Perimeter Protection

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Evolution-of-Airport-Attacks.aspxThe Evolution of Airport AttacksGP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-04-01T04:00:00Z<p>​The bustling Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium, handles more than 500 flights a day, bringing more than 27,000 passengers into the facility with approximately the same number departing. Mornings are particularly busy at the airport, and amid the flurry of activity, it is little wonder that on March 22, 2016, three men emerging from a taxi outside of the departures hall passed through unnoticed. </p><p>The trio loaded their heavy suitcases onto baggage carts and entered the flow of people heading through the doors toward the ticket desks. Shortly after they entered the departures hall, the three split up to take their places in separate ticket lines.</p><p>Three minutes later, one of the men detonated his suitcase bomb, which had been packed with nails, as he stood in one of the check-in lanes. Approximately nine seconds after that, the second man detonated his suitcase bomb in another lane. The third suitcase bomb did not detonate immediately; surveillance camera footage showed that after being thrown to the ground by the second blast, the third man, Mohamed Abrini, simply got up and walked away from the airport toward the city center. </p><p>It is unknown whether he left because he got cold feet or because his device failed to detonate, but he was later arrested and charged with participation in the attack. Police bomb technicians destroyed Abrini’s bomb-filled suitcase, which they report may have been the largest of the three, in a controlled explosion. </p><p>The attack at Zaventem resulted in 17 deaths. Another 14 victims were killed when a fourth suicide bomb was detonated an hour later in a subway train at the Maalbeek metro station in Brussels. The coordinated attack was the deadliest in Belgian history. It was also a lethal reminder of the continuing threat to the soft parts of airports outside security checkpoints. ​</p><h4>Evolving Tactics<img src="/ASIS%20SM%20Callout%20Images/0417%20Feeature%204%20Infographic.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:466px;" /></h4><p>The air transit system has been considered a prime target since the beginning of the modern era of terrorism. From a terrorist’s perspective, hundreds of people trapped inside a pressurized metal tube at 30,000 feet are ideal targets not only because the victims are so vulnerable, but because of the heavy media coverage such attacks generate. </p><p>For example, the photos of TWA 847 pilot John Testrake in the plane’s cockpit window being held at gunpoint by a Hezbollah hijacker became some of the most iconic images of 1980s terrorism.</p><p>Terrorist threats to aircraft spurred a series of security improvements, which were in turn answered by changes in terrorist weapons and tactics. The evolutionary—and deadly—game of cat-and-mouse between terrorist planners and aviation security officials has been occurring since the 1960s.</p><p>Initially there was very little security provided to the air transportation system, but a sharp increase in commercial airline hijackings in the 1960s and early 1970s led to enhanced airline security in the United States and Europe. High-profile hijackings led to greater and more widespread improvements to aviation security worldwide. </p><p>As hijackings became more difficult to conduct, terrorists began to direct their attention to aircraft bombings. Palestinian bombmakers created plastic explosives to look like everyday items in increasingly elaborate efforts to bring them onto aircraft undetected. The result was a number of airline bombing plots in the 1980s using concealed devices. </p><p>In 1987, North Korean agents destroyed a plane using a device hidden inside a radio to set off liquid explosives hidden in a liquor bottle. In another incident in 1986, explosives and the detonating device were hidden in a suitcase under a false bottom and a pocket calculator. Security detected the device before it could be taken aboard the plane. </p><p>Perhaps the most famous of these bombings was Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, a bombing that killed 243 passengers, including two of my colleagues, U.S. Diplomatic Security Service Special Agents Dan O’Connor and Ron Lariviere. </p><p>Despite security improvements, terrorists continued to focus on attacking aircraft. In 1994, an attacker assembled a bomb in the aircraft lavatory and left it on board when he deplaned at an intermediate stop on the flight’s course. The bombing was a dry run for a more complex strike against multiple airlines. </p><p>When security measures were improved in the 1990s to defend against this style of attack, terrorists adapted once again. While planning the 9/11 attack, hijackers used permissible carry-on items—like box cutters—to hijack planes and turn them into human-guided cruise missiles. </p><p>In response to post-2001 security crackdowns to protect against that type of attack, jihadists again shifted their tactics toward onboard suicide attacks with hidden bombs. The first of these was the failed December 2001 shoe bomb attack. When security officers began screening shoes routinely, aspiring airline bombers then shifted to a plot to fill camouflaged toiletry containers in carry-on baggage with liquid explosives.