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The school year is officially in full swing. With the back-to-school season underway, many students are boarding buses to get to and from their homes and school. It’s imperative that the safety of these children be considered at all times when managing this transportation system. That means looking into new technology that protects passenger welfare.

Equip school buses with stop-arm cameras

Passing a stationary school bus is a dangerous and unlawful act. Minimizing these incidents and punishing offenders is essential to keep children safe.

A stop-arm camera is a camera placed on the outside of a bus that photographs passing motorists who violate stopped school buses’ traffic laws. These cameras assist in the enforcement of state legislation by identifying unlawful passings of stopped vehicles.

With this footage, law enforcement officials can better identify and ticket offenders, thus punishing people who break the law and endanger children while deterring other drivers from committing the same offenses.

Integrate RFID and GPS capabilities into

Keeping track of where children and school buses are can also help keep children safe. RFID chips can be used to track the location of a bus and its passengers, as well as monitor things like fuel levels and engine status. This information is especially beneficial in emergency situations when knowing the whereabouts of every bus is crucial. GPS capabilities also help ensure that buses are on schedule and not lost. Both measures add an extra layer of security to transportation.

Minimize the spread of COVID-19 With Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting Systems

The continuing pandemic also puts children at risk. As the school year progresses, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions. On top of vaccinations, one way to help minimize the spread of the virus is through the combination of regular sanitization and electronic verified inspection reporting systems. EVIR solutions automate the process following sanitization procedures by recording which spaces are disinfected, when they are cleaned, and who cleans them. This technology also aids drivers in maintaining a cleaning schedule while adhering to CDC standards.

Protect Student Data

Student safety is of the utmost importance, but their data must also be protected. As school districts undergo technological advancements in order to keep students safe on buses, it’s important that they also take measures to protect the privacy of these children. One way to do this is through the use of strong passwords and encryption software. These tools make sure that student data is only accessible to authorized personnel.

With these safety measures in place, school districts can feel confident that their students are well taken care of during their time on and off the bus. Implementing new technology advancements is just one part of creating a safe and secure transportation system. By working together, we can help keep our children safe this school year.


The security team at a university is tasked with many responsibilities, but one of the most important goals is to help reduce crime. This blog post will discuss strategies for fighting crime on college campuses and how they can be implemented by a university’s security team.

Step 1: Implement ID Cards

One strategy for fighting crime on campus is implementing identification cards that are required to access certain parts of the school. This ensures only authorized individuals are in certain areas of the building or facility while also preventing people from impersonating others who may have lost their card or had theirs stolen.

Step 2: Use Technology to Monitor Campus Activity

Another great strategy for reducing crimes at universities is using technology like IP cameras and video surveillance systems to monitor what is happening on campus. Having cameras monitor the hallways, doors and parking lots will help reduce crime by providing video evidence that can be used in court after a crime has been committed.

Step 3: Educate Students and Staff on Crime Prevention

In addition to implementing security measures, it is important to educate the students and staff about crime prevention. This can be done through posters, pamphlets, emails and even presentations from the security team. By providing information on how to protect oneself from becoming a victim of crime, you can help reduce the number of incidents on campus.

Step 4: Have a Security Team that is Trained Professionally and Well-Equipped with the Right Tools for the Job

Another crucial aspect of reducing crime on college campuses is having a security team that is well trained, professional and equipped to handle any situation they may face during their shift. Having an effective security team in place will help send a message to potential criminals that the university is not an easy target and they are prepared to take action against anyone who attempts to harm students or staff.

Step 5: Engage with Community Partners

Lastly, it is important to engage community partners in order to help keep the school safe. This can be done by working together with local law enforcement or even hiring off-duty police officers to patrol on campus during some nights and weekends when crimes may be more likely than others.

These are just a few of the many strategies that security teams can use to reduce crime on college campuses. By using a combination of these methods, universities can help make their campus a safer place for students, staff and visitors. For more information on how to create or improve your university’s security program, please contact us today.

If you would like to learn more about how security teams reduce risks on university campuses, please contact us today. We would be happy to discuss this topic with you in further detail and answer any questions that you may have. Thank you for reading!


Workplace violence incidents are one of the most common security threats. Every year, over 2 million people in the United States experience some type of workplace violence, ranging from verbal abuse and harassment to outright physical assault. Half of these incidents happen in the healthcare sector, with nurses working in emergency department departments being the most affected.

The statistics are only getting worse, however.

Over the last year, assaults on healthcare workers increased by 20% as more hospitalizations rose. While the number is significant, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The pandemic’s effects have driven many to feel anxiety and uncertainty. Corporate security experts recognize that an overworked medical staff combined with the issue of workplace safety adds up to a security risk.

It’s a serious risk, but one a trained security team can deal with in the following ways.

Implement Real-Time Officer Reporting

With an increased number of people in need, hospitals are often overworked. This means that there aren’t enough staff to take care of everyone at all times. These situations create opportunities for workplace violence perpetrators . If you’re able to identify the risks before they happen, then your security team is better prepared to mitigate them effectively.

Working with healthcare workers, security teams can develop incident response plans that include real-time officer reporting. This means officers will be in direct communication with hospital staff to help them assess and respond to potential threats as they happen.

Use Video Surveillance Software

In the age of mass shootings and other forms of attack, video surveillance is an essential part of any security plan. Video footage can help identify perpetrators and provide evidence that can be used in legal proceedings.

Hospitals are no different. In fact, they may be even more at risk for workplace violence given the number of people who come and go. By installing video surveillance software, your security team can have a birds-eye view of the entire hospital. This allows them to quickly identify and respond to any potential threats.

Create an Emergency Plan

No matter how well you plan for an emergency, there will always be some element of surprise. That’s why it’s important to have a comprehensive emergency plan in place. This plan should include protocols for workplace violence incidents.

Your security team should work with hospital staff to develop a response that includes the following:

– How to handle an incident when it first occurs

– How to communicate with law enforcement

– Lockdown procedures

– Evacuation plans

By having a well-rehearsed plan in place, you can help medical staff feel more secure and confident when handling a workplace violence incident.


In the end, your healthcare security team needs to be proactive in order to reduce—if not eliminate—workplace violence incidents altogether. This ensures that every member of your hospital is safe from harm’s way whenever they’re on the job.

While this may require additional training, the benefits will be well worth it in terms of both safety and cost-savings.

Security guards can help reduce workplace violence by implementing real-time officer reporting with video surveillance software that creates an emergency plan for hospitals. By initiating these measures into their security plans, healthcare security teams can keep their workers and patients safe from harm.


Body cameras have been a hot topic in policing for years. But what about other industries? Body worn video surveillance is quickly becoming a much more widespread solution, with the potential to change the way we interact not just with law enforcement but also with healthcare providers, retail associates and teachers. In this article, we will explore how body worn video cameras are extending beyond their traditional role of policing and transforming security in many different industries.


Body-worn video has proven useful in a wide range of areas, according to the healthcare sector. On average, workplace violence occurrences are four times more common in healthcare than private business, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Wearable camera solutions in healthcare settings — especially emergency rooms — provide chances to prevent these kinds of attacks.

In many cases, the simple presence of a wearable camera — coupled with a notification from hospital staff that employees are filming – is enough to prevent or quickly resolve an aggressive situation. In these situations, the camera preserves a record of what occurred from the staff’s perspective during an investigation or subsequent prosecution. It also gives healthcare providers the capacity to learn from these events.


Wearable cameras are already providing significant advantages to the retail industry. Retailers, be it department stores, grocery chains, or restaurants, are concerned with enhancing the customer experience and wearable cameras recording employee-customer interactions provide an excellent tool for ensuring that they learn how to improve customer interactions while also preserving a record of circumstances linked with false liability claims.


The top priorities for providers and operators in the transportation sector are passenger and employee safety as well as efficient, on-time operations. Video recording has grown in popularity among transport professionals because it provides both security and assurance that precautions were taken on their behalf.

There are strict federal, state, and local rules regarding transportation — whether it’s an airline, railway, sea route, or bus service. It’s critical that passenger safety be maintained throughout these modes of transport by means of regular inspections and maintenance. They know the deployment of such systems may be a question of life and death, which can influence liability.


Wearable body cameras may help ensure the safety of students while also supporting class-wide operations. School resource officers and local police departments can utilize body-worn cameras to demonstrate compliance with school rules, verify adherence with policy, and execute appropriate procedures in the event of an emergency on campus.

Schools are increasingly eager to have their own video (versus depending on local law enforcement) in order to maintain control of the event video and conduct extra research into any scenario without relying on other organizations for documentation and a record of the event.


An access control system is one of the most effective current security solutions. It assists construction site managers in protecting their sites from those who are not authorized to be there, reducing crime, managing and monitoring traffic flow, and improving health and safety standards. In the past, just locking up a worksite after hours was the standard. Many firms, however, expect more from their security as a result of new and clever technologies.

We’ll go through the four main types of access control systems and their benefits and drawbacks.

Discretionary Access Control (DAC)

This is the most adaptable access control solution since it offers the site owner or manager complete control over who can enter specified portions of the site or premises. Every entrance point will have its own Access Control List, which will list the individual or groups of workers, suppliers, or other types of visitors who will be allowed to access using a DAC system. A DAC system is often easy to use, as it runs on common computer operating systems like Windows, making it simple to operate and configure for most administrators.

One disadvantage of such an access system is that administrators may have too much power, which means they might theoretically grant access to the incorrect individual, endangering assets and site workers. Furthermore, compared to other forms of access control systems, this system may be more prone to malware.

Mandatory Access Control (MAC)

A MAC system is the most stringent of all access control systems, making it ideal for government agencies and other high-security locations. These systems work by imposing severe limits on all entry points, such as gates or doors, based on the administrator’s or manager’s settings. This means that employees and other visitors to the site have no influence over access permissions, and can only enter and exit at the locations designated by the site’s administrators based on their specific categorization.

If the system administrator wants to grant a person a different degree of access, they must first create a new profile and classification for that individual, as earlier permissions cannot be readily overridden.

Because of the strict nature of this sort of access control, MAC is unlikely to be required on most construction sites.

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

The most extensively used type of access control is RBAC. People might be given access permissions based on their job within the organization or the construction site. A “construction project manager,” for example, will be allowed the same access permissions as someone with that job title. This could imply they have access to all sections of the site or only some zones, depending on the rights granted to them based on their role.

Many firms benefit from this type of access control approach since it is simple to set up and operate.

However, issues may arise when employees require access to areas they are not authorized to access, such as in an emergency or one-time situation, in which case only the system administrator can edit permissions, which may not always be possible depending on how the system is configured.

Rule-Based Access Control

Rule-based systems, not to be confused with the above, issue permissions based on specific rules or constraints. A rule-based approach would be handy, for example, if you only want personnel to attend the site at specific times of the day or on certain days of the week.

Similarly, rule-based systems can prevent users from entering if they are not at the correct location or are not using the correct device. Permissions may also be refused based on the number of previous tries to get access in rule-based systems for further security.

This technique is suitable for firms that require accountability and require site owners to regulate the hours and locations that employees are allowed to enter. It’s also more adaptable than the others, allowing administrators to change permissions and restrictions in response to the constantly changing nature of a construction project, which is quite useful.

The security sector has evolved as a result of new technologies and client demands from many industries. Security operations are being transformed by new technology and digital solutions, but the role of security is changing as well. A study revealed how leaders think about security and what solutions they require today and in the future. There are six major shifts among these tendencies that, taken together, point to a new security picture.

From entry to occupancy

Today’s security procedures, albeit with limitations, tend to focus on access control. Many organizations, for example, know how many people have arrived but not how many have departed a secure site. Imagine the power of a 360-degree view of a facility that reveals who is inside, where they are, and what they are doing. Real-time headcounts with specific locations can save time and make a vital difference in an emergency case, such as a fire, earthquake, or active shooter situation.

From structures to people

Only securing physical places is no longer sufficient. Managers saw the need to secure the organization and its employees wherever they were as more individuals worked remotely. Because security teams are becoming more mobile and may not work in the locations they protect, having seamless mobile access is critical. Businesses are considering solutions such as biometrics and facial recognition that grant access based on who someone is rather than the fobs, cards, and badges they’re carrying.

From forensics to prevention

Rather than proactively lowering risk, many firms still devote significant security resources to responding to incidents. While many businesses are collecting more data, they are having difficulty interpreting it quickly enough to avoid incidents. Organizations are looking for simple-to-use solutions that direct security staff to specific actions before an incident occurs.

From cutting-edge to acceptable

Cutting-edge technology is appealing, but it is impractical. Some residents are hesitant to utilize biometric readers that require touching because of the ongoing pandemic, while firms are hesitant to debut new technologies in lightly inhabited premises. Other solutions are overly sensitive, triggering alerts so frequently that they become background noise. Businesses are seeking for what is viable, practical, and straightforward to implement rather than what is cutting-edge. Leaders seek scalable solutions that work with their existing infrastructure. They want actionable warnings and analytics that automatically extract usable information from large amounts of data.

From stuff to service

New security choices may allow budgets to move from product purchases to problem-solving services. Infrastructure as a service is gaining popularity in various industries since it often lowers costs and allows businesses to focus on their goal. Some businesses, however, prefer to own their equipment because of potential tax benefits, customization opportunities, and privacy concerns. The ideal answer might be a hybrid of security as a service and DIY security, with companies being able to pick and choose what is owned and what is a service, moving smoothly between the two as circumstances dictate.

From independent to fully integrated

It’s time to move on from discrete solutions’ compatibility issues. Leaders are looking for components that not only work well togetherbut also share information. Security components should be easy to integrate and function with non-security systems, regardless of brand. Security cameras in a retail establishment, for example, could be used as learning tools on the shop floor. They can also provide operational views that help optimize processes, such as notifying when consumers are waiting too long at the checkout. Organizational efficiencies and savings could be improved by sharing information across divisions.


Depending on the nature of the project, a typical construction site can have anywhere from ten to a hundred people. There are simply too many moving parts for anyone to keep track of them all. It is for this reason that construction sites are particularly vulnerable to theft and vandalism.

Unfortunately, the majority of construction thefts are done by employees and subcontractors. You believe the perimeter is secure, oblivious to the danger lurking within. Employees may steal for a variety of reasons, including money. The basic defense of those who were apprehended is that “the opportunity is there.”

For this reason, the construction site access control system is quite beneficial.

Job sites in the construction industry provide both value and opportunity


The following are some of the reasons why theft is so widespread on construction sites:


  1. Construction site staff could not cover all of the ground on large job sites 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. Multiple entries and exit points make it simple to get in and out.
  3. After a while, the workforce grows complacent.
  4. The weather has an impact on how security responds. They are less inclined to inspect the location while it is raining.
  5. Some opportunistic people take advantage of the connection because of the overly welcoming security.
  6. With each step of the job site’s development, there is a high turnover rate of security employees.

Taking Advantage of Industry Innovations

The construction sector has undergone significant changes in recent years, particularly in terms of enterprises’ use of new technology to reduce spillovers, enhance timeliness and productivity, and reduce losses.

Construction Site Access Control

It’s easy to keep track of tiny job sites with only five employees. If there is theft, it would be easy to identify the criminal following a quick inquiry. One security officer for three to four CCTV cameras should be sufficient to cover all bases. However, at certain large locations, it would not be the same because hundreds of workers would be working in numerous shifts 24 hour a day, seven days a week.

This is where access control for building sites comes into play. It will provide eyes everywhere on the project site that no human construction security guard could.

The tool can accomplish this in several ways:

  1. Layers of security. With the help of the tool, you may assign allowed access to different individuals based on the job locations you want to access. You can rest assured that masons and bricklayers will remain in their designated locations. Delivery vehicles will also park in designated areas while unloading products. You can better monitor everyone by layering security access.
  2. Biometrics access. This biometric access allows an authorized person to enter sensitive locations on the job site. It can also be used to log in and out workers to keep track of their daily hours.
  3. RFID. You may now track everyone on the job site using radio frequency identification (RFID). If a worker tries to enter a restricted location, it’s much easier to catch them. You can also keep track of visitors by giving them RFID-enabled plastic cards.

With the help of your access control system and several CCTV cameras, theft and vandalism events will be decreased and eradicated. However, the primary goal is to be cautious. Workers will be less likely to steal if they are aware that their every step is being tracked and monitored.

Everyone desires a society in which peace reigns, everyone lives in harmony and togetherness, and the country is prosperous. However, as humans, we cannot live together without having arguments or quarrels from time to time. Civil unrest is one of them. It is not uncommon for people to go against an unjust social system or deed. Civil unrest is triggered by a variety of factors, including government failure and undesirable forces in society wanting to usurp the government, among others. Regardless of whatever it is, security guards play a critical role in times of civil disturbance.

As the use of civil disobedience grows, law enforcement organizations will prepare for protests across the country. Because political turmoil is likely to continue, private security professionals must be ready with a tactically sound plan that protects people and property.

We look at how they can help amid civil upheaval in this article.

They provide people with a sense of security.

During times of civil upheaval, there is a widespread worry that someone will be hurt. Aside from its work as a private security contractor for huge retail chains and small local businesses. If you’re a store owner or CEO, for example, your customers or workers may fear for their safety if they visit your business or come to work during social upheaval. This is where security guards come in to ensure that consumers and employees feel protected, regardless of continuing civil disturbance.

They aid in the maintenance of public order.

Although the police are tasked with preserving order amid civil unrest, security guards also have a part in keeping things in order. They could, for example, help to ensure that your store is not looted by vandals who seek to take advantage of civil turmoil to commit crimes. Planning and coordination with all parties involved, including the security agency, the business owner, and local law enforcement, is required to protect businesses during riots. The security guard serves as the company’s eyes, ears, and muscles. Using the right defensive tactics, security can better manage hostile behavior and keep people and property safe.

They stop security threats in their tracks.

Security guards typically receive specialized training to prepare them to deal with security threats during civil unrest. Rather than instilling fear in people anytime, there is a security danger or threat during civil unrest, security personnel will be on hand to help and competently handle the situation. Members of quick-response teams are taught how to use force in a way that is objectively acceptable, required, and proportional.

Do not hesitate to enlist their assistance if there is any civil unrest in the area. As events show police power abuse, it’s more necessary than ever to teach private guards the proper use of force. The security officer is simply a trained citizen who has been given an additional duty to protect property, people, and objects, but still be aware of their limitations as “trained citizens.” Outside of the Use of Force rules, guards must not use force or use lethal force. When force is employed, it is standard procedure to call the cops.



Multi-layered security is a network security method that employs numerous components to safeguard your construction site’s activities with multiple levels of security. The security of your building site is critical to guarantee a smooth production process at all stages of the project. Implementing a multi-layered security plan can create the groundwork for a successful security strategy at a reasonable cost. 

It is typical practice in several industries, such as industrial facilities, logistics, warehousing, and construction, to have multiple sites spread across several geographical regions, some of which will be unmanned and some of which will be isolated. In some circumstances, a building site may span a broad geographical area, necessitating a larger centralized security network.

In these situations, a multi-layered security approach is critical. Security networks may now be developed and changed to fit each construction site thanks to recent technological breakthroughs. A multi-layered method can include deploying an advanced system from one area to another, with everything reporting to a central station as needed.

 Perimeter protection via Intruder Detection

Intruder detection at the perimeter is the first ‘layer’ of good security. The goal is to spot invaders and deal with them before they obtain access. Every site’s unique qualities should be addressed with custom solutions. Having an access control system as well as manned security guards, for example, can help detect intruders and stop prospective criminals from entering your building site.

Protection against false alarms

When a bespoke assembly of multiple solutions is brought together to sense, assess, and respond appropriately to security threats in the most effective way possible, with the fewest possible false alarms, construction site security is usually very effective.

A sophisticated intruder detection system, such as a highly controlled passive infrared detector, combined with CCTV cameras can substantially aid in areas where environmental elements such as straying wild animals or harsh weather conditions may be problematic in sending off false alerts. In this method, if the infrared detector detects unlawful entry, the CCTV can act as a secondary layer to determine whether the intruder is truly an intruder or just a false alarm. This results in less squandered time and money, making it a far more effective strategy.

Combinations with finesse

Intruder detection systems are integrated with recorders and audio and video transmitters so that when an intruder is detected, high-quality audio, picture, or video data are instantaneously broadcast to a smartphone or a distant monitoring center, allowing operators to rapidly determine how to respond. For added security, police response alarms can be combined with intrusion detectors and real-time video links. Because of the degree and flexibility of these systems, there are a lot of possibilities and room for developing a solution that can provide the ultimate level of security.

Some operators of many remote sites may want to be able to interact efficiently with onsite staff in addition to monitoring. Operators can use a central management system to efficiently control many levels of communication and protection, including intrusion detection, in such instances. It’s critical to have multiple layers of protection on your construction site to reduce the risk of theft, trespassing, and putting the public at risk.


Construction site theft is one of the leading problems for contractors. This is why security should be part of the project planning to prevent losses and associated risks. But aside from locks, CCTV cameras, and ground personnel, contractors can also utilize the latest security technologies.

These latest innovations improve your site’s security while helping you reduce costs in the long run. It will also yield substantial returns as part of the company’s overall investment.

Here are some of the latest security technologies that suit construction projects:

Drone technology

CCTV coverage can be quite challenging for vast construction sites. Also, not all parts of the construction area can be reached with stationary cameras. This is where drone technology comes in.

Drones have been in use for many years. This technology played a significant role in military missions and the film-making industry. And as technology keeps innovating, drones can now be utilized for security purposes.

Contractors can operate CCTV drones in a pre-programmed path. The drone camera can also access specific areas that are not covered with traditional security technologies.

For example, if your security system detects a trespasser, a drone can be sent to inspect the area. This allows security personnel to respond fast and assess the intruder risk. It can also help identify or gather information about the intruder’s appearance.

Building Information Modeling

Also known as BIM, Building Information Modeling allows site planners to evaluate the project in every phase. This will let them plan CCTV installation and deployment of security personnel as the project progresses.

This digital model serves as site planners’ security map. It will save them from excessive maintenance and dead spots that intruders may use for theft.

Moreover, BIM can be scaled up or down based on the size of the project. It can also be used throughout the building process.

Cloud integration

Cloud technology isn’t new, but it’s been left untapped by many site planners. By integrating security systems into the cloud, everyone involved in the project can access CCTV footage, security database, and breach reports remotely.

In addition, cloud technology allows information sharing to assess security issues easily. It suits all construction projects across industries.

Moreover, cloud integration also allows project managers to limit who has access to the security features of the site. This is to prevent the ‘inside jobs’ of unscrupulous employees.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence or AI is a powerful way to bring burglars to justice. It can be integrated into drone CCTVs to identify the facial features of intruders. This reduces the need for human intervention while providing faster and accurate results.

Moreover, artificial intelligence will adapt to changing lighting, environment, and weather conditions. It’s a scalable security solution that could be the ultimate solution to construction site theft.


Construction site security boosts occupational safety while cutting back losses due to theft. As burglars become advanced with their tactics, site planners shouldn’t be left behind. The latest innovations in security technology provide them with additional tools to combat safety issues. Harnessing these new technologies can revolutionize construction site security in the future.

Operating a construction site necessitates the coordination of numerous logistical methods and factors. To secure your site and assets from thieves and trespassers, construction site security is critical. Tools, surveying equipment, breakers, generators, diggers, and rollers are the most common items taken from construction sites. Thefts can cause project delays, increased insurance premiums, and additional replacement costs. The easiest way to protect your investments is to register and track your construction equipment. The capacity to track down stolen construction site equipment and machinery is crucial in the recovery process.

Here are some pointers on how to track down assets taken from a construction site.

Creating a Stock List

You can keep track of each thing by creating an inventory and maintaining up to date on your assets. Regular inventory inspections can aid in the tracing and recovery of your assets by quickly identifying if a piece of equipment has been stolen. Making a note of any distinguishable marks on your equipment, or whether you’ve chosen to purposefully engrave or stamp equipment with a recognizable name, number, or symbol, allows you to quickly identify the item as yours and part of your inventory.

Having identifiable marks can also function as a deterrent for thieves because tagged equipment is more difficult to sell and they are less likely to steal equipment that could expose them to detection. Should other safeguards fail, taking images of your assets to add to your inventory database can be a helpful backup to aid police in identifying your stolen goods.

Registration system for CESAR and TER

The Construction Equipment Security and Registration (CESAR) program was created to combat the resale of stolen construction site machinery. It also intends to look into and track down the stolen tools and other construction equipment.

It was put in place due to collaboration between the police and the Plant Theft Action Group (PTAG), and was pushed by the Construction Equipment Association (CEA). They agreed that to help prevent theft in this area, a national registry and labeling program should be developed. The method employs several technologies such as Datadots, Glass tags, unique plant identification plates, and high-tech scanners to determine whether a given piece of equipment has been flagged as stolen. Registering your valuables with this system aids in the identification of the stolen goods’ owner.

The Equipment Register (TER) is similar to the CESAR scheme in that it requires registration and then offers important information that assists the appropriate individuals in identifying your stolen equipment. If your valuables are registered under this system, they will be reported by an auction company or the police, who will check the ownership and stolen status with TER and return it to the proper owner.

Forensic Identification

Using simple techniques and equipment, forensic marking can be a cost-efficient and effective way of protecting and tracing items against theft. A warning label stating that the products use advanced ID technology will deter would-be thieves. The forensic approach of marking goes hand in hand with registering to a central database such as CESAR, because registering makes it easier to recover stolen goods in the event of theft.

When compared to labeling or engraving on your tools, forensic marking kits are more effective. It’s impossible to resell forensically tagged tools since the marking is nearly impossible to remove and is undetectable to the human eye.

Security risk assessments are a crucial aspect of ensuring the safety of your construction site. They allow you to identify weak points, especially for crime-prone construction projects. However, it’s important to perform and implement such assessments properly to prevent theft and crimes.

Most of all, security risk assessment should be done periodically. This will allow site planners to stay abreast of new security challenges in their projects.

Below, we discuss the basic steps of conducting a security risk assessment that you can use on your construction site:

List down potential security risks

The first step in security assessment is to identify the risks. Any construction site, regardless of size, will have numerous security issues. This may include trespassing, equipment theft, lumber theft, and so on. By identifying these risks, you’re setting a solid foundation for your security plan later on.

Most of the time, the number of security risks is directly proportional to the size of the project. The number of employees, cost of equipment on site, and location will also impact your list.

Aside from the obvious, you should also check for the following weak points:

  • Lack of equipment identification
  • Poor site lighting
  • Poor site fencing
  • Insufficient security personnel
  • Lack of CCTV cameras
  • The crime rate in the area
  • History of unauthorized site access
  • Prioritize the risks

Once you have a complete list of security threats to your site, the next step is to prioritize them in order. It’s best to consult the local police and fire department to assess the risk level of your site. This will give you a better idea of what to prioritize.

Moreover, you can partner with a security expert for a professional assessment of your construction site. This will take the guesswork out while ensuring that your project will receive a topnotch security plan.

Devise a security mitigation plan

With the security threats all laid out, the next thing you need to do is come up with a solid mitigation plan. This plan should include practical steps the security team needs to follow in case of a breach or threat.

Moreover, the plan should include a comprehensive integration of security technologies like CCTV cameras, drones, and access control systems.

In addition, most site planners will invest in more security personnel, securing site equipment, and intensive employee background checks. All of these are intended to make the construction site a safer place while preventing losses on the company’s part.

Conduct periodic security reviews

You can never put your guard down when it comes to construction site security. It’s essential to review and update your mitigation plan to keep up with the project’s changing demands. As your site scales up, so should your security.

If you’re partnering with a security service provider, you should ask for monthly or quarterly assessments. This will keep you updated on any changes to your construction site security.


Security risk assessment is an indispensable aspect of construction planning. It will help prevent substantial losses due to theft and security breaches. Like any other part of the project, site planners should put a lot of weight on security.

