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Peace of mind despite the rise in hate crimes

 

Hate crime_blog image and headline

1/28/2017

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO Echelon Protection & Surveillance.

On February 27, 2017 the untoward happened in the least expected place. Over 100 headstones were vandalized in Mount Carmel cemetery, a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia, on the heels of similar acts of anti-Semitism in Missouri over the previous weekend. Gravestones that had stood for years were knocked down, many of them cracked in two. While the community reeled, nearby business owners were also upset, as were the city’s numerous synagogues, Jewish Centers, Day Schools, and Jewish museums.

Though Philadelphia citizens were appalled by this blatant act of hate, the unfortunate truth is that hate crimes in America have been on the rise in recent months. According to the Anti-Defamation League, this increase in anti-Semitic incidents can be found everywhere from social media to small business and homes, and can take many forms, including vandalism and bomb threats. In fact, in the last two months the ADL reported 70 such bomb threats made to Jewish community centers.

“We’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism (source: http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Clear-uptick-in-US-antisemitism-since-election-says-ADL-482639)
However, this enmity in our communities does not have to take us by surprise or upend our sense of safety. As in any crisis, readiness provides peace of mind. For business owners everywhere, creating a cohesive security strategy and plan for the short or long term helps to ensure that you are prepared in the event that your organization is randomly targeted.

As a proactive deterrent, consider hiring a professional security guard company trained specifically in managing hate crimes. You can choose to have a complete security assessment of your property or a consultation that gives you overall view of safety measures that can be taken immediately. These consultations will also assist you in identifying areas of weakness, such as areas with little visibility, employees who have not been given background checks, or the lack of proper planning in the event of a threat or attack.

Security camera surveillance is another positive step in keeping your people and property safe. The cameras serve three important but distinct functions. First, the presence of visible video security serves as a built-in deterrent to would-be criminals. Secondly, if a crime does occur on or near your property, the resulting video footage can be extremely valuable in both catching and prosecuting perpetrators. Lastly, the cameras can be monitored at any time, allowing for an immediate response from security guards or law enforcement officials if any unwanted or suspicious activity occurs. To get the most out of your video surveillance, hire an organization that specializes in video surveillance plans and installation.

Another affordable safe-guarding option is to hire armed or unarmed patrols for your property during specific times of the year, such as Jewish high holidays when you anticipate a greater number of crowds and/or distraction that could leave you and your guests vulnerable. Having a licensed, highly trained professional(s) present to watch for unlawful activity allows you to enjoy your event with the knowledge that your participants are soundly protected.

Echelon Protection & Surveillance provides all of the above services along with twenty years of successful professional experience. We are licensed, bonded and insured, plus every guard is trained to respond immediately and effectively in a wide-range of situations.

We also understand the special security risks and challenges facing the Jewish community. As a Jewish-owned security solutions company, we offer proven security services to deter and stop anti- Semitic violence and criminal activity before it starts or gets out of control.

Specifically, our expertise in managing and preventing hate crimes can be found in the security solutions we provide for Jewish institutions and organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors, including the National Museum of American Jewish History, Rodeph Shalom, Beth Tkva B’Nai Jeshurun, Brith Achim, Beth Zion-Beth Isreal, Shaare Shamayim-Beth Judah, Temple Sinai, Philly Israel events, and The Consulate General of Israel.

In these volatile and uncertain times, take the next step to keep your organization’s people and property safe.  Our aim is always to anticipate and problem solve before a crime occurs.  Echelon Protection & Surveillance serves as your security partner, allowing you the peace of mind to manage your business or organization with confidence.

To see a full list of services including consultation, camera surveillance, employee training, and part or full time patrols, visit the website at www.epsagents.com.

5 Smart Ways to Protect Your Inventory

 

Whether you own a large chain of stores or a single boutique, one of the most difficult parts of managing your own business can be ensuring that your products are safe—from the moment they leave the warehouse to their security while on your premises. As much as we don’t like to think about retail loses due to employee theft or carelessness, that risk remains a reality for all business owners.

According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Retail Fraud Survey, employee theft is the “single biggest cause of loss to retailers,” leading to a $60 billion deficit for business owners across the United States.

Here are five ways that you can ensure the safety of your products, and save your business from unnecessary deficits that result from theft.

