It doesn’t matter what the threat is. Workplace violence, terrorism, theft, fraud, access control, and the myriad of other things that a security officer is asked to only ‘observe & report’ on every single shift.

Let me elaborate on several of those items that will allow security companies, managers, & officers to become more of a profession and less of a joke in sit coms, movies, & their clients. And this also would allow security officers to be called what they truly are, officers not guards.

  • Pay officers at least $15 per hour and supervisors $20. This would be a bare minimum. This pay rate shows everyone how serious and the company believes important, job actually is.
  • The contractor guarantees their services no matter what happens. And if the officer or company screw up then make them accountable not reassign the officers. Unless they are getting a raw deal from the client.
  • Guarantee their officers to be competent & trained for any post they occupy. Wouldn’t this be a major breakthrough for the industry? Why can’t we guarantee our services like most other service businesses do?
  • Complete background checks along the lines of federal ones, vetting with friends, business associates, & family members. And then proceeding down the list to addresses, phone numbers, social security, MVR, education, & everything else allowed. Would this add to the client costs? Of course, but then again, they’ll know they have the best candidate available to protect them.
  • Back up their claims with facts not bluster & false promises. Can you relate to ‘under sell & over deliver’?
  • Train their officers for 40, or more, hours not just 8, 16, or 24? Ensuring that their officers have the adequate training to actually be officers not guards & can actually handle anything that occurs on post. And why not train them for future threats as well? Nuclear, biological, chemical, terrorism, and workplace violence?
  • How about ensuring all of the officers can be a lead or supervisor? Amazing idea, as long as they don’t disregard officers who are great but not as mentally proficient as others. And not promoting those that are biased no matter the job they do.
  • Get rid of the observe & report mentality. All this does is let the sekurty gard off the hook when something happens, no matter if it’s deadly or not. Here is an example of it;

https://todays-training.com/2015/04/14/security-contractor-fined-47-million-over-wpv-incident/

 

I will admit that the clients of these companies are partially responsible for this. In many, I would say most, instances the client wants;

  • Insurance breaks for having security. It adds money to the bottom line, which is really all they want.
  • They have the WBS approach to security. As long as a body is occupying the post that’s all they need or want.
  • They don’t want to pay for an ‘inconsequential resource’. Since security can’t be quantified in any reasonable manner, until after an incident…
  • Our place needs to look better than be secure. That’s why janitorial services get paid more than security officers, sad but true. Image is everything and having the building & grounds look good is better than having security officers in the lobby.
  • Those idiots don’t need to be trained in anything than observe & report. I will refer you to the above blog post & these;

https://todays-training.com/2015/04/07/doing-nothing-is-a-choice/

https://todays-training.com/2015/01/27/cold-hard-realistic-wpv-statistics-2/

Yes, I know this will make it more difficult for me to find a job within a security company. But my attitude stands. Here is the way I rank the companies I worked for in St. Joseph/Kansas City, MO;

Wells Fargo Guard Services (defunct)             D-

Allied Security (Allied-Barton)                          C

Universal Protective Services (defunct)           D-

ABM Security                                                         F

Uni-Guard Security                                              D

First Response, Inc.                                             B

I never got the chance to work for any security companies in the Phoenix area before going blind. But hey, I can try and change the industry by writing…

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where 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

Can it really happen in my business?

          You’ve taken every painstakingly detailed step into account to ensure the success of your business & survivability after a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or other natural disaster. You’ve hired the perfect people for your culture, found the perfect location in a high traffic area, & best of all you’re selling the greatest product since sliced bread. But one thing you never counted on…

           You never thought it could happen to you, your successful business, & employees and their families. The ‘it’ is an active shooter or other workplace violence (WPV) incident. No one ever thought it could happen to them. They never thought that WPV could, or would, ever happen to them or anything close to them.

          Nobody ever thinks that they will actually have an active shooter event in the business. Whether that active shooter is there to perpetrate a robbery or WPV doesn’t matter. The entire business is in denial that it could actually happen. And that attitude can result in panic, anxiety, & traumatic memories for years.  

          And the issue with the victims of a WPV incident is that everyone can see the warning signs and the hidden/veiled threats, but no one ever thinks to ‘connect the dots’ and put it all together and then warn either management or co-workers. And the inevitable thought from people in the general area is ‘Thank God they didn’t work here’.

          Another issue that pops up on a constant, and very consistent, basis is that they never thought it could happen to them. They have fallen into the perception of the it Can’t Happen Here mentality. They are informed of it. They know about the risks. They know so much, they think, about it, it’s almost nauseating. 

         But did they even for a second believe that it would happen? They ignored things that they’ll notice later when the incident itself is analyzed and studied by law enforcement, security, and management. And as usually happens management will lock the barn door after the horse has left by developing a plan.

          And the sad part of all of this is that no one saw it happening from the beginning when they could have stopped it. Remember, if you don’t connect the dots and warn someone about what you’ve heard, seen, or read then you’re being a part of the problem and ignoring the warning signs that are clearly there if not subtlety. And no amount of security protection will ever stop a determined person from killing our co-workers, friends, family members, and others.

         And contrary to what is the general perception of business management/c-suite, these perpetrators are by no means mentally ill. Most of these murderers of men, women, & children are perfectly sane. But we rush to judgment so often and look for someone to blame it’s always the video games/movies/music, or firearms are too easy to get, or they were just crazy and snapped.

         The fact of the matter is that there is usually not a single reason why people commit these WPV incidents. Are some having mental issues? Of course, of that there is no doubt! But there are a multitude of other reasons why they do these horrible things and usually it’s the warning signs that all fall inline together and align before they do. That’s why it is imperative to connect the dots and tell someone. 

Does your company have a section in the disaster recovery plan (DRP) for a WPV or active shooter incident? Do the employees know it by heart? Do they know their part in it and what to do? Has it been disseminated to the entire company or a select few, who haven’t passed it along?

To answer the question I posed at the very top of this post. Can it happen to you and your business? Absolutely it can. WPV affects 100% of all businesses in the United States. It’s obviously not all deadly, not with 15 million incidents occurring a year. But you have to remember this tag line;

Anytime, anywhere, to anyone, for any reason

 

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where 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

Workplace Violence (WPV)incidents for April

Unknown city, state, or date      2w

(a stalking, from an ex-con to an ex-wife, incident resulted in a vehicle crashing thru a building front windows in an effort to get to her. I heard this incident on FOX 10 Phoenix at approx. 0523 on April 27)

Phoenix, AZ. April 4                        0

Philadelphia, PA. April 4                1w

Scottsdale, AZ. April 5                   3w

White Marsh, MD. April 5             2w

Queen Creek, AZ. April 7 (SCHOOL) 0

San Antonio, TX. April 8                                2d

Coon Rapids, MN. April 10           0

Phoenix, AZ. April 11                     3w

Mesa, AZ. April 13(school)           0

Houston, TX. April 13                     1w

Maricopa, AZ. April 14(school)   0

TempleHills, MD. April 16            2w                 1d

Phoenix, AZ. April 17                     0

Midlothian, TX.April 18                                         1d

Phoenix, AZ. April 18                     0

Chandler, AZ. April 18                    2w

Wilmington, DE. April 21 (school)                      1d

Chandler, AZ. April 23                    2w                  1d

Antigo, WI. April 23 (school)       3 w                 1d

Atlanta, GA. April 27                       1w

Tucson, AZ. April 28 (school)      1w

Baltimore, MD. April 28                    1w

New York, NY. April 28                  0

April:   24  incidents   7  dead    23 wounded

 

Year-to-Date incidents: 98  Arizona: 37

41 Dead   100 wounded