</p><p>The U.S. Transportation Security Administration subsequently intro­duced restrictions on the quantity of liquids that passengers could bring aboard an aircraft, and, in turn, a jihadist attempted an attack with a device that was sewn into a suicide operative’s underwear. </p><p>Once security measures were amend­ed to address the threat of underwear bombs, attackers turned to cargo aircraft, hiding improvised explosive devices in printer cartridges bound for the United States. </p><p>And the deadly escalation continues today. In November 2015, a bomb concealed in a soda can was smuggled onto an airliner in Egypt, killing 217. Three months later, another bomb, this one disguised in a laptop, was smuggled aboard a flight in Somalia. Fortunately, that bomb only killed the suicide operative when it detonated and the aircraft was able to return to the airport for an emergency landing.</p><p>However, not all attacks on aviation involve hijacking or smuggling bombs aboard aircraft. Just as terrorists adjusted for heightened security at embassies by targeting traveling diplomats, attackers have found ways to attack airline passengers even as it has become more difficult to attack aircraft. </p><p>Back in the mid-1980s, terrorists attacked crowds of airline passengers beyond the confines of airport security at ticket counters in Rome and Vienna. In November 2002, al Qaeda operatives attempted to attack an Israeli airliner in Kenya with a surface-to-air missile. A 2011 attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport took advantage of the facility’s soft areas, as did the Brussels attack. </p><p>In the wake of the Rome and Vienna attacks, perimeter security at airports in Europe was temporarily increased, but due to the cost and effort involved, soon reverted to business as usual. </p><p>Similar short-term increases in security posture at airports across the globe were seen in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and to a lesser extent following Domodedovo.  </p><p>The targeting of the soft side of airports is especially attractive to grassroots groups and individuals who lack the ability to construct bombs sophisticated enough to be smuggled through security. </p><p>The July 4, 2002, armed assault against a ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport and the June 2007 attack against the Glasgow Airport using a poorly constructed vehicle bomb are examples of attacks against the soft side of airports by poorly trained grassroots jihadists.​</p><h4>Expanding Danger</h4><p>In response to recent attacks in Brussels and Istanbul against the soft side of airports, security has again been increased. However, in many places this increased security is not much more than a show of force intended to reassure the traveling public and to perhaps deter poorly trained would-be terrorists. Without names or bag checks, it is difficult to keep a professional terrorist—especially one who has a ticket—away from the facility. </p><p>In some places, more thorough checkpoints have been established away from the airport to conduct initial screening. This tactic can be quite effective at smaller airports, but cumbersome at larger, busier airports where the heavy volume of travelers causes a backlog at the inspection point, thus effectively pushing the target away from the building to the crowd of people awaiting screening.   </p><p>It is important to remember that the objective of terrorist planners is to create a high body count and a large amount of publicity. This means that an attack against the soft side of an airport can be almost as good as an attack against an aircraft, and a successful attack against an airport is better than a failed or thwarted attack against a harder target. </p><p>As the security at airports is pushed outward in response to attacks against the soft sides of airports, and checkpoints are established away from the building, this merely moves the real target—the vulnerable group of people awaiting screening from inside the building—to an area outside of it.   </p><p>This principle was demonstrated during the June 28, 2016, attack against Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport. In that attack, three operatives armed with AK-47s and suicide vests launched an attack on the soft side of the airport. Coming in the wake of the Brussels attack, and due to the overall high terrorist threat inside of Turkey, security was increased at Turkish airports, and armed security checkpoints were established at the entrances to the departure hall to prevent terrorists from entering the hall like they did in Brussels. </p><p>Shortly after the three attackers exited their cab outside the departure hall, they were confronted by police and a firefight erupted between the police and the attackers. The first operative was able to approach the security checkpoint and detonate his device amid the crowd. This device shattered a large window that permitted