Guard Force Management

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Role-of-School-Resource-Officers.aspxThe Role of School Resource OfficersGP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-01-01T05:00:00Z<p>​Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), discusses the security implications of an SRO’s role in today’s educational environment.</p><p class="p1"><i>Q. What are school resource officers (SROs) and what are some of their job functions?  </i></p><p class="p1"><b>A. </b>SROs are sworn law enforcement officers assigned by their employing law enforcement agency to work with schools. They go into the classroom with a diverse curriculum in legal education. They aid in teaching students about the legal system and helping to promote an awareness of rules, authority, and justice. Outside of the classroom, SROs are mentoring students and engaging with them in a variety of positive ways.</p><p class="p1"><i>Q. What are some of the standards and best practices your organization teaches? </i></p><p class="p1"><b>A. T</b>here are three important things that need to happen for an SRO program to be successful. Number one, the officers must be properly selected. Number two, they have to be properly trained. And thirdly, it has to be a collaborative effort between the law enforcement agency and the school district. This can’t just be a haphazard approach of, “We have a drug problem; let’s put some police officers in there and try to combat it.” It needs to be a community-based policing approach.</p><p class="p1"><i>Q. Some SROs have come under fire for being too aggressive in the classroom. What’s your take?</i></p><p class="p1"><b>A. </b>There have been a handful of incidents that have played out in the media. But, it is up to the investigating agency to determine right and wrong. I’ve been very happy with the fact that the majority of those officers involved in these incidents have not been trained by us.</p><p class="p1"><i>Q. How does NASRO train officers to deal with potential threats? </i></p><p class="p1"><b>A. </b>In our training, we certainly talk about lockdown procedures and possible responses to active shooter situations, but we don’t get too detailed. It’s really up to each agency to make those kinds of decisions. In the case of an active shooter, I don’t believe most SROs are going to wait for additional backup to get there. Most of them are so bought into their schools and their relationships with their students, that if they hear gunfire, they’re going to go try to stop whatever is happening. </p><p class="p1"><i>Q. Do SROs consider themselves security officers? </i></p><p class="p1"><b>A. </b>We’re engaged in security and it’s a big part of what we do—but it’s just one piece of what we do. Sometimes when people think about physical security, the idea of relationship building doesn’t necessarily come in there, and yet it’s the lead thing for us. We know that through those relationships, if we’re building them the right way, we may get extremely valuable information from students, parents, faculty, and staff. It’s what leads to SROs in many cases being able to head off bad situations before they happen.</p>

Guard Force Management

 

 

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/High-Stakes.aspx2015-04-01T04:00:00ZHigh Stakes
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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Liability-and-Insurance-Implications-of-Body-Cameras.aspx2015-03-17T04:00:00ZLiability and Insurance Implications of Body Cameras
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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Guns-and-Security-The-Risks-of-Arming-Security-Officers.aspxGuns and Security: The Risks of Arming Security Officers<p>​Cinemark was not to blame for the 2012 shooting at its Aurora, Colorado, movie theater where gunman James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 more. A jury did not find a <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/2016/05/19/cinemark-not-liable-for-aurora-theater-shooting-civil-jury-says/" target="_blank">lawyer’s argument compelling</a> that Cinemark should have provided armed security officers at the premier for <em>The Dark Knight Rises</em> because it was anticipating large crowds.</p><p>But should Cinemark have? Debates about armed security officers have flared up in the media and public discourse over the past few years. With the combination of a uniform and a firearm, armed officers may suggest a sense of security to the greater public, signaling that a business takes security and protection seriously. Others believe the presence of a gun merely stands to escalate dangerous situations.<br></p><p>The debate over the effect of firearms in such settings will not be settled anytime soon. But there are some things we do know about the consequences of arming security officers. Looking at it from an insurance perspective gives us a vantage to examine the risks and real-life consequences of arming security officers.<br></p><p><strong>Demand for Officers</strong><br></p><p>There are more than 1 million private security officers in the United States and about 650,000 police officers, according to the federal <a href="http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm" target="_blank">Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)</a>. After several years of steep increases in the number of security officers, the field is expected to grow by a steady 5 percent every year, the BLS estimates. Private security officers, more and more, are the face of security in the United States.