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/Surveillance-is-Instrumental.aspxSurveillance is Instrumental<p>Where can you go to see the iconic black suit worn by Johnny Cash, a guitar strummed by Eric Clapton, and instruments from sub-Saharan Africa, all under one roof? The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona, a 200,000 square-foot facility, is home to these and thousands of other legendary and significant instruments from around the world. ​<br></p><p>The collection is made up of more than 16,000 instruments, 6,000 of which are on display at any given time. Each year, upwards of 220,000 people visit the museum, which also has a 300-seat theater where notable musicians make regular headlines. The museum, which opened in 2010, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. “We’re constantly updating exhibits, changing things out, telling new stories,” says David Burger, security manager at the facility. ​</p><p>Securing this wealth of cultural items, as well as keeping the museum’s visitors safe, are top priorities for MIM, Burger says. “Very few of the exhibitions are under glass, so that creates a unique security concern between providing our guests with the world-class experience that we strive for, but also maintaining the safety of the instruments and making sure that everything is here for generations to come,” he says. </p><p>The museum employs contract security officers, in addition to police from the local precinct who act as “boots on the ground” security. “The local police are an invaluable asset to our security operations, both for the visibility and deterrence that they bring, but also their wealth of experience and knowledge,” Burger says. <img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Callout%20Images/0217%20Case%20Study%20Stats%20Box.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:495px;" /></p><p>The security operations center is another vital piece of the puzzle at MIM, where contract officers monitor the approximately 200 cameras that cover the premises, as well as manage alarms and access control, and dispatch help in the case of an incident. “Our video is not just for forensics use, we actually do a lot of training and work with our security operators to be more proactive—live-monitoring the video, identifying issues before they become incidents,” Burger notes. </p><p>A couple of years ago, MIM was in the process of upgrading its existing cameras for increased situational awareness and improved analytics across the entire property. “We reached out to several manufacturers, talked to their local representatives, and found out more about their products,” he says.</p><p>After narrowing it down to a few products, MIM chose Hanwha Techwin America, formerly Samsung, and selected a variety of its camera models. “This was a multiphase project of refreshing all our cameras and getting them up to a certain standard,” says Burger. “Hanwha was selected for this portion of it, which covered all of the main public spaces, employee areas, and building perimeters.” </p><p>Approximately 70 Hanwha cameras were installed, including fisheye and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras. For sensitive places, such as loading docks and cash-handling areas, higher megapixel cameras were deployed. Burger says MIM was attracted to Hanwha for several reasons. “The integration the Hanwha cameras had with our Genetec VMS was a big deciding factor,” he notes, explaining that the alarms, motion detection, and other features of the existing video management system are easily tied into the Hanwha cameras. There is also “plenty” of storage space on the cameras, he adds, allowing for additional analytics or other processes to be run on the edge.</p><p>The installation began in early 2015 and was completed in March 2016. With the Hanwha cameras, MIM can set video analytics to detect motion and set off alarms if appropriate. With facial detection, the analytics can differentiate a human from other moving objects like debris and small animals that would not necessarily warrant the triggering of an alarm. If the system detects unwanted motion or people, an alarm goes off in the control center to alert operators to pay attention to the monitor showing that camera. “It’s an improved efficiency, being able to automate those features so the operator isn’t constrained with watching hundreds of cameras at once, and having to make all of those decisions himself,” Burger says.  </p><p>When an incident occurs that requires dispatch, control room operators notify the police at the main security desk in the front lobby. Those officers have a few monitors at their station for viewing any relevant video, as well as smartphones to receive images or video in the field. </p><p>Burger notes that, thankfully, no notable security incidents have occurred at the museum since installing the cameras. However, the day-to-day issues are easily resolved thanks to the cameras and ease of reviewing video on the Genetec VMS. “A common scenario is locating lost family members, and we’re able to pretty quickly backtrack and do some forensic searches [with the video],” he says. </p><p>Locating lost bags or spotting unattended packages is another routine event, as well as dealing with visitors’ slips, trips, and falls. “We can identify cases where somebody says things happened a certain way, and we were able to find that it wasn’t exactly the case,” notes Burger. On average, MIM keeps the video for 30 days before overwriting it, unless an incident warrants holding onto the footage longer.</p><p>Eventually Burger says MIM will integrate access control with video as well, so that alerts and alarms for doors can be tied to the appropriate cameras. </p><p>“The cameras have really increased our situational awareness, reducing potential blind spots or areas where there could have been a gap before,” he says.