  1. Perform background checks on all of your employees. The greatest safety measure you can take is to be sure that you are hiring reliable employees in all areas of your business. Though background checks are not inexpensive, in the long run, they save you money and safeguard your peace of mind.
  1. Install video surveillance to create a greater sense of control and accountability. Employee theft accounts for almost half of retail shrinkage, according to The Small Business Chronicle. Employees have the easiest access to products, as well as to abusing discounts, or mismanaging refunds and credit cards. Video surveillance monitors this activity, and also creates a safer environment for employees by serving as a deterrent to robbery and as a safeguard in the event that something goes wrong.
  1. Hire a licensed, trained security guard to safeguard your property. These store officers can either be plain clothes or uniformed. Uncover agents can be trained to confront and deal with thefts in the moment, and uniformed officers serve as powerful deterrents to would-be thieves. According to About Money, customer theft accounts for a large amount of retail loss annually. Having a security guard on site can greatly reduce deficits incurred from shoplifting.
  1. Keep detailed and accurate records of your inventory, its movement, and the individuals who manage the products. Taking the time to record your inventory’s movement and progression is simply just good business sense, and it also allows you to notice almost immediately when a significant and unexplained loss occurs, and to then take quick and decisive action to prevent these losses from happening again.
  1. Retain a theft prevention expert to evaluate the security of your inventory from start to finish. A trained professional can help you identify efficiencies, anticipate potential pitfalls, and ultimately develop an effective strategy to eliminate unnecessary risks and employ best practices moving forward.

To protect your assets, it pays to devise a comprehensive plan, to continue to monitor your processes, and to put in place the security measures that will lead to greater profit by protecting what is most valuable to you at all times.

Echelon Protection & Surveillance can assist you in addressing your retail loss prevention needs and work to develop a security plan designed to categorically deal with internal and external retail theft. We employ a variety of solutions to protect your bottom line while addressing your budgetary concerns.

Sources:

  1. S. Retail Fraud Survey: http://www.d-ddaily.com/images/10-06-15_US_Fraud_Survey.pdf
  2. The Small Business Chronicle: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/retail-shrinkage-55148.html
  3. About Money: https://www.thebalance.com/top-sources-of-retail-shrinkage-2890265

Rethinking Physical Security In The Age Of Terrorism

 

rethinking (2)

As terrorist attacks become more frequent and more deadly, the threat of terrorism is becoming a much larger concern. For better protection, we will need to look at how the world is changing, what it is leading us to, and the steps that can be taken today for better security.

What Has Changed?

It may seem like the stakes are still the same for security, but the landscape has changed immensely. There are more considerations needed for terrorist threats. It is no longer only heavily trafficked areas may have needed security guards. Now, everyone needs active physical security.

The use of explosives and the apparent randomness of the attacks make a potential target far less obvious. In the case of the shooting in San Bernardino, the target was a building, which serviced individuals with developmental disabilities.

Every business, property manager, and individual need to consider the possibility of a terrorist attack. It is not just a consideration for events or areas with lots of foot traffic. A lack of security creates a terrorist opportunity. If you are not prepared, then you are a potential target.

Of course, special events are more likely to be a target, as was the case for San Bernardino. But even venues like bars and concerts have been targeted, as was the case in Orlando and some of the recent attacks in France.

The Mindset Of The Future

What will have to change is the anticipation of a terrorist attack. Every industry will have to be preemptive with their planning. Terrorism will need to be treated like preparing for a natural disaster. Not something inevitable, but something that is as disruptive as it is unexpected.

Your particular type of business is only safe from terror attacks until the moment it isn’t. By placing experienced security guards in every building, the risk of attack will drop dramatically.

Security for every industry will need to have terrorism response training. And more buildings will need to staff security personnel. The importance of trained onsite first responders cannot be overstated, as emergency response will be minutes away in the best-case scenarios.

Where The Fear Leads

With the use of explosives and automatic firearms, minutes of unchecked terrorism can be devastating. So the mindset will also shift more to focus on anticipation and profiling. Threats will need to be discovered before perpetrators take action. This does not necessarily mean racial or ethnic profiling, as much as it has to do with the body language and attitude of suspects.

These preparations are likely to become the general mindset of the security world only due to their effectiveness. Similar precautions are taken in Israeli airports, leading to perfect security records. A mindset of fear, unfortunately, leads to a default position of mistrust. If terrorism continues to go unchecked, the intensity of security precautions will become more preemptive.

What You Can Do Today

The first step is realizing that you are not immune to a terrorist attack simply because of your type of business or industry.