</p><p>In some industries, such as healthcare, armed officers are a growing presence. Crime in healthcare facilities is a serious issue, so hospitals are looking to provide stronger security. The percentage of healthcare facilities that reported staffing armed officers in 2014 was almost double the rate four years prior, according to an <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/us/hospital-guns-mental-health.html" target="_blank"><em>article in The New York Times. </em><br></a></p><p>“To protect their corridors, 52 percent of medical centers reported that their security personnel carried handguns and 47 percent said they used Tasers,” the Times reported, citing a 2014 survey by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety.<br></p><p>As discussed in a previous <em></em><a href="/Pages/The-Dangers-of-Protection-What-Makes-a-Guard-Firm-Low--or-High-Risk.aspx" target="_blank"><em>Security Management </em>article,</a> there’s been a pronounced demand for insurance for armed security officers at legal marijuana facilities. We can always expect there to be demand for armed officers at government facilities, though the demand at schools has decreased slightly.<br></p><p><strong>Pros and Cons of Armed Officers</strong><br></p><p>Many people perceive armed security officers favorably as a deterrent against violence and an assurance that a violent incident can be quickly quelled. From a client’s standpoint, it offers a perception of higher protection.</p><p>Armed security officers are widely accepted as warranted in certain locations where the threat level matches the use of force. Government contracts and high-profile corporate executives are protected by highly trained armed officers. At banks, the risk of robbery also justifies an armed officer.<br></p><p>But from an insurance and risk standpoint, it is difficult to craft a convincing argument for armed security officers in many settings. The presence of a gun is not proven to de-escalate a situation in every environment, and it is unlikely to deter violent and determined individuals. The presence of an additional firearm—even in an officer’s hands—only stands to increase the risk of casualties. This is particularly true of public or crowded environments, like stadiums, schools, and restaurants.<br></p><p>By looking at insurance claims, it’s clear that when a security officer discharges his or her gun, the resulting claims are serious. There is a big difference between an officer using mace and an officer using a gun. Claims resulting from the use of firearms are likely to breach insurance policy limits, so firms employing armed security officers are wise to purchase higher limits of liability than firms not employing armed officers.<br></p><p>When someone is shot by a security officer, his—or his estate—will likely sue the business that contracted the officer. And the security firm and officer are going to be brought into the suit as well—no matter how well-trained the officer. If it goes to trial, it is very rare for a judge and jury to believe use of the weapon was justified. It is almost always perceived as excessive force.<br></p><p>The insurance marketplace for security firms is very small, and employing armed officers reduces the market even further. This means firms that provide armed officers will be paying a higher premium for less coverage; they will most likely be relegated to the surplus lines insurance market, which can mean more policy exclusions. Therefore, it’s important for the security firm to weigh the increased costs and policy limitations of taking on an armed contract.<br></p><p><strong>Mitigating Risks of Armed Officers</strong><br></p><p>If a client insists on armed officers, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of an officer discharging his or her weapon. </p><p>All officers should be checked against lists of individuals who are not permitted to carry firearms, in addition to the usual criminal background check. For armed posts, staff them with off-duty or former law enforcement officers; police receive extensive firearms training, as well as other training that helps them de-escalate challenging situations.<br></p><p>Consider local or state licensing requirements for armed security officers—they can vary by municipality. In some states, armed officers are not required to have special firearms training. For those states that do, officers and clients can be protected by ensuring that officers are trained to use firearms. Situational training, which is recommended for all officers, is particularly important for armed security officers as it teaches them to understand a judicious use of force for the environment they serve.<br></p><p>There are no easy, blanket answers to the question of whether to arm security officers. But looking at the risks and financial implications might help security leaders make decisions on a case-by-case basis.<br></p><p><em>Tory Brownyard is the president of Brownyard Group, a program administrator that pioneered liability insurance for security guard firms more than 60 years ago. He can be reached at tbrownyard@brownyard.com or 1-800-645-5820.</em><br></p><p><br></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Redefining-Loss.aspxRedefining Loss<p>​The world of retail has relied on the word “shrinkage” for more than 100 years to describe the losses companies experience as they go about their business. Shrinkage, however, is almost a euphemistic term describing a simple contraction in the size of the stock held by a company, without offering any real sense of what the cause might be. </p><p>In this way, the term is similar to “shoplifting”—a rather benign term often used by the industry to describe people actively engaging in criminal acts of theft in stores. For comparison’s sake, you rarely see burglars or robbers described as houselifters or purselifters.