</p><p>--<br></p><p>For more information: Tom Cook, tom.cook@hanwha.com, www.hanwhasecurity.com, 201.325.2623 ​</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/Patchy-Training-Tactics.aspxPatchy Training Tactics<p>​<span style="line-height:1.5em;">Should an armed security guard have as much training as a manicurist? The question may seem absurd, but it comes out of a recent report of training, licensing, and screening requirements for armed security guards across the country. The report, which was compiled by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), reveals wide variances in requirements from state to state.</span></p><p>On one side of the spectrum are states like Oklahoma and New York, both of which require more than 70 hours of training for security guards. Florida, which requires 68 hours of training, and Illinois, which requires 60 hours, come next. After that, six more states require at least 50 hours of training: Alaska, California, Delaware, North Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia. </p><p>On the other end are 14 states—Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming—that do not require any training. Arkansas, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are also on the low-training end, as all require less than 10 hours of training. </p><p>J. Kelly Stewart, managing principal and CSO of Newcastle Consulting and member of the ASIS International Security Services Council, says the lack of consistent requirements is a detriment to security, since training in the basic concepts of security is essential to effective protection. “I think that it impacts the profession profoundly,” he says. </p><p>Bob Howell, former owner of a California security company and current director of Global Operations at iJET, concurs. Requiring a period of training and study to get licensed sets a professional tone that benefits the field and the guard, Howell says.</p><p>Of course, the process of certifying that training requirements are being met can be cumbersome, he adds. “As is the way with most bureaucracies with the government, sometimes the system can be slow to work,” Howell says. But the requirements “level the playing field” in that they ensure that guards will all have a baseline level of training, he adds.  </p><p>As the report shows, training requirements in most states consist of two separate components: basic training hours and firearms training hours. Both of these vary widely. For example, Alaska and North Dakota both require 56 hours of overall training. North Dakota, however, requires 48 hours of firearms training, while Alaska requires only eight hours of firearms training. </p><p>Proportions also vary. Some states favor one over the other: Wisconsin requires 36 hours of firearms training, but no basic training; New Jersey requires 24 hours of basic training, but no firearms training. (New Jersey does have a general firearms training requirement for anyone carrying a gun, but does not mandate specifics, like the number of hours required.)</p><p>Firearms training is critical, and retraining equally so, because skill level needs to be maintained, Stewart says. “If you’re not training on a regular basis, like twice a month, then I really question the proficiency of that person being armed,” he explains.</p><p>The CIR report also found significant state-by-state differences in the screening requirements for armed guards. Eight states do not conduct any kind of criminal background check for armed guard applicants. Twenty-seven states do not check if applicants are prohibited under federal law (usually because of a restraining order or a drug problem) from possessing a gun. And 38 states do not require “discharge reports” from armed guards—that is, reports filed after incidents when a guard fires his or her gun.  </p><p>Moreover, there are some other screening requirements that only a small number of states have implemented. Only four states (Delaware, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania) require applicants to pass a psychological exam before receiving a license. Three states (Maine, Rhode Island, and South Carolina) require applicants to sign a form authorizing regulators to access their mental health records. And only one state, Oregon, requires that disciplinary records of applicants who formerly served in law enforcement be checked. </p><p>Can training and screening requirements for security guards be made more consistent? Over the years, there have been efforts at the state and federal level to improve training and screening requirements. Last year, for example, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced S.B. 2647, the Security Officer Screening Improvement Act of 2014, which would have enabled employers to obtain FBI background checks of armed security guards by other means if they were initially unavailable from the state of employment. The legislation died in committee.</p><p>In theory, Congress could enact a “federal floor” type of bill that would set a minimum standard for the licensing and screening of armed security guards, and by doing so address the current lack of regulation in a lot of states, says Steve Amitay, executive director and general counsel for the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO).</p><p>But with the rise of the Tea Party in the last few years, any bill that puts more federal mandates on the states attracts increasing opposition in Congress. Moving forward, there will likely be efforts to improve training requirements in individual states, Amitay adds. Sometimes, publicized incidents involving security guard mishaps can lead to change: “It’s kind of legislating by anecdote,” he says. </p><p>But in Congress, signs indicate that the political climate will remain challenging, so there seems to be little hope for a large-scale training improvement initiative in the near future. “Is there kind of a groundswell? No, I don’t think there is,” Amitay says.   </p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465