You will need to be vigilant, and invest in better security. This can be passive security measure, such as installing new locks, strengthening windows, and using stronger doors. For more active security, you can also use highly trained security personnel.

Employees can also be trained to deal with these situations more effectively. Everything from evacuation plans to education on the warning signs of terrorist intent will help.

Any of these security strategies will also help to prevent theft, burglary, and even make your business safer in the result of a natural disaster.  Everything you do today will benefit your overall security.

line break

 How to Hire a Professional Security Guard

 

Stadium_Concert_Security

Did you ever consider what qualifies someone to be a security guard? If you’re looking for expert public or private security, it’s up to you to perform your own due diligence.

Although each state has its own standards to become a professional security guard – some states in fact have virtually none. This means it’s possible that the security guards you hire may not be vetted, trained or certified in any way. Just as some government agencies by law do not have to disclose exactly what chemicals are in our food and household items – many security companies do not advertise who is really inside their security uniform.

I am a business owner, private detective, former educator, former probation officer, and life-long volunteer fire fighter. I’m going to put on each hat in order to provide some insight into the best way to hire qualified security guards. Here’s how to make sure that the security guards you hire are vetted, trained and certified professionals.

At the absolute minimum, your security guard company should be held to the same common sense hiring polices you would expect in any skilled industry. Start by asking if they’ve performed these fundamental hiring practices:

  • Resume Review
  • References Check
  • Personal Interviews
  • Basic Training & Orientation

The security industry is about managing risk, loss and liability. As a Licensed Private Detective, I suggest you require these additional documents to ensure your security company is state compliant and that you’re protected against liability:

  • State & Federal Background Checks (State Criminal History & FBI Criminal History)
  • State Licenses & Guard Certifications (As Required by your State)
  • Proof of Insurances (At least $2 Million based on your Industry)
  • Pre-employment Drug Testing

As a firefighter for over forty years and former educator, I also suggest the following clearances, checks and qualifications to ensure your security guards are of the highest caliber:

  • Industry Specific Clearances (such as State Child Abuse History Clearance)
  • CPR/AED (Red Cross Certified)
  • Evacuation Coordination (In Case of Emergency, Hazard or Crisis)
  • Lethal Weapons Training Certification
  • Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB)
  • Specialized Security and Protection Skills Taught by Certified Trainers

As the CEO of a security company I suggest that you request the resumes and photos of your assigned guards as well as references from other companies like yours. The security guard resumes should include certified training and verifiable experience, including:

  • Law Enforcement Experience – Active or Emeritus
  • Police Academy Graduate Certified
  • Military Experience
  • Correctional Officer Experience
  • Associate or Bachelor Degree in the Criminal Justice Field
  • Public Safety Experience

As you perform your due diligence, remember to confirm that your security partner has the assets, inventory and infrastructure to meet your future business or private security requirements.

Stuart Visnov is the Chief Executive Officer of Echelon Protection & Surveillance and can be reached at (610) 831-0277 or svisnov@epsagents.com

line break

Protecting Our Public Venues from the

Threat of Terrorism

 

IMG_7499.png

Terrorism is one of the gravest problems that society faces today and is an issue of both national and global concern. The violence, damage and destruction from a terrorist attack can be felt across the globe, which is why it’s now imperative that we become more involved in a strategic vision to protect ourselves, our territory and work towards preventing such horrific events.

Due to high visibility and value, top locations to protect from terroristic acts are public venues, where our friends, families and colleagues attend in large numbers for a variety of events. Incidents in schools, stadiums, movie theaters and more have taken place in all areas of our country and can create catastrophic damage and loss to our society. Although these spaces continue to be active targets for terrorists, there is often minimal presence of trained security protecting them. Yet preventing these situations requires expertly trained and certified guards who can assess and coordinate an effective deterrent or response.

As we’ve mentioned, the best way to reduce risk is to engineer a prevention method and having security that are highly-trained in a variety of comprehensive protective services in the event of a crisis can fulfill that. Securing an environment that houses hundreds to thousands of individuals takes specialized skill, such as crowd control, emergency response, behavior management and anti-terrorism deterrents, which only certified security experts can provide.

Security officials will also work with your business to conduct a plan to significantly decrease liability and adapt to changes in a threatening environment. When a location for potential damage is so high that a malicious individual may decide to target such a place, the risk is too great to not have proper protection on site.

The recent terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, currently the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, had insufficient security onsite along with the deadly attacks in Paris, France and the Boston Marathon bombing. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about 90% of venues that aren’t prepared for an emergency fail within two years of being struck by a crisis. Ultimately, businesses must start implementing robust, appropriate security plans to protect their organization and help their patrons feel safe and secure.