</p><p>Four buckets of loss tend to be included in survey descriptions of what shrinkage is: external theft, internal theft, administrative or process errors, and vendor fraud. The term “administrative error or process failures” is particularly vague; depending upon the type of retailer and the types of products sold, it can potentially cover an enormous array of types of loss, including damage, spoilage, product going out of date, and incorrect price adjustments. </p><p>A retailer selling food and using a shrink­age definition that includes food spoilage will have a dif­ferent level of loss compared to a retailer selling clothing or auto parts; yet, many shrinkage surveys continue to combine this data together to generate an overall figure for the industry. </p><p>To date, there is no consistent, detailed definition or typology of shrinkage. It is a term that is used throughout the industry, but interpreted in different ways depending on the retail environment and the prevailing organizational culture and practices.</p><p>There is a constant desire to understand what the root causes of shrinkage are: Is it mainly external thieves? Is it the staff employed by retailers helping themselves to the stock? Is it due to organizational inefficiencies? Or is it caused by retail suppliers wrongly delivering on purpose or through error?</p><p>Surveys will often provide numbers that supposedly apportion the total shrinkage losses to each of these types of losses, with external theft frequently—but not exclusively—seen as causing the largest amount. </p><p>The reality is that what these reported shrinkage numbers are actually measuring is what respondents think the causes of shrinkage might be. They are much more a gauge of how the loss prevention industry is feeling than any true measure of the breakdown of losses within the retail industry.</p><p>This is because the vast majority of current shrinkage data collected by retailers is based on periodic audit data collected in stores and sometimes in parts of the distribution network. This data captures the difference between the value of stock retailers think they have and the amount that can be physically counted. The difference between the two is how most companies measure their shrinkage.</p><p>But all this data does is provide a value of how much stock is not there. What it does not do is offer an explanation as to why it has gone missing: Was the stock delivered to the retailer? Did a customer steal it? Was it damaged or stolen in the supply chain? Did an employee steal it? </p><p>The causes could be many and varied, but what is clear is that audit data is rarely good at explaining why discrepancies exist; it simply captures the value of losses where the cause is unknown. Attempts to apportion causes to this data will always involve a high degree of guesswork and personal prejudice.</p><p>Retailing has gone through some profound changes since shrinkage was first used back in the 19th century, not least the introduction of open displays, the growth of branding, greater consumer choice, introduction of credit cards and debit cards, the rise of online shopping, and the widespread use of various types of self-service checkout systems, to name a few. </p><p>Yet, throughout this time of enormous change, the retail industry has continued to use a term that vaguely captures the difference between expected and actual stock values as the core measure of loss in their businesses.</p><p>Given this, it’s time to reconsider how retail companies understand and measure the losses they experience and to develop a more consistent approach to enable future benchmarking activities to offer more meaningful and applicable information.​</p><h4>Total Retail Loss<img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Callout%20Images/0417%20Cover%20Story%20Infographic.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:652px;" /></h4><p>Both the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s Asset Protection Leaders Council, based in the United States, and the ECR Community Shrinkage and On-shelf Availability Group, headquartered in Europe, supported a research project led by the author to explore how retailers currently view the problem of loss across their business and develop a new definition and typology that might better capture their impact. </p><p>The research, detailed in the report Beyond Shrinkage: Introducing Total Retail Loss, used several different methodologies: an extensive literature review; a questionnaire to a group of large European retailers; 100 face-to-face interviews with senior directors of 10 of the largest U.S. retailers; and a series of workshops and focus groups with loss prevention representatives from a range of European retailers and manufacturers.</p><p><strong>Loss versus cost. </strong>One of the difficulties of benchmarking any retail business using shrinkage is understanding what categories of retail loss are included or excluded. </p><p>Some companies taking part in this research adopted strict criteria: shrinkage is only the value of their unknown losses based upon the difference be­tween expected and actual values; anything else is regarded as known and, therefore, not included in the calculation.</p><p>Other companies were much more inclusive, incorporating other types of loss ranging from damages, wastage, spoilage, and price markdowns to the costs of burglaries and robberies.</p><p>Part of this definitional variance seemed to be based on how respondents interpreted the difference between what could be considered a “loss” compared with a “cost,” the latter being viewed as an everyday planned and necessary expenditure for the business to achieve its profit goals. Respondents varied considerably in how they interpreted the difference, although many made a key distinction between the value of the outcome and how this differentiated costs from losses.