Engineers, builders, contractors, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen often oversee their skilled construction site crews. They help ensure that the construction process happens smoothly without any liability issues or costly delays.

Usually, construction companies make security upgrades only after they’ve received several complaints or experienced recurring jobsite security issues, such as trespassing, vandalism, theft or unreliable onsite access control. When these security problems start to outweigh the cost of replacing security equipment, a building company often only has two choices: 

Update what you can while trying to make it compatible with your older equipment or start fresh with a comprehensive security plan. 

Improving your jobsite’s security can be challenging, expensive, and time-consuming. However, you can get great results and a measurable return on your investment if you plan your construction security correctly. Below are a few key strategies that will help you modernize your building’s security.

CCTV cameras integrate well with a security guard patrol

Investing in CCTV installation offers construction site managers an effective way to keep an eye on their crew, subcontractors and the overall jobsite. Security camera footage can be used as effective evidence in an accident, hazard, theft, arson, or vandalism cases.

The features you should look for in your monitoring surveillance include:

  • Infrared lights that enable night vision to pick up important details like a license plate, hoody logo or facial features.

  • The capability to monitor a large jobsite area 24/7 remotely from a PC or Smartphone

  • The flexibility to allow site managers to pan, zoom, and tilt remotely to see what’s going on in real-time and take the appropriate action. 

  • Motion sensor cameras with floodlights, alarms and live intruder warnings to support onsite security patrols. 

  • All outdoor cameras should be able to withstand harsh environments and not be easily tampered with.

Access control systems streamline and document your jobsite

With the right systems in place, you can eliminate time-consuming visual card checks and clipboard paper-based systems, for better streamlining and documentation in the long run.

A modern access control system can identify what tasks each individual or group is working on and who they are affiliated with, enabling you to centralize logistical information, prevent unauthorized access, and ensure all necessary security and safety measures are in place.

Leading-edge organizations have adopted the CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card service. A valid ID certifies workers’ identities and qualifications as well as confirms they have the right to work on-site to prevent fraud. Biometric access control is preferable over other types of access control for construction sites. It uses biometrics to verify workers’ identities making it is exceedingly difficult to gain access without the right data.

Companies are embracing virtual reality safety training

With virtual reality, construction companies can offer a better safety and technology training program for their employees. Virtual reality training can put construction crews into a variety of critical situations with complete safety. This allows them to test and master safety and hazard protocols as well as practice their skill and aptitude to make the right decisions under stressful conditions.

New hires are able to experience real-world situations through simulations, while more experienced workers are able to hone their skills in a cost-effective way.

Wearable technology is next level safety 

Current advances in wearable technology serve as a viable complement to traditional hard-hat and personal protective equipment (PPE) systems used for site safety. Wearable technology is being increasingly incorporated into worker’s safety gear on construction sites to provide better information access about health and safety risks to reduce worker exposure. 

These devices supply a variety of important information, such as temperatures above a safe level, noise that could cause damage to their hearing, poor air quality that could affect their health, and other hazards and environmental dangers.

These are several development methods that you can employ to modernize your system for more efficiency on your construction sites.

Construction sites tend to contain a large number of tools, materials, and machinery of a high monetary value. These assets unwittingly attract unwanted attention from outsiders, including children playing, young vandals, community trespassers and thieves looking for anything of value.

To provide protection on construction sites, owners and managers must put into place a series of security measures aimed at preventing theft of equipment, damage of equipment, vandalism of property, and costly building disruptions.

While many businesses will already have security policies, there are still essential procedures to ensure their physical assets remain safe.

Risk Analysis

Risk analysis is the assessment of potential threats, risks and adverse factors in all stages of planning and implementation of construction projects, including the early stages of the decision-making process.

A comprehensive risk analysis should be carried out for every jobsite to identify potential security challenges. If ongoing issues are identified, they should be documented and communicated up the management chain to key members of the team.

This should include physical security risks, operational risks, and changes in operating conditions over time. Risk assessments should be carried out on a semi-regular basis to help stay out in front of risks that may change due to seasonal, social, environmental or other factors.

Physical Security

Physical security involves the material measures which are designed to maintain the integrity of a construction jobsite and support the infrastructure. Physical security includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • CCTV and Highly Visible Signage.

CCTV offers remote monitoring and recording as a deterrent to intruders as well as quickly alerting the authorities should anything go wrong. Likewise, posting signs in highly visible locations across the construction site that advertising security on duty and contact information is important.

  • Access Control

Access control systems can integrate with any other card-based or biometric devices to deter trespassing and ensure safe access to your premises. They help you manage the arrival and departure of personnel and vehicles, which makes it easier to track those present on the site at any given time. A low-tech version of access control is a security guard on post with a smartphone, approved admittance list, and sign-in sheet.

  • Fencing and Barriers

As per RISC guidelines, construction sites must meet established security requirements for construction site fencing and barriers of at least 2.4 meters high.

In addition, anti-climb, palisade, welded mesh fencing can be utilized as an effective deterrent against trespassers and intruders. Security guards should be aware of and report any fence gaps or damage.

  • Lock Systems

Experienced construction sites provide lockable storage areas for tools, equipment, and materials to ensure that they can be secured when not in use. These costly items should be locked using tamper-resistant lock mechanisms to deter criminals.

Operational Security

Operational security is a vital aspect of any construction site and refers to the human involvement in the security of the jobsite. If no actual humans are employed to oversee the other aspects of your security, then overall operational security may suffer. For instance, hiring licensed security guards to patrol the site after working hours. In fact, most states mandate by law a security guard presence at certain stages of construction, such as a fire watch during the alarm and sprinkler system installs.

These individuals are properly trained and fully authorized, which enables them to provide crucial support for high-security locations or large building projects.

A vital part of operational security is to ensure all on-site staff are trained in basic safety and security protocols. It’s a great way to raise awareness and helps guarantee employees handle security measures correctly during the day-to-day running of a site to avoid liability.

All of these essential security procedures work together to keep the construction site as safe and secure as possible, which helps guarantee that you stay on schedule to safeguard your industry reputation.

The pandemic comes with all sorts of risks. A greater dependence on the Internet has exacerbated an already-existing threat in the form of identity theft. The crime continues to frighten and jeopardize the public on a vast scale.

In fact, the US Federal Trade Commission recorded 2.1 million reports of fraud in 2020 alone, most of which were imposter scams. Despite the efforts being made to protect systems, properties, and assets, it is anticipated that breaches will only increase in frequency and severity in the coming years. In such cases, hiring private investigators could be an option to solve identity theft if you’re targeted.

What Identity Theft Looks Like Today

No matter the type of identity theft committed, it is counted as a severe crime. According to the Department of Justice, identity theft is when unauthorized persons wrongfully obtain and use another individual’s data to commit fraud and deception for economic gain. These crimes are often carried out to access and steal money, called financial identity theft. It can also be a way to evade charges, which is called criminal identity theft. There’s also something called identity cloning which conceals their identity using yours, while medical identity theft involves using someone else’s insurance benefits to access healthcare for themselves. There is also child identity theft, which occurs when a minor’s identity is used for various forms of personal gain.

The impact of identity theft cannot be taken lightly. Financial losses can be significant, especially if criminals succeed in targeting individuals of influence, such as company leaders and government officials. It can cost businesses millions of dollars in the worst-case scenarios. Individuals also suffer the consequences, such as damaged credit scores and stolen personal finances. In addition, some criminals may work for large organizations that go on the offensive via terrorist acts or financial heists. Identity theft can occur practically anywhere, including in your very own property or network, so being prepared is of the utmost importance.

Private Investigations and Solving Identity Theft

Identity theft is a difficult situation to remedy, which is why professionals like private investigators are integral to your recovery and protection. This is particularly important when security is breached on your property. Private investigators can work to track down the criminal and advise you on ways to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Involving the authorities is essential because identity theft is considered a serious crime, especially when the thief has caused damage to you and your property. You can file a report with your local law enforcement so they can connect you to a professional with experience working in criminal justice. Aside from being trained in investigation processes and law enforcement, they will also have first-hand experience working with similar criminals in court cases. This knowledge gives them an edge in understanding the motives behind the crimes.

While identity theft can have a significant impact, taking steps to improve your on-site security can prevent it from happening again. Whether you are securing a construction site, your consulting firm, or even a school, taking measures such as installing security systems, performing background checks, hiring a watch guard, and registering any valuable equipment can all help to reduce the likelihood of identity theft. If your property deals with lots of supplies, then monitoring your inventory and standard lock-up procedures more closely is also something you should implement immediately. We at Echelon Protection & Surveillance can help you put a solid security infrastructure in place. As a privately-owned business, we can guarantee we will provide personal attention to every single one of our clients, so you know you’re safe with us.

Identity theft can be a harrowing experience, and feeling safe again may take some time. However, knowing that the right professionals will do what they can to recover what is lost can help you keep yourself and your property safer. 


A guest blog article by Ada Travis

Everyone sees and feels prices rising. In the past year alone, prices increased 4.3%. The cost of food, gas, clothing, cars and trucks all have gone up because of many factors, including the pandemic. In a broad stroke, the halt of life activities in the U.S. and around the world due to public health crisis restrictions caused business to slow down or stop for most industries and individuals. Everyone struggled with the stress, but was also forced to react and reflect during the long period of uncertainty.

Businesses took stock, audited every expense, and made the necessary deep cuts. Individuals decided what was best for them and their families from a health and financial perspective. Many decided to stay at home and collect unemployment, parents faced childcare challenges, others had health concerns, and the majority were mandated to work from home. One thing is certain — everything changed. So many people left the workforce that employers had no choice but to offer higher wages, better benefits and even signing bonuses. All the uncertainty put hourly workers in the driver’s seat for the first time in decades.

Raising hourly pay to a living wage was long overdue. On January 1, 2021, the minimum wage increased to $13.00 to $14.00 per hour, depending on the number of employees a business had. Before that, the last time Congress raised the minimum wage was from $6.55 to $7.25 in the summer of 2009. And before that, the minimum wage was $5.15 per hour for a decade. Once hourly wages began to rise at the big box stores, businesses were forced to follow suit to be competitive – and the security industry is no exception.

In our case, we were already paying a few dollars more than industry standard. So, when half our security guard pool disappeared due to the pandemic, we again had to offer higher wages in order to maintain a large enough guard pool to service our clients. The median pay of our security guards has driven our labor costs up about 50% in 2021 and we have no choice but to pass that cost along to our clients. In general, our clients are not surprised at the rate increases because they’re in the same boat. Their business is returning, but they’re short-staffed and cannot recruit fast enough because the job market has drastically changed. When they can hire, they must pay more.

Solving our workforce shortages made us become more innovative. We decided to focus on leveraging our vast relationships in law enforcement and pay a premium for better security guards. We reached out to retired State Troopers, County Sheriffs and others. Although they command significantly more per hour than guards with less experience, the benefits are clear.

  • Security Guards with a law enforcement background have a more professional skill set that clients appreciate.
  • Security Officers with a law enforcement background have key certifications and vetting
  • Private Investigators with a law enforcement background can more easily coordinate with local authorities and represent our brand better.
  • Security Agents with a law enforcement background know how to take the initiative and lead.
  • Bodyguards with a law enforcement background are trained to work as a team, take pride in their security assignments.

Our new inventory of higher-end security guards means our building construction, retail, hospitality, property management, event and school clients now all pay more for a security guard than they did atthe beginning of the year. It has always been true that people will pay more for a better or luxury product. In our industry, top guards equal higher-level security services — and peace of mind. The result has been that our clients are impressed with the new level of guards and have been contacting us more often with praise and high marks for our security guards.

Fire can ravage your expensive construction equipment within minutes. With all the chemicals and materials used in construction, fires can become uncontrollable. It will cause serious damage to property and may even result in casualties. You have to know what to do in case of fire accidents to avoid these kinds of disasters.

Construction sites have their share of hazards, from falling objects, electrical problems and injuries. However, fire prevention is often put on the sidelines. If you’re caught in the middle of a construction site fire without a plan, here’s what you need to do:

Set off the fire alarm

The moment you discover a fire, you should set off the nearest fire alarm right away. This is to alert the entire site to the hazard.

All workers and employees in the construction site should be aware of the sound of a fire alarm. You should also discuss evacuation procedures for the next step.

Evacuate as fast as possible

Once the fire alarm is sounding off, you should vacate the area right away. Keep doorways and corridors clear so others can pass through easily.

Moreover, you should touch doorknobs gently to check if it’s hot. If so, it’s a sign that the other side is already engulfed in flames. Take this as a sign of fire danger, and you must seek another way out.

Call the fire department

Once you’re in a safe spot, you should call the local fire department immediately. You need to get the fire contained as soon as possible. Make sure that you provide the construction site address properly.

Use the nearby fire extinguishers

All construction site workers should also know how to use a fire extinguisher. This can help contain a small fire before it spreads into a larger area. All construction sites need to have fire extinguishers as part of fire code compliance.

To use a fire extinguisher, you need to pull the pin to break the seal. Next, you should point the nozzle in the direction of the fire. Lastly, squeeze the lever at the top of the tank to release the extinguisher. You should target the base of the fire in a sweeping motion.

Stay close to the ground

If smoke has already occupied an enclosed location, you must stay low to the floor. Hot air and smoke rise, so standing will just increase your risk of breathing smoke and losing consciousness.

You can crawl your way out of the building to reach safety. Most importantly, you should know the exit points of the construction site.

Stay in a safe area

While waiting for the firefighters, you must stay in a safe place away from the fire. You should also wait for further instructions to avoid injuries on the site.

The company should also take the fire incident as a wake-up call for training. The contractor should also observe fire safety measures to avoid the same thing from happening again.


Knowing what to do during a construction site fire can save lives. You should never assume a ringing fire alarm as a mere test unless you’re informed ahead.  With enough precautions and knowledge, everyone will come out of a fire unscathed. This is something that contractors should also include in their project plan.


Construction site theft causes massive losses to companies. Worse, it often gets unnoticed until the losses have accumulated. This could be prevented if you can mitigate common vulnerabilities already present in your construction site.

Site managers and contractors alike must take note of the following flaws that compromise their assets.

Unregistered equipment

One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make is not registering your construction equipment. Although registration won’t make your equipment theft-proof, it will make it easier to retrieve.

Each equipment manufacturer has its own UCC or Uniform Commercial Code for the equipment they produce. Engraving this on a hidden spot of the equipment will give your equipment an identity. When someone steals it from the lot, you can clear disputes in case other companies also file their claim.

Absence of security cameras

Security cameras are basic components of on-site security. It won’t stop thieves from entering, but it will give you solid proof of the theft. It will also help identify the perpetrators.

While video security may seem expensive, it will pay off in terms of theft prevention. You can also assign someone to monitor the video feed to spot theft attempts.

Lack of security personnel

Aside from security cameras, it’s crucial to invest in security personnel as well. Physical security has been proven to deter theft. You can also coordinate with the local police, though they can only provide occasional checks. Remember that on-site security must be scaled based on its size and the asset value at stake.

Security inconsistency

Thieves can easily pick up patterns if you are inconsistent with your security. Therefore, you should never stop and start based on the patterns of theft. Otherwise, you’ll be giving in to the whims of burglars, which should never happen.

Poor on-site surveillance positioning

It’s not enough that you have on-site surveillance; you should also position it strategically. Your cameras should be easily seen so as to deter thieves planning to steal equipment. The right positioning will also help capture clear footage.

The same goes for your security agents. They should watch over your equipment so they can spot theft attempts as it happens.

Absence of theft prevention measures

Without theft prevention measures, your construction site is a sitting duck to thieves. It’s only a matter of time before burglars know of your lax security. You have to implement a theft prevention plan, which includes your on-site equipment, documents, and manpower. This will reduce the risk of theft while letting you address the problem quickly if it occurs.

Putting all your faith in insurance

Lastly, you should never put all your faith in insurance. Insurance providers hate gross security negligence. Even though they cover theft, they will soon deny claims once the insurer proves that your negligence played a part in the incident. Your premium costs will also skyrocket.


Construction site theft should be a contractor’s priority aside from the completion of the project. Avoiding the common pitfalls of security will drastically reduce theft incidents. Proportionally, it will also cut the losses of the company.

When you require security to protect and secure your building and construction job site — it all starts with an onsite security assessment. Once the security contract has been signed, it’s essential that your site manager meets with your security provider onsite to see the physical property and review specific duties and expectations. 

The right security partner will want to take the extra time to meet with you face-to-face to be sure the job is kicked off right. The majority of building and contracting stakeholders worry about securing their site from theft, fire, hazard, trespassing and vandalism. A little due diligence, communication, and preplanning saves time, effort and aggravation when your project is in full swing. Below are a few key security assessment strategies to consider in your initial walkthrough.

Share and Utilize Your Site Map

Start your assessment by sharing the site map and using it to mark areas of special interest and concern. Your security company can then digitally enhance the site map to use in the security directives they prepare for the actual guards who will be assigned to secure your site. A well-labeled, color-coded, site map should include as much detailed information as possible, such as lock codes, location of guard parking, entrances and exits, porta-potties, fire extinguishers, etc. Nothing replaces the clarity of a complete site map to familiarize guards with the site in the initial stages of the job.

Examine Perimeter Fencing for Gaps

Most job sites utilize chain-link panel perimeter fencing, rented from large national companies as an effective secure barrier around your construction site. Depending on the project location, stage of construction and site layout, managers can add barbed wire or a privacy/dust screens. As you walk through the job site, take note of fencing gaps, damage, or entire missing sections. If the fencing is not reliable, adjust your security plan to protect vulnerable areas with more patrols, deterrent signage, surveillance cameras and lighting. Understanding your site and environment, including the regional crime rate, seasonal climate, etc. should inform your security decisions.

Develop a Detailed Patrol Plan

Your site assessment is the perfect time to define security protocols. Protocols should including where your guards will patrol, and the locations of the scan tags which electronically verify their rounds and duties. Posting scan tags in areas of high-value assets or potential risk help guards stay on-point while on patrol by verifying the time and frequency. There are many excellent security officer reporting software applications that keep clients informed while also safeguarding against liability. Once your security protocols have been agreed upon, we suggest varying the guard patrol times and regularity so they’re less predictable to anyone watching. Random patrol times keep bad actors guessing and help prevent guards from becoming complacent.

Your security patrol should include easy access to areas where high-value assets are stored. A comprehensive security patrol provides real value by taking note of any current and prospective problems on-site, such as damaged gates, shattered windows, broken lights and unlocked trailers. Security guards on patrol document everything in a daily digital report that is available to all stakeholders. Your final security protocols should incorporate a call-down list of property owners, site managers, local law enforcement, and fire hazard authorities.

Adapt Security for Each Phase of Construction 

From the first delivery of materials to project closeout and turnover, your security needs to adapt. The site assessment is the time to determine the areas to secure all tools, materials and heavy equipment. The signing in and out of tools takes a little longer, but is well worth the extra effort because it keeps gear from “walking away” and adds to the overall organization and safety of your job site. The access control of deliveries should also include a sign-in and sign-out process, as well as a designated secure spot for materials. In addition, heavy equipment should be corralled in a well-lit area and arranged in a way that limits damage by inhibiting movement. Capturing all these areas on the site map with your security provider helps them visualize the project and understand your expectations. Be sure to discuss insurance, use of force, guard supervision and daily reporting.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to keep their job site safe and secure from unwanted and illegal activity, including theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security guard services.


Raw lumber, buckets of paint, electrical equipment and scattered debris. These are some of the things you’ll find at a construction site. It’s not unusual for basic materials to be out in the open when structures are being built. But, their presence significantly increases the chances of fires breaking out.

Fires are devastating to any business – but perhaps even worse for building and construction companies. Besides causing damage, they impact your budget and delay the completion of the project, damaging your reputation.

Site managers must keep construction sites safe by eliminating fire hazards and other potential threats. By law, they must take measures such as a fire watch to prevent fire-related damage and related injuries by workers, visitors and the public. They also protect structures and building materials from catching fire. Remember, a structure fire is also dangerous to nearby public and private buildings. Should a fire occur, diligent site managers have already limited the risk of fire spreading and causing more damage by taking every precaution.

Fire Risks and How to Protect Against Them

A fire can start from many things at a construction site. Flammable materials, cordless tools, battery-operated equipment, and heaters are just some of the most common sources of fire.

Workers who smoke or engage in work such as soldering and welding may also cause a fire. In recent years, arson or intentional fire has become increasingly common. Depending on your location, social environment, and climate, your probability of fire varies.

Here are 8 things you can do to reduce the risk of fire:

  1. Flammable materials must be stored and disposed of properly. The amount of materials stored at a time should be kept to a minimum so large fires can be avoided.
  2. Electrical equipment and battery-operated tools should undergo regular maintenance and be kept in safe, proper storage. Tools must be charged in stations located outside the building.
  3. Site managers must inspect portable heaters and fans that are brought onto the construction site. They should be approved for use and not be left unsupervised when switched on.
  4. Workers shouldn’t bring cooking equipment at the site, and they shouldn’t be allowed to cook either. Examples include grills, hot plates, and microwaves.
  5. Site managers must impose a strict no smoking policy on site. A smoking and cigarette disposal area can be allowed but it must be in a safe location away from the site.
  6. Secure the site by setting up fences, lighting on motion detectors, and perimeter controls. You should also hire licensed, bonded and insured security personnel who can monitor the site for access control and after-hours.
  7. While the building is being constructed, make sure that there is access to fire extinguishers on site and that you know where the closest fire hydrants are.
  8. Educate workers about the steps you’ve taken to avoid fire, and what they can do should a fire break out.

More Ways To Prevent Fire At Construction Sites

Structures that are under construction usually lack fire protection. This is normal since there are no sprinklers, fire alarms, and fire walls installed. For the meantime, you can set up wireless fire alarms. It is a simple and cost-effective solution to protecting your construction site against fires. Wireless fire alarms detect heat and smoke. They are linked to one another via radio. You can monitor them at all hours, even when the construction site is closed. Note that by law, most cities and counties require fire watches performed by trained security and safety officers while alarms and sprinkler systems are not operational.


Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to keep their jobsite safe and secure from unwanted and illegal activity, including: theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security services. 


No matter the location, construction sites are vulnerable to various risks and threats. When everyone is done working for the day, expensive equipment, tools, and materials are often left unsecured. Bad actors may steal, vandalize, or intentionally destroy your valuable assets for no reason at all.

We’ve seen everything from neighbors sabotaging million-dollar gear just because they didn’t like the noise, to vandals pouring sugar in heavy equipment tanks, to “inside job” theft of valuable materials and tools.

Here, we described some of the scenarios that might take place at a construction site. Studies show that while passive security measures such as fencing, lighting, cameras, and deterrent signage help — on site security guards provide better security protection. Guards often act as a real-time deterrent, stopping unwanted activity before it starts. Passive security measures are often helpful, only after the damage has already been done.

Below are 5 tips on hiring security for your construction site.

Tip #1: Look for a construction site security expert

Most security companies offer their services for different kinds of properties. Even though there are general practices that can be applied, each industry has its own security needs.

In this respect, it’s better to contract with a company that specializes in construction site security, rather than a company that provides general security to the public and private sector. They will have the knowledge and experience needed to protect your property and assets, while understanding the special needs and flexibility that the building and construction industry expect.

Being familiar with your industry also allows for easy transition from one stage to another. They can easily adjust to your city or rural jobsite environment and are less likely to have missteps that create liability.

Tip #2: See which services they offer

Construction site security is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Your jobsite may have areas that cannot be actively patrolled or monitored and require wireless security. Sites with a lot of traffic may need on-site access control security during work hours. Most sites need to be patrolled overnight for theft, vandalism, fire and other unwanted activity. An experienced security company will be able to meet all of your building and construction security needs.

Tip #3: Read reviews from former clients

An impressive client list doesn’t always mean they do well on their job. If you want to get an actual picture of their performance, you have to do your due diligence by researching what customers have to say about their capabilities and management. Did their clients leave positive reviews? Are there any active lawsuits or complaints? Are they properly licensed and insured? These are just some of the questions to consider to determine whether your security company is an asset or liability.

Tip #4: Talk to your insurance provider

Hiring construction site security will drastically reduce the liability and threats to your business, including: trespassing, theft, arson, hazard and destruction of property. By reducing these risks, your insurance company will have greater confidence in your project. In turn, you will pay less for your coverage and avoid costly delays that hurt your reputation and profit margin.

Tip #5: Sign a detailed, but flexible contract agreement

As soon as you’ve decided on a security company that’s a good fit, the last step is to sign an agreement. But before you do, there are still a few things that need to be considered.

First, you need to agree on the shifts and number of security personnel that will be assigned to your project. Second, list estimated start and end dates. Third, discuss your security expectations and work toward a flexible contract that allows for security changes throughout the stages of construction work.

Of course, most jobs take longer than expected. Plus, you may end up needing more or fewer guards or shift coverage than estimated. Anticipating common sense adjustments based on industry experience is the best way to manage unexpected costs.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies of all sizes have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect their job site from unwanted and illegal activity, including: theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today for reliable, flexible and professional security services.

Homebuilders are facing a big threat: construction site theft. Cases continue to soar, which is highly attributed to the skyrocketing prices of construction materials. If you have an ongoing construction project, it’s important to take safety precautions to keep the thieves at bay.

The problem with most construction sites is their poor security. Since construction isn’t finished yet, project managers often overlook the security aspect. But in the eyes of thieves, construction equipment is gold.

This makes construction site theft a low-risk but high-reward pursuit for burglars. Once the workers are out, it’s a piece of cake to funnel out expensive construction equipment and materials.

For big projects, the losses can rise to millions. As much as the numbers are daunting, you can do something to stop the burglary. Here are a few quick steps you can take:

Keep your construction site secured.

Construction site safety should be more than just putting up a ‘No Trespassing’ sign. You have to lock up your tools, secure heavy equipment, and don’t leave construction materials lying around.

Many construction sites take weeks to realize that something has been stolen because of poor supplies inventory. Therefore, it’s essential to keep tabs on your supplies. This will let you report theft once something has been stolen.

Also, manufacturers have since adapted a standard, a 17-digit identification number for the equipment they produce. Ensure that this PIN is embedded on two parts of the equipment, with one hidden to prevent tampering.

Register your equipment

The National Equipment Register allows contractors to register their heavy equipment so law enforcers can easily recover the item once stolen. It’s also solid proof that you own the equipment should other contractors raise their own claim.

Hire a watch guard

Keeping the construction manned will deter burglars. This isn’t the sole solution, but it will make a big difference in preventing construction site theft. You can also work with local authorities in securing your construction site.

Moreover, it’s important to impose a zero-tolerance policy for employees and contractors who will play a part in the theft.

Install a security system

Aside from hiring security personnel, you should also invest in top-of-the-line security cameras. This will be your additional eyes on the construction site. And should anyone steals, you can easily present video evidence to the authorities.

The good thing about having security cameras is you can easily check the construction site anywhere. In addition, it will let you spot burglary attempts, vandalism, and accidents.

Perform an employee background check

You should be careful who you trust on the construction site. Take the time to perform a rigorous background check on each employee to ensure they have a clean record.

Past theft records should raise a red flag. This will allow you to hire smarter, especially for expensive construction jobs where prized equipment will be used.


Construction site theft should never be put on the sidelines. Property managers and construction companies should invest in construction site security as much as they do on the actual project. This will help them save large sums from stolen equipment and the hassle of litigation.

No one would want to wake up to the news that their construction site has turned to ashes. Whatever you’re building, a 24-hour fire watch guard should be your first line of defense against fire hazards. These professionals will patrol and secure your property before a fire breaks out.

The truth is that only a few business owners and construction managers hire fire watch guards. While their role isn’t widely known, these watch guards can save property, money and lives.