Terrorists attacks continue to evolve, and we must keep pace by staying vigilant with our security measures. Investing in proper security prevents the risk of terrorism. Additionally, properly trained and certified security officers assist not only in averting the loss of property and valuables, but more importantly, in averting the loss of precious lives as well.

-EPS

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 Protecting Your Business At All Times

Why Combining Video Surveillance with Onsite Security is Invaluable

image1

A common question we receive from organizations in a variety of industries is whether integrating video surveillance with their onsite security is a worthwhile investment for their business needs. No matter the size of your organization, the answer is yes due to several significant reasons that any company will find beneficial.

Video surveillance technology, or CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras, can do much more than conveniently oversee a surrounding area. It can save you and your business a great deal of time and money by further enhancing agent response and assisting with prevention. Video surveillance counters theft, violence and sabotage by securing and regulating your entire organization 24/7.

Along with an increase in security and safety, video surveillance provides a multitude of benefits including:

  • Visual Evidence for Investigations
  • Preventing Dishonest Claims
  • Improving Worker Productivity
  • Resolving Employee Disputes
  • Offering Real-Time Monitoring
  • Digital Storage for Easy Access of Footage

Video surveillance technology has become so valuable that The U.S. Department of Homeland Security relies heavily on it to assist with criminal acts throughout the country. In 2013, CCTV footage was used to identify and capture the Boston Marathon bombers and it’s used daily to protect us from any acts of terrorism. On a smaller scale, it’s used by over 50% of businesses large and small to protect their employees and help counter any illegal behavior.

However, despite common misconceptions video surveillance is meant to be a complement to an on-site security force and not a replacement. The primary purpose of security is to prevent crime, and while technology can be an excellent deterrent, it’s only useful when there are active, trained security agents supervising the cameras and ready to move if a criminal act is being done.

When you combine video surveillance with professional security officers monitoring that footage, you are provided with comprehensive protection of your assets. An onsite security agent provides a proactive approach to crime, and video surveillance extends the strength of their response. Combing these two tactics helps organizations prevent criminal acts and accomplish their overall goal of safety and loss prevention.

Overall, integrating innovative surveillance technology with your onsite security conclusively improves the security of a sensitive area. The combined benefits are continuous and necessary for a safe and secure environment.

-EPS

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How to Hire a Security Partner Instead of a Provider

 

echelon

Effective security is significant to a successful business and therefore selecting the right security partner for your organization is a process that shouldn’t be overlooked. The wrong choice can impact your safety, productivity and how your company is perceived, along with your bottom line. Although there are many security companies to choose from, it is important to find one that best fits your needs.

How do you know you’re choosing the right security partner? Follow our guidelines below.

Vetted, Trained & Certified

All too often you will find security officers that have only been given basic training for their position, such as communication, observation and reporting. Instead, you should look for security officers that go beyond that with proven experience in the field and are certified to effectively take action to defend your life and property. A highly vetted, trained and certified officer will make quicker, more intelligent decisions in dangerous, stressful and unpredictable situations.

Specialized Experience

Security officers being considered for your company should have experience in the industry they’re serving since each type of business comes with its own unique challenges. They should be well informed of all protocols, directives and duties with on-site experience so they can successfully protect your company and provide enhanced security measures when needed.

Security Solutions

Not every business situation requires an onsite officer on patrol, but comprehensive protection can still be offered through a variety of integrated security solutions. A security provider that’s serious about your protection can provide video surveillance and access control, which offers both indoor and outdoor control over your facility during any time of the day.

Licensed, Bonded & Insured

The right security partner will be licensed, bonded and insured so you can be certain of professional quality and services. It also means that any lawsuits or violations against the company are disclosed for your comfort. A security provider that is active in these requirements not only stays compliant with the law and protects their officers but presents the highest level of professionalism to their clients, which protects you from liability.

Customer Centric

A security provider working in your best interest helps guide you to develop effective strategies and methods for managing your organization’s safety and security. You should look for a company that stays involved and holds open communication to help solve your needs. It should be a collaborative partnership in order to ultimately ensure that they’re meeting your needs and adding value throughout your facility.

Choosing security for your business is an important decision. However, by concentrating on these guidelines during your search for a security provider, you can be assured that you’ll select the right company.