</p><p>“Costs—they bring value to the business; they are incurred because there is a perceived positive purpose in having them. They are part of the revenue generation process and without them, profits would be negatively impacted,” one respondent said. “Losses are things which, if they didn’t happen, there would be no negative impact upon profitability. They do not offer any real value to the business and simply act as a drain on profitability.”</p><p>It was also instructive to hear how some respondents adopted a process of normalizing what some considered to be losses into costs. One respondent explained that “we plan a lot of those costs [possible types of losses], so when we’re looking at it from a planning perspective, we have that built in—anything that we can account for and process and know what it is, we take more so as a cost rather than a loss when we’re defining it.”</p><p>Another respondent talked about how the planning and budgeting process enabled many losses to be redefined as costs. “If it goes above budget, then it becomes a loss; otherwise it is a cost,” the individual explained, while another respondent was blunter: “We try and convert as much of [losses] to costs; it’s then not on my agenda anymore. I deal with shrink.”</p><p><strong>Definition. </strong>From the interviews with senior U.S. retail executives and feedback from the roundtables held in Europe, definitions of costs and losses were eventually developed.</p><p>Costs were defined as “expenditure on activities and investments that are considered to make some form of recognizable contribution to generating current or future retail income.”</p><p>Losses were defined as “events and outcomes that negatively impact retail profitability and make no positive, identifiable and intrinsic contribution to generating income.” Using these definitions, various types of events and activities could then begin to be categorized accordingly. </p><p>For example, incidents of customer theft can be considered a loss—the event and outcome play no intrinsic role in generating retail profits—because it makes no identifiable contribution and were it not to happen, the business would only benefit.</p><p>Alternatively, incidents of customer compensation, such as providing a disgruntled shopper with a discounted price, can be seen as a cost. In this case, the business is incurring the cost because it believes compensating the aggrieved consumer makes the individual more likely to shop with the business in the future. The policy of compensating is an investment in future profit generation and is categorized as a cost—not a loss.</p><p>Another example of a loss is workers’ compensation, where a retailer will cover the legal, medical, and other costs associated with an accident at work, such as falling off a ladder. There is no intrinsic value to the business if an employee is injured at work; if it had not happened, the business would only benefit by not having to pay for the consequences of the event. Therefore, workers’ compensation is a loss.</p><p>While some respondents to this research argued that workers’ compensation is a predictable problem that can be—and is—budgeted for, it still remains an event that the retailer would prefer not happen because it negatively impacts overall profitability.</p><p>In contrast, expenditure on loss prevention activities and approaches, such as employing security officers or installing tagging systems, can be seen as a cost. The retailer has committed to this expenditure because it feels there will be some form of payback from the investment: lower levels of loss, which in turn will boost profits. Whether this payback is measured or achieved is open to debate.</p><p>What these examples focus on is not whether an activity or event can be controlled or whether the incurred cost was planned, but its fundamental role in generating current or future retail income. If a clearly identifiable link can be made between an activity and the generation of retail income, then it should be regarded as a cost; all those activities and events where no link can be found should be viewed as a loss.</p><p><strong>Categorizing losses</strong>. In developing the categories of the Total Retail Loss Typology, it was important to draw a distinction between the types of loss that can be measured in a way that is manageable for modern retail business, and those that cannot. </p><p>Additionally, it was important to consider the value of collecting data on a given loss indicator. Is it meaningful for the business to monitor a category of loss? Will its analysis offer potentially actionable outcomes that may help the business meet its objectives?</p><p>There is little point in developing a typology made up of a series of categories that are either impossible or implausibly difficult to measure or once measured offer little benefit to the business undertaking the exercise.</p><p>For example, most retailers would be keen to understand how often items are not scanned at a checkout. While it is theoretically possible to measure this, the reality for most retailers is that the ongoing cost would probably be prohibitive. </p><p>Determining whether proposed loss categories met the three M’s test (manageable, measurable, and meaningful) was an important part of creating a typology likely to achieve any form of adoption across a broad range of retail formats.</p><p><strong>Typology.