Here are the top reasons why you should consider hiring a fire watch guard for your property:

Saving lives and preventing injuries

The ultimate role of fire watch guards is to prevent fires that would compromise the safety of the people and property. A potential fire hazard will be mitigated through their proactive services before it turns into a deadly catastrophe.

These watch guards will also prevent the occurrence of fire-related injuries across industries. This protection applies to the occupants, workers, and visitors of the property.

Preventing expensive property damage

A fire can ravage millions’ worth of assets within hours. Flames don’t spare anything, no matter how costly the damage will be.

This major financial loss can be prevented with the help of fire watch guards. They are on duty 24/7 to ensure that your property, equipment, and facilities are free from major fire hazards.

The difference between the cost of hiring fire watch guards and recovering from a fire is astronomical.

Abiding by the OSHA Fire Prevention Guidelines

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) imposes strict guidelines to minimize fire hazards. Business owners and property managers are obliged to abide by these rules. Otherwise, you’ll be slapped with a massive penalty and potential jail time.

Instead of defying the law, you should consider hiring a fire watch guard. They are trained to comply with the OSHA guidelines to ensure that the law won’t come after you.

Complying with insurance company requirements

Insurance companies often require property owners to provide a regular maintenance log. This is to prove that the insured has preventive measures in place to avoid fire accidents.

Fire watch guards can produce such maintenance logs to keep you compliant with your insurer’s terms.  You can sleep soundly at night knowing that your property’s fire safety is at par with the industry standards.

Receiving professional fire management

Above all, fire watch guards provide professional fire management services. They are trained to respond to fire accidents and mitigate hazards. The watch guards also adhere to strict protocol to prevent lapses that could result in a fire.

Aside from meeting regulations, fire watch guards can help save you hard-earned investments. It’s something you can’t put a price on, especially for multi-million dollar properties.


A fire can happen anytime and anywhere. Instead of exposing your construction site to such risk, it’s best to hire fire watch guards. These professionals are an investment to secure your property, employees, tenants, and visitors.

The benefit will also trickle down to your insurance premiums and reputation as a business owner. In the long run, fire watch guard services will pay for themselves.

phila fire department

The threat of fire on building and construction sites presents a huge risk to people and property, including the surrounding community. To that end, the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections issued new code requirements in September of 2020 for fire watches regarding construction and demolition sites. The new code states that all active building and construction sites in the city of Philadelphia must comply with the outlined requirements by November 1, 2020. Below are the new policy requirements directly from the City’s website.


A Fire Watch shall be required under the following circumstances:

  • A building’s fire alarm, fire sprinkler, or fire suppression system is impaired, including planned impairments as required by Code Bulletin F-1601;
  • Hot work activity occurs within the building;
  • Combustible, new construction exceeds 40’ in height or includes an aggregate area exceeding 50,000 square feet;
  • Other hazardous activity occurs, as determined by the Site Safety Manager, Fire Code Official, or the courts.

At a minimum, a Fire Watch shall be maintained at the following times:

  • During an emergency or planned impairment of a fire protection system;
  • During and at least 30 minutes after the conclusion of hot work activity;
  • During non-working hours from the time that combustible construction reaches a height above 40’ or an area of 50,000 square feet until the fire alarm or fire suppression system has been certified.

A Fire Watch shall meet the following criteria:

  • The primary duty of fire watch personnel shall be to perform constant patrols and watch for the occurrence of fire. The combination of fire watch duties and security duties is acceptable.
  • Fire watch personnel shall be trained in all duties and responsibilities outlined in the Site Safety Plan.
  • Fire watch personnel shall be provided with at least one approved means for notification to the Fire Department, including but not limited to a cellular phone.
  • An adequate number of fire watch personnel shall be on duty to ensure that all areas of a property are inspected every 30 minutes. In multi-story buildings there shall be at least one fire watch for every five floors.
  • In the event that the fire watch observes smoke or fire, the Fire Department shall be notified immediately.
  • Maintain a record of all time periods of duty, including the log entry each time the site was patrolled, and each time a structure was entered and inspected. Records shall be made available for review by the Fire Code Official upon request.

The Site Safety Plan shall be reviewed during the initial meeting with the building inspector. Any changes to the plan shall be documented and made available for review by the building inspector or fire code official upon request.

Add value to your fire watch by taking a more comprehensive approach to the overall site security and safety of your property and people. Security guards on patrol should have clear general protocols in addition to the specific and mandated fire watch directives. Your guards should act as a strong, highly visible deterrent against illegal or unwanted activity. This includes awareness of any unsafe or unusual activity at adjacent structures or lots that could affect your property.

With over 45 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, I personally developed Echelon’s fire watch protocols and processes. Since 2001, we’ve kept fire watches of every size and duration – from 1-day special projects to years-long remediations. Our fire watch services are responsive, well organized, and carefully managed in tandem with the local Fire Marshal and authorities.

Echelon uses decades of high-level fire watch experience combined with the latest technology in order to guarantee a safe and effective fire watch. Contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance for your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today to learn more.

Echelon blog art July

Building & construction firms have a long list of responsibilities, worries and challenges. Many times, security planning falls low on the priority list. However, a simple calculation of prospective losses, liability and reputation-crushing costly delays shows that partnering with the right security company is a wise return on investment. Indeed, in many states, a security presence is now mandatory during certain phases of construction. In this blog installment, we’ve collected a few of our most relevant tips for performing a “smarter” construction site patrol.

1) “S” stands for… Stay aware of onsite assets

Security guards are often patrolling job sites that contain millions of dollars worth of construction vehicles, machinery, tools and building materials. During these phases, it’s vital that security officers stay fully informed of all subcontractors, visitors, deliveries and where the more costly assets are stored. This is best achieved through a consistent access control plan featuring daily logs, reporting and signage. High-value assets of interest to prospective vandals and thieves should be kept in a well-lit, fully fenced area and patrolled more often.

2) “M” stands for… Maintain a safe distance

Security guards must exercise extreme caution when addressing unknown visitors and trespassers. Any verbal engagement with unauthorized visitors should be done in a confident, authoritative tone at a safe distance. We train Echelon guards to provide a stern verbal warning, informing the offender(s) that they’re unlawfully trespassing and must leave the property immediately. Additionally, a guard may choose to let the perpetrator know that they’re under camera surveillance and the local police have already been notified. To avoid liability, a security guard should never put hands-on a trespasser unless it is in self-defense. The best overall security strategy is to deter — warn — call the police — and keep eyes on the offender until authorities arrive.

3) “A” stands for… Arrive prepared for anything

To protect your job site against common and unexpected challenges — your onsite security guards must come prepared with the proper equipment. If the job site is not in a high crime area, there is no need for construction site guards to carry a weapon while on patrol. However, whether your guards are armed or unarmed, be sure they have the tools they need to contend with unwanted or illegal activity such as trespass, vandalism, union issues, fire or hazard. Basic equipment should include a smartphone, flashlight, emergency call-down list, site map, and a working knowledge of any emergency shut-off switches, sprinkler or alarm systems. Knowing what to do in an emergency will improve response time in case of injury. There are many other defensive items that may be an option as allowable within your state jurisdiction.

4) “R” stands for… Random patrol schedules are a great strategy

Security guards are typically asked to inspect various checkpoints while on patrol to ensure key points are being watched. We use technology in which the guards scan the checkpoint with a smartphone application to verify their rounds. However, if patrol duties are not done properly, they can create unintended opportunities for criminal activity. If guards become complacent by taking the same route to their checkpoints, their movements become easy to track. Altering your patrols also can create the appearance of more robust security coverage. Being predictable makes your job site vulnerable, so smart security companies direct their guards to vary their patrol schedule by day, route and time, including backtracking their route at random.

5) “T” stands for…Tactical uniforms improve performance

Make certain that your guards are outfitted for peak performance. A highly visible security presence is the best deterrent, so it’s important that your guards are outfitted with a tactical, seasonally appropriate, branded, professional and comfortable uniform that includes; ID badge, safety vest and hard hat. Security guards are among the top occupations where long periods of standing, walking and running are required. All guards should have footwear that is comfortable during a long shift, protects their feet from harmful debris and keeps them from slipping. A poorly considered choice of uniform may restrict movement and put guards at a disadvantage during unexpected or critical situations.

6) “E” stands for… Expect the unexpected

Something unexpected can happen any moment a guard is on security patrol duty. The best security firms train their guard’s to be vigilant. Professional security guards are always mindful while performing their patrols. They make it a point to periodically stop, look around, and carefully listen to their surroundings. Although it sounds obvious, these planned engaged pauses are part of the situational awareness needed for optimum security performance.

7) “R” stands for… Remember lawful limits

Know which situations require specialized support or assistance. Remember, your guards are trained to observe, report, deescalate, and call the proper authorities. Although many security guards have state-certified training such as ACT 235, SORA or NASRO, do not expect them to be trained to handle civil unrest, public safety hazards, bomb scares, engineering issues or personal injuries. Be certain you know what your guards can and cannot do under the law, and determine the proper protocol to deal with extraordinary circumstances — always have emergency numbers ready and contact the trained professionals best suited to handle a situation.

Since 2001, successful building & construction companies have chosen Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect their job site from unwanted and illegal activity, including theft, fire, vandalism, trespassing and safety hazards that can cause costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com today!

In every construction site, tools and equipment are one of the necessary assets. These construction items are important to adhere to the schedule. Of course, no one wants to encounter delays especially when you are under a tight budget.

Safeguard Your Tools and Other Construction Materials

  1. Allocate an area for equipment storage, or perhaps, build secure sheds for storage purposes. If not, you can always rent storage.
  2. It is important to have an inventory of all equipment, tools, and materials. This is particularly important for heavy duty equipment and expensive construction tools.
  3. There should be a uniform system for the checking in (and out) of tools and equipment. Place a visible sign stating that, “ALL TOOLS MUST BE CHECKED OUT!” Securely store the tools in locked storage facilities.
  4. Seal gas or oil tank caps because would-be criminals can use these to their advantage.
  5. Provide parking for heavy equipment, and make sure there is enough lighting to secure the area. Aside from that, install anti-theft devices to important construction equipment.
  6. All heavy equipment should have a unique identifier and put a warning sign that these ID numbers are monitored.
  7. There should be an on-site inventory of everything, including the materials, tools, and equipment. For the lighter tools and equipment, lock them during non-working hours. Store these items in a closed room or secure them using lockable gates.
  8. Designate a spare key (or a supervisory key) to control the use of motorized equipment. Not everyone should have access the main key and only supervisors can get a hold of emergency keys.
  9. If you no longer need equipment or materials, remove it from the construction site. You are inviting would-be criminals. Refrain from storing too many items in the site storage.
  10. Lastly, monitor even the trash removal because you will never know what the perpetrators hid in the trash bin.

Security solutions for your small business

Time is money, and if many hours are wasted because of construction site crimes, this could mean loss of resources, and more importantly, loss of profit.

At Echelon Protection & Surveillance, we have security experts that will assess your construction site, and help you develop stringent security protocols with the aid of modern technology.

If you choose Echelon Protection & Surveillance as your business’ security partner, we will give you the daily security records, and even digital records such as photos and video footages. Moreover, we will also assign you a security account manager, free of charge, so that you can easily know the site’s status and other relevant updates.

Working hand in hand with the local police

Your security is our utmost priority! That’s why we are continually coordinating with the local police to enforce strict security measures on the construction site. For more details about Echelon Protection & Surveillance, kindly call us at 1-610-831-0277 or email us at sales@epsagents.com.

Whatever the nature of your business, whether you are from the retail industry to the airline industry, you need a specific policy for handling visitors at the jobsite. The policies are there not just to consider the welfare of the visitors, but also the employees and the business in general. Visitors, at an unfamiliar workplace, can injure themselves, harm others, and even damage the property.

Moreover, there is also a possibility of theft, sabotage, and scare tactics. Each organization may encounter distinctive and varying problems. Of course, multinational companies are expected to have more visitors than small and mid-size enterprises.

An organization should develop a visitor access policy to prevent unauthorized visitors. These people can steal construction materials, tools, and equipment. You can even protect intellectual property through adding clauses to the policy. In order to safeguard your business from a potential hazardous situation, a policy needs to be written to look after the visitors and the employees.

  • Visitors must check in and check out.

    • Before anything else, a visitor must sign up and state the purpose of this official visit. Additionally, the other details that should be included are: visitor’s name, affiliation, and duration of the visit.
  • Visitors must wear their badge at all times.

    • After checking in, each visitor should have a photo ID badge. The ID should come with a photo if possible, and it should visibly show visitor’s name. The visitor’s badge should be worn at all times.
  • Visitors should be accompanied by an employee.

    • All visitors should not be left unattended. An employee should escort a visitor within the company premises. There should be a security director to oversee such visitor and employee arrangements.

Strictly no photographs

Remind all visitors that they are not permitted to take photographs of the site without approval. Even if such photographs are allowed, the visitor cannot publish it without the approval of the company officials.

Sign an NDA

To ensure a strict policy, visitors should sign a non-disclosure agreement when entering the site.

The Importance of Having Certified Security Officers

Encourage employees to report visitors, who are not wearing badge. The visitors should be immediately reported to the security guard. The first thing the security personnel should do is to enact the visitor access policy. In an emergency situation, the security guards should help the employees evacuate the premises.

If you choose Echelon Protection & Surveillance as your security partner, we will deploy officers in order to effectively keep the trespassers and would-be criminals away from company premises. At Echelon Protection & Surveillance, we truly understand that theft and vandalism are pervasive in the country.

Before coming up with a detailed security plan, a security expert will have to conduct an on-site assessment first. The preliminary construction site evaluation will help identify major security flaws that could be used by criminals. If you want to know more, please give us a call at 1-610-831-0277, or you may send a message to sales@epsagents.com.

Keeping Records and Documentation

As a volunteer fire fighter for over 45 years, I wanted to share my fire watch experience to benefit other business owners like me. So, when I founded Echelon Protection & Surveillance in 2001, I personally developed all of our fire watch procedures.

Although the law varies by state, a fire watch should be performed by a trained fire safety officer with at least a few of the following credentials:

  • Basic fire prevention training by the security company
  • Fire safety school classes with training in occupant and fire department notification
  • Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) classes
  • At least 1 year of experience as a fire fighter, regional fire police or similar experience

As I said in my previous blog, after the property owner or building manager has vetted and scheduled the fire watch, it’s all up to the security company. They are responsible for making sure thefire watch officers have their directives and know exactly what’s expected from a documentation and reporting perspective. Ultimately, the goal is to protect the property, people and surrounding area from fire, hazard and liability.

An Effective Fire Watch Means Careful Record Keeping

All fire watch officers are responsible for record keeping that documents all patrols and activity. The records may be digital or written in an old school log book. The fire watch officer on duty must report any risky or hazardous conditions to the security supervisor, building owner, and Fire Marshal so they’re fully informed at all times. In most cases, the fire watch report must be sent to the Fire Marshall’s office at the end of each day. Up-to-the-minute security companies will have the ability to monitor fire watch officer patrols via GPS technology in real time. It is also possible to set up temporary scan tags at each patrol stop that work in tandem with the officer’s smart phone to verify fire watch tours in real time. Temporary camera surveillance is also an option so officers can view multiple areas of the property right from their smart phone. Echelon uses aApp called Officer Reports that combines GPS sign-in/sign-out, patrol scan tags, and fire watch reporting capabilities with photos all in one place. Below is a check list of the bare minimum record keeping that should be required:

  • Property address, owner and all related contact information
  • Date and time of each patrol with a detailed patrol report
  • Name of the security company and a copy of their license and certificate of insurance
  • Names of all security personnel conducting the fire watch
  • Documentation of all communications with all stakeholders, including the fire department, property manager and general contractor

It’s Not Just About Fire

Keep in mind that a fire watch is not exclusively about fire. To get the most value from your fire watch detail – your security officer’s protocols should be comprehensive and take a wholistic approach to the overall security, safety, protection and well-being of your property and people. This means the security guard should be vigilant at all times — looking for any type of illegal or unwanted activity such as hazard, vandalism, emergency or theft. This includes awareness of any unusual activity at adjacent structures or lots that could affect your property.

Echelon uses real world experience and the latest technology to document activities and keep records in order to guarantee an effective, professional fire watch. Build a relationship with a reliable fire watch security services company — Contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance to guide you through your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

No matter the size or experience of your company, security policies are a necessary part of any smart construction plan. A good rule of thumb is to have security protocols in place as soon as equipment and materials are delivered. So, even in the very early stages of the building process, the construction site should be protected from vandalism, theft, and liability if you want to mitigate costly delays.

Tested and proven jobsite security policies will assure employees, visitors, and contractors that you are doing your best to keep your construction site safe and secure for all stakeholders. Security policies are designed to avoid damaged or stolen tools, equipment and materials. Moreover, policies can include data privacy, and physical security.

7 Quick Tips to Secure Your Construction Site

Implement an ID system with a strong security password

First, you need to make sure that everyone has a unique identifier. It is not enough that employees wear their ID cards. Also, there should be personal identification number (or PIN code) for accessing certain tools, materials, storage trailers, and equipment. Avoid using easily guessed PIN codes, like birthdays.

Control access to high value materials and equipment

Tools and equipment should be locked in a safe place when not in use. Access cards should be granted to authorize personnel only. If employees quit their job or have no background check on file, the access should be revoked. All employees should be reminded to protect their PINs from others. At the same time, you should assess whether employees need to access what tools and equipment.

Restrict usage of smart phones

Limiting personal cell phone use at the construction site will help stop accidental security breaches, such as taking photos of unguarded access points, where valuable tools are stored, what type of materials are on-site, or sharing other sensitive information – especially on social media. As you develop jobsite phone policies, try to strike a balance between employee needs and common-sense construction site security. Most employees need to contact their families sometime during the day. However, any jobsite photos should be seen as proprietary information that is not to be shared.

Report losses and damages to support all stakeholders

Develop, explain and enforce clear steps for reporting any jobsite vandalism, loss or damage. Managing an organized jobsite includes documentation for accounting, legal issues and security purposes.

Maintain a visitor access control policy with physical security

When subcontractors, deliveries, or visitors enter the construction site, proper ID verification and documentation is a must. Visitors policies should include check-in and out with security guards at access control points. The guards should be supplied with a current checklist of all those who may enter the site. This list includes: materials to be delivered, subcontractors, equipment, or any other visitors you anticipate. If someone is not on the list and requests entry, the security guards should be provided with a “call down list” of who to contact to gain permission to enter, including the Foreman, Construction Manager or Supervisor.

Empower your workers buy getting buy-in.

For on-site security strategies to be effective, it is important to engage and empower your team by explaining why these procedures are important and how they affect the real-world bottom line. Make it easier for them by writing clear and practical policies. Mandating unrealistic policies that are too strict or time consuming may encourage employees to do the exact opposite. Good security plans need practice and oversight — until the practice becomes standard operating procedure.

A Detailed Construction Site Security Plan for Your Business!

Remember, unwatched construction sites are easy targets for vandalism, arson and theft. Damaged equipment and stolen materials can lead to costly delays, affecting your reputation, business operations and bottom line. At Echelon Protection & Surveillance, we work with you to develop a tested and proven plan for your construction site security in order to deter unwanted and illegal activity while mitigating risks, threats, hazard and liability. For more information, please contact us at (610) 831-0277 or sales@epsagents.com.

Fire Watch Duties

As a Volunteer Fire Fighter and later Fire Police Captain of Worcester Township, I’ve been first on the scene more times than I can count, have fought hundreds of deadly fires, been injured on the job by falling through the floor during an active fire– and sadly have seen too many people die. So, when I founded Echelon in 2001, I wanted to use my (then) 30 years of firefighting experience to help other business owners like me navigate the uncertainties of a fire watch. To that end, I personally developed and directed all Echelon’s fire watch policies, processes and directives.

Although it varies by state, according to the law, a fire watch must be performed by a specially trained fire safety security officer. Training should include a few of the following credentials; basic fire prevention training by the security company, attending fire safety school, Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) classes, and training in occupant and fire department notification. As I said in my previous blog, after the owner has set up the fire watch, it’s the security company’s job to ensure their fire watch officers are on task and have the latest patrolling and reporting technology. Use the list of duties below as a check list to be sure your fire watch covers all your bases to protect you from risk and liability.

Fire watch officers should be trained to perform the following duties

  • Follow all Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
  • Maintain conditions and requirements stated on fire and safety permits.
  • Continually patrol the construction jobsite or area of concern a minimum of once every 30 minutes and document your activities.
  • Inspect all areas of the property or building(s) that are affected by the fire alarm or sprinkler systems.
  • Document and report any risky or hazardous conditions to the security supervisor, building owner, Fire Marshal and local authorities.
  • Be trained to use a fire extinguisher and have access to all fire safety equipment on site.
  • Have a priority call-down list and be able to communicate effectively and clearly with the owner, building occupants and the fire department in case of fire, emergency or hazard.
  • Be familiar with the entire jobsite, including: site map, floor plans, building occupants, potential hazards, on-site materials, emergency shutdown procedures, fixed fire alarm systems, and access to portable fire protection gear.
  • Work with your general contractor to be sure your fire watch officers are knowledgeable in all aspects of the jobsite and maintain all fire watch records for inspection by the Fire Marshal.

In my next blog installment of How to Establish Construction Fire Watch Security, I’ll layout how Echelon uses real world experience and the latest technology to document activities and keep records in order to guarantee a professional fire watch. Build a relationship with a reliable fire watch security services company — contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance to discuss and advise on your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

Property Owner Obligations

As a volunteer fire fighter for over 45 years, I’ve seen a lot of tragedies that could’ve been avoided with a little planning, common sense or basic maintenance. When I founded Echelon Protection & Surveillance in 2001, I was confident I could utilize my firefighting training by offering fire watch services to our growing list of clients. In the past 20 years we’ve performed fire watch projects of every shape and size for clients who needed a reliable security partner. Some were large properties that required services for many months after the fire, many were city  mandated building fire watches, and some were smaller public or private watches that lasted only a few weeks. Reliable fire watch companies are hard to find because they need to be specially trained, respond immediately, be well organized, extremely flexible and know how to work in tandem with all sorts of clients, the local Fire Marshal and county authorities.

Philadelphia has mandated fire watch services.

In September 2020, our home city of Philadelphia issued a Code Bulletin from the Department of Licenses and Inspections mandated that all active construction sites must maintain a fire watch on building construction and demolition sites.The Code was enacted because unattended jobsites present a real potential risk to the people and properties in the surrounding community.

A fire watch is required on a construction site if a building’s fire alarm, sprinkler, or suppression system is compromised, including special hazard conditions or planned impairments as determined by a Safety Manager or local Fire Code Officials.A general rule is that if any of these fire safety systems are down for more than 4 hours in a 24-hour period the building must evacuated or begin a fire watch. The main duty of fire watch personnel is to perform frequent patrols watching for signs of fire. Fire watch responsibilities may be performed by state licensed security guard firms in addition to their regular security duties.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to establish the fire watch during building and construction anytime fire safety systems are not working properly. If a proper fire watch is not in place, you will likely be fined or issued a citation by the local Fire Marshal. If you do not comply, the fire department will facilitate a fire watch for you — and bill you for the services.

Key steps the property manager should take to avoid liability.

  1. Notify the fire department when a fire safety system is being installed, not working, and after it was been repaired.
  2. Hire a licensed contractor to install the fire safety systems, to make repairs and to pull the required regional permits.
  3. Contact a state licensed security partner that has experience with fire watches.
  4. Work with your general contractor to be sure your fire watch officers are knowledgeable in all aspects of your jobsite, including:site map, floor plans, building occupants, potential hazards, on-site materials, emergency shutdown procedures, fixed fire alarm systems, and access to portable fire protection gear.

Once the owner or property manager has completed their due diligence in setting up the fire watch, it’s the security company’s job to be sure their officers are on task and accountable using the latest patrolling and reporting technology. In my next blog installment, I’ll layout the tested and proven practices Echelon uses to guarantee a successful fire watch.Build a relationship with a reliable fire watch security services company. Contact Echelon Protection & Surveillance to discuss and advise on your next fire watch. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

In Part 1, we reviewed keeping your construction site well-lit and strategically placing security cameras. Here in Part 2, I will share additional tested and proven tips to improve construction site security during the current building boom.

  1. Keep a daily record of tools and equipment

Documentation is important in tracing who has the equipment and when it was checked-in and checked-out. Also, assign a reliable employee to be responsible for keeping a main inventory of the materials and equipment. For insurance purposes, take photos and list serial numbers of every tool, making it easier to identify in case an item gets lost or stolen.When employees know items are being inventoried each day, they’re less likely to try to walk away with something.

  1. Post highly visible “No Trespassing” signage

Having a “no trespassing” sign may seem outdated, but it’s still an effective deterrent that sends a clear message that only authorized personnel are permitted to enter. My security company posts multiple highly visible signs at each of our construction sites that read: This Site is Patrolled by Echelon Protection & Surveillance. We choose to add our contact information so the public can alert the police if anything looks suspicious.

Based on factors such as the regional crime rate and community access, most construction companies know that security fencing is an important part of risk mitigation and access control. It’s a good idea to limit access by assigning only one entry and exit point. A high 8’ to 12’ fence with locking gates heightens security during overnights when contractors have left for the day.

During working hours a security guard can easily monitor everyone that enters and exits the site. A good strategy is to post a guard that documents each person as they enter. Clients may also provide lists of contractors and materials are to be delivered each day that are checked-off as they arrive. Posting signage also protects against the liability of trespassers accidents on your jobsite.

  1. Schedule delivery of materials

Do not use the construction site as a storage dump. Instead, you should plan ahead and schedule the deliveries in tandem with your security partner. Develop a timetable and determine what materials you will need for the week. When they arrive, they should be documented by a security guard posted at the entrance. Having less building material and tools sitting around on the jobsite means less temptation.

Do not leave the materials and tools lying around. At the end of the day, tell your workers to organize and secure them in the designated storage areas. If you cannot store them on the site, rent a trailer and take it home with you. Park the heavy equipment in well-lit areas facing the street. Add chains to lock them in place, and most importantly, do not leave the keys in the ignition.Organizing your jobsite will not only help manage inventory, but will also lessen the chances of theft. If you want to catch up the previous post, you may refer to Improving Your Construction Site Security (Part 1).

Choose Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect your construction jobsite from unwanted and illegal activity like loss, theft, fire, vandalism, hazard and costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.


For many contracting businesses, construction equipment vandalism and theft are rampant problem in the industry. It is a major concern because the number of stolen construction equipment and materials amounts to $1 billion each year. The risk is different depending on many regional factors and overall industry losses include costly work delays that also hurt reputations.

Surprisingly, only 25% of stolen construction equipment is reclaimed by local authorities. Construction site theft is a lucrative business for thieves because building tools, materials and machinery are often left out in the open or poorly secured. Moreover, there is no DMV database for construction equipment, materials or tools. Easy access, low security, no records and ready to sell high-value items create the perfect environment for thieves.To reduce the potential threat, we’re providing these tested and proven security tips to follow in order to prevent it on from happening on your construction site.

  1. Light up your site at night.

Did you know that most construction site theft are inside jobs, perpetrated by employees themselves? This is because they’re already familiar with the jobsite layout, work schedule, tools and equipment. Thieves, vandals, and yes, even union activists see unsecured construction sites as opportunities. If a worker knows the layout of the construction site, they know where to go, what they’re looking for and how to slip past less secure areas by taking advantage of blind spots.

If bad actors are not confident that their illegal activity can go undetected, they usually move on to an easier target. The best deterrent for this problem is to keep your site well-lit. If the bad guys know they may be seen by security patrols or nearby properties, they’ll often think twice. A simple idea like lights, make the site more visible from the road and less desirable. A well-lit site also helps security guards and local police patrols keep eyes on your jobsite.