-EPS

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 Keep Your Company Safe from High Risk Employees

How to Prevent Workplace Violence During Termination

Blog Header

Terminating employees is one of the most stressful and unpleasant aspects of doing business, but necessary for continuing the success of your company. Often an employee being terminated won’t expect it and can turn violent or aggressive due to a surge in emotions. They can act out through threats, verbal abuse or physical assaults on you or even other employees. Although we hope situations like this don’t arise, it’s an unfortunate truth that must be managed properly so you can protect yourself and your workplace.

Job loss has been cited by employers of all sizes as one of the top three factors that contribute to instances of workplace violence and has become the highest risk for management and human resources professionals today. Unfortunately the threat of workplace violence is only increasing. So, how do you keep your business safe and handle this risk during termination? Prevention.

Prevention is the surest way of stopping a problem before it starts, which is why it’s crucial for any business to develop a termination plan including security personnel for when the need arises. Having the presence of trained security staff during a termination meeting or afterwards to escort an employee from the premises is an exceptional deterrent for violence and a smart precaution. Professional guards are trained to look for suspicious activity and can spot an aggressive situation before it gets out of hand. They are trained in protection techniques in order to reduce the potential threat of workplace violence and reduce potential liability to your business.

Professional, respectful and trained security agents are worth the investment – no matter the size of your organization. One violent employee can cost your business millions. The Department of Justice estimated that the cost of workplace violence to employers was approximately $6.2 million dollars, which can include the aggravation of lawsuits, compensation claims and loss of productivity. It also puts your company under the spotlight for being unsafe and irresponsible. However, most workplace violence is preventable by simply having security efforts in place.

No one is immune to workplace violence, which is why it’s paramount to secure your workplace. Lower the risk of a high risk employee before it turns ugly, and hire trained and certified security agents. You’ll gain peace of mind in knowing that if an unpleasant situation does occur, you have someone there protecting you and your business.

-EPS

5 Smart Ways to Protect Your Inventory

 

Whether you own a large chain of stores or a single boutique, one of the most difficult parts of managing your own business can be ensuring that your products are safe—from the moment they leave the warehouse to their security while on your premises. As much as we don’t like to think about retail loses due to employee theft or carelessness, that risk remains a reality for all business owners.

According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Retail Fraud Survey, employee theft is the “single biggest cause of loss to retailers,” leading to a $60 billion deficit for business owners across the United States.

Here are five ways that you can ensure the safety of your products, and save your business from unnecessary deficits that result from theft.

  1. Perform background checks on all of your employees. The greatest safety measure you can take is to be sure that you are hiring reliable employees in all areas of your business. Though background checks are not inexpensive, in the long run, they save you money and safeguard your peace of mind.
  1. Install video surveillance to create a greater sense of control and accountability. Employee theft accounts for almost half of retail shrinkage, according to The Small Business Chronicle. Employees have the easiest access to products, as well as to abusing discounts, or mismanaging refunds and credit cards. Video surveillance monitors this activity, and also creates a safer environment for employees by serving as a deterrent to robbery and as a safeguard in the event that something goes wrong.
  1. Hire a licensed, trained security guard to safeguard your property. These store officers can either be plain clothes or uniformed. Uncover agents can be trained to confront and deal with thefts in the moment, and uniformed officers serve as powerful deterrents to would-be thieves. According to About Money, customer theft accounts for a large amount of retail loss annually. Having a security guard on site can greatly reduce deficits incurred from shoplifting.
  1. Keep detailed and accurate records of your inventory, its movement, and the individuals who manage the products. Taking the time to record your inventory’s movement and progression is simply just good business sense, and it also allows you to notice almost immediately when a significant and unexplained loss occurs, and to then take quick and decisive action to prevent these losses from happening again.
  1. Retain a theft prevention expert to evaluate the security of your inventory from start to finish. A trained professional can help you identify efficiencies, anticipate potential pitfalls, and ultimately develop an effective strategy to eliminate unnecessary risks and employ best practices moving forward.

To protect your assets, it pays to devise a comprehensive plan, to continue to monitor your processes, and to put in place the security measures that will lead to greater profit by protecting what is most valuable to you at all times.

Echelon Protection & Surveillance can assist you in addressing your retail loss prevention needs and work to develop a security plan designed to categorically deal with internal and external retail theft. We employ a variety of solutions to protect your bottom line while addressing your budgetary concerns.