</strong> The research identified 31 types of known loss that are included in the Total Retail Loss Typology covering a wide range of losses across the retail enterprise and incorporating events and outcomes beyond just the loss of merchandise. The typology is broken down into four locations of loss: store, retail supply chain, e-commerce, and corporate. Each location then has a variety of subcategories divided between malicious and nonmalicious. </p><p>For example, a malicious corporate retail loss would be fraud; a nonmalicious corporate retail loss would be workers’ compensation, regulatory fines, or bad debt. </p><p>However, the term does not encompass every form of loss that a retailer could conceivably experience. The word “total” is being used in this context to represent a much broader and more detailed interpretation of what can be regarded as a retail loss, rather than necessarily claiming to reflect the entirety of events and activities that could constitute a loss. In the future, the scope and range of the Total Retail Loss Typology will change to accommodate new forms of loss, and this is welcomed.</p><p>The typology is designed to enable the calculation of the value of retail losses, not necessarily the number of events; where an associated value cannot be calculated or there is no loss of value associated with an incident, it should not be included.</p><p>For instance, if shop thieves are apprehended leaving a retail store and the goods they were attempting to steal are successfully recovered and can be sold at full value at a later date, there is no financial loss associated with the incident. The retailer may still want to record that the attempted theft took place and was successfully dealt with, but that it would not be recorded in the Total Retail Loss Typology.​</p><h4>Potential </h4><p>The proposed Total Retail Loss Typology is a radical departure from how most retail companies have understood and defined the problem of loss within their companies, moving away from a definition focused primarily on unknown stock loss to one that encompasses a broader range of risks across a wider spectrum of locations.</p><p>While there is a simple elegance about the approach adopted in the past, based upon the four traditional buckets of shrinkage, it is increasingly recognized that these broad brush and ambiguously defined categories are no longer capable of accurately capturing the increasingly complex risk picture now found in modern retailing. Instead, the Total Retail Loss Typology has the potential to benefit retail organizations by managing complexity, encouraging transparency, creating opportunities, and maximizing loss prevention.</p><p><strong>Managing complexity. </strong>The retail landscape in which shrinkage was first described has been transformed by innovation and change. Simply relying upon the traditional four buckets of estimated losses to fully reflect and properly convey the scale, nature, and impact of retail losses is no longer appropriate, particularly as the retail environment becomes more dynamic and fast changing.</p><p><strong>Encouraging transp</strong><strong>arency.</strong> The ambiguous nature of most shrinkage calculations and the difficulty of understanding its root causes generate a lack of accountability, particularly within retail stores.</p><p>Store managers question the reliability of the number, especially where there is a pervasive sense that the supply chain may be foisting losses upon stores that are actually caused by inefficiencies. Unknown store losses can conveniently be blamed upon short shipments or roaming bands of organized thieves, rather than being apportioned to actual events taking place in the store.</p><p>Losses can also be moved between different categories, depending upon the performance measures in place—wastage can quickly become shrinkage if the former is identified as a key performance indicator. </p><p>By measuring a broader range of categories of loss, it becomes much more difficult to play this game; most losses will be measured somewhere, improving transparency and accountability throughout the organization.</p><p><strong>Creating opportunities.</strong> A recurring theme from the research was the lack of prioritization and urgency associated with categories of loss that had already been measured or for which a budget had been allocated.</p><p>Many respondents were quick to view these factors as a cost; therefore, not requiring any remedial action by the business. In effect, the process of capturing the loss or planning for it through budget allocation rendered them immune from concern over the actual loss.</p><p>By adopting a systematic approach and agreeing on the definition of a retail loss and bringing these together under a single typology, opportunities may arise to minimize the overall impact of loss upon the business.</p><p><strong>Maximizing loss prevention.</strong> Dealing with an unknown loss, which is what most loss prevention practitioners typically focus on, is probably one of the hardest challenges faced by a management team in retail. This requires the team to develop a high level of analytical and problem solving capacity.</p><p>Trying to solve problems where the cause is typically unknown is also at the hard end of the management spectrum. It requires creative thinking, imaginative use of data, and considerable experience. Imagine if these capabilities were used on the broader range of known problems encapsulated in the Total Retail Loss Typology. The impact could be profound.</p><p><strong>Using resources. </strong>By generating a broader, more detailed understanding of how losses are impacting a retail organization, it may be possible to take a more strategic approach to the allocation and use of existing resources.</p><p>The Total Retail Loss Typology could offer value in how businesses not only respond to existing loss-related challenges, but also use it to review the implication of any future business decisions. </p><p>The interplay between sales and losses needs to be viewed in the round and not as a series of cross-functional trade-offs where losses and profits are allocated separately, driving behaviors that are unlikely to benefit the business.