  1. Make surveillance cameras part of your security plan

One of the most effective solutions is a temporary surveillance camera system that is backed-up to the cloud. After strategically placing a few cameras at the construction site, let everybody know that these cameras will be monitor the site 24/7. When buying surveillance cameras, there are a few key things that you should know:

  • You’ll need a power source. There are solar powered cameras, which is a convenient choice if the construction site is located in a remote area. You maynot need power to operate it during the day, but you will need the batteries during overnights. Especially if the site is unattended.
  • Sophisticated surveillance camera models are equipped with additional features such as high definition, infrared, motion sensor, Wi-Fi connectivity and SMS notifications, giving you real-time update to a monitoring facility or right to your smart phone by text alerts.
  • A more affordable option is the installing motion sensor only lights. It uses less power consumption than cameras, but it will still be sensitive to movements. When the motion sensors notice movements on the construction site, a light will turn on to draw attention to that specific area. Some systems include a audio warning, alarm or immediately alert the monitoring or security guard company.
  • Whatever surveillance camera you choose — the placement is equally important. You need to place the lights near the storage trailer, equipment or materials.
  • Remember, it’s not much good if the camera only shows a blurry bad guy in hood after all the damage is done. The main idea is to deter or stop incidents before it happens. More tips to be discussed on Improving Your Construction Site Security (Part 2).

Build a relationship with a reliable and responsive security guard company.

Choose Echelon Protection & Surveillance to secure and protect your construction site from unwanted and illegal activity like theft, hazard, fire, vandalism, loss and costly delays. Call 610-831-0277 or email sales@epsagents.com.

As the number of fully vaccinated Americans increases and the country begins to reopen, the issue of how we stay safe looms large. Many of the original public health concerns still apply as new risks arise. As a top security, protection and surveillance company, we try to anticipate how to assist in securing the industries we serve. While clients like construction site security may decide they do not need vaccine passports, hospitality, education, events and property management clients may determine it makes sense, in order to encourage consumers to return with less anxiety.

The current administration recently stated that although private entities have the right to develop vaccine passport systems, the federal government will not be involved and there will be no federal vaccination credential database. With the current political climate, terms like “passport” should be carefully considered because it naturally brings up fears about personal liberty, forced vaccinations, government overreach and a host of conspiracy theories. As security professionals, Echelon agrees that a laissez faire policy is better for our country in general. However, when clients request any type of common sense Covid compliance enforcement, we’ll provide our best personnel, guidance and support.

At the time of this blog [April 2021] approximately 30% of the country is fully vaccinated and clients are already requesting additional Covid related access control. What was basic enforcement of masking and social distancing compliance,will likely soon add some sort of access control credential check. So, how will the security guard industry play a role in this next step of Covid risk mitigation?

First, remember that systems like hand written cards have been used for decades to prove people have been inoculated against diseases. However,previous cards were on paper and easy to falsify. The most likely solution is an electronic record of vaccination, such as a QR code accessible on your cellphone. An electronic record will need to show which vaccine a person received, what batch, and date of vaccination. Unfortunately, the current system was designed for healthcare professional access, not consumers, so there is no universal way to prove anyone has been vaccinated. However, many governments and organizations around the world are developing and testing digital vaccine credentials in order to bring them to market first.

From a security operations perspective –too many alternate checking systems will cause confusion, making it difficult to access someone’s vaccination status in a real-world access control situation such as an airport, concert or sporting event. Another challenge is that any vaccination status requirement maybe considered discrimination against those who do not have equal access to the shot or those unwilling to get a shot. There also remains doubt about the transmission of the virus after inoculation.

Another industry-wide difficulty is that security guard companies are still recovering from the overwhelming economic impact of the pandemic. As clients cancelled security contracts, firms lost employees who took other jobs, or decided not to return to work until their unemployment and stimulus checks run out. Other security personnel do not want to take the risk of exposing themselves to virus while on duty. Regrettably, some clients assume that security guard companies have guards “sitting on the self”, ready to jump right back in where they left off over a year ago. The reality is that guard inventory will continue to be sporadic as security companies endeavor to meet the growing and immediate need ofold and new clients.

You may be surprised to learn that the United States security guard industry is comprised of over 1.2 million people, but there are no statistics available on how many have died due to Covid-19. However, according to the Office for National Statistics research, security guards in the U.K. (specifically males in this study) have died at one of highest rates of any profession.

It’s interesting to note that even with all the inherent risks, security guard work is still sought after because it remains a steady industry and a good road to a decent paycheck. No matter what the national climate –businesses depend on security guards to stop, deter and deescalate unwanted or illegal activity. Although public security and private protection is typically underappreciated,the pandemic and civil unrest have highlighted the essential role security guards play in the hierarchy of public safety and law enforcement support.

Security guard work isn’t easy, although It’s sometimes tedious with shifts on nights and weekends and assignments that are subject to change weekly. The best guards are flexible, reliable, alert, follow directives and practice good common sense.According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, security professionals often work without benefits at an hourly rate of $12.00 -$15.00. In 2019, security guards earned a median $29,680 annual wage with some positions offering health benefits and higher hourly rates from $15.00 to $25.00 for specially certified guards. In short, the security and protection industry is experiencing a hiring boom that has created over a hundred-thousand jobs over the last year, with the largest security companies leading the way.

The hiring frenzy is fueled by big businesses and national chains that don’t want their own untrained employees confronting customers about mask-wearing and social distancing. As clashes between personnel and patrons became common place, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, requested that businesses institute safety measures, including hiring contracted guards to implement compliance control. During the pandemic, security guards have been requested to act as per say public health officers law enforcement, often without having the experience or actual authority to do either.

For liability reasons, guard training and protocols often focuson what not to do, including no physical contact unless it’s self-defense. The most buttoned-up security companies train their guards in public safety andthe management of aggressive behavior, but many less professional security companies don’t. The best strategy to limit everyone’s liability is to develop clear directives for guards to enforce the client’s policies and call local police as backup as needed. When you consider all these on-the-job security challenges and add in extended unemployment and stimulus checks, it’s no wonder security companies continue to struggle with recruitment and industry turnover is so high.

Before the pandemic, a security officer’s main duties included, front desk posts, property patrols, directing deliveries, preventing vandalism, and deterring loss prevention.During a pandemic,a security presence is badly needed in retail, construction, property management and other industries for compliance of public health regulations such as wearing a mask and social distancing.

While there have been no national numberson instances of security officers attempting to enforce pandemic protocols, there have been many documented accounts of violent and deadly encounters with anti-maskers, Covid hoaxers, and virus-related conspiracy theorists. Unfortunately, many security guards find themselves at the center of a culture war where they risk infection, plus violent extremism. To help mitigate these additional risks, states like Pennsylvania have introduced legislation making it a felony to assault any employee tasked with Covid compliance enforcement.

With all that security officers must worry about and navigate every day, it’s time to give them more respect, a living wage, and a little compassion when you encounter them in public. Remember, they’re on duty to at the business owner’s request to keep their customers and property safe and secure.

As a security guard company grows, it often expands its footprint. In our case, that means being licensed in four states and having reliable strategic partners in several others, in order to serve our security partners. With dozens of security locations running at the same time, our Scheduling and Operations platforms empower Echelon to accomplish what used to be impossible — to be everywhere at once. We know exactly what each of our security guards is doing whenever they’re on duty. Our guards know they’re accountable for their time and our clients have confirmation that they’re getting what they paid for. Here’s a brief rundown of what platforms we use and how they benefit all stakeholders.

Our scheduling platform keeps everyone informed

Echelon’s uses a security guard scheduling platform called Humanity that let’s our employees know what shifts are available, where they need to be, what time and when, all in real-time. The platform helps guards stay on point by sending automatic alerts and reminders about their shifts. On the backend, it helps our office staff advise guards of any shift changes or new information while also allowing them to review shift hours. The platform is loaded as an app on the guard’s cell phone, or any device they choose and the entire staff can access it anytime, anywhere.

Geofencing keeps security guards honest

Our security officer scheduling platform also comes equipped with Geofence technology which allows us to specify a virtual boundary on a map using GPS. It’s basically an invisible fence that allows security companies to monitor the check-in and check-out of their security guards at jobsite locations. When a guard enters the geofence zone for their shift, the app sends an automatic report which documents the time spent in that location. If the guard leaves the jobsite during his shift, our Operations and Scheduling staff gets a GPS notification of the guard’s location.

Echelon uses Geofence for clients like construction sites, property management, institutions and other industries, which require shift confirmation. It’s an easy solution that allows us to document and file reports that are useful when issues or inquiries arise. The technology is affordable, user-friendly and doesn’t require complex setup or training.

Time cards provides shift records

In addition, our Humanity platform supplies a time card feature that can be crossed referenced to the Geofence reporting to make certain the guard who was scheduled showed up for his shift on time and at the right location. The time card feature confirms shift hours and the data is used to evaluate guard performance and double-check payroll numbers internally and externally.

Officer reports keeps guards on task

Echelon also utilizes an Operations platform called Officer Reports, which lets guards easily document their foot or vehicle patrols in real time. When we develop security directives with our clients, it includes specific posts or patrol schedules. Once the guard’s security protocols are finalized, Echelon can attach QR Code Tags at each check point of a guard’s tour. A QR code is a readable time-stamped optical label that informs us when the officer has performed his rounds as instructed. The guards simply scan the QR Code Tags with their cell phone as they make their rounds and the report is automatically sent to Operations for review. The guard also has the ability to take notes and photograph anything out of the ordinary; such as mechanical issues, jobsite hazards or unwanted activity.

Supervisor site visits build rapport with guards

Although our Operations and Scheduling platforms are nearly fool-proof in terms of verifying check-ins, reviewing hours, and confirming guard patrol duties — nothing beats an old school supervisor site visit. If something doesn’t look quite right on a report, or the client has any concerns, we send a Supervisor to the location to assess the situation. A site visit may be in the middle of the night, scheduled on-site, or a surprise. It’s not always to solve problems; sometimes we just observe them for a while or offer them a 15-minute coffee break. Once a Supervisor has firsthand knowledge, they can either mitigate the problem immediately or discuss the challenge with our team to determine the best solution. When you consider all the built-in redundancies in our process, platforms and people, we can actually supervise and manage all our security locations at once.

Clients sometimes ask why our hourly security guard rate is higher than industry competitors. The short answer is: we pay our security guards more because you get what you pay for. Behind the scenes, providing professional security services requires around the clock management of a full-service infrastructure. Operations works closely with accounting so every expense and guard hour are accounted for, so our clients know exactly what they’re paying for. To that end, we’d like to present a look at the unseen costs behind providing the best in professional security guard services.

Licensing Costs

To conduct business as a security guard company, you must be licensed as a Private Detective by the County, plus have a separate Business License authorized by the Township. To obtain a license, you must have a minimum of 5 years criminal justice or law enforcement experience. The application and licensing feesa re a few hundred dollars each and must be renewed every few years. Without these licenses, you cannot employ security guards or open satellite offices. Technically, security guard employees work under the business owner’s license to operate.

Insurance & Bonding Costs

Due to the inherent risks involved in security guard services, our biggest single expense is General Liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance coverage. Our insurance premium rates are examined annually and paid monthly based on our full-time payroll. Our insurance costs alone run about six figures annually and are subject to rise if law suits are filed. With clients like construction site watches, school security, warehouse patrols, and retail establishment posts, security companies are occasionally named in law suits that have nothing to do with our performance or services.

Healthcare Costs

Federal law requires that security firms offer healthcare to all full-time employees. In our case, only about 10% of our employees participate in the plan. We offer vision and dental plans that basically split the cost of healthcare with our employees. We promote our healthcare as part of our benefits package, which includes paid time off and national holidays. This expense is always changing based on the political climate and tends to climb each year.

Recruiting Costs

Our security guard hiring process uses new technology, combined with old school recruiting expertise. Posting on multiple job boards comes with a monthly fee, but creates a steady flow of hundreds of resumes each month that are carefully reviewed by our salaried HR Director and support team. Our video interview platform also comes at a monthly cost and facilitates a more streamlined approach to face-to-face interviews. Even when the pandemic is over, we’ll continue paying for the video platform because it has enhanced efficiency. Each candidate is thoroughly vetted, including State and Federal background check certifications paid for by our company after a brief guard probationary period.

Training Costs

Once a guard is hired, they’re trained by our experienced in-house Operations, Security and Human Resource team. The curriculum includes, classroom learning, instructional videos purchased from prominent national security organizations, proprietary materials, reporting and shift scheduling technology instruction, general orientation,plus on the job management and supervision. All staff and materials are not billable. Specialized training, such as SORA, NASRO or ACT 235 Armed, is paid for by the officers, since they retain the certificate. Add in the cost of branded uniforms, radios, officer reporting software, and the expenses for guard training are substantial.

Operations & Supervisor Costs

In order for guards to perform well, they need the proper training, direction, technology, discipline and motivation. This management is made possible by our full-time supervisors. Supervisors make the initial job site visit, develop security assessments, write security directives for the guards to follow, review shift check-in/check-out times, oversee job training, respond to guard questions, fix problems and make surprise location inspections.

Finance Costs

Every hour a guard works is accounted for by our Finance department with support and confirmation of hours from our full-time Operations and Scheduling staff. Like nearly every business with a large number of employees, we retain the services of a national payroll company to be sure our people are paid correctly. Since Scheduling is a 24/7 task, we maintain a staff of 3-4 schedulers at all times.

The Value of Peace of Mind

We all know how frustrating it is to have a question or complaint and not be able to get a real person on the line to resolve it in a timely manner. When you hire Echelon, you’re not just paying for security guards – you’re paying for the value of an experienced security solutions team that understands business and respects our clientele.

When we peek behind the curtain and add up all the unbillable expenses, it’s easier to understand the actual cost of providing truly reliable and effective security guard solutions. In an effort to be transparent, Echelon often takes the time to outline these unseen costs to our clients. In this way, they understand the benefit of paying a little more for the peace of mind that comes from working with a true security partner.

In the U.S., construction site crimes are quite common. However, not many contractors and builders implement strict security measures. A construction site should be protected from any form of vandalism, theft, and anything that can delay the business operations.

As a general rule, in order to avoid trespassers and thieves, there are security measures that you should enforce. Here are some safety tips to follow on site:

  • First, you have to secure the perimeter and enclose your construction site. Build a security fence along your property of business.
  • Next, there should be enough lighting especially at night. Provide lighting to specific areas of the construction site.
  • Do not just allow anyone to enter (and exit) the premises. There should be limited access to the construction site. If you can, install lockable gates to certain areas allocated for storage.
  • Speaking of lockable gates, invest on high quality locks so that trespassers cannot easily tamper with the locks. Additionally, never leave keys anywhere. Never keep the locks open at all times. It is very counterproductive if you install high quality locks, and then, you just leave the gates open for everyone to enter.
  • Clear the area near your security fence, and place warning signs to refrain unauthorized persons from entering the construction site.
  • After a long day, inspect the construction site before locking the gates to make sure nothing has been tampered or stolen.
  • Limit the vehicle access to the construction site, and if they need to, visitors should park outside the site. Allocate certain areas for visitors and other guests to park, and they should only enter through a designated entrance.
  • If the scope of the site is too big, you might want to hire security guards to ensure the safety of the location. These guards can patrol the construction. Additionally, you should be able to coordinate with them using a communication device.
  • Have a CCTV monitoring system installed in order to capture every visitor or guest entering the premises. Everyone, entering and exiting the construction site, should be monitored.

A Construction Site Security Plan to Help You Save Money

The price of lost materials or damaged equipment can have a huge impact on your business. Delays, due to vandalism and theft, would mean work delays. This will hamper the operations of your business, and it will lead to the damage of your brand’s image.

Bigger companies can implement a forceful construction site security protocols because they have the budget. However, small contractors, more often than not, neglect these security measures. This is where we can help you!

At Echelon, we will let you choose from a variety of construction site security options. We can even customize your security protocols depending on your allocated budgetary demands and changing needs. To inquire for a quote, you can call us at 1-610-831-0277 or email us at sales@epsagents.com.  Visit the Echelon Protection & Surveillance website for more information.

When you own a business, the first thing you need is, of course, to protect it. Knowing how to protect your business, along with your employees and equipment, can ensure that your business will grow. Hence, it is necessary to take construction security very seriously.

Yes, there would be risks involved. After all, each construction site will have its own problems. However, I am sure that you will agree with me when I say that there are some practices that can lessen construction site hazards.

General Safety Measures for a Construction Site

Below, I have listed a number of tips to implement a better construction security. This way, you can plan better, and eventually, develop a construction security plan that perfectly fits your specific business:

  • Start with writing a security policy for the construction site. Make sure to put it on paper and everyone involved has a copy.
  • As I have said early, each construction site will encounter specific risks. You have to identify these unique threats in order to formulate an effective construction site security plan.
  • In any business, there should be a hierarchy to follow. You should assign certain people to supervise the site. Appoint someone reliable for the organizational security responsibilities.
  • Just because you have assigned an administrative security personnel, it does not mean that other employees will not do their part. There should be security awareness from the top to the bottom.
  • Coordinate with the local police and fire departments before starting a construction. Moreover, get in touch with the businesses located in your property. Inform them to report if they noticed anything suspicious on the construction site.
  • Encourage all your workers to report theft and vandalism immediately, and they have to report all the losses to the police.
  • Lastly, you should always keep a log of all security records. Whether minor or major incidents, there should be a record of it.

Need Help with Your Security Plan?

At Echelon, we provide solutions to your problems. Echelon Protection & Surveillance is dedicated to secure your business. We understand that each business is unique so we will formulate a specific construction security plan that fits your needs.

Echelon Protection & Surveillance can guarantee highly-trained guards because we are members of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Building Owners & Managers Association, and many more.

Before implementing a security plan, Echelon Protection & Surveillance will conduct an on-site inspection of the site. A preliminary site evaluation is a crucial step for us to develop a comprehensive and robust security plan.

Once we have identified the key points, we can discuss with you a detailed security plan based on our initial observation. If you want a price quote, please do not hesitate to call 1-610-831-0277 or email us at sales@epsagents.com. You can also get in touch using the contact form on our website.

The minimum wage dispute goes back to the 1938 New Deal legislation that established the first minimum wage, and the endless fight over the government’s economic role in regulated capitalism and corporate influence over public wellbeing. Today, workers making minimum wage earn less per hour than their counterparts did half a century ago, while CEO’s average 320 times as much over the same period of time. You don’t have to be an economist to know that’s not right.

An apolitical look at decades of evidence shows raising the minimum wage is essential to the economic wellbeing of tens of millions of Americans, and even worst-case studies suggest a net neutral effect. The bottom line is that raising the U.S. minimum wage is not a magic bullet or a recipe for economic collapse, but it will help solve some serious issues for Americans of all parties. In short, Echelon decided to ignore political ideologies– and raise our employee starting rate to $15.00 per hour. Here’s how we did it and what we learned.

Watch the Market

Over the past several years, Echelon struggled more than ever to hire security guards. In many industries, hourly workers will jump jobs for less than a dollar per hour increase. We noticed that big brands like Walmart, Costco, Starbucks, Target, Best Buy and Wayfair had raised their hourly wages to $15.00 and knew that if we wanted to remain competitive in our recruiting, we had to pay our guards more. In addition, promoting our new starting rate on job boards help lift our resume responses.

Pay Attention to Retention

We noticed that our guards, on the lower end of the pay scale $10.00 – $12.00, were less reliable and generally unmotivated. They worked a full week, often overnights and weekends, and still weren’t making ends meet. When we raised our starting rate to $15.00, it created greater loyalty because guards valued their job more. They also knew our rate was higher than most other security companies, which created better retention.

Merit Based Advancement Policy

Creating a $15.00 starting rate put us ahead of the minimum wage curve. However, we were concerned that existing guards may be upset that they had seniority, but were being paid the same as new hires. As a result, we changed our internal policy to explain that pay raises are merit based, not time based. This meant all guards start at $15.00 and if you perform well, you’re eligible for a raise after a year. Of course, guards who obtained special certifications could be paid more.

A Few Dollars More

The current pandemic upended the entire economy and changed all the status quo in many industries. We turned this negative into a positive by reassessing every aspect of our operations. This ultimately led to raising our client rates. Now, it cost us more to recruit, pay and insure guards and we let our clients know this translated to a higher quality security services. During times of great uncertainty, civil unrest, elevated stress and record unemployment – people need security services. We decided that clients that can’t pay a few dollars more for better service are not a good fit for us anymore. The outcome was that no clients left due to the rate increase and all were more satisfied overall.

Research Studies Support our Decision

The latest research on the effects of raising the minimum wage by leading experts in the United States and Brittan in 2019 found that even if some workers lose jobs, those costs are greatly surpassed by increased wages for those who keep their jobs. If employment does fall, it’s by less than wages rise by, and benefits low-wage workers. The real danger to lower-wage hourly workers is the technology that will ultimately replace them… but that’s another blog.

Recent national economic studies show only about 5% of the American workforce currently earn less than $9.00 per hour. Consider that states like New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts, DC, Maryland and Illinois are all steadily increasing their minimum mages to $15 an hour, while pastoral lower-wage states like Maine, Missouri and Arkansas are slowly increasing their minimum wage to $11.00 or $12.00 per hour.

This wage data disproves the old talking point that “raising the minimum wage will hurt small and midsize businesses” because the increase is neither too much or too fast. The current Raise the Wage Act lays out a plan to slowly build wages to $15.00 by 2025. The Act will lift pay for almost 21% of the U.S. workforce and be the first federal minimum wage increase in over ten years.

In addition, states without a $15.00 minimum wage, pay more for public support programs for underpaid workers and their families. Social welfare programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, cost federal and state taxpayers over $107 billion a year. That’s why more and more industry organizations representing thousands of small businesses support a $15 minimum wage.

Studies based on decades of research also show that there is no correlation between tax cuts and deregulation benefiting low and medium-income earners. Who wants a “trickle” anyway? Smart companies realize that a successful hiring strategy includes finding and keeping good people, because better employee retention means less turnover, satisfied customers, and more focus on growing your business.


By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & SurveillanceFeb-Blog-Regulation-Compliance-Policy-Rules
Word count: 618

Insiders know that in everyday practice, the security guard industry is the most poorly regulated in the emergency response field. While law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, recovery & response managers, security analysts and even lifeguards must comply with state laws — security guard companies are not held to the same standard of training and certification. In fact, each state has its own unique rules and regulations regarding security guard qualifications.

  • 40 states mandate a license to become a security officer.
  • 10 states; Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and Pennsylvania do NOT require a license to become a security officer.
  • 22 of 50 states require no training for unarmed security guards, which includes 15 that require no training for armed guards.

Some clients wrongly assume there’s no difference between one security guard company and another. However, if a state doesn’t mandate security guard training, it’s up to the individual security firms to provide an appropriate level of training to adequately secure and protect people and property. Proper training benefits all stakeholders because both security firms and consumers want a clear delineation of duties, documentation and accountability with as little risk as possible.

As a security company licensed to operate in several states, it’s much easier to answer the question “how are your guards trained?” when we can tell clients that all our officers are trained according to state security guard curriculum. Instruction includes several days of education, testing and periodic recertification. As an example, we are able to tell our New Jersey and Maryland clients that NJ has the Security Officer Registration Act (SORA) and MD security guards fall are under the jurisdiction of the Maryland State Police Licensing Division. Then we share the specific training aspects of each so our clients have clarity and confidence regarding guard responsibilities, skill set and legal limits.

Over time, consumers of security guard services have begun to demand price over effective threat mitigation. This has slowly turned the selling of security into a commodity with very little thought for guard qualifications and performance. If firms can’t charge a fair rate, they end up paying guards less, which causes more employee turn-over and less experienced and motivated guards.

All security guard salesmen will promote that their officers are the most experienced, highly trained and certified. However, unless training is standardized by the state, most security guards only receive a few hours training and orientation plus on the job training, in addition to whatever experience they’ve already acquired. That is not to say that less security experience cannot have its positives, such as; no bad habits brought over from other security companies, fresh perspectives and insights, bringing additional professional and technical skills from other industries, and the motivation that comes from starting a new career.

At Echelon, our standard vetting and training process for non-state certified guards includes:

  1. A comprehensive resume review.
  2. Video Introduction evaluation.
  3. In-Person Interview assessment.
  4. State & Federal Background Checks, plus a Child Safety Certificate.
  5. Full day training course, consisting of three videos, personal instruction, technical training and general orientation.
  6. On the job training with experienced guard or supervisor.

Today, the security guard industry is suffering from a lack of requests for quality security guard services on the part of the buyers, and a limited amount of certified and well-trained security officers from security firms. The entire issue is made worse by the lack of a regulatory environment to impose quality control throughout the entire industry. At a time of historically high civil unrest and domestic terrorism, security companies, clients, law enforcement and government leaders must get together to raise the regulation bar of the private security industry.




By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 1090

Training-OrientationIf you were in need of full-time or part-time workers — the last few years have been a recruiting nightmare. First, there were no workers. Then, there were too many. Then, the pandemic curveball changed everything again.

According to the latest Labor Department data, nearly 59% of the United States workforce are now paid on an hourly basis. Out of those 78 million American hourly workers, 70% are under 30 years old, 8% are in their 40s, and another 8% are in their 50s and 60s.

One of the main recruiting challenges for employers is that the average annual turnover rate for hourly workers is at least 49%. Of course, some industries have better retention rates than others based on factors like employee satisfaction and the economy. In addition, the growth of the “gig economy” (a popular term used for companies like Uber, DoorDash, Gopuff, and Instacart that hire freelance hourly workers) has made it even more competitive to recruit hourly workers. About 57 million Americans have found work in the gig economy, which is almost one-third of the entire working population. These hiring complexities don’t even include the pandemic ramifications, which cannot be fully assessed yet.

Below are several issues that have impacted security guard recruiting efforts.

  • Nearly 100,000 businesses that shuttered due to the pandemic are now out of business
  • Many part-time security officers are afraid to return to work for fear of exposure to Covid-19
  • Some security guards make more collecting unemployment and stimulus checks
  • Parents and employers must accommodate daycare and virtual learning schedules
  • Unarmed and armed security guards are concerned about violent civil unrest
  • Many untraditional candidates are now applying for security jobs

After several years of struggling to recruit security guards because of record low unemployment, the whiplash of record unemployment, plus the uncertainty of the pandemic, has forced progressive security companies to re-think their entire process.

Here’s how we rebooted our recruiting strategy over the past year.


We assembled a recruiting team led by our HR Director, responsible for all research, daily process, reports, interviews, training, orientation, monthly meetings and weekly reports. We understood the entire economy was changing due to the pandemic and made recruiting our priority. We couldn’t afford to miss any recruiting opportunities because that would affect our ability to service our remaining clients as well as any new business we were lucky enough to acquire.


Our team began to explore new recruiting ideas and technology, including new job boards and platforms. Our challenge was to reach a wider demographic of potential security guard candidates who all used media differently. We kept in mind that the pandemic and resulting economic downturn also was creating a prospective new group of skilled workers who had recently become unemployed. Informed by national research, we discussed ideas, assigned tasks, and began to execute our plan. We used a classic overall marketing strategy.

  1. Test new recruiting ideas (observe data and look for insights)
  2. Measure all results (adjust messaging and process as needed)
  3. Repeat successes (don’t double-down on ideas that didn’t yield results)


We started by updating our current security guard job ads by highlighting the issues that are most important to hourly workers, according to national recruiting research. As you rewrite your recruiting ads, remember the classic advertising adage WIFM — “what’s in it for me.” Meaning, the main thing your candidate audience is thinking is, how do I benefit from this information.

Examples of how we improved our recruiting ads to increase response.