Sources:

  1. S. Retail Fraud Survey: http://www.d-ddaily.com/images/10-06-15_US_Fraud_Survey.pdf
  2. The Small Business Chronicle: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/retail-shrinkage-55148.html
  3. About Money: https://www.thebalance.com/top-sources-of-retail-shrinkage-2890265

Rethinking Physical Security In The Age Of Terrorism

 

rethinking (2)

As terrorist attacks become more frequent and more deadly, the threat of terrorism is becoming a much larger concern. For better protection, we will need to look at how the world is changing, what it is leading us to, and the steps that can be taken today for better security.

What Has Changed?

It may seem like the stakes are still the same for security, but the landscape has changed immensely. There are more considerations needed for terrorist threats. It is no longer only heavily trafficked areas may have needed security guards. Now, everyone needs active physical security.

The use of explosives and the apparent randomness of the attacks make a potential target far less obvious. In the case of the shooting in San Bernardino, the target was a building, which serviced individuals with developmental disabilities.

Every business, property manager, and individual need to consider the possibility of a terrorist attack. It is not just a consideration for events or areas with lots of foot traffic. A lack of security creates a terrorist opportunity. If you are not prepared, then you are a potential target.

Of course, special events are more likely to be a target, as was the case for San Bernardino. But even venues like bars and concerts have been targeted, as was the case in Orlando and some of the recent attacks in France.

The Mindset Of The Future

What will have to change is the anticipation of a terrorist attack. Every industry will have to be preemptive with their planning. Terrorism will need to be treated like preparing for a natural disaster. Not something inevitable, but something that is as disruptive as it is unexpected.

Your particular type of business is only safe from terror attacks until the moment it isn’t. By placing experienced security guards in every building, the risk of attack will drop dramatically.

Security for every industry will need to have terrorism response training. And more buildings will need to staff security personnel. The importance of trained onsite first responders cannot be overstated, as emergency response will be minutes away in the best-case scenarios.

Where The Fear Leads

With the use of explosives and automatic firearms, minutes of unchecked terrorism can be devastating. So the mindset will also shift more to focus on anticipation and profiling. Threats will need to be discovered before perpetrators take action. This does not necessarily mean racial or ethnic profiling, as much as it has to do with the body language and attitude of suspects.

These preparations are likely to become the general mindset of the security world only due to their effectiveness. Similar precautions are taken in Israeli airports, leading to perfect security records. A mindset of fear, unfortunately, leads to a default position of mistrust. If terrorism continues to go unchecked, the intensity of security precautions will become more preemptive.

What You Can Do Today

The first step is realizing that you are not immune to a terrorist attack simply because of your type of business or industry.

You will need to be vigilant, and invest in better security. This can be passive security measure, such as installing new locks, strengthening windows, and using stronger doors. For more active security, you can also use highly trained security personnel.

Employees can also be trained to deal with these situations more effectively. Everything from evacuation plans to education on the warning signs of terrorist intent will help.

Any of these security strategies will also help to prevent theft, burglary, and even make your business safer in the result of a natural disaster.  Everything you do today will benefit your overall security.

line break

 How to Hire a Professional Security Guard

 

Stadium_Concert_Security

Did you ever consider what qualifies someone to be a security guard? If you’re looking for expert public or private security, it’s up to you to perform your own due diligence.

Although each state has its own standards to become a professional security guard – some states in fact have virtually none. This means it’s possible that the security guards you hire may not be vetted, trained or certified in any way. Just as some government agencies by law do not have to disclose exactly what chemicals are in our food and household items – many security companies do not advertise who is really inside their security uniform.

I am a business owner, private detective, former educator, former probation officer, and life-long volunteer fire fighter. I’m going to put on each hat in order to provide some insight into the best way to hire qualified security guards. Here’s how to make sure that the security guards you hire are vetted, trained and certified professionals.

At the absolute minimum, your security guard company should be held to the same common sense hiring polices you would expect in any skilled industry. Start by asking if they’ve performed these fundamental hiring practices:

  • Resume Review
  • References Check
  • Personal Interviews
  • Basic Training & Orientation

The security industry is about managing risk, loss and liability. As a Licensed Private Detective, I suggest you require these additional documents to ensure your security company is state compliant and that you’re protected against liability:

  • State & Federal Background Checks (State Criminal History & FBI Criminal History)
  • State Licenses & Guard Certifications (As Required by your State)
  • Proof of Insurances (At least $2 Million based on your Industry)
  • Pre-employment Drug Testing

As a firefighter for over forty years and former educator, I also suggest the following clearances, checks and qualifications to ensure your security guards are of the highest caliber:

  • Industry Specific Clearances (such as State Child Abuse History Clearance)
  • CPR/AED (Red Cross Certified)
  • Evacuation Coordination (In Case of Emergency, Hazard or Crisis)
  • Lethal Weapons Training Certification
  • Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB)
  • Specialized Security and Protection Skills Taught by Certified Trainers

As the CEO of a security company I suggest that you request the resumes and photos of your assigned guards as well as references from other companies like yours. The security guard resumes should include certified training and verifiable experience, including:

  • Law Enforcement Experience – Active or Emeritus
  • Police Academy Graduate Certified
  • Military Experience
  • Correctional Officer Experience
  • Associate or Bachelor Degree in the Criminal Justice Field
  • Public Safety Experience

As you perform your due diligence, remember to confirm that your security partner has the assets, inventory and infrastructure to meet your future business or private security requirements.

Stuart Visnov is the Chief Executive Officer of Echelon Protection & Surveillance and can be reached at (610) 831-0277 or svisnov@epsagents.com

line break

Protecting Our Public Venues from the

Threat of Terrorism

 

IMG_7499.png

Terrorism is one of the gravest problems that society faces today and is an issue of both national and global concern. The violence, damage and destruction from a terrorist attack can be felt across the globe, which is why it’s now imperative that we become more involved in a strategic vision to protect ourselves, our territory and work towards preventing such horrific events.

Due to high visibility and value, top locations to protect from terroristic acts are public venues, where our friends, families and colleagues attend in large numbers for a variety of events. Incidents in schools, stadiums, movie theaters and more have taken place in all areas of our country and can create catastrophic damage and loss to our society. Although these spaces continue to be active targets for terrorists, there is often minimal presence of trained security protecting them. Yet preventing these situations requires expertly trained and certified guards who can assess and coordinate an effective deterrent or response.

As we’ve mentioned, the best way to reduce risk is to engineer a prevention method and having security that are highly-trained in a variety of comprehensive protective services in the event of a crisis can fulfill that. Securing an environment that houses hundreds to thousands of individuals takes specialized skill, such as crowd control, emergency response, behavior management and anti-terrorism deterrents, which only certified security experts can provide.

Security officials will also work with your business to conduct a plan to significantly decrease liability and adapt to changes in a threatening environment. When a location for potential damage is so high that a malicious individual may decide to target such a place, the risk is too great to not have proper protection on site.

The recent terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, currently the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, had insufficient security onsite along with the deadly attacks in Paris, France and the Boston Marathon bombing. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about 90% of venues that aren’t prepared for an emergency fail within two years of being struck by a crisis. Ultimately, businesses must start implementing robust, appropriate security plans to protect their organization and help their patrons feel safe and secure.

Terrorists attacks continue to evolve, and we must keep pace by staying vigilant with our security measures. Investing in proper security prevents the risk of terrorism. Additionally, properly trained and certified security officers assist not only in averting the loss of property and valuables, but more importantly, in averting the loss of precious lives as well.

-EPS

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 Protecting Your Business At All Times

Why Combining Video Surveillance with Onsite Security is Invaluable

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A common question we receive from organizations in a variety of industries is whether integrating video surveillance with their onsite security is a worthwhile investment for their business needs. No matter the size of your organization, the answer is yes due to several significant reasons that any company will find beneficial.

Video surveillance technology, or CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras, can do much more than conveniently oversee a surrounding area. It can save you and your business a great deal of time and money by further enhancing agent response and assisting with prevention. Video surveillance counters theft, violence and sabotage by securing and regulating your entire organization 24/7.

Along with an increase in security and safety, video surveillance provides a multitude of benefits including:

  • Visual Evidence for Investigations
  • Preventing Dishonest Claims
  • Improving Worker Productivity
  • Resolving Employee Disputes
  • Offering Real-Time Monitoring
  • Digital Storage for Easy Access of Footage

Video surveillance technology has become so valuable that The U.S. Department of Homeland Security relies heavily on it to assist with criminal acts throughout the country. In 2013, CCTV footage was used to identify and capture the Boston Marathon bombers and it’s used daily to protect us from any acts of terrorism. On a smaller scale, it’s used by over 50% of businesses large and small to protect their employees and help counter any illegal behavior.

However, despite common misconceptions video surveillance is meant to be a complement to an on-site security force and not a replacement. The primary purpose of security is to prevent crime, and while technology can be an excellent deterrent, it’s only useful when there are active, trained security agents supervising the cameras and ready to move if a criminal act is being done.