</p><p>It’s within this context that the Total Retail Loss Typology has been developed—to enable retail organizations to better understand the nature, scale, and extent of losses across the entire business, and to use this information to make more informed choices about how to grow profits and improve customer satisfaction.</p><p>As the pace of change in retail con­tinues to intensify, it’s time for the loss prevention industry to begin to move away from a notion of loss developed in the 19th century to one that better reflects and recognizes the complexities and challenges found in the 21st century.  </p><p><em><strong>Adrian Beck </strong>is a professor of criminology in the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester in Leicester, United Kingdom. Beck undertook the study Beyond Shrinkage: Introducing Total Retail Loss commissioned by the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s Asset Protection Leaders Council and is an academic advisor to the ECR Community Shrinkage and On-Shelf Availability Group. ​ ​</em></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Soft-Target-Trends.aspxSoft Target Trends<p>When most people think of Orlando, Florida, Walt Disney World Resort comes to mind. The world-renowned theme park makes Orlando the second most popular travel destination in the United States. But there is much more to the city than Mickey and Minnie Mouse. </p><p>Beyond the complex infrastructure that supports Orlando’s 2.3 million citizens, the city is filled with parks and wildlife, the largest university in the country, and a vast hospitality industry that includes more than 118,000 hotel rooms. And International Drive, an 11-mile thoroughfare through the city, is home to attractions such as Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and the Orange County Convention Center, the site of ASIS International’s 62nd Annual Seminar and Exhibits this month. </p><p>Hospitality goes hand-in-hand with security in Orlando, where local businesses and attractions see a constant flow of tourists from all over the world. And at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts events ranging from Broadway shows to concerts to community education and events, a new security director is changing the culture of theater to keep performers, staff, and visitors safe.​</p><h4>The Living Room of the City</h4><p>Open since November 2014, the Dr. Phillips Center spans two blocks and is home to a 2,700-seat main stage, a 300-seat theater, and the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts. The building’s striking architecture, which includes a canopy roof, vast overhang, and a façade made almost entirely of glass, stretches across two blocks and is complemented by a front lawn and plaza.</p><p>After the June 11 shooting at Pulse nightclub less than two miles south of the theater, that lawn became the city’s memorial. Days after the shooting, the Dr. Phillips Center plaza, normally used for small concerts or events, hosted Orlando’s first public vigil. A makeshift memorial was established on the lawn, and dozens of mourners visited for weeks after the attack.</p><p>Chris Savard, a retired member of the Orlando Police Department, started as the center’s director of security in December, shortly after terrorists killed dozens and injured hundreds in attacks on soft targets in Paris. Prior to Savard, the center had no security director. Coming from a law enforcement background to the theater industry was a challenging transition, he says. </p><p>“Before I came here, I was with an FBI terrorism task force,” Savard says. “Bringing those ideologies here to the performing arts world, it’s just a different culture. Saying ‘you will do security, this is the way it is’ doesn’t work. You have to ease into it.”</p><p>The Dr. Phillips Center was up and running for a year before Savard started, so he had to focus on strategic changes to improve security: “The building is already built, so we need to figure out what else we can do,” he says. One point of concern was an overhang above the valet line right at the main entrance. Situated above the overhang is a glass-walled private donor lounge, and Savard notes that anyone could have driven up to the main entrance under the overhang and set off a bomb, causing maximum damage. “It was a serious chokepoint,” he explains, “and the building was designed before ISIS took off, so there wasn’t much we could do about the overhang.”</p><p>Instead, he shifted the valet drop-off point, manned by off-duty police officers, further away from the building. “We’ve got some people saying, ‘Hey, I’m a donor and I don’t want to walk half a block to come to the building, I want to park my vehicle here, get out, and be in the air conditioning.’ It’s a tough process, but it’s a work in progress. Most people have not had an issue whatsoever in regards to what we’ve implemented.”</p><p>Savard also switched up the use of off-duty police officers in front of the Dr. Phillips Center. He notes that it can be costly to hire off-duty police officers, who were used for traffic control before he became the security director, so he reduced the number of officers used and stationed them closer to the building. He also uses a K-9 officer, who can quickly assess a stopped or abandoned vehicle on the spot. </p><p>“When you pull into the facility, you see an Orlando Police Department K-9 officer SUV,” Savard explains. “We brought two other valet officers closer to the building, so in any given area you have at least four police cars or motorcycles that are readily available. We wanted to get them closer so it was more of a presence, a deterrent.” The exact drop-off location is constantly changing to keep people on their toes, he adds.