the second attacker to enter the building and begin searching for a crowd of people to target with his suicide bomb. </p><p>Fortunately, the second attacker was shot and immobilized before he could do so. The third attacker was pursued by the authorities and detonated his device in a parking lot, causing minimal damage like the second bomber. Between the gunfire and the first bomb, however, 45 victims were killed—nearly three times more than in Brussels. The bulk of the victims were outside the security checkpoint at the door to the departure hall. ​</p><h4>Staying Ahead of the Game</h4><p>Moving the security checkpoint outward from the airport simply moves the chokepoint outward, and the crowd of people waiting to get through that checkpoint remains vulnerable. This principle applies to many circumstances and locations beyond airports as well, posing a significant challenge to security professionals. While not an easy problem to address, some methods exist to mitigate the threat.</p><p>First, static security checkpoints themselves are not enough. It is necessary to establish outward-looking protective surveillance that extends beyond the property line. This surveillance also needs to focus on preoperational surveillance rather than just attack recognition. Once the attackers start shooting or detonating bombs, it can be helpful to quickly counter them and limit their access to additional victims, but it is far better to catch them at an earlier phase of the terrorist attack cycle. </p><p>Many large international airports are using surveillance technology that identifies suspicious behavior and alerts operators. The information collected by these programs can be shared with nearby airports, allowing them to keep an eye out for similar activity on their premises. </p><p>Terrorists often follow an attack planning cycle and are vulnerable to detection as they conduct the surveillance they require to carry out an attack. Terrorist operatives generally possess poor surveillance tradecraft and are not difficult to spot if people are looking for them. </p><p>But cops or soldiers manning a checkpoint at a door are not normally well positioned to spot such activity. This, ideally, needs to be accomplished by specialized units that have been trained in the craft of detecting surveillance and who are not tasked with manning checkpoints. Teams such as these will patrol parking areas and other spaces further away from the airport to identify potential threats.</p><p>This type of technology and information sharing between airports is imperative because attackers may scope out multiple facilities in a region. It is important for security teams at different airports to foster information sharing by alerting their counterparts to anomalous behavior.</p><p>Surveillance must also go beyond the use of cameras and should use a combination of human agents and cameras integrated with analytic software that can be used to help expand and direct the efforts of the humans. Cameras with nobody watching them are little better than no cameras at all. They may be useful for investigating an attack after the fact, but will be of little help in preventing an attack.  </p><p>Even in a case where the preoperational surveillance is missed and an attack is underway, personnel located beyond checkpoints can help to see problems as they are developing rather than allowing attackers to gain tactical surprise by permitting them to have free rein in areas where they can assemble and coordinate their attack.  </p><p>Furthermore, undercover operators can enjoy tactical surprise themselves and are in a great position to turn the tables on the attackers. Action is always faster than reaction, and if the attackers are permitted to draw and shoot first, it gives them a significant advantage over security forces. </p><p>A failed attack against a soft target venue in Garland, Texas, in May 2015, showed that security personnel manning the door of a facility can gain a life-or-death advantage in a firefight if they have advanced warning and a description of a potential threat. </p><p>In the Garland case, the FBI alerted local authorities of a potential threat to the event and provided the suspect’s vehicle description. This passing of critical intelligence prepared local officers for an impending attack. It also highlights the importance of intelligence sharing both horizontally and vertically within the law enforcement and security communities as they seek to secure airports and other soft targets.  </p><p><em><strong>Scott Stewart </strong>is vice president of tactical analysis at Stratfor.com and lead analyst for Stratfor Threat Lens. ​</em></p>

Perimeter Protection

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Evolution-of-Airport-Attacks.aspx2017-04-01T04:00:00ZThe Evolution of Airport Attacks
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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Lake-Brantley-High-is-School-Security-Funding-Winner.aspx2016-09-11T04:00:00ZLake Brantley High is School Security Funding Winner
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/School-Security-Trends.aspx2016-09-01T04:00:00ZSchool Security Trends