  • $15.00 starting pay rate – Highest industry starting rate!
  • Healthcare & PTO benefits – You’re eligible if you work FT / 32 hours per week
  • Work close to home – No long commutes or big vehicle expenses
  • Flexible days & hours – Choice of job schedule
  • Start work immediately – Get paid in 10 days
  • Work nights and/or weekends – Keep your days free
  • No experience necessary – We train you
  • On the job experience – Build your industry resume
  • Clear path to advancement – Grow with our company
  • Make your own luck – Reinvent yourself


After reviewing and demoing several job boards we switched from the underperforming Indeed to Betterteam. It was less expensive and yielded 7 X the response rate. We went from about 100 resumes per month to over 700 in the first month!


Once we created a pipeline of weekly resumes, we needed an efficient way to evaluate applicants quickly and safely. The obvious choice was video interviews. After testing several new video platforms, we settled on myinterview, which enables us to invite best applicants to take a prerecorded video interview where they answer 5-10 basic questions. Additionally, we developed a 1-minute introduction video in which our CEO personally encourages applicants to take their video interview. The platform created many recruiting organizational efficiencies while being applicant friendly.


We negotiated a 75% discount with a billboard company that ran for 3 months on a major highway near our main office. The billboard was designed to work hard by echoing our recruiting messaging. In addition, we updated our website’s Careers Page and reposted recruiting ads on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Most companies stop advertising during times of economic uncertainty. However, smart businesspeople know this is the time that ad rates are lower and the market is less competitive.


  • 781 resume applicants
  • 204 candidates were invited to take video interviews
  • 25 video interviews were completed
  • 10 face-to-face interviews were scheduled
  • 5 new security guards were hired!

Our resume response was 7 X our old monthly average. This allowed us to invite many more applicants to take our video interview. Based on how many people actually took the video interview, we decided to try to increase our interviewee numbers by adding a short personal video from our CEO encouraging them to “take the next step.” We will measure the impact of the video on our interview response numbers and adjust the message as necessary. If we’re able to get more applicants to take the video interview, that will in-turn increase our face-to-face interviews, and ultimately the final number of security guards hired each month. To date, we’re pleased with our monthly hiring average, but believe we can do better. We’ve also noticed that our new recruiting efforts have yielded a higher caliber of security guard officer in terms of professionalism and reliability.


By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 1036

man-with-scribble-Security Companies Must Make Friends with Uncertainty

Since the Covid-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency, every industry has been affected. No business was immune, but small businesses suffered greatly as 100,000 closed forever. However, some businesses fared better than others because either they were deemed an essential business and allowed to stay open, or they happen to have been a company that benefited from the products and services that were in demand as a result of the pandemic. As restaurants failed, food delivery apps like DoorDash and supermarkets thrived. As movie theatres reeled, streaming services like Netflix prospered. As Malls pulled their gates, online retailers like Amazon soared. And while hotels, convention centers and event venues closed their doors, Workspace Solutions and online conference companies like Zoom, boomed.

Although essential worker categories varied by state, many major sectors overlapped. Industries like energy, child care, water, agriculture, food production, grocery stores, hardware stores, mechanics, transportation, nonprofits, social service organizations, and trades like construction workers, electricians, plumbers and security companies were able to keep working to serve the public.

As an essential business, we were able to stay open to service our clients and support law enforcement as needed. If police were otherwise engaged, certain types of security work, such as patrols, protection, surveillance, fire or flood watches would find its way to regional security companies. As it turned out, civil unrest was a serious national concern as several crises rocked the United States at the same time.

  1. Lack of a national pandemic plan contributed to 200,000 deaths, record unemployment and economic chaos. Each political party blamed “the other” as culture wars and conspiracy theories erupted over the most basic facts and issues.
  2. Government-imposed coronavirus shutdowns resulted in armed anti-lockdown demonstrations supported by the current administration.
  3. Thousands of protestors took to the streets against police brutality and decades of bad civil rights policy. Frustration, violence and property damage ensued while outside agitators poured fuel on the fire.
  4. Extreme weather caused massive floods and wild fires which taxed the resources of states already plagued by pandemic suffering.
  5. Mixed messages regarding all of the above from the Whitehouse, government, scientists, public health officials and the media culturally divided America even further.

How should businesses proceed during a time of such extraordinary discontent, disorder and uncertainty? I can only speak based on my direct experience as CEO of Echelon Protection & Surveillance. Security Companies Must Assess, Plan and Pivot:

Assess. Don’t Guess.

Very quickly, we understood that the pandemic was going to change everything, especially the way we conduct business. Common sense dictated that we’d lose all clients involving large groups of people. We anticipated losing events, hospitality, school and retail security clients – and watched them disappear almost overnight.

As unemployment climbed from a low of 4.2% to a historic high of 14%, we found that many of our security guard personnel were afraid to return to work for health reasons. We respected their health concerns, but offered hazard pay as an incentive to return to work. By law, we also informed employees that if they refused work, it may affect their unemployment status. Many people simply calculated that based on unemployment benefits, plus the CARES Act economic relief, they could make more money staying home than going back to work. Understanding these dynamics allowed us to begin to plan our way through Covid-19. Our first goal became to bring our monthly budget in line with our reduced revenue to protect all stakeholders.

Plan for Sustainability.

Over time, we began to see some industry trends caused by the pandemic and methodically reviewed clients and expenses for sustainability, practicing what Buddhist’s call “beginner’s mind.” We examined expenses weekly, made tough cuts, prioritized long-term clients, resigned accounts that weren’t profitable, concentrated on collections, initiated operations efficiencies, retooled recruiting, renegotiated contracts, reconsidered our marketing strategy, and increased rates based on demand. Our mantra was “be decisive, but don’t make decisions based on panic.”

When we learned that the Government was offering a Payroll Protection Plan (PPP), we applied, secured the loan, and carefully complied to the changing guidelines. The PPP loan basically worked as intended by allowing us to maintain our payroll and bills for 16 weeks, while we pondered next steps. Once we were satisfied that we’d considered every cost cutting option, our CFO created a new budget projection to guide us through the end of the year.

Pivot to Opportunity

As the pandemic continues, the companies must be flexible to navigate multiple challenges while searching for opportunities within the crisis. Businesses must pivot or become a statistic. As we sharpened our pencils on the financial side, we kept an eye out for emerging opportunities.

We found that the high unemployment rate boosted our recruiting efforts. We witnessed competitors who specialized in school districts, large event and nightclub security either go out of business or pause their advertising. A less competitive online arena gave us a marketing edge, so we reallocated some of our advertising dollars into targeted recruiting billboards and shuffled our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to focus on our most profitable regions and services. In short, we focused on our strengths. The result was the phone ringing with more qualified leads.

In addition, competitors became short-staffed which caused operations problems. As a result, prospective clients had less options for security providers, so our sales and hourly rate increased. Client communication also improved because all parties were aware of the inherent new business disruptions associated with the pandemic.

We noticed employees were more grateful as they watched millions across America lose their jobs. This allowed us to revisit employee roles and responsibilities for maximum effectiveness. In the early stages of Covid-19, several employees decided to leave for personal reasons, including: caring for family elderly members, childcare challenges, early retirement and health concerns. This allowed us to reduce our salary expenses even further, and prompted us to reassign office space for better collaboration.

Over the last 6 months I learned that the security industry is bulletproof. We can take a direct economic hit and survive. Even in the worst case scenario, we’re truly essential. Surfing the wave of 2020 is equal parts observation, planning, taking the long view and making friends with uncertainty.












ACME Guard_with mask

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 650

ACME Guard_with maskLike most industries around the world, security companies of all sizes are experiencing financial losses as they struggle to navigate the unprecedented business challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, the businesses that used security guards to interact with the public have shut down, while other businesses that use security to patrol buildings, jobsites and campuses have maintained or decreased their security plans during the shutdown. There have also been requests for emergency security services as clients respond to this novel and ever-changing set of circumstances. The increased requests for security services specifically related to the lockdown include but are not limited to:

  • Grocery and wholesale stores that require additional crowd control
  • Shipping warehouses that need employee social distancing enforcement
  • Car dealerships and auto malls that have inventory sitting unprotected
  • Property management and residential groups mitigating civil unrest
  • Cultural and religious institutions that fear panic induced hate crimes
  • Shuttered wholesalers or retailers with valuable merchandise
  • Construction and building companies that require jobsite and equipment watches
  • Healthcare facilities impacted by the pandemic

Whether it’s protecting buildings, equipment, inventory or educating and enforcing social distancing within the public or private sector, many industries may discover a need for security services in this unprecedented international crisis. However, it seems certain that event security will be the last to restart until widespread testing is available. As a result, security companies that specialize in event staffing, access and crowd control for large venues will suffer financially. Smaller events, such as concerts, holiday gatherings, celebrations, festivals, runs and fairs will continue to be cancelled as well.

With so many clients cancelling or postponing services, many companies have had to layoff, furlough or cut salaries in order to survive – causing a lack of security guard availability. This has caught security firm owners in a double-bind of having to reduce staff and expenses, while still maintaining the ability to respond to emergency requests. Due to this shortage of security guards, some corporations have had to rely on “security service consolidators” to provide the coverage they require. Although consolidators can often provide the national coverage chain stores and franchises need, they do so via a network of un-vetted regional security partners which often results in a lack of quality control or supervision.

This day-to-day uncertainty has caused a variety of new human resource and staffing complications for security companies. For instance, many officers who are collecting unemployment compensation, are turning down shift work because they’d rather stay home safe and avoid the risk of becoming infected and exposing their family. Many guards have chosen to take other work to make ends meet and may not return to work after the crisis. Those guards who want to work will require hazard pay and professional personal protection equipment (PPE) such as gloves, face masks and hand sanitizer in order to do their job safely within Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Remember that before Covid-19, unemployment was at a record low and recruiting was the most competitive it has been in decades. As we post this blog, the pandemic has caused over 26 million Americans to lose their jobs, which is more than all the jobs added over the past 10 years. This complete reversal in the job market will make recruiting quality security guards easier going forward.

The best plan of action for security companies is common sense: Stay calm, gather information, be flexible, don’t make rash decisions, communicate with employees, and adhere to state and federal directives in order to make the most informed decisions. Security industry leaders and influencers must look deeply at this national emergency to determine how they can be most effective and helpful, while looking for the hidden business opportunities within this crisis. The best of the best will come through this storm, better prepared for the next security challenge.

Security companies are essential during the Coronavirus crisis.

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 634

usa-flag-mask-with-eagle_blogThe U.S. Government classifies security professionals as essential during the Coronavirus crisis. Not only are security guard firms exempt from state lockdowns but we have a special responsibility to maintain our normal work schedule during this national emergency. In fact, security guard companies like Echelon must play a dual role because we are tasked with continuing to provide security services to our clients while assisting law enforcement in their regional efforts to keep order and flatten the curve of the coronavirus. As the crisis progresses, it’s likely the National Guard will also be deployed to help at hospital sites to prevent panic related unwanted and illegal activity. However, the public and private sector will continue to rely upon security officer firms for guard posts and patrols of essential businesses – as well as those unnecessary businesses, facilities and institutions that must close their doors, leave their jobsite, board-up their building, close their lot or secure their campus.

One of the best ways security companies and their staff can assist during this unprecedented international health crisis is to understand how to identify, protect ourselves and act in response to the virus if we’re exposed. Below are helpful recommendations from the Center for Disease Control for security protocols regarding security guard officers, supervisors and office staff as well as the general public.

  • Know the warning signs and symptoms of the coronavirus. Stay observant in the office, on post and while patrol. Be aware of who you are coming in contact with and watch for signs of exposure. The symptoms of COVID-19 may include a tickle in the throat, a high temperature, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms after exposure can may emerge in 2 -14 days.
  • Protect yourself and colleagues from contact with the coronavirus. Guards should practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet away from co-workers and the public – especially those showing virus symptoms. Wash your hands several times per day and try NOT to touch your face. If you have trained EMS or EMT personnel on staff, use them to assess anyone suspected of having the COVID-19 virus. If trained healthcare professionals are not available, security guards should instruct anyone with symptoms to self-isolate and call their physician immediately.
  • Development of a corporate coronavirus plan of action. A companywide plan should include how to limit employee office and jobsite exposure, work space and common area cleaning and fraternization protocols, information sharing regarding best practices, the latest expert health information, projected employee government relief options, as well as who is able to work from home and who is needed in the office for everyday operations.
  • Purchase and use professional protection equipment (PPE) to mitigate exposure: If available, purchase and distribute face masks, disposable gloves, single use coveralls, protective eyewear, hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes for surfaces. Take off security uniform and office clothes and wash them as soon as you enter your home each day to protect your loved ones.
  • If you’re exposed to any individual with COVID-19: Watch yourself for symptoms, clean and disinfect your clothing and gear before you reuse it. Make sure that you document any possible exposure. Self-isolate, consult a doctor, or get tested if you think you may have contracted the virus.

Remember, security professionals are a key component in public safety, helping to combat the coronavirus and keeping your region, community, co-workers and family safe. Eat well, stay hydrated, open windows for fresh air, exercise, get plenty of sleep and shelter in place as much as possible. Although there are still many unknowns, we learn more each day and it is certain that current unprecedented public health measures like social distancing, sheltering in place, and self-quarantine are impermanent.

Let us not forget – we are truly all in this together!



By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 860

caronavirus-blogNew deaths each week, stock market instability and a rate cut by the Fed, means businesses of all kinds should cautiously plan for the overall impact of the coronavirus in the United States. History suggests that big economies like the U.S. are naturally more at risk when people stay home to avoid a virus. It’s not hard to understand that if factories across the globe slow or stop production the supply chain will be disrupted to the point of “supply shock” and lead to a worldwide delay in business. However, we may have more to worry about from the “demand shock” that could develop if people begin to stay home for any extended period of time. No matter the circumstances, the Coronavirus will be contained, run its course and eventually stop. In the next few months we speculate there will be an increased need for security services that protect people and property – while facilities and institutions that temporarily close will employ less security guards until they reopen. Let’s review some key industries and how they could be impacted by the Coronavirus.

Schools are already being temporarily shut down and that means hourly security guards would lose work for an unknown period of time. However, many educational facilities are inquiring about pandemic planning that includes online learning. According to the latest information from health experts, warmer weather may slow the spread of the coronavirus as it does with the seasonal flu.

Construction would likely slow down or see costly delays either because workers are sick or the building materials are not being delivered on schedule. Projects in-progress often have millions in construction materials and equipment on site that will need to be protected for the duration of the delays. A standard “construction watch” could last for months longer than usual if delays become a reality.

Arenas that host concerts, sporting, cultural and entertainment events may be attended less, cancelled or televised without an audience as people choose to avoid unnecessary public interaction for fear of the disease. Professional sports is big business in the U.S. that would effect numerous supporting industries. Access control protocols may start to include mandated hand sanitation stations overseen by security guards. If event, expo and convention centers close down for any period of time, many services that work in tandem with the venue such as food & beverage services, retail, event staff, maintenance crews, parking control and security will be financially effected.

The healthcare industry will suffer as people stop going to their dentist, doctor, the gym or the hospital during an outbreak if a visit isn’t necessary. Health spending is 17% of the U.S. economy. Security companies may see increased requests from health facilities due to long lines, patient stress, unruliness and access control. Infectious disease experts will surely help limit the spread of the virus and work quickly to find a treatment or cure. In addition, many American workers lack paid time off and about 8.5% more don’t have health care coverage. This means people will be less likely to seek proper medical attention or have the financial choice of staying home from work if they’re ill. Going to work when you’re sick is one of the fastest ways the Coronavirus would spread in countries without universal healthcare.

Restaurants could surely experience a drop in business as patrons begin to fear that the cooks, kitchen and wait staff may spread the virus. The restaurant industry makes up a large part of the U.S. gross domestic product. This has already resulted in public panic-buying in some areas as people begin to hoard food, disinfectant products, masks and other perceived necessities. Consumer hoarding is a real problem because it may inadvertently cause actual healthcare workers to go without the basic supplies they need on the front lines.

Retail panic could in-turn spark an increased need for security guards at grocery stores, big box wholesalers and hardware stores. Brick and mortar retail stores are already suffering due to the ease of online shopping. Why take the chance of going to the mall when you have the option of shopping online with no health risk?

The travel, hospitality and tourism industry is already being effected. Americans take about three flights per year on average. Recently, Italy, Iran, China and South Korea were moved into “Warning Level 3” the highest CDC notice level in which travelers are directed to avoid these countries. If travel is absolutely necessary, the CDC advises travelers to speak with their health-care provider regarding best practices. The public and private sector are already postponing and cancelling personal, business and educational trips of all kinds, especially flights and cruises. If this continues, it will have wide reaching effects for retail, hotels, restaurants, rentals, and tourism destinations of all shapes and sizes.

To date, there has been no talk about locking down entire American cities. However, experts are asking citizens in affected areas to practice “voluntary social distancing.” If you own a security guard company, it’s prudent to tell your employees not to come to work sick and provide a paid sick days policy for part time security guards who can’t afford to miss a few days.

2 security agents at basketball game_1

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 735

2 security agents at basketball game_1As you may know, Pennsylvania has mandated that all schools comply with the new ACT 67 School Security Personnel Law which requires school security guards to complete the Basic School Resource Officer Course of Instruction offered by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) or an equivalent approved by Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). Those currently serving as school security guards must complete training by early 2020 to continue to work at any Pennsylvania school that receives state funding.

Act 67, Senate Bill 621, in the 2019-20 legislative session makes changes to Article XIII-C of the School Code, including changing the title to “School Security.” Most of the changes involve school security personnel, including: school police officers, school resource officers (SROs) and school security guards. Learn more about the new ACT 67 School Security Personnel Law at https://www.psba.org/2019/07/act-67-of-2019-school-security-personnel/

Although all state funded PA schools and associated security guard providers must comply, there are a few perspective challenges to the new ACT 67 School Security Personnel Law that I’d like to share.

The first hurdle is the cost. Training is about $500.00 for a 40 hour class. If a guard is a salaried school district employee, the school would pay for the training as continuing education. However, if the guard is employed by a security guard company, it’s unclear who should pay for the training because the guard is a 1099 independent contractor. In this case, it’s most likely the guard would pay for their own training because the certification benefits them directly in terms of marketability. If the security company invests in the guard training, they take the risk of the guard leaving the company after they’ve been trained.

According to the current law, school guards must be trained within the next 6 months. This means that most districts would have to hire several temporary guards for a week, while their proprietary guards are receiving their 40 hours of training. The best solution would be to schedule guard training during the summer, when most school guards are not working due to summer break. However, the timing of the new law doesn’t currently allow for this type of planning.

Another challenge will be guard call-outs. In the past, if a PA school security guard called out sick or took a PTO day, they could easily be replaced with another guard who had the same basic training and PA mandated vetting, including child abuse, FBI and PA background checks. Now that PA guards must be ACT 67 certified, it will not be easy for schools and security companies to pay $500 for guard training for employees that are only used as a back-up for school call-outs. The district’s only option may be to train a few salaried employees, so someone is always on staff to cover guard call-outs.

Often, new laws of this nature feature some type of built-in exemption, waiver, or grandfather clause which allows similar certifications or training to be accepted. These exceptions create a middle path of compliance until the new law can be fully implemented and all stakeholders are up to speed.

PA counties or townships don’t have the resources to set up a district ACT 67 enforcement process in addition to their current responsibilities. However, no law has teeth unless it includes a mechanism of enforcement. To start, this new ACT 67 School Security Personnel Law must be policed by the school district itself. The only way for the school to comply with the law is to strictly forbid any school security guard to work on campus unless the school district is in possession of every guards training certificate. The school would also be responsible for recertifying each guard as required by the law.

No law will be able to please everyone, but in my opinion, ACT 67 is a good idea, because until now, there was no professional standard for security guard training in PA. Setting guard standards also benefits the security industry as a whole, because it keeps low-cost security providers from selling schools on price instead of safety. There are hundreds of news items each year featuring un-vetted, unqualified security guards who caused problems instead of solving them. If the commonwealth is serious about keeping our students, faculty and staff as safe as possible – certified security guard training is a good common sense way to start.


By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 651

Bouncer-Guard-PhotoSince I founded Echelon in 2001, we’ve provided security guard services for hundreds of clients associated with the hospitality industry. We cover everything from high-end institutions hosting corporate meetings, holiday parties, and galas, to covered establishments like restaurants, bars and nightclubs, to large outdoor events like festivals and concerts. In order to manage client expectations and mitigate liability, we are very clear with our clients regarding what our security guards are responsible for when alcohol management is involved. Often, we must explain that security guards are not bouncers, and lay-out the specific differences between the two. So what is the difference between Security Guards and Bouncers?


A bouncer is often hired directly by a bar, nightclub or other entertainment venue owners to maintain order. Bouncers are useful where clientele or alcohol consumption may result in unwanted or illegal activity that creates an unsafe environment for patrons and staff. A bouncer’s duties may include:

  • Checking for ID to ensure patrons are of legal drinking age
  • Refusing entry to intoxicated patrons
  • Requesting that a patron leave when they’re drunk or disorderly
  • Knowing when to call law enforcement
  • Protecting patrons from harm
  • Using appropriate force to defend themselves

By law, a bouncer can physically engage or restrain a person as long as it’s in self-defense or in service of the protection of other patrons or staff. When physical force is initiated by a patron, the bouncer has the right defend himself with an equal amount of force. However, bouncers are taken to court so regularly, it’s considered the single most preventable loss within the tavern industry. So, if you’re the owner or manager, you’re still likely to be sued for assault and associated damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering and lawyer’s fees.

As a result, many states have passed laws requiring that bouncers be trained, licensed, and vetted, including criminal background checks. For instance, Philadelphia instituted a City Ordinance, which requires that bouncers must be registered and receive proper training. The law also mandates that people with certain past criminal convictions may not be hired as bouncers, all under very specific regulations.


Security Guards are usually employees of a security company, rather than hired directly by venue or bar owners. This benefits the proprietor because the guard is additionally licensed, bonded and insured under the security company. Additionally, a security guard is trained and certified according to State law to further protect against liability. Echelon is licensed in PA, NJ, MD and DE and we comply with each States unique security guard standards.

Pennsylvania distinguishes between individuals who own security guard firms and those employed by them. The Private Detective Act of 1953 sets requirements for watch, patrol, and guard businesses while mandating minimum standards for hiring guards.

New Jersey security officers must meet requirements under the Security Officer Registration Act (SORA). Security company owners must be licensed, but employees and subcontractors are registered as security officers. NJ guards must meet specific vetting and training requirements. Security officers employed by businesses rather than security companies are subject to a different set of rules.

Maryland security guards are under the jurisdiction of the Maryland State Police Licensing Division. The Division recognizes multiple security officer job roles including those for corporations.

Delaware’s security guards are licensed by the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. To become a security guard, they must fulfill training, pass a proficiency test, and submit to a thorough background check. In addition, they must be eighteen to work as an unarmed guard, and 21 to work as an armed guard. Private security licenses are not offered to law enforcement employees.

Security Guards (unarmed and armed) are best used as a highly visible deterrent to prevent unwanted or illegal activity before it starts or grows out of control. They can perform all the same duties as a Bouncer, plus additional tasks to lessen liability and keep everyone safe. For example:

  • Access control and ID verification
  • Bag checks for weapons and substances
  • Metal detection services by wand or magnetometer
  • TIPS alcohol awareness training
  • MOAB management of aggressive behavior training
  • RAMP certified via the LCB
  • Digital security guard reporting and documentation
  • GPS sign-in / sign-out jobsite verification
  • Emergency, hazard and crisis training, protocols and drills
  • Active shooter protocols
  • VIP escorts and transportation
  • Comprehensive threat assessment reports
  • Coordination with local law enforcement

Establishments should consider additional training such as TIPS, MOAB and RAMP for both security guards and bouncers to address everyday challenges such as protocols for dealing with underage patrons, reducing alcohol service liability through awareness, understanding when the use of physical force is permitted and using verbal communication to deescalate aggressive behavior.

TIPS is a skills-based, online alcohol training and certification program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and drunk driving by enhancing awareness and skills of servers, sellers and consumers of alcohol.

MOAB training presents principles, techniques, and skills for recognizing, reducing, and management of aggressive behavior both in and out of the workplace.

RAMP certification is a set of training and resources available to licensees and their employees. In order to become certified, businesses must complete a five step program, which includes: Manager training, seller or server training, employee orientation, posted signage, and affidavit request. The program provides certification for two years.

A quick story…

A few years ago, we had an inebriated patron start a public fight at a posh holiday event. When our security guards stepped-in to break up the fight and protect other guests, the belligerent patron punched one of our guards. The guard responded with appropriate force, restored order to the small crowd, restrained the drunk patron, contacted the police, and then escorted the troublemaker outside to wait for the police. When local authorities arrived soon after, the patron tried to attack them as well. Guess what? The event venue, local authorities, caterer responsible for the bar, and our security company were all named in the subsequent lawsuit. We had clear surveillance video and written documentation, our guard certifications were in order, our training manual was current, and we’re licensed, bonded and insured – several months later, we won the lawsuit.

In my view, Bouncers and Security Guards can both be effective depending on your specific goals. However, it’s a real benefit for clients to have the assets of a full service security company at their disposal because it eliminates much of the time and effort associated with hiring, training and managing your own security staff. In addition, you can add seasonal security staff, increase security during a national threat, or replace a guard who’s not the right fit with just a phone call.






residency-investigation photo

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 651

residency-investigation photoOver the past several years there has been a clear increase in school districts focusing on residency investigations. This year alone, my company will complete over 100 residency investigation cases within several school districts. These school districts hire private investigators to collect evidence on students who are suspected of living outside the district – so are therefore illegally enrolled in their school. If the investigators can prove a student lives outside the school district, then the school can drop them from their rolls. This benefits the district because it’s one less student they must pick up the tab for. Although most people would agree that every child deserves the best education available, it’s difficult for districts to accommodate schoolchildren from outside of the district and still ensure enough resources for the tax paying families.

On average, public elementary and secondary school districts in the United States pay about $15,000 per student, so spending a few thousand dollars on an investigation to remove a falsified student from their roster is a good return on investment. Although, a school district would have to remove a lot of unlawful students to measurably affect the bottom line, it’s still a smart strategy to enforce residency rules because it acts as a deterrent. It’s likely that the more a school district makes people aware that private investigators have been hired to guard against residency scams, the more offenders may decide not to risk it.

For years, school districts have used a variety of staff to monitor potential fraud, including: registrars, social workers, attendance and truancy officers, and even high level school officials. In my direct experience as a detective, I’ve found that sources such as state and federal investigative databanks can suggest where someone may be living – but the only way to actually prove residency is through surveillance observation. This means your best residency enforcement solution is to hire a private investigation firm to focus exclusively on fraud, so the school administrators can focus on education and daily operations as intended. An investigator can often work on several cases in a day to create efficiencies and keep cases moving. On average, a residency investigation requires from 4 to 60 investigative hours to gather enough evidence for a provable court case. The average rate for a licensed private investigator is from $90 to $125 per hour.

These trained professionals use tested and proven surveillance techniques to establish a pattern, specialized gear, and database research software that allows access to a host of public records to accurately determine where families actually reside. After gathering key evidence, the deliverable is a comprehensive court-ready report including: times, dates, records and photos that helps the district win their residency fraud cases.

Although residency fraud is wrong, expensive and unfair to taxpayers, many people still view district lines as an obstacle to educational opportunity and therefore don’t want their schools to prosecute these less fortunate families. The good news is, that typically the district’s first action is to send a written notification explaining that their student has been unenrolled due to fraudulent residency claims. If the family pushes back, the district further states that they could be held financially responsible for the money the school has lost. Generally, the family has no choice but to return to their own school district.

My company’s residency investigations business model is unique, because we provide the district with a dedicated Investigative Coordinator, rather than just a single investigator. The benefit of a coordinator is that they have the full power of our security company’s infrastructure, relationships and assets behind them, which allows them to navigate any investigative related challenge. The coordinator has several experienced private detectives on-call and oversees the entire investigation process from the initial intake of the case information to the final thorough report. In addition, we keep all case information and the final report on file in a secure database for future reference.


Run Hide Fight

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 689

Run Hide FightAs of early August 2019, there have been 255 mass shootings in the U.S. It’s hard not to become numb to the violence or the fact that we’re no longer completely safe at our schools, malls, concerts, churches or place of employment. If we’re not mindful, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the hate and violence that causes our fear and anxiety. Although the chances that you will be a victim of a mass shooting are low, the more prepared you are, the better your chances of survival in a worst case scenario. Although, there will never be a “one size fits all” rule for active shooters, I tell my loved ones to “run, hide, fight” because it’s easy to teach, remember and understand.

RUN away from the shooter

If you become aware of a shooter or hear gunfire, your best chance of survival is to try to escape. Whether you’re in familiar surroundings or a new location, take a few minutes to note the nearest exits. When possible, take the stairs instead of the elevators and remember that windows can also be used to escape. Students at Virginia Tech escaped the gunman in 2007 from a second-floor window. If you believe you could possibly be in the line of fire while you’re running, zigzag from cover to cover so you’re a harder target to hit.

Do not pull the fire alarm because it causes confusion and may send people out into open areas, where they could be easier targets. Instead, yell “gun” or “shooter” to inform people it’s not just a drill. Find out who the security director is at your school or work and ask them about active shooter drills, lockdowns and evacuations.

HIDE, if you can’t escape

If you cannot escape, attempt to hide anywhere there is a door. Lock or barricade the door to help deter access. Consider that office walls are often made of thin drywall, so if you can hide in a room that has an outside wall or no windows, you’ll be safer. If there’s no time to find a room with a door, hide under your desk. Your goal is to remove yourself from the shooter’s line of sight.

Do not play dead, because shooters have been known to come back and fire into wounded people. However, a teacher at Sandy Hook remained still after being shot and then escaped when the shooter left the area. Also, a student at Virginia Tech was shot while trying to escape but kept running and survived. The most important thing is to get yourself away from the shooter!

Once you’ve found a hiding place, turn off lights and call 911 to explain what’s happening. Then, mute your phone and be as quiet as possible, but leave your cell phone on so the dispatcher can continue to hear what’s going on. Stay low, but do not laydown, because that would make it harder to attack the shooter if he finds your hiding place. Remember that social media could give away your hiding place or alert the shooter to the location of the police.

 FIGHT as a last resort

Experts agree that confronting a shooter should be a last resort because most people do not have the proper training to have a good chance at stopping a gunman. Your only option is to find some type of object to use as a weapon against the shooter. Although a broom stick, coffee pot, baseball bat, scissors, hammer or chair may be the only weapons at hand, no level of force is inappropriate when it comes to saving lives.

It’s disheartening to think that although recent polls show at least 70% of Americans want common sense gun laws – less than 10% believe their representatives will do anything about it. In my view, when our representatives begin to remember that their job is to represent their constituents, instead of the big businesses who fund their campaigns, we’ll have a safer country. All we can do right now is educate ourselves on gun violence, stay vigilant and call our state representatives to lobby for faster change regarding gun control.





hate crimes

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 669

hate crimesTechnology has inadvertently connected us all to a nonstop stream of customized news and social media, creating a tsunami of easily shared misinformation and propaganda in the form of videos, posts, memes and tweets. Recent data shows that Facebook and YouTube struggle to monitor and remove the recruiting efforts of online domestic extremists and foreign terrorists. Add a perpetual “us versus them” narrative to a lot of the media we consume, and you have a recipe for anxiety and fertile ground for the seeds of hate. Just add water.

It’s no wonder that my company receives hundreds of calls each year from religious, scientific, research, or educational nonprofit organizations requesting solutions to their growing security concerns. According to the Hate Crime Statistics Act passed by Congress in 1990, hate crimes are characterized as “crimes that show evidence of intolerance based on religion, disability, sexual orientation, race, gender, or ethnicity.” Hate crimes are committed against people, property or society, and can involve violent attacks, theft, arson and vandalism. The most recent data available from the FBI reported 7,175 occurrences of hate crimes in 2017 which is a 17% increase from the prior year, and an uptick for the last three years. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in the U.S. is the highest in 20 years.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep us all up at night, consider that shootings are a daily occurrence in the United States, https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting. It stands to reason that the more a nonprofit matches a specific hate category – the more of a target they become for planned, politically inspired violence by domestic extremists and foreign terrorists. We tend to think of hate groups as neo-Nazis, white supremacists, black nationalists or neo-Confederates, but there’s no shortage of narrow-minded groups who blame “the other” instead of looking deeply at the root cause of their own suffering.

As a result, nonprofit stakeholders are looking for new and creative ways to protect their people and property while creating a welcoming environment where people aren’t scared to attend an educational program, cultural event or place of worship. The challenge is that non-profits often don’t have the budget they need to implement a meaningful security strategy. Below, I present 7 tested and proven ideas to raise funds and enhance security for your nonprofit.

7 Ideas to Raise Funds for Nonprofit Security

  1. Launch a security themed fundraising campaign to raise money for additional protective measures or meet with your top 10 donors and ask for a large gift.
  2. Establish a per person security fee, add a security surcharge, or mandate a minimum security donation.
  3. Apply for federal security grants available to nonprofits. Experts agree there will be a record number of applicants for the $60 million in available federal security grants. Professional grant writers are readily available.
  4. Replace a traditional receptionist with a trained security officer who can perform greeter and administrative duties.
  5. Professionally train volunteers or selected congregation members most suited to assist with security responsibilities.
  6. Ask local law enforcement to perform a vulnerability assessment of your place of worship and make more frequent patrol checks to augment your security.
  7. Create a consortium of local nonprofits to share the cost of security such as: handheld metal detectors, roving security guard patrols, radio communications, professional crisis training, etc.

Understand that these radical extremists are looking for an easy target where they can do the most damage and get the maximum media attention. So, when they see any type of visual deterrent, like a uniformed security guard on patrol or an access control system that may slow them down – they’ll think twice and often move on to a softer target. Although the state of our union shows reason for legitimate concern, the threat level of your nonprofit can be lessened by taking action. We suggest a skilled vulnerability assessment, timely implementation of the most efficient security solutions, trained security officers, and staff training that cultivates vigilant situational awareness.


hidden security costs

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 702

low cost security providersOne of the biggest problems businesses face is competition from low-cost providers. A low cost provider is a business that charges the lowest price it can, while promising about the same quality so that it can draw customers to the market. What they do not tell you, is why their product or service costs so much less than their competitors. The reason, of course is that they deliver poor quality, less service and cut corners wherever possible – even if it’s borderline dishonest or unethical. Sooner or later, customers come to realize the difference in value and begin to look for a new provider. In the security industry, hiring a low cost security provider based only on price very often translates to customer dissatisfaction, including:

  • No security guard vetting, training or certifications
  • No GPS verification of hours and incorrect invoicing
  • Unreliable guards who are consistently late, leave early or call out
  • No officer patrol reporting or documentation software
  • No written security guard protocols or directives
  • No on-site security guard supervision or discipline
  • Lack of proper insurance coverage or licenses to operate
  • Unprofessional guards in untidy uniforms
  • No business infrastructure for Operations, Finance, Sales or HR
  • Poor customer service

This absence of best practices has an overall negative impact on the entire security industry.  The clients are dissatisfied and aggravated, security providers get a bad reputation, fair market industry rates decline, good companies cannot make a fair profit, security and safety are compromised and liability increases for everyone involved. Many low-cost security providers carry much less overhead, because they’re generally owned by some type of career law enforcement officer who has recruited a few of his retired colleagues and operates the business from a small home office with little more than a book keeper and perhaps a salesman. These small companies typically have a lot of security know-how, but very little business experience, funding, or ability to scale up according to client demands.

In contrast, the best-cost provider strategy relies on offering customers better value by focusing both on fair pricing and a full-service infrastructure that’s able to deliver measurable results. Statistically only 500 security companies in the United States generate $5,000,000 or more in annual revenue and I’m pleased to count Echelon Protection & Surveillance among them.

As a business owner, I understand that controlling expenses is a key component of profitability. However, when it comes to security guard services, what may appear to be a savings that improves the bottom line – is also be a hidden liability waiting to happen. Although a basic low cost uniformed guard may act as a good visual deterrent, it is no substitute for a reliable security presence trained to respond appropriately to a real challenge, emergency, crisis or hazard. Remember, that if something goes wrong, everyone and anyone involved may be sued – and that can be a long, stressful and expensive process.

We’ve all seen the news videos of security guards making poor decisions, hesitating to engage, or worse, running the other way when a problem arises.  If you’re the final decision maker regarding security services, I urge you to take the time to perform your due diligence and consider your real risk and return on investment. The last thing you want is a high profile crisis that damages your business, a negligence law suit, or your boss challenging your judgment.

Crime in the United States is usually split into two broad classifications, violent crime and property crime. Although violent crimes steal the headlines, non-violent property crime is currently the leading problem afflicting the United States by a large margin. However, in today’s environment of civil unrest, easy access to firearms and misinformation… everyone should take public and private security seriously. As in any good relationship, you should be striving for a partnership where both parties mutually benefit. Meaning, the client enjoys peace of mind knowing that their people are safe and their property is secure, and the security provider is allowed to make a fair profit so they can continue to grow and provide the high value services. As the great Warren Buffet once said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”


By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 641

Week's-Marine-Supervisor-1One of the most important components of a well-run security company is the supervision of the officers on duty. Whether you’re in the public or private sector, it’s the supervisors that provide the hands-on quality control that keep your site running smoothly. If your security partner hasn’t invested in regional supervisors, you can be sure that your guard performance will suffer. The best security firms maintain a layered approach to guard performance that incorporates professional training, officer reporting software, GPS tracking and consistent supervision. Below are the key responsibilities of a supervisor.

Planning – A supervisor will often do the strategic planning for the security at your location. This may include: choosing the right guards, deciding where they’ll be posted, developing a site map, writing protocols, coordinating with local law enforcement and communicating with the client to be sure everyone’s on the same page.

Preparation – In the chain of command, supervisors report to the Director of Operations. As part of the team, supervisors are responsible for making sure the guards have everything they require to succeed in their duties according to protocols and expectations. They study the site footprint, develop site maps, determine areas of vulnerability, post scan tags for patrols, and secure equipment such as radios, deterrent signage and lock boxes needed for the job.

On-Site Training – As the person most familiar with the site, a supervisor’s responsibilities frequently include the on-site training of new guards. It is standard operating procedure for the supervisor to meet the guard(s) on or before the first day of the job to review security protocols, answer questions, communicate client expectations and even coordinate with local law enforcement. Supervisors spend as much time on location as needed to make sure the guards are on point and the client is satisfied.

Administration – Once a new client is up and running, the supervisor begins focusing on the quality control aspects of the job, such as time clock check-in and check-out, verifying guard location via GPS, client communication, scheduling changes, reviewing daily officer reports and overseeing shift changes. All information is documented and reported to the Director of Operations and Human Resources so they can evaluate the guard’s overall security performance.

Field Inspections – Remote locations, long hours or overnight shifts are a recipe for security guards to become bored or fatigued…no matter how good their intentions are. However, if a guard knows that their boss tends to show up randomly, they’re more likely to stay on their toes. These surprise inspections are important to either correct bad habits or simply bring the guard doughnuts and coffee to let them know they’re a valued team member.

Customer Service – When a client hires a security firm, there’s an implied guarantee that they will provide solutions with a certain level of urgency. In general, if the guard can’t solve the problem through their training or directives, they’ll report it to the supervisor who has access to the full assets of the security company at his disposal.

Discipline – In many respects, supervisors are the eyes and ears of the company. They work with the guards to improve their performance and relay guard input back to operations. In this way, the company has the front line information it needs to help them make more informed decisions. Guards who consistently demonstrate reliability and professionalism receive commendations and pay increases, while those who do not meet expectations receive documented corrective guidance. Since the security company and the guard have a mutual investment in each other, it benefits everyone to work together to keep the clients people and property safe in any situation.

As you can see, a great supervisor is not only the eyes and ears of the operations team, but the day to day grease and glue that provides the quality control that clients expect of professional security firm.

Event security

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 497

Event securityWhen you consider the variety of assets and organizations it takes to put on a successful event – it’s almost like managing a small town.

Our security firm has built a solid reputation in event security. Over the last 18 years we’ve had the opportunity to provide security and event staffing for such prominent events as: the NFL Draft, Democratic National Convention, NJ Renaissance Fair, Country Spirt Music Festival, Philadelphia Love Run, Made In America, Philly Fashion Week, and the Atlantic City Iron Man Triathlon. This year alone, we’ll provide security for over 100 events in the tristate area.

Providing security for events like these involves careful planning, scheduling, site mapping, transportation, equipment, directives, site visits, coordination with law enforcement and various other event related organizations.

Depending on the venue location, type of activity, amount of days and number of attendees, each event will have different challenges. As an example, while some events may need security guards trained in ID access control, first aid, and alcohol management, others may require metal detection and personal protection. At smaller venues, a professional security guard presence alone may be enough to deter unwanted or illegal activity. This is why security officers are often posted in areas where they’re highly visible and have the best ability to observe, report, and if necessary – intervene.

The best security firms learn from their missteps, by taking the time to debrief after each event. These reviews are used to explore what went well, and where improvement is needed. When a security company is responsible for thousands of people’s safety, stakeholders must be certain security is prepared for any contingency. Over time, these protocols become standard operating procedure in order to minimize risk and maximize enjoyment.

For larger events, there are dozens of details and logistics to consider because of all the player’s involved: Promoters, event planners, tour directors, staffing, transit, associations, media, businesses, institutions, venue managers, hospitality services, unions, retailers, law enforcement, emergency medical services and security firms.

Although public mass shootings are only a small segment of our country’s gun related deaths, they are very distressing to event planners, patrons, sponsors and security firms, because these shootings happen randomly in the most ordinary places. Based on recent shootings at national events, only the top 500 security companies have the infrastructure, technology and training to keep everyone safe at larger events.

If you want peace of mind at your next event, take the time to communicate anticipated concerns to your security partner, and don’t settle for just “a security guard.” The objective is to find guards with the right experience, temperament and skills to fit your brand personality. The biggest vulnerability to any event is not unknown outside elements, but rather hiring the wrong security guards.

Be aware that no amount of training or planning is foolproof. However, knowledge is power, so the more information that a security company has prior to the event, the more prepared you’ll be for any incident, crisis or emergency.

How to choose a security guard company

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 817

How to choose a security guard companyUnderstanding the industry

The U.S. Department of Labor statistics reports that there are over 1.1 million private security guards in the U.S. working within about 10,000 companies. The exact numbers are hard to determine because the industry standards vary nationally. Some states mandate unarmed and armed security guard licenses and others do not. In states that don’t, the individual security companies are responsible for vetting and training their own guards. For instance, in Pennsylvania, a person with a private detective’s license hires security guards to work under their license. In New Jersey, each guard must obtain their own license to be certified as a security guard. In addition, a national security company doesn’t need a license to operate in every state, they only need a relationship with a state licensed security company to do business in that state. The better you understand the security industry, the more informed your decision will be when hiring a security partner.

Choosing the right security partner

The key to finding the right security partner is to consider what services you’ll require, and communicate those needs or concerns to your perspective security partner so they can develop a solution. Will you need unarmed guard who can interact with the public or an unarmed overnight patrol guard with technical abilities? Should they be bilingual or have any special training or certifications such as first aid, management of aggressive behavior, or access control? Should the guard wear a uniform as a visual deterrent or be casually dressed to fit your brand. The possibilities are many, but the more you consider what you’ll need, the better they can provide the right security solution. If you’re unsure of what you may need, start with asking if the security company has direct experience working in your industry.

How you know if guards are doing their job?

Most security companies sell themselves as having experienced guards that will be on-time, stay alert, and respond appropriately when an incident occurs. However, how do you know what your guards are doing when you’re not watching them? The solution is a GPS based guard reporting technology that verifies check-in/check-out, and documents patrols and duties so you know exactly what you’re paying for. Technology like this should be standard with any reputable security company, and it gives the client the ability to track guard activity, confirm billing hours, and protects against liability.

What’s a consolidator?

In the security industry it’s common practice for large companies to outsource their work to smaller regional companies. The consumer thinks they’ve contracted a regional security guard provider, but they’ve actually hired a national security guard “consolidator.” Here’s how it works: When you call for local service, their telemarketers quickly contact several security companies in your region to try to cover your request. Consolidators make their money on volume by marking-up the price of the companies they use to fulfill your request. Using a consolidator effects the quality of service because they’re often not familiar with the security companies they’re outsourcing to. Their entire business model is telesales and paperwork. To determine if you’re speaking with a consolidator, ask them if they outsource to other security companies. If they say yes, ask them how long they’ve been working with the company providing your guard services and how those guards are trained.

The right size means the right service.

As with service providers in any industry, size is important. If you’re security partner is either too big or too small, customer service may become an issue. Although the big boys can provide a range of professional services, they often fall short on personal attention and responsiveness, because you’re just one of a thousand clients. At small security companies you’re important because you’re one of 25-50 clients, so you’ll often have access to the owners or decision makers. However, these smaller companies very often lack organizational infrastructure, so they struggle with basic back office operational challenges such as answering phones, invoicing and guard recruiting.

Rates and terms of agreement

Respectable security companies will ask you the right questions and then suggest the proper services and hourly rates. Fees are based on standard hourly rates that vary based on factors such as: type and level of service, response time, location, length of job, risk or known threat.

Ask for references

When it comes to hiring a security firm, it pays to do your homework. A security partner is like a walking, talking insurance policy. So, take the time to research several companies, review their websites, and contact your top three. Start by asking if they’re licensed, bonded and insured. Then, inquire about their services, infrastructure, and experience in serving your industry. Lastly, request a list of client references and speak with at least 3. The right company will take the time to meet with you to discuss your needs, provide insights and review your final security agreement until you’re satisfied.


Uniformed EPS guards

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 489

Uniformed EPS guardsSecurity guards are seen by many owners as a substantial business expense. But this is the wrong way to look at it. Rather than an expense, security guards are an investment in your business. That’s because security guards can save businesses money in a lot of different ways. The truth is that virtually any business could see an increase in their bottom line if they employed one or a team of security guards. Here’s why security guards are worth the money.

They create a better, more profitable environment

When people feel safe in a store or office, they are more likely to come to that store and they are more likely to work harder or spend more money. Security guards offer both offices and retail stores this benefit. When security officers patrol your offices, employees feel safe coming to work. When security officers patrol stores, customers know they will be safe shopping there and will be protected if something happens.

Reduce damage and vandalism

One large, inconvenient expense for both offices and stores occurs when property is damaged by vandalism. When a workplace or a retail store gets vandalized, it is important that everything is replaced and repaired immediately to reduce negative impacts on the business. No one wants to spend money in a vandalized shop or do business with a firm in a vandalized office. A security system comprised of both security guards and surveillance cameras is an excellent way to remove the threat of vandalism completely. With your business monitored day and night, vandals won’t have a chance to damage your property.

Fewer unaccounted for products

Shoplifting is a huge problem for stores that do not have a sufficient security presence. Of course, the risk of shoplifters can never be eliminated completely, but when you have both security guards and CCTV cameras in operation, thieves have very little chance to successfully make off with your goods. That means fewer lost products and more sales.

Increased security

In the same vein as the previous point, security guards can also eliminate the possibility that stores or offices are robbed. Businesses that hold large amounts of cash on-site are prime targets for would-be criminals, and thefts can result in big losses. A strong security presence is often enough to discourage thieves. And armed security guards can neutralize a thief, should one try to perpetrate a crime regardless.

Not just any security guard will save you money, however. If you are serious about increasing the safety and security of your business — and seeing an increase in profits as a result — then you need to take time to make sure that you only hire experienced and well-trained security officers. This means speaking to a number of highly rated security service providers like Echelon Protection & Surveillance. Call our team today at 610 831 0277 for a free consultation to discuss your security plan.

Pope Mobile

By: Stuart J. Visnov, CEO, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 614

Pope MobileIf you’re a successful individual, it means you’ve undoubtedly taken some calculated risks in your career. You had a goal, did your due diligence, developed a plan, considered your return on investment, and then executed your plan. Of course, when it comes to a person’s well-being, the risk equation changes because no amount of success is worth their physical safety. Therefore, if someone has reason to believe that they or their loved ones are vulnerable, they will take the precautions necessary to mitigate that risk or threat until it has been resolved. One such solution is hiring personal protection.

My security company gets several calls every week from businesses or private individuals who have received credible threats or perceive a risk from clients, employees, spouses or family members. They call requesting protection solutions from volatile ex-husbands or uncles who want to ruin a wedding, patients who threaten doctors, defendants intimidating prosecuting attorneys, fear of retribution from disgruntled employees, and high profile executives, celebrities or dignitaries who hire protection for home, office or travel, or simply for their own peace of mind.

Personal protection units are comprised of highly trained, vetted and insured professionals who often have state or federal law enforcement, military, intelligence or investigative experience. In order to protect their clients effectively, they work in teams of at least two, because the situation often calls for a range of skilled services performed in unison. These services may include: advanced planning, background checks, protection directive, emergency protocols, location sweeps, patrol routes, travel itinerary, vehicle transport, covert communications, and concierge-like customer service.

Although the type and degree of risk varies greatly based on the industry, demographics and other factors, below are my top reasons why people hire personal protection:

  • You have a high level of public exposure. Executives, politicians, dignitaries, celebrities, athletes, professionals, activists, and their loved ones are all at more risk than the average person, especially if they are regularly in the public eye.
  • You have a high net worth. In an increasingly interconnected world, it is easier than ever to find out how much someone is worth through public records, news articles or corporate annual reports. If you are known to be wealthy, own a business or even appear to be wealthy, you could be vulnerable at your home or office.
  • You have received threats of any kind. If you or your loved ones start receiving threats, whether in person or electronically, your life can quickly become very stressful. The rule of thumb is to take every threat, no matter how casual or seemingly ridiculous, seriously. Often a few days or weeks of protection and surveillance is all that’s needed until the risk has subsided.
  • You have a business or provide services in high crime areas. If you work within, or travel to high crime areas, you’re statistically more likely to be targeted for theft or violence. This might include professions such as a traveling nurse who may carry prescription medicines, or a traveling salesperson with valuable merchandise.

In my experience, the need for personal protection can arise at any moment, so it’s wise to stay informed of your options, including: private investigations, surveillance cameras, access control and alarm systems, trained drivers or armed and unarmed security guards. Depending on the level of security that you require, the cost of personal protection will vary, but services are available for as little as one day to 24/7 coverage. Like Echelon, most security companies are glad to have a private consultation and provide guidance at no charge.

Learn more about Echelon’s Executive Protection Division at https://www.epsagents.com/services/personal-protection/ or call (610) 831-0277 and speak with James Dambach, our VP of Executive Protection.


By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 884

door_guard_2As a former Social Studies Teacher, Juvenile Probation Officer, 2nd Amendment supporter, NRA member and security company owner, my opinion on the nationally debated topic of arming classroom teachers is based on more than 40 years of professional and personal experience.

Recently, a program to train and arm school staff members in nearby Tamaqua School District, in Schuylkill County, Pa. has been put on hold as two lawsuits against the school district make their way through the court system.

While school districts in other parts of the country have already adopted armed educator programs, the Tamaqua School District would have been the first one in my state. I can’t think of a more opportune time to voice my opinion on arming public school teachers.

Bluntly stated, I’m against it.

Gun violence in our country is at epidemic proportions and active shooters are a symptom of that problem. We all agree that increased campus security is greatly needed, but turning teachers into armed officers is a recipe for continued heartbreak. The best answer to combat school shootings is to have members of the local police department in every school. Besides having an armed, highly trained law enforcement professional on patrol, the social benefits of exposing our youth to positive community role models would be invaluable.

Knowing that the cost for police officers to be in every school would be unsustainable for taxpayers, that leaves us with two basic options: Train and arm the teachers or hire an armed security guard company.  I stand on the side of partnering with an armed security guard company… and here are just a few reasons why.

1.      The arming of teachers in no way replaces a professional security staff as educators with a secured sidearm would be no match for the barrage of an assailants’ semiautomatic rifle. Assuming school budgets and time restraints could provide teachers with adequate weapons training, educators with little or no “immediate back-up” coupled with “inferior firepower” could never replace the proactive duties or immediate response of properly trained and certified security officers.

2.      There is no question that every teacher and student deserves the right to a safe and secure environment in which to learn, but our teachers never signed up for the double duty of educator and armed guard. In fact, national studies suggest that most teachers do not want to carry guns, and would not avail themselves of the option to do so.  This could easily create an imbalanced system where some school teachers are armed, and others must wait for the police to arrive.

Teachers do not want to be security guards, they want to be educators. Professional security guards can maintain an authoritative rapport with students to stay well informed of threats or perspective unwanted behavior. Professional guards also act as good-will builders with responsibilities to assist visitors and help students. Most school shootings are carefully planned, and students can easily find out which teachers are most-likely to be armed. Either way, it means that those teachers become the first targets. In addition, shooters often have experience with their target school and therefor know the layout, bell schedule and access control weaknesses. However, if security guards are posted and follow smart access control protocols, the school becomes a much harder target.

3.      The idea that a shooter would see an armed teacher as a credible threat is incorrect, because in the most recent school mass shootings, the perpetrators were suicidal and ready to die. However, if that shooter knows the school is less vulnerable due to consistent access control lock-down drills, and vigilant armed guards the shooter may choose a softer target. To suggest that we should arm teachers because gun-free zones invite shooters, ignores common sense and research.

4.      Arming teachers creates an increased liability for them, school administration and their school district. Research shows, that individuals who own or have access guns are statistically more likely to have gun-related accidents than use than ever use the gun for self-defense. The same holds true for armed teachers, especially when you considers that a school environment has more opportunities for “incidents and accidents” than private homes. The financial liability to the school alone, makes the idea of arming teachers unrealistic. Add the general lack of school funding and the idea becomes even more untenable. Since all reputable security companies are licensed, bonded and insured, it’s also bad business for a school to spend their limited funds for extra insurance, rather than educational needs.

5.      By arming teachers, we are essentially asking educators to make a choice between securing their students or pursuing the active shooter. A highly trained security officer doesn’t face that moral impasse, because it’s their job to engage the shooter while the teachers safeguard the students.

6.      If you’re a leader in your community, it’s your moral duty to ensure the safety of the students, teachers and visitors in your school district. Please take my advice and follow these simple steps.

1.      Invest in a vulnerability assessment for your campus.

2.      Develop a comprehensive security plan that includes guards and technology.

3.      Hire a reputable security firm to partner with to execute your plan.

4.      School shootings are not an act of sanity.  You can you prepare for irrational behavior by preparation and practice… prepare and practice.


retail_suit_armed security

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 562

retail_suit_guardAs a business owner, you aren’t just responsible for strategy, finance, marketing, sales and HR. You are also liable for the safety and security of your employees and customers. In today’s world, every business requires a minimum of safety and security precautions such as access control, surveillance cameras, evacuation planning and first aid equipment. However, there are many businesses that can benefit from an additional level of protection in the form of armed security guards. The question is whether your business is one of them. If you’ve ever found yourself even considered the possibility of hiring an armed guard – the answer for your business is most likely yes.

An armed guard is more than just a person who can respond to shoplifters and vandals. When a person seeking to do harm sees that your business employs a guard carrying a firearm, they understand they will have to contend with someone who has the lethal force to stop them. Just the presence of an armed guard is usually enough of a deterrent to make most bad actors move on to another, softer target.

It’s much more than the threat of force, however. Armed guards have to undergo many hours of state certified training and classroom testing. Typically, a high percentage of armed guards have backgrounds in personal protection, law enforcement, public safety or the military. That means they have the skill set to bring much more to the table in a crisis situation than just a weapon in a holster. In fact, because the majority of armed guards are full time employees of professional security companies, they have the experience and assets to keep your people and property safe in nearly any situation. Whether you’re responsible for property management, retail stores, construction sites, religious institutions, critical infrastructure facilities, or a business that has large amounts of cash, merchandise, inventory or valuables of any kind – armed guards are essential to prevent loss.

If you think you may need enhanced security, the first step is to have a comprehensive threat assessment in which experts consider and review the vulnerable areas of your business. The deliverable is an in-depth executive level report on areas in which you can improve the internal and external security of your business. Then you choose if and when you’d like to implement the security strategies and tactics outlined in your report.

In addition, top security companies offer armed close personal protection for the secure transport, safeguard and escort of Executives, Dignitaries and Celebrities. These elite services provide the highest level of protection available.

Some organizations may prefer to opt for an unarmed security guard. These guards can also be highly trained and still do a lot to prevent unwanted or unlawful activity. The right security officer can also provide other valuable services such as acting as a good will builder or in a customer service capacity.

As an owner or CEO, you’re focus is business, but all you have to do is click on the news to remind yourself of the unfortunate reality and prevalence of violent crimes and mass shootings in our society. That’s why it’s crucial to seek the advice of experienced security service providers. As CEO myself, I know leaders in the public and private sector want to sleep easy at night, knowing they did their due diligence regarding the safety and security of their people.


Educating Your Religious Organization on Armed and Unarmed Security Guards

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance

Educating Your Religious Organization on Armed and Unarmed Security GuardsIn the wake of the tragic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in October of this year, there has been an increased debate on the merit of installing armed security guards at Synagogues and other places of worship.

It is an unfortunate fact that acts of violence and hate crimes in places of worship are on the rise in this country, regardless of whether that place of worship is a church, a synagogue or a mosque. Yet unlike schools and other public institutions, religious organizations have been the slowest to adopt increased security measures.

For many, installing armed or unarmed security officers at religious institutions has become a serious consideration. Many worshippers would rather be slightly slowed down by increased security checks than have no professional security measures in place whatsoever. Others, however, feel that the presence of security guards may feel intimidating and threatening.

That being said, professionally trained security guards are one of the most effective ways that religious organizations can protect their congregation and minimize or prevent future attacks on their place of worship. Not only will highly trained professionals be able to respond to an attacker quickly and safely, the visual presence of security guards — even if they aren’t armed — is often enough to deter would-be attackers because you are no longer viewed as an easy target.

These professional security guards don’t have to be intimidating to worshippers, either. There are several steps that both professional security companies and religious leaders can take to make worshippers feel safe and secure during services. This can include dressing officers down so that they don’t look intimidating. Religious leaders can also introduce officers to their congregation so that they know the people protecting them and stand with security officers at the entrance to the place of worship so that worshippers see a friendly face at the door.

Even if you aren’t ready to commit to armed security officers, there are steps that every religious institution should take to maximize their security. For instance, installing a modern, comprehensive security camera and access control system can help to prevent vandalism, robbery and active shooters. Locking the doors while service is in progress may slow down or ward off would-be attackers. Having an evacuation plan, whether in the event of a fire or an active shooter, is also a must-have.

It is clear that however they feel about armed guards, every religious organization should educate themselves by having a discussion and security threat assessment with industry experts about how they can increase the level of security at their place of worship. The cost of security will understandably be a big factor for religious organizations, but this figure will depend on several factors such as the type and number of structures as well as the size of your congregation and the level of protection that you desire. What’s more, a professional security company can help you build a custom security plan for your budget.

If you’d like to speak to a leading security provider in your area, call Echelon Protection & Surveillance at 610 831 0277 for your free consultation today.

Security drone with camera and building

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 802

Security drone with camera and buildingThe inclusion of drones in security operations is becoming increasingly more common, and more necessary. Drones have many advantages over traditional security and reconnaissance methods. On their own, drones can be a very valuable security asset. When combined with other types of security and surveillance measures, a real powerhouse security plan can be created.

Drones have an advantage over traditional surveillance methods (i.e. helicopters and cameras) because they are:

  • Less expensive
  • Easier to operate
  • Quieter and not easily detected by those being surveilled
  • Able to access remote areas and transmit findings quickly
  • Able to operate in various weather conditions
  • Equipped with infrared and thermal sensors that allow for night vision

So, what are the ways in which drones can be used? There are three key areas where drones have made a significant impact on security and protection: Events and Crowd Control, Commercial Usage, and Everyday Security.

Events and Crowd Control

Whenever there is a large crowd, there is a concern for safety. Large venues that host concerts, conventions, EXPOs and sporting events are exciting, but they are also serious security risks. Appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure personal safety and the security of the entire venue against any kind of unwanted behavior, hazard, attack or unlawful incident. Drones can play a key role in making sure an event runs safely by observing any challenges before they grow out of control.

Before the event happens, drones can be deployed to conduct remote advance reconnaissance of the venue. Being able to get an aerial view of the entire complex, including surrounding infrastructure like roadways and parking lots, can give a security team the information needed to analyze and evaluate the situation and put together a complete plan to handle any issues that may occur.

On the day of the event, drones can be used to monitor traffic and parking. This can prevent major delays, and possibly accidents, as cars can be directed or re-directed to appropriate areas. Drones also can monitor foot traffic. High traffic areas often lead to pushing and shoving, which can lead to fights and stampedes or trampling.  Drones can help manage high pedestrian traffic areas and prevent congestion, averting tragic accidents.

Commercial Usage

Drones can keep businesses safer and more secure. They can monitor buildings, facilities, and properties in ways that were not possible in the past. Nothing replaces the on-site responsiveness of well-trained security guards and well-planned surveillance cameras, but drones can bring additional level of security.

Drones can conduct perimeter surveillance to protect a company from sabotage, theft, and vandalism. For instance, they can monitor building complexes for trespassers by covering areas out of a normal surveillance camera’s sightline, or too remote or dangerous for vehicle or foot patrols. If a trespasser is observed on the property, they can be followed more safely because intruders are monitored from a safe distance before being apprehended, protecting security guards and police officers involved in the arrest. The oil and gas industry is a good example of an industry that has benefitted from drones as a way to protect their pipelines.

Port surveillance and shipping protection is another area where drones are important. Drones can monitor borders, ships, cargo, and the port itself. They can help send visual information when there is an accident and when search and rescue operations are needed, and they can also help in preventing piracy. While this may conjure up images of Blackbeard and Captain Jack Sparrow, the fact is that modern piracy is a real threat to the shipping industry, as is smuggling and illegal trafficking. Drones can follow ships, watching out for potential invaders. If a threat is found either at sea or at port, drones help authorities respond quickly, before a ship or cargo becomes vulnerable to theft or hijacking.

Agriculture and Farming rely on drones to protect their crops and their livestock. Drones can make routine trips over acres of land that otherwise may not have been easily guarded. Farmers can ensure their crops are healthy and haven’t fallen prey to disease, theft, or sabotage. The same is true for their livestock. Drones can be equipped with thermal sensors and sniffers that detect predators, poachers, and hazardous gases. And since drones are quiet and unobtrusive, they can track animals without scaring them and track poachers without being heard.

Everyday Safety

Drones are great additions to public safety efforts. Authorities can use drones for various everyday needs such as:

  • Daily traffic reports
  • Locating missing persons
  • Security for parking lots and other open areas
  • Protection of parks and landmarks
  • Search and rescue missions after disasters

There is no question that drones are a valuable security resource. They are inexpensive and provide a unique perspective for authorities and they should be considered whenever an extensive outdoor security plan is being put into place.

homeland security graphic

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 554

homeland security graphicAs we observe the passing of the 17th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reissued the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin to underscore the ongoing terror threat at home that continues to demand our attention.

The NTAS has been reissued seven times since it was first released in December of 2015. The Department of Homeland Security deemed it necessary to reissue the bulletin at this time based on assessments of the current environment.

Foreign terrorist organizations want to sow chaos and fear by attacking Americans both at home and abroad. These groups have become increasingly sophisticated in their ability to exploit technology, including social media applications, to instigate or guide individuals already in our country to commit terrorist acts which may include the use of vehicles, small arms or homemade explosive devices.

DHS is actively engaged in efforts to disrupt such activities and is committed to preventing threats to the public, working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as well as foreign counterparts. DHS and FBI provide information and assessments to state and local law enforcement and business owners in the private sector. Heightened law enforcement and security activity may be visible at some public events and spaces.

Crowded places and other soft targets, such as sports arenas, shopping venues and transportation centers draw large numbers of people but have limited security in place. This can make them vulnerable to attack. Terrorist groups are well aware of the opportunity soft targets present to easily inflict harm to many people using unsophisticated methods such as attacks using rented vehicles.

Because DHS’s primary mission is to protect the American people, the Department actively fosters collaboration between the private and public sectors to heighten security and minimize risks in crowded spaces, large events and public gatherings. The public and private sectors working together on security efforts is critical to enhance the safety of people in locations such as parks, restaurants, transportation centers and event venues. The Department offers free tools and resources to assist communities in implementing security measures.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen recognizes that communities are the first line of defense in keeping the public safe and secure and that one of our greatest assets against terrorist activities at home is an informed and vigilant public.

You can stay informed by listening to public announcements from local and safety officials concerning potential threats. You can also help by reporting any suspected terrorist-related activities to local law enforcement or by dialing 911.

Resources are also available for businesses to plan and be ready for incidents or attacks. A four-step plan can be applied to help businesses and their and employees be better prepared to ensure their safety: Connect, Plan, Train, and Report.

An engaged community along with informed and prepared individuals provide a strong defense against possible terrorist threats to our homeland. However, DHS does not want to discourage Americans from continuing to attend public events, travel, or freely go about their daily lives. Simply being alert and prepared can help all of us increase our collective safety. Be responsible for your own personal safety, know where emergency exits are located, be vigilant in public spaces and report suspicious activity.

For more information, and to read the full DHS bulletin, please click here.

event security stage

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 537

event security stageHiring the proper personnel to staff a special event is a unique challenge to any security event company’s recruiting team.  An individual that is seemingly perfect for your Tuesday night event, could end up being the wrong fit for the Saturday night event.  So, when putting together the best team for an event detail, each event has to be viewed as its own separate function, with its own particular protocols, and needing a specific style of guard. Recruiting for a special event is truly not a one-size-fits-all style of recruiting.

By the same token, attempting to hire a full time event staff in order to handle all of your special events will present its own challenges.  When compared to hiring staff for your standard, 40 hour a week, recurring security jobs, the special events staff has to be more accommodating and flexible with their schedule.  The special event staff needs to have both a security guard mindset and a healthy understanding of customer service; thinking on your feet is mandatory and last minute changes in shifts and directives are the norm.  Both of these skills will come in to play when working an event.

Of course, the type, size and frequency of your event will dictate just how many experienced security guards you have available to work each event. The event staff that tend to be the best fit are people who are: responsible, enjoy various types of events (musical concerts, festivals, fairs, races, celebrations, weddings, holiday celebrations, etc.) have a flexible schedule, and are customer service oriented. In addition, event staff should have training in standard event duties such as: crowd and parking control, bag checks, ID and access control, alcohol management, perimeter patrols, VIP security, and coordination with local police departments and EMTs.

That’s why college students, retirees, municipal workers, and people who work part-time often make up the majority of the typical event staff.  Remember, the other main pool of event personnel will come from the full-time (and part-time) security guards, who are often tasked with providing supervisory and administration duties that require more experience, specific training or a special skill set.

The training of this style of personnel becomes a main issue, because each special event will come with its own unique challenges and protocols.  Always confirm with the client exactly what they are expecting from the event staff.  Is the staff member requested to be a higher-end guard or concierge type of staff?  Or does the event call for a more physical, visual deterrent style of guard?  Often, one cannot be expected to do the job of the other. And, as with many events, your team will most likely need a combination of the two.

The bottom line is that it becomes incumbent upon those of us in the security industry to make the necessary commitment and investment to be certain that all event staff are trained to a competent and capable level.  The most successful security companies have the ability to deliver a mix of personnel to any event. That is, a staff that is well trained, groomed, and able to follow and fulfill all of the client’s directives while responding to last minute requests with professionalism and grace under pressure.




By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 732

Training-Blog-PhotoOne of the issues that security companies must be realistic about is the need to discipline their security officers. The industry is such that guards cannot always be fully supervised because they may work alone, overnight or in a remote area. When no one is watching, there is always the temptation for the average guard to stray from company directives by napping, using their cell phone, checking-out early or even leaving their post. This lack of work ethic and accountability is a constant management challenge for companies that strive to be the best they can be. Many times, the problem is worsened by companies that choose to overlook poor performance in order to retain enough guards to maintain their workforce.

In all cases involving protocol behavior violations, the first question for any operations director to ask is: “Did this occur because the guard made an honest mistake, or in spite of the fact that the guard knew it was wrong?”  Intentional violations of policy require a more stringent level of disciplinary action than common mistakes due to lack of experience.

The second question is: “Is this a first-time violation, or a repeat violation?”  The third time that a specific protocol is violated, despite coaching or disciplinary action, requires a higher level of discipline than a first time offender, given the fact that a multiple occurrence can hardly be excused as an unwitting mistake.

Unfortunately, the combination of low hourly wages, high turnover rates, absence of on-site supervision, deficit guard verification technology, poorly motivated guards, and a lack of meaningful training provides a real challenge for the average security guard company. One could make the case that the industry itself has created the conditions that lead to poor guard habits by the way the average security company operates.

It’s no secret that in order to be competitive, many security companies must pay guards lower wages, which often make it hard to motivate and retain employees in an industry where employees will “jump ship” for a job that pays a little more per hour. This often means security companies may overlook minor guard infractions, which can lead to guards committing more serious transgressions.  Without a clearly communicated disciplinary process in place, many companies find themselves in a position that forces them to terminate guards who should have been better trained, supervised, coached and compensated in the first place.

Disciplinary action must be fair to the officer, and the company. The primary goal is to train the guards to be compliant with well thought out company protocols. The ideal level of punishment for an offending officer is a balance between applying a learning process (remediation) and the appropriateness of the penalty to the infraction (the punishment fits the crime).  The discipline should always consider the specific nature of the incident, as well as the individual officer’s past history of performance on the job.

Disciplinary actions must also be consistent.  All things being equal, similar first-time offenses by different individuals should draw comparable penalties.  The old idea of “making an example” by punishing an offender severely not only violates the ideas inherent in progressive discipline, but also likely starts an officer who might have been remediated on a path that could lead to claims of unequal treatment from a human resources perspective.

A mindful system of discipline and reward is intrinsically tied to a successful training program which prepares new hires to perform their duties while offering coaching and reassignment to existing guards who do not represent the company as intended.  A training program must be well planned and executed to reflect the brand reputation externally and the company culture or personality internally.  Specifically, guards need to be clear on the penalties for poor conduct, as well as the rewards for superior performance.  The old saying: “You can’t tell someone they did something wrong, if you never taught them what’s right” certainly applies.  Careful vetting, updated training, effective orientation, engaged supervision, annual reviews and consistent coaching are key to cultivating a guard pool that is reliable, accountable and vigilant. This hard work directly benefits the client, company and ultimately the industry as a whole.

Progressive security companies use discipline as a building tool, not as a motivation killer.  The proper reinforcement of expectations through effective orientation and ongoing training, combined with a meaningful application of discipline will result in more vigilant security officers and satisfied clients.


armed guard blog photo

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 523

armed guard blog photoTraining programs for armed guards in the modern security industry can run the gamut, from non-existent to extensive.  In most corporate settings, limitations on the level of training provided to security officers are often the result of real world budgetary considerations.  State regulations and insurance companies also influence the type and extent of armed training initiatives.  The unfortunate reality is that merely meeting legislative, liability, or client financial requirements may lead to ineffective or unproductive security officer training to the detriment of everyone’s safety.

Remember, that the training of armed security officers is not only geared toward the use of a firearm.  Rather, it is only one component of the training that utilizes the option of deadly force during an encounter with an adversary.  Training to become competent in the techniques that could result in the taking of another human life encompasses a number of issues that come into play during and after a lethal encounter.  Regrettably, training security officers to anticipate the physical and emotional aftermath of incidents is virtually non-existent in modern training.

Often overlooked or disregarded are the numerous other aspects of security officer training that exist in a force continuum in addition to deadly force.  This non-lethal instruction includes the way a security officer reacts on the scene, such as making his presence known and using some measure of physical force to gain subject compliance. In addition, the use of verbal de-escalation techniques to manage aggressive behavior (MOAB), open-handed control, chemical weapons (OC spray), impact weapons (batons), grappling hand-to-hand combat, and non-lethal munitions are all force and training options, as well as legitimate choices for security officers when interacting with a combative subject.

While many law enforcement and security trainers refer to the alternate use-of-force options during lethal weapons training classes, few actually conduct the kind of comprehensive training sessions that leave individual security officers comfortable and capable of executing these options in a confrontational situation.  Arguably, verbal de-escalation techniques are the most important of all security officer responses to counter a threat, yet this remains the least thoroughly taught of the continuum of force options.  Verbal de-escalation becomes even more critically important given the fact that very few security officers are provided with the non-lethal weapons options available, because either the security company or the client tend to view those options as either too expensive to manage or another liability.  As a result, many security guards often lack the training and associated comfort level necessary to deploy these alternate weapons appropriately.

The bottom line is that it becomes incumbent upon those of us in the security industry to make the necessary commitment and investment to be certain that armed guards are trained to a competent and capable level.  The best security companies must train their guards to determine when deadly force may be necessary and react appropriately. However, they must also be proficient with utilizing all necessary non-lethal options when confronted with critical and demanding security situations. Decidedly, the great majority of incidents faced by security professionals will require the competent use of non-lethal force as the correct, and legal, response that keeps people safe and mitigates liability.

Photo of security guard shirt back

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 726

Active ShooterIn the 2 weeks between Part One and Part Two of this blog there have been 2 more “mass shootings.”  On June 17, 2018 at least 17 people were shot at an Art Festival in Trenton New Jersey, and  last week 5 more individuals were killed in a “mass shooting” in Annapolis Maryland.  Please note that the quotation marks around the words “mass shooting” are there to comply with the federal government’s definition in which “4 or more people are shot”.

When we look at the total number of 2018 shootings in which three or less people were shot, the number varies depending on differing statistics from a low of 100 to more than 154.  No matter what the actual number is, we can all agree that any number is much too high.

While Echelon security staff was not deployed at either site, it is our belief that the training our security guards receive prepares them for rendering immediate assistance to our clients in the vital minutes between the time the first shot is recognized, and the first responding law enforcement officer arrives.

Our officers are trained in the ugly truth that no matter how a venue is secured, that the assailant will always have the upper hand.  Unlike law enforcement, security staff or the general public, the assailant knew they left their house with the intent of coming to an event to take human lives –  everyone else did not.

Statistics have shown that nine times out of ten, the assailant is either a current or former student, employee, or patron of the venue and has knowledge of how to enter the building with the least amount of detection.

While many other security companies stress the basic training of our industry – customer service, patrol basics, and report writing (all invaluable security industry skills) we require that all applicants be competent in such areas before their formal training commences. Building on these core values we then focus on what to do when things go wrong:

  • Dealing with Difficult People
  • Observation Skills
  • Tactical Awareness
  • Crisis Response or Active Safety Response.

And, because about half of our guard force is unarmed, we focus on the role expected of them in such situations.

We do our utmost to impress upon each new officer that in crisis situations their role as an unarmed guard is to alleviate panic.  We make sure that they fully understand that in the precious few minutes until law enforcement arrives and the “threat is neutralized” that they will be the first person of authority that frightened employees, guests or patrons will turn to for guidance.

Their first duty is to get as many people to safety as possible, using evacuation routes that are the least dangerous.  Once this is done and people are safe, our guards are trained to alert authorities that there is a shooter on the premises.  We instruct our staff on how to call local authorities, 9-1-1 and what information to provide.

Our security instructors stress the importance of safely exiting a building and best practices for doing so.  We teach the basic skills to assess if safe exit is not an option and provide the knowledge through practical exercises such as:

  • Securing an area
  • Cover vs. concealment
  • Improvising locking devices
  • (and only when necessary) committing themselves to direct confrontation with the assailant
  • Interacting with law enforcement upon their arrival.

Echelon understands that the training provided to new security guard staff members is not equivalent to the rigorous training provided to law enforcement – nor is it designed to be.  Its purpose is to provide familiarity with concepts, empathy with victims, and to guide the proper actions in times of crisis situations.  Our first duty to our clients will always be to respond in a preventive and proactive fashion at the most critical times.

Yet, should the circumstances arise, and prevention is not possible, our security guard staff understands that our role is to:

  • Mitigate as much physical and emotional harm as possible
  • Decide upon the proper survival protocols
  • Make sure that techniques are correctly applied
  • Keep everyone safe and secure until law enforcement arrives and the threat is eliminated.

Every state has different standards in order to become a certified security guard, so Echelon provides our own proprietary training to ensure our officers are prepared to respond appropriately in any situation.

Security training

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 551

Security trainingThe basic security guard training and site-specific directives my company provides is tested and proven to work in almost any security environment to protect people and property. The exception to this rule are the security officers assigned to protect our education and religious institutions.  While most security training is focused on “detect, deter, observe, and report” our institutional guards are taught to “be vigilant, think on their feet, make tactical decisions, and in case of crisis – save lives.”

In addition to their basic security guard training, these officers receive additional high-level instruction in crisis response, stressing an “Active Safety” mentality, as opposed to an “Active Shooter” mentality. The end goal being the survival of themselves and the clients we secure and protect.

Knowing that most institutions now instruct their staff, students or congregants in the basics of RUN-HIDE-FIGHT or the A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) we train our school and institutional officers to understand these protocols and assist in their implementation.

These programs and many others, provide the end-user with extremely useful, rational, and practical information.  However, they are based on the flawed belief that rational answers to irrational acts of violence are effective.  Compounding the problem is the delivery of the training method.  Although, it’s not ideal to just watch a video, listen to a power point and perform a few active shooter drills a year, these methods are far superior to no training at all. Our officers are familiar with a variety of basic active shooter training methods, so they’re better prepared in any event.

However, instructors who have had extensive training or law-enforcement experience know the sad truth is that the RUN-HIDE-FIGHT training method (no matter how professionally presented) cannot adequately address the chaotic, and unpredictable reality of an active shooter attack.

To be clear, we advocate RUNNING-ESCAPING as the most sensible option of all, but RUN-HIDE-FIGHT training encourages a mindset that better prepares people to save themselves and others during an active attack.

Among the problems in RUN-HIDE-FIGHT is the proven fact that this model is based on rational thought, linear thinking, fosters a non-aggressive/victim mindset, and fails to adequately deal with fear induced panic, fear, and freezing that human beings are prone to exhibit.

The linear thinking of RUN-HIDE-FIGHT has the psychological danger of falsely setting into clients’ minds that fighting should always be the last resort. This may waste precious time looking for a place to hide, when tactical circumstances dictate that physically confronting the attacker is the best response.

The bottom line is training people to realize that there is no one best answer and accept the reality that the best plans, locks, cameras, and alarms are no match for a determined attacker. Remember, that in every instance, the active shooter attack began long before the first shot was fired, and that the majority of the bloodshed occurs before the first law enforcement person can respond.

Our security instructors and curriculum planners spend hours teaching our guards the concepts of a survival mindset, the basics of tactical thinking, the valuable of each second, and the paralytic effects of fear and how it can be conquered.  The most important message of all is that in times of crisis – we do not rise to the occasion, but rather fall back on our training.

…to be continued.

Background Check Form

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 755

Background Checks FormAll reputable security companies run background checks before hiring new guards to be certain that both the client and the company itself are protected and represented by reputable individuals. For the most part, states require that a background check be performed before a guard can be issued state credentials like the so called “Guard Card.”  The most important duties of a security guard are to protect the clients’ property, possessions, and personnel, so before hiring, a good look into the guard’s past can shed light on how successfully they might be able to perform their duties.

Background checks and credentialing are in the best interest of the client, the security company and the guard him/herself. While the discovery of some minor legal “issues” may be forgiven, most states and security companies must be cognizant of prior felony convictions or open charges, particularly ones involving theft or violent crimes. Additionally, knowing if a conviction on “minor” charges was a result of a plea agreement (which originally included felony-level offenses) can be a major indicator of an applicant’s potential for success or failure.

Not only do background checks help in hiring decisions, but they may also protect a business in the case of potential lawsuits or other legal complications. For example, let’s say a business chooses to hire a guard on their own, without the help of a reputable security company. If that guard was previously convicted of theft and then steals from the business, that business will probably not be able to file a claim for stolen property, regardless of whether they knew about the previous infraction or not.

Individuals applying for a security guard positions should be informed and expect that a criminal background check will be a major part of the hiring process, a tacit demand requiring 100% honesty on their application. Companies will compare the information on an application with the information garnered from background checks and a uniform and unbiased process for weighing prior minor infractions in an applicant’s youth may be no problem, unless of course they’ve lied about it.

A reputable security company will conduct fairly extensive background checks before hiring a guard that might include any or all of the following:

  1. Criminal Background Checks – Obviously, a security company making a hiring decision needs to know about past criminal activity. But they also want to see that the information on a potential employee’s application matches the information in the background check. An applicant who lies about past criminality, even if it is a very minor infraction, will have a hard time convincing a company that they are honest and should be hired.
  2. Fingerprints – In many cases, guards will also be fingerprinted so the hiring company can run the prints against the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. There can be issues in an individual’s past that do not show up on a standard state level criminal background check.
  3. Driving Records – Many guard positions require driving duties, so a fairly clean driving record is important. Confirming that the applicant possess a valid/current driver’s license as well as a registered and insured vehicle should also be considered before hiring employees to fill spots where public transportation is not an option.
  4. Sex Offender Database Checks – Security guards will interact with all manner of people in the course of performing their duties. An applicant whose name appears in the Sex Offender Database will not be eligible for employment.
  5. Credit Checks – A check of a potential employee’s credit history is becoming normal for many jobs, even outside the security industry. Most states require security guard applicants to consent to a credit check, and in most cases, if an employer turns down an applicant due to a problem on their credit report, they are required to show the applicant the report and the reason for the rejection.
  6. Open Charges – If an applicant is in the midst of legal battle, for example, if they are engaged in a civil case with a spouse or family member, or perhaps involved in a domestic violence case or under a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order, it is unlikely that they can be hired.

Established and well managed security providers will have their own battery of application and interview questions that add depth and detail to the typical background check process. Despite how extensive state and federal background checks might be, there is no substitute for sitting across from an individual and asking probing questions about their current legal status as well as their past.

Hire Security Providers

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 572

Hire Security ProvidersWhen the safety and protection of your business, employees and personal property are at stake, is it really in your best interest to hire the lowest priced security provider? We’ve all heard the saying “you get what you pay for” and that certainly holds true in the security business. The simple truth is that low cost security providers are often not qualified to perform the level of services required to ensure you’re safe and secure in today’s volatile world. Let’s look at a few reasons why.

Each state has different licensing and registration regulations, so be sure that your security partner has obtained the appropriate credentials and insurance required by law. Sure, you can hire an unlicensed guard to patrol your property, but how can you be sure about their ability to handle unwanted or illegal activity in the proper manner? What if their actions land you or your business in court? Are you protected in such an instance or are you left with all the liability? Lawsuits often include vendor selection and vetting processes, so be sure you select a reputable security provider that is licensed, bonded and insured, and ask for references. The imagined time and money saved on a low cost security providers quickly evaporates when faced with long term legal issues. In fact, research shows that security companies are one of the most sued industries, which is commonsense based on the inherent risks involved protecting people and property in many different situations and industries.

Low cost security guard companies also tend to have an extremely high turnover. They typically hire individuals who work part time, are between jobs or are just looking to pick up a few extra dollars. These untrained transient employees typically have no motivation to care about their job performance. By contrast, career security professionals are carefully vetted, well trained, diligently supervised, utilize technology, and are monitored 24/7 by GPS to document their duties. These checks and balances cost a little more, but naturally create the most vigilant security guards.

Remember, that when you hire security guards or personal protection, you’re hiring people that represent your brand personality and reputation. In many cases, these individuals may be the first impression a guest, visitor or potential customer comes in contact with when entering your premises. Whether you work in the public or private sector, the first impression counts, so the best security guards will look the part and act as helpful goodwill builders.

Also, consider this from the perspective of the security provider. If they offer low cost guards to your business, it means they are paying their guards poorly. That means they are most-likely spending an inordinate amount of time and effort dealing with turnover, callouts, lateness and discipline problems. If that’s where their energy is going, then proper hiring, training and customer service are certainly suffering.

Licenses, insurance, training, supervision, technology and office management all cost security companies a significant amount of time and money. Companies with no infrastructure will certainly offer a lower guard rate, but your overall safety, customer service and peace of mind will be lower as well. Remember, a lawsuit, loss or other security incident can seriously derail a business’s profitability and progress, so consider the possible downside when considering the low cost provider. Yes, you get what you pay for, but you also might get a lot more than you bargained for in terms of loss, aggravation and liability.

hand-erasing-gun-from-blackboard_Red filter

By: Don Benn, School Security Training Instructor, Echelon Protection & Surveillance.
Word count: 643

hand-erasing-gun-from-blackboard_Red filterEchelon has been providing security solutions for educational institutions and school districts since the company was founded in 2001.

At that time, our original duties were to provide a helpful, professional, uniformed presence to assist the school staff in standard activities such as hall monitoring, crowd control at sports events, traffic control at arrival and dismissal, deterring horseplay and breaking up the occasional fist fight. This traditional style of school security required minimal specialized training and little more than common sense, good-character, and a sense of responsibility on the part of our guards.

This changed drastically after the events of December 14, 2012 when a 20-year-old male in Newtown, Connecticut armed with multiple weapons shot his way into a locked local elementary school and in less than seven minutes murdered 20 students and 6 adult staff members before taking his own life. At the time, it was the deadliest mass school shooting in America.

Within a week of this horrific event, our focus at the 20 schools in which we worked at the time shifted from deterring horseplay to preventing tragedy. Working in conjunction with school safety experts, district professionals and governmental and security industry trainers we rethought, revised and expanded our own exclusive school security training.

All Echelon school security staff received our proprietary School Marshal training.  Acknowledging that the very notion of having uniformed security guards in schools is fraught with controversy, budget and public relations concerns, we sought areas of common ground in an effort to deliver the most effective and affordable school security solution.

In the weeks following the Newtown murders, Echelon security specialists accompanied school district leaders on safety and vulnerability inspections of their schools.  During these security assessments, recommendations were offered and incorporated into revised crisis prevention and response plans.  Echelon participated with school staff in district lockdown and evacuation drills. We shared our collective expertise and became more knowledgeable and better trained ourselves.

At that time, Echelon was viewed as an “outside vendor” who understood that our job was essentially to carry out the district safety policies that were already in place. In time, we became regarded as “security partners” that take the lead in assessing the risks and developing the proactive strategies and technology to prevent active shooters and other crisis related events. Currently we provide security for over 60 public, private, parochial, charter and religious schools on a full-time or part-time basis, and we are able to train every guard to respond to active shooter threats in order to protect the students, faculty and staff.

Our guards learn the basics of such tested and proven methods as Run-Hide-Fight, in which they learn to use confrontation as a last resort.  In addition, they receive training in Move-Escape-Attack, which is a little more flexible but a little tougher when in charge of a large group of students.

Our guards are exposed to a veritable alphabet soup of methods including A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter & Evacuate) and C.O.U.N.T.E.R. (Consider Options Use New Thinking & Evade or Retaliate).  We teach these varied forms of response because we want our security guards to be able to adapt to the policies and protocols of whatever school they are assigned to protect.

With each new tragedy, like the latest Valentine’s Day shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida (17 killed), new information and strategies are formulated by law enforcement agencies and private security companies like Echelon. The best security guards will have a survivor/protector mindset. We train our guards to overcome the very basic human instincts of Flee, Fight, or (worse) Freeze.  A variety of training and technology provides our guards with more options to keep every person safe.

Experienced Corporate Security

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 560

Experienced Corporate SecurityLanguage is always developing and as business and social structures change, so do the meanings of many terms.  In the security and protection industry, two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, “bodyguard” and “executive protection,” really have quite different meanings. As the security and protection landscape evolves, these terms have become even further apart in their meaning and application. To limit the confusion, we thought a little clarity from inside the industry might be helpful.

Bodyguard is an older more general term, that over time has suffered a bit based on the stereotype. The image is clear. We hear the term bodyguard and we imagine a menacing brute standing in front of their client with a “don’t even try it” look on his face. While the job description may require putting one’s own body in between the client and any potential harm, this is an outdated, brawn over brains approach that could escalate a conflict. Also, merely guarding a body is far from representing the full scope of protection needed by today’s VIP, executive, dignitary and celebrity clients. While an imposing presence is fine, an authoritative, professional presence that projects vigilance and training is the right choice for your VIP.

An untrained bodyguard will typically react to threats with immediate brute force which is not only dangerous, but a clear liability. In fact, if you hire some big guy from the local gym, that may be the extent of their abilities. An executive protection specialist, on the other hand, is thoroughly trained to work as an individual or as part of a seamless personal protection unit to mitigate threats or risks through careful planning and awareness. True specialists are trained not only in physical defense techniques, but in a host of other de-escalation methods as well.

For example, while they are trained in the use of firearms, an executive protection specialist is also trained to anticipate challenges and remove the client from harm before ever needing a weapon. Specialists are trained to evaluate situations for threats before they occur, by using mental and visual perimeters around their client as protective zones or layers. They may also be trained in specific subjects, like cultural sensitivity, technology, evasive driving, counterterrorism, advance planning, bomb sweeps and many other special skills required in today’s volatile environment.

With training comes expense, and as expected, the rates for a quality personal protection agent or team are going to be significantly higher than an untrained bodyguard. Most states have licensing requirements in order for someone to be certified in personal protection services, and various levels of certification are typically available. As is the case with most industries, individuals with a desire for career advancement and employment stability can pursue any number of levels of accreditation. Schools like Executive Security International in Colorado offer a variety of certification levels with course like the Executive Protection Program consisting of a 28 day residency.

The bottom line is, you get what you pay for when it comes to personal protection services. With the complexity of today’s security environment –technology, terrorism, advanced weapons – it just does not make sense to hire an untrained person to keep yourself, loved ones or VIP safe and secure. If you have a need for personal protection, we encourage you to be clear about your situation and discuss the solutions with a qualified personal protection specialist.

Quick Response Security Guard

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 511

Security Guard Quick ResponseIf your office or facility employs one or more security guards that perform patrols of your business or campus, you must be certain that your guards are performing their duties while documenting all activity with clear, detailed reports which are reviewed daily and filed for future use.

Every facility is different and factors such as industry, size, location, layout, and so much more influence both the guard’s tour patrols and protocols. As an example, a retail store certainly has a different set of directives than say, a construction site or public school. Depending on whether your guards are protecting inventory, property or people, there will be many different factors to consider. However, there are security best practices common to most businesses, and understanding these procedures will help with security assessments and defining protocols.

Let’s consider the facility layout first. Just about all businesses that occupy physical locations will have the following high threat areas in common:

  • Vaults, cash registers or anywhere that valuables are stored
  • Main entrances, exits and windows
  • Auxiliary entrances, loading docks, basements
  • Elevators and stairways
  • Connections to other buildings
  • HVAC systems
  • Electrical and alarm systems
  • Utility rooms
  • Data storage, computers and servers
  • Storage areas for anything from chemicals to food to parts and inventory

Then of course, there are exterior locations to consider. These might include the following:

  • Building exteriors, including roofs
  • Outbuildings, storage and garages
  • Dumpsters and loading areas
  • Landscaping and surrounding terrain
  • Entry and exit points
  • Fences and perimeters
  • Parking lots and access roads

It’s clear, that once you start to think about a strategy for securing your building or campus, there are a lot of variables to consider and it’s likely that you will find your specific security challenge has a few items from each group.

It’s worth having a good hard look at your areas of exposure with your security partner to make sure that you are considering all perspective areas of risk. For example, it does little good to schedule a basic nightly check of all doors, windows and entrances, but overlook the liability of intrusion from rooftops or adjoining buildings.

There are also many technology solutions to help manage tour patrols and guard reporting. Many software packages, like Officer Reports, which we use here at Echelon, allow our supervisors and scheduling department the ability to monitor guard locations via GPS and see reports from check-in locations in real time. Packages like these often bundle other features like time and attendance tracking, schedules and employee profiles, and tour reports can be sent to clients with clear, easy to read information – so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

As is always the case, whether you are managing your own proprietary security team or if you hire a security partner like Echelon to handle security for you, a clear understanding of your organization’s needs, physical layout and vulnerabilities are all required for any security strategy to be effective. The lists above is a good place to start.



Security officer reporting

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 607

technology influences the security industryAlmost every business has been affected, in some cases quite drastically, by new developments in technology. The security industry is no exception. Progressive security companies must not only employ new technology, they must also train and equip security guard personnel to install, use, monitor and interpret the growing data that result from deploying new hardware and software systems for clients that want verification and documentation of services.

And like other businesses, security companies have to make decisions on how much and what type of technology to use. Just because a technology is developed and available, does not necessarily mean it’s right for all clients. Technology professionals and security company management must remember that the basic needs of the security industry, i.e. protection of people and property, have not changed all that much. Any decisions to purchase and new technology must first meet the needs of the client.

That said, clients are educating themselves on the benefits of technology and expecting guidance, technical savvy and accountability from their security providers. This means that not only must providers obtain and use new technology where appropriate, they must also retrain their employees including security officers, supervisors and operations managers.

For example, tech savvy clients may seek security as a service (similar to Software as a Service or Saas) options from their providers. This typically entails the use of cloud based, remote security solutions and flexible, integrated options that meet the security needs of clients in specific industries. The ability to capture, analyze and save data for review are often part of the client needs in order to help mitigate liability. If businesses want to remain competitive, they must be ready to offer these services which often carry a monthly fee.

For the most part, security guards, now typically required to carry smart phones, must also be trained in how to use mobile apps, dashboards and reporting tools. A security system is only as good as the input it receives, so video cameras, access controls and security officers alike all contribute usable information from their locations into a central system which must be secure and monitored constantly.

Like most other industries, automation is also playing a larger role. Gone are the days where security officers can only “review the tapes” after an incident has occurred. Intelligent, automated systems can now alert human operators by motion sensor when a potential incident is developing. Far from replacing the need for human security officers, these new technologies are simply changing the nature of traditional security guard responsibilities.

Surveillance systems have gone beyond being simply loss prevention or incident monitoring applications. With expanding features becoming available, even including artificial intelligence, end users of surveillance products are starting to expect business intelligence from their systems. For example, while a camera based security system monitors store activity and helps prevent theft, as a side benefit, some systems can generate heat maps to determine higher traffic zones and areas of specific activity. Store managers can then deploy everything from additional security guards to special sales displays in those areas. This provides a dual benefit of both security oriented intelligence and sales and marketing insights as well.1

Of course, technology moves at an accelerated pace, but launches of new products still require some time to be beta tested so any problems can be worked out. Adopting a new technology too early might result in failures due to unforeseen bugs or technical problems. Too late, and a business will find itself behind its competition. To remain competitive in the digital age, security companies must anticipate trends while staying well-informed of developments in all the technologies that may affect their industry.

1Gonzales, Andy (2017) 5 Technology Trends Impacting the Surveillance Industry Security Insights




By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 668

security guard photoThe past year has been a busy year for everyone here at Echelon. As we look back on 2017, we are reminded that the services we provide play a crucial role in creating a sense of safety and security for our clients. We are also aware that security and safety has become a top priority for many organizations over the last year. Since we’ve put so much thought and effort into developing our exceptional team of security professionals, that we thought we would provide our list of the most important qualities needed to be a top security officer.

1. Well Trained Topping our list is the certainty that a great security officer should be well vetted and trained. Good training can help keep a bad situation from growing out of control, and can potentially keep people safer and even save lives. And since there are so many different situations in the public and private sector that may require security officers, from personal protection and armed guards to school security, loss prevention and crowd control, it is essential that the officer with the right training be placed at each jobsite.

2. Communication Skills In many security scenarios, the ability to quickly assess a situation and communicate it accurately to the rest of the team and to those whom you are hired to protect is essential for any good security professional. Understanding the immediate needs and choosing the right words to communicate can be crucial whether you are communicating verbally or using technology to report or document an incident.

3. Honesty Security officers are charged with protecting not only people, but property, inventory, cash, valuables, equipment, facilities as well as many other types of assets. Honesty and integrity are key ingredients for success. Since security officers often have unrestricted access to all of the above, there will be ample opportunities for theft or deceit, but a good, honest guard with a well vetted background check will be much less likely to succumb to such temptations. Integrity and honesty are absolute musts in our book.

4. Mindfulness In the majority of situations where a security officer is employed, there will be a potential for interaction with all types of people. Imagine a large office building in a major city. In any given day, a security guard might encounter people of all different ethnic and economic backgrounds. International business people, tourists and even homeless people looking for shelter or a place to rest. Security guards should be trained to act as a goodwill builder, concierge and brand representative. When challenges arise it’s also important that guards have been taught to manage aggressive behavior. A good security officer knows how to assess people’s demeanors and de-escalate situations mindfully so they do not erupt into conflict.

5. Vigilance Security professionals are generally required to either be on patrol or posted at one location (seated or standing) for hours at a time. It’s essential to stay alert and vigilant as not to allow attention to be diverted by distractions or boredom. An unmindful officer can easily miss a thief in action or fail to notice suspicious, illegal or unwanted activity.

6. Physical Fitness If a security guard is not in decent physical shape, it is unlikely that he or she can perform their duties adequately. Not only do guards often need to be on their feet for long periods of time, but they may need to run, carry heavy objects and perhaps even break up fights or apprehend intruders. Also, a superior physical appearance helps to project authority, professionalism and commands a sense of respect.

With 18 years of experience in the security industry, we strongly believe that these are some of the most basic qualities that a good security officer should have. Since our company is constantly recruiting security guards to keep up with demand, we are always on the lookout for these qualities. We want all our clients to be confident that we will provide them with gold standard of security guard services.

woman at the phone while driving

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 716

woman at the phone while driving

The traffic light up ahead turns red, you slow down as you pull into the left lane and come to a stop next to a car in the right lane with a young lady at the wheel. Chances are good that you will look to your right and the driver will be looking at her phone. Not the light. Not the pedestrians debating whether or not to cross. Not the cars and trucks all around the busy intersection. She’s completely absorbed in her device.

We’ve all seen it. Perhaps we’ve even done it ourselves. Texting, emailing, making phone calls aka “distracted driving.” It’s a growing problem and it gets even worse during the holidays.

While this subject may be a little outside of our usual range of topics, I have been a Volunteer Firefighter, and more recently a Fire Police Officer, at the Fort Washington Fire Company for over 40 years, so everyone here at Echelon is committed to doing our part to facilitate a safer world. And distracted driving is far from safe. With the holiday season in full swing, the possibilities for distractions while driving increase, so the last thing anyone should do is add the extra layer of distraction by texting or using social media while driving. Even without this relatively new safety issue, the driving fatality statistics during the holidays are alarming.

According to the American Safety Council, the top 6 most dangerous holidays to be on the road are as follows1:

  1. Fourth of July
  2. Thanksgiving
  3. New Year’s Day
  4. Christmas
  5. Labor Day
  6. Memorial Day

We are right in the thick of that list with a cluster of holidays, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day and Christmas, occupying the number 2, 3 and 4 slots. And this year, with both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eves both falling on a weekend day, we can expect a higher number of fatalities than usual.

But that has been pretty much the standard for many years, and many of the accidents that contribute to the above rankings are caused by drunk drivers. But now, if we add cell phones to that mix, we start to see some truly alarming statistics.

The National Safety Council (NSC) tell us that fatalities on U.S. roads rose by 14 percent since 2015. This is the largest two-year increase in five decades and attributed to cell phone use while driving. A recent study from Cambridge Mobile Telematics revealed these key findings2:

  • Distracted driving was a factor in 52% of trips that ended in an accident.
  • The average duration of distraction on these drives was 135 seconds.
  • On 20 percent of distracted drives, phone distraction lasts for two minutes or more. This often occurs at higher speeds with 29% at speeds exceeding 56 mph.
  • The worst 10% of distracted drivers are 2.3 times more likely to be in a crash than an average driver, and 5.8 times more likely than the best 10% of drivers.

Tragically, the NSC also tells us that every day in the United States, 11 teens die as a result of texting while driving. That’s a sobering thought, and it is disheartening to know that during this holiday season, dozens of families will be suffering the loss of a teenage family member simply because someone could not wait a few minutes to send or respond to a text.

Laws banning phone use during driving are only marginally effective, but oddly enough, the object at the very center of such tragedies, the smart phone, may actually be part of the solution. Abundant apps are appearing that will disable phone usage during driving, and parents and teens alike are adopting these safety measures. Other apps can be used that analyze driving behavior, and some even employ gamification to engage young drivers in improving their skills.

Let’s face it; as a teen today, it is very difficult to resist the perceived need to respond instantly to a text or social media post. When it comes to our weak spots, we all could use some help, so if the smartphone itself can be employed to solve a problem it has inadvertently caused, then there is hope on the horizon.

In the meantime, stay alert, put down the cell phone and drive happily and safely through this holiday season.

1The American Safety Council, The Six Most Dangerous Days to be on the Road, (Nov. 19th 2017), http://blog.americansafetycouncil.com/six-most-dangerous-holidays-to-be-on-the-road-2/

2Beauchamp, Sandie, New data from Cambridge Mobile Telematics shows distracted driving dangers (CMT, Apr. 3rd, 2017) https://www.cmtelematics.com/press/new-data-cambridge-mobile-telematics-shows-distracted-driving-dangers/

Cannabis grow facility

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 576

Cannabis grow facilitySales of legal cannabis are growing at an annual rate of 17 percent and are expected to reach $13.3 billion in 2020, according to a report by New Frontier Data1. Clearly, we have a growing industry (pun intended) and the participants are developing systems and operational standards as they go. For obvious reasons, one of the areas that requires some quick learning is in the area of security.

A quick search on Indeed.com for jobs with the keywords “Cannabis Security” returned 129 results. A general search on the category returned 871 jobs. No doubt, this is becoming big business and of course, there is a lot of money involved. But there are plenty of issues as well. Marijuana is still a controlled substance in much of the country, and the main players in this space used to be organized crime and drug dealers. Transporting the product is akin to transporting gold; it is very valuable and untraceable if stolen.

Insurance companies and risk advisors typically rate cannabis operations in the “high risk” category, comparable to liquor stores and pawn shops. Most banks will not work with these companies, and some large security businesses like ADT refuse to service this industry, largely out of fear of losing government contracts, since pot is still illegal as far as the federal government is concerned. As of November, 2017, there are 29 states (plus D.C.) that have legalized marijuana2.

Security companies in states where pot is legal are already scrambling to position themselves as leading providers. Offerings will typically include armed and unarmed security guards, armored vehicles for transporting goods and cash, and security and surveillance systems for both growing facilities and dispensaries. The products are pretty much the same as they are in other industries: security cameras, integrated systems, employee management and screening, on-premises guards and the like.

At the moment, the largest market for legal cannabis is in Los Angeles, California. Until quite recently, neither the state nor the city of L.A. had instituted regulations concerning how the cannabis entrepreneurs managed security, but that is soon to change after the public voted to pass Measure M, a fairly comprehensive measure to create not only security protocols, but industry wide regulations.

Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana sales and usage in 2016 requires dispensaries to maintain round the clock video surveillance, and data must be stored for a minimum of four years. That’s a costly proposition to be sure, and some companies are reporting security costs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Cheaper alternatives and workarounds probably exist, but vulnerability is of course a major concern.

Tony Gallo, CEO of Dallas-based Sapphire Risk Advisory Group, currently works with cannabis companies and notes that 60% to 70% of theft at marijuana dispensaries is committed by employees. Mr. Gallo suggests that employee vetting and creating work cultures that reward honesty can go a long way to keeping security costs down3.

In any case, the legal cannabis industry and market will continue to grow, and since security is a crucial element, a subsector of the security industry will no doubt emerge to meet the growing need. It is likely that large companies who want to do business nationally or with the federal government will stay away, and smaller companies will be hard pressed to obtain financing sufficient to address the needs of the market (armored vehicles, for example), so it looks like this may be a golden opportunity for the mid-sized security companies.

Posted On 00/00/0000
Unarmed Security Guard
 Central New Jersey Salary Range: 11.0000 To 13.0000 (USD) Hourly
Worker Category: Part Time
Job Class: Manual Labor

Echelon Protection & Surveillance is hiring for an unarmed Security Guard to work our site in  NJ. Work will start immediately. Security Guard experience is preferred, but not necessary. We offer PAID on the job training. Salary: $11-$13/hr.  Candidates must have: 1) NJ SORA CARD; 2) Drivers License. Candidates must have reliable transportation (re: your own car) and a working cell phone to qualify for the position.



Job Title:

Echelon Protection & Surveillance (EPS) Security Officer


Job Description:

The EPS Security Officer is responsible for providing for the safety and security of client, client property, and personnel at an assigned site or event.


Major Areas of Responsibility:

· Monitors and surveils an assigned client site.

· Responds to any incident that involves safety, security, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity, or other unsafe condition.

· Reports any incident that occurs at the client site, per site protocols.

· Contacts, coordinates, and cooperates with law enforcement agencies when an incident involves that agency’s response.

· Protects and preserves any scene or evidence at the site when further investigation is necessary.

· Assists with traffic direction and/or parking at the assigned site.

· Conducts required patrols of the client’s site on foot or in a vehicle.

· Inspects any safety equipment, fire suppression apparatus, or protective devices.

· Controls access to the client site.

· Uses appropriate measures to preserve order and ensure the safety and security of the client, the client site, and site personnel.

· Prepares any required site or incident documentation.


Job Requirements:

A prospective EPS Security Officer must meet one of the following criteria:

· Law enforcement experience

· Other public safety experience

· Correctional officer experience

· Military experience within the past three years

· Graduate of an accredited police academy

· High school diploma or GED

· One year of prior satisfactory security experience


Additionally, a prospective EPS Security Officer must:

· Be able to make foot patrols of up to a half-hour, and/or stand for long periods of time.

· Be able to walk over uneven terrain and navigate inclines and stairs.

· Be able to read and write, as well as print clearly and legibly.

· Be able to work variable hours and shifts.

· Hold a valid Driver’s License.

· Be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others.

· Have the ability to reasonably protect themselves and others.

· Be able to follow both verbal and written directions.

· Have access to a motor vehicle at all times.

· Maintain a “Smart” telephone with Internet capability for proper communication.

· Maintain an active e-mail account.

· Demonstrate basic computer skills.

· Successfully complete the Echelon Orientation Course.

· Pass a pre-employment drug screen.

· Be capable of occasional lifting of objects weighing up to twenty-five pounds.


Echelon Protection and Surveillance is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its employment practices.


Community Protest

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 600

Community Protest Over the past several years, we have all witnessed unprecedented volatility in our national politics. To be sure, there is a lot of anger, resentment and finger pointing between members of our two main parties. This condition is not confined to Washington D.C. or the halls Congress. Local politics, town halls, community events and more often get quite heated and even violent. During the 2016 presidential campaign, the evening news featured footage of a shooting, fights and general aggressive behavior, and since the election, town halls, in particular those held by Republicans, have been interrupted by angry protesters and minor skirmishes have ensued.

Some politicians are requesting police escorts as they travel to and from their town halls, and others hire their own private security details to protect them. But what about attendees? Are there measures that can be put in place to ensure the safety of participants? There are plenty of guidelines from child safety organizations on how to keep children safe at public events, but when the adults in the room are endangering each other, this opens up a new set of security challenges.

The obvious solutions include hiring security guards or requesting that local police stations send an officer to an event that might be politically volatile. Unfortunately, most police departments charge a very high hourly rate to protect local meetings, and if they get an emergency call they may unexpectedly leave you unprotected. Event organizers can also try to recruit off-duty police officers or other security professionals to volunteer at events. The visible presence of security teams is certainly a strong deterrent to those who might be inclined to start trouble.

Meeting organizers should consider adding comments about safety, egress and outline behavioral guidelines during opening remarks. This might help mitigate spontaneous aggressive behavior, but in many cases, individuals and groups come to a meeting or event with pre-planned intent to disrupt. Even so, that can be addressed directly, and guidelines that allow all voices to be heard can go a long way towards bringing down the emotional temperature of a room.

Whenever possible, surveillance systems should also be in place. It’s a good deterrent strategy to mention at the outset of a meeting that participants are being digitally recorded. Although digital technology has made video security systems very affordable, many buildings, particularly those with historical or architectural interest, and certainly those with landmark preservation status, have restrictions in place as to what can be done both visually and structurally to the building. Workarounds include temporary free-standing camera systems. Remember, that cameras can only help you after the fact, so vigilant security professionals are crucial when unwanted activity begins.

Of course, planning any event well in advance gives organizers a chance to really consider security needs with a critical eye. Events with big name speakers, politicians and public figures, especially if they lean strongly to one side of the political spectrum, are certain to require more security than other, less volatile events. Meetings that are open to the public or that may attract attendees from outside of the community may also require tighter security.

In any case, safety and security starts with the awareness that any event may be a target for violence or disruption. The simple truth is that we no longer have the luxury to assume that every event will be peaceful and orderly, and if there is any threat to the well-being of attendees, security and protection has to be a top priority.

Posted On 06/26/2018

Echelon Protection & Surveillance is hiring for an unarmed Security Guard to work evenings at our Acme Supermarket sites in the Philadelphia Area (hours range 24-40 hours/week). No experience is necessary! We offer PAID on the job training. Candidates must have 1. PA Child Abuse Clearance 2. FBI Fingerprinting (specific to school districts). If you don’t have the clearances, EPS can help you get them. Base pay is $11/hr and increases with experience. Candidates must have reliable transportation (YOUR OWN CAR) to qualify for the position. APPLY NOW!



Job Title:

Echelon Protection & Surveillance (EPS) Security Officer

Job Description:

The EPS Security Officer is responsible for providing for the safety and security of client, client property, and personnel at an assigned site or event.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

· Monitors and surveils an assigned client site.

· Responds to any incident that involves safety, security, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity, or other unsafe condition.

· Reports any incident that occurs at the client site per site protocols.

· Contacts, coordinates, and cooperates with law enforcement agencies when an incident involves that agency response.

· Protects and preserves any scene or evidence at the site when necessary to further an investigation.

· Assists with traffic direction and/or parking at the assigned site.

· Conducts required patrols of the client site on foot or in vehicle.

· Inspects any safety equipment, fire suppression apparatus, or protective devices.

· Controls access to the client site.

· Uses appropriate force to preserve order and ensