18 November 2015

Security where you work

The other day I was doing a Conflict Resolution course for a college in Maryland.  Like many places, their security does not have any arrest powers and has a "hands off policy".  Before cell phones, the advantage of unarmed uniformed security was that they carried a radio allowing them to summon emergency services faster than someone trying to get a landline.  Those days are over.

Unless you work in a government building, here is the reality of security-

Left to the individual employee- most places of employment do not have uniformed security.  Some may have Disaster or Lockdown plans in place, but unless there is someone dedicated to ongoing training and practice, they are usually nothing more than a binder on a shelf.  The reality is that you are responsible for your own security and in time of an emergency will have to take care of yourself.

Unarmed Uniformed Security- this is what you will find in larger companies and businesses.  As in the case of the college, they do not have any arrest powers and the only thing that sets them apart from you is a uniform, a set of keys, maybe first aid training, and the fact security is their primary job.  Early on in my career I did this job and have trained many that do.  They usually fall into three  major groups-

Young men who wish to become police.
Old men who were police.
Students looking for a job.

With few exceptions, they receive little to no training and are poorly paid.

Armed security- businesses that employ armed security usually do so to protect their property, not their people.  This is something to keep in mind.

The bottom line is that at the end of the day you are responsible for your own safety.  Don't have a false sense of security.

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