</p><p>The Dr. Phillips Center was already using Andy Frain Services, which provides uniformed officers to patrol the center around the clock. Annette DuBose manages the contracted officers. </p><p>When he started in December, Savard says he was surprised that no bag checks were conducted. When he brought up the possibility of doing bag checks, there was some initial pushback—it’s uncommon for theater centers to perform any type of bag check. “In the performing arts world, this was a big deal,” Savard says. “You have some high-dollar clientele coming in, and not a lot of people want to be inconvenienced like that.”</p><p>When Savard worked with DuBose and her officers to implement bag checks, he said everyone was astonished at what the officers were finding. “I was actually shocked at what people want to bring in,” Savard says. “Guns, knives, bullets. I’ve got 25-plus years of being in law enforcement, and seeing what people bring in…it’s a Carole King musical! Why are you bringing your pepper spray?”</p><p>Savard acknowledges that the fact that Florida allows concealed carry makes bag checks mandatory—and tricky. As a private entity, the Dr. Phillips Center can prohibit guns, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to bring them in, he notes. The Andy Frain officers have done a great job at kindly but firmly asking patrons to take their guns back to their cars, Savard says—and hav­ing a police officer nearby helps when it comes to argumentative visitors.​</p><h4>Culture, Community, and Customer Service</h4><p>There have been more than 300 performances since the Dr. Phillips Center opened, and with two stages, the plaza, classrooms, and event spaces, there can be five or six events going on at once. </p><p>“This is definitely a soft target here in Orlando,” Savard notes. “With our planned expansion, we can have 5,000 people in here at one time. What a target—doing something in downtown Orlando to a performing arts center.”</p><p>The contract officers and off-duty police carry out the core of the security- related responsibilities, but Savard has also brought in volunteers to augment the security presence. As a nonprofit theater, the Dr. Phillips Center has a large number of “very passionate” volunteers—there are around 50 at each show, he says. </p><p>The volunteers primarily provide customer service, but Savard says he wants them to have a security mindset, as well—“the more eyes, the better.” He teaches them basic behavioral assessment techniques and trends they should look for. </p><p>“You know the guy touching his lower back, does he have a back brace on or is he trying to keep the gun in his waistband from showing?” Savard says. “Why is that person out there videotaping where people are being dropped off and parking their cars? Is it a bad guy who wants to do something?”</p><p>All 85 staffers at the Dr. Phillips Center have taken active shooter training classes, and self-defense classes are offered as well. Savard tries to stress situational awareness to all staff, whether they work in security or not. </p><p>“One of the things I really want to do is get that active shooter mindset into this environment, because this is the type of environment where it’s going to happen,” Savard explains. “It’s all over the news.”</p><p>Once a month, Savard and six other theater security directors talk on the phone about the trends and threats they are seeing, as well as the challenges with integrating security into the performing arts world. </p><p>“Nobody wanted the cops inside the building at all, because it looked too militant,” Savard says. “And then we had Paris, and things changed. With my background coming in, I said ‘Listen, people want to see the cops.’” </p><p>Beyond the challenge of changing the culture at the Dr. Phillips Center, Savard says he hopes security can become a higher priority at performing arts centers across the country. The Dr. Phillips Center is one of more than two dozen theaters that host Broadway Across America shows, and Savard invited the organization’s leaders to attend an active shooter training at the facility last month. </p><p>“There’s a culture in the performing arts that everything’s fine, and unfortu­nately we know there are bad people out there that want to do bad things to soft targets right now,” Savard says. “The whole idea is to be a little more vigilant in regards to protecting these soft targets.”</p><p>Savard says he hopes to make wanding another new norm at performing arts centers. There have already been a number of instances where a guest gets past security officers with a gun hidden under a baggy Cuban-style shirt. “I’ll hear that report of a gun in the building, and the hair stands up on the back of my neck,” Savard says. “It’s a never- ending goal to continue to get better and better every time. We’re not going to get it right every time, but hopefully the majority of the time.”</p><p>The Dr. Phillips Center is also moving forward with the construction of a new 1,700-seat acoustic theater, which will be completed within the next few years. The expansion allows the center to host three shows at one time—not including events in private rooms or on the plaza. Savard is already making plans for better video surveillance and increasing security staff once the new theater is built.</p><p>“We really try to make sure that every­body who comes into the building, whether or not they’re employed here, is a guest at the building, and we want to make sure that it’s a great experience, not only from the performance but their safety,” according to Savard. “It’s about keeping the bad guys out, but it’s also that you feel really safe once you’re in here.” </p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465