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Soft-Target-Trends.aspx2016-09-01T04:00:00ZSoft Target Trends
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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Vehicle-Access-at-Stadiums.aspx2016-08-23T04:00:00ZVehicle Access at Stadiums
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Seminar-Sneak-Peek---Fire-and-Security-Must-Be-Allies.aspx2016-07-15T04:00:00ZSeminar Sneak Peek: Fire and Security Must Be Allies
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Organizations-Ask-Pokemon-Go-Users-To-Refrain-From-Catching-Them-All.aspx2016-07-13T04:00:00ZOrganizations Ask Pokémon Go Users To Refrain From Catching Them All
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Religions-Institutions.aspx2016-06-01T04:00:00ZBook Review: Keeping Religious Institutions Secure
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Protection-on-Display.aspx2016-05-01T04:00:00ZProtection on Display
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Cyber-Pulls-the-Plug.aspx2016-05-01T04:00:00ZCyber Pulls the Plug
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Q-and-A---Soft-Targets.aspx2016-04-01T04:00:00ZQ&A: Soft Targets
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Security-Beyond-Sunday.aspx2016-04-01T04:00:00ZSecurity Beyond Sunday
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/2016-ISC-West-Product-Showcase.aspx2016-03-16T04:00:00Z2016 ISC West Product Showcase
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Bomb-Threats.aspx2016-02-01T05:00:00ZBook Review: Bomb Threats
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/On-Alert-for-Anomalies.aspx2015-12-15T05:00:00ZOn Alert for Anomalies
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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Private-School-Public-Protection.aspx2015-09-17T04:00:00ZPrivate School, Public Protection
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Disaster-Recovery.aspx2015-09-01T04:00:00ZBook Review: Disaster Recovery

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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
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review---Workplace-Safety.aspxBook Review: Workplace Safety<p>Butterworth-Heinema​nn; Elsevier.com; 180 pages; $49.95.</p><p>The threat of workplace violence is a continuous issue affecting the well-being of the American workforce. Horrific reports and images of violent acts in the workplace appear far too often in the media, disrupting the safety, well-being, and productivity of the general public. </p><p>In an attempt to help businesses and organizations deter or deflect these violent acts, Randall W. Ferris and Daniel Murphy authored <em>Workplace Safety: Establishing an Effective Violence Prevention Program. </em>This is a well-intended book designed to help organizations with the development of policies and practices to prevent violence in the workplace. The book offers information on applicable topics, including relevant definitions, justifications for workplace violence procedures, explanations of various types of violence, environmental causes, and possible motives behind the attacks, as well as details for creating and implementing methods to prevent violent incidents. The authors draw from the guidelines presented in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standards for the prevention of workplace violence as their primary source of creditable information.</p><p>The book reads more like a how-to manual than a professional publication. The chapters are consistently formatted with a motivational quote, chapter contents, an abstract, and applicable key words. The chapters include various personal experiences from the authors, fictitious scenarios, and bulleted or numerical lists pertaining to the chapter’s content. Further diluting the professionalism is the use of common or slang terms in text that is often brash or casual. </p><p>There is value here for some audiences. For organizations that have not developed procedures to deter or respond to violent incidents in the workplace and those that do not understand the concept of these issues, this could be a helpful guide. Those working in human resources or facility management and individuals who are new to security management can gain some useful information. Also, managers desiring to completely redesign or reevaluate their workplace violence policies might use this book as a starting point. However, it should be viewed as a supplemental publication and not a primary source. Workplace Safety: Establishing an Effective Violence Prevention Program will not impress the educated or experienced reader or introduce new concepts that have not been previously explored. </p><p><em><strong>Reviewer: Joseph Jaksa, Ph.D., CPP, </strong>is an associate professor of criminal justice at Michigan’s Saginaw Valley State University. He is a member of ASIS International and the Saginaw Valley Chapter of ASIS.  </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/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. 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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