When you combine video surveillance with professional security officers monitoring that footage, you are provided with comprehensive protection of your assets. An onsite security agent provides a proactive approach to crime, and video surveillance extends the strength of their response. Combing these two tactics helps organizations prevent criminal acts and accomplish their overall goal of safety and loss prevention.

Overall, integrating innovative surveillance technology with your onsite security conclusively improves the security of a sensitive area. The combined benefits are continuous and necessary for a safe and secure environment.

-EPS

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How to Hire a Security Partner Instead of a Provider

 

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Effective security is significant to a successful business and therefore selecting the right security partner for your organization is a process that shouldn’t be overlooked. The wrong choice can impact your safety, productivity and how your company is perceived, along with your bottom line. Although there are many security companies to choose from, it is important to find one that best fits your needs.

How do you know you’re choosing the right security partner? Follow our guidelines below.

Vetted, Trained & Certified

All too often you will find security officers that have only been given basic training for their position, such as communication, observation and reporting. Instead, you should look for security officers that go beyond that with proven experience in the field and are certified to effectively take action to defend your life and property. A highly vetted, trained and certified officer will make quicker, more intelligent decisions in dangerous, stressful and unpredictable situations.

Specialized Experience

Security officers being considered for your company should have experience in the industry they’re serving since each type of business comes with its own unique challenges. They should be well informed of all protocols, directives and duties with on-site experience so they can successfully protect your company and provide enhanced security measures when needed.

Security Solutions

Not every business situation requires an onsite officer on patrol, but comprehensive protection can still be offered through a variety of integrated security solutions. A security provider that’s serious about your protection can provide video surveillance and access control, which offers both indoor and outdoor control over your facility during any time of the day.

Licensed, Bonded & Insured

The right security partner will be licensed, bonded and insured so you can be certain of professional quality and services. It also means that any lawsuits or violations against the company are disclosed for your comfort. A security provider that is active in these requirements not only stays compliant with the law and protects their officers but presents the highest level of professionalism to their clients, which protects you from liability.

Customer Centric

A security provider working in your best interest helps guide you to develop effective strategies and methods for managing your organization’s safety and security. You should look for a company that stays involved and holds open communication to help solve your needs. It should be a collaborative partnership in order to ultimately ensure that they’re meeting your needs and adding value throughout your facility.

Choosing security for your business is an important decision. However, by concentrating on these guidelines during your search for a security provider, you can be assured that you’ll select the right company.

-EPS

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 Keep Your Company Safe from High Risk Employees

How to Prevent Workplace Violence During Termination

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Terminating employees is one of the most stressful and unpleasant aspects of doing business, but necessary for continuing the success of your company. Often an employee being terminated won’t expect it and can turn violent or aggressive due to a surge in emotions. They can act out through threats, verbal abuse or physical assaults on you or even other employees. Although we hope situations like this don’t arise, it’s an unfortunate truth that must be managed properly so you can protect yourself and your workplace.

Job loss has been cited by employers of all sizes as one of the top three factors that contribute to instances of workplace violence and has become the highest risk for management and human resources professionals today. Unfortunately the threat of workplace violence is only increasing. So, how do you keep your business safe and handle this risk during termination? Prevention.

Prevention is the surest way of stopping a problem before it starts, which is why it’s crucial for any business to develop a termination plan including security personnel for when the need arises. Having the presence of trained security staff during a termination meeting or afterwards to escort an employee from the premises is an exceptional deterrent for violence and a smart precaution. Professional guards are trained to look for suspicious activity and can spot an aggressive situation before it gets out of hand. They are trained in protection techniques in order to reduce the potential threat of workplace violence and reduce potential liability to your business.

Professional, respectful and trained security agents are worth the investment – no matter the size of your organization. One violent employee can cost your business millions. The Department of Justice estimated that the cost of workplace violence to employers was approximately $6.2 million dollars, which can include the aggravation of lawsuits, compensation claims and loss of productivity. It also puts your company under the spotlight for being unsafe and irresponsible. However, most workplace violence is preventable by simply having security efforts in place.

No one is immune to workplace violence, which is why it’s paramount to secure your workplace. Lower the risk of a high risk employee before it turns ugly, and hire trained and certified security agents. You’ll gain peace of mind in knowing that if an unpleasant situation does occur, you have someone there protecting you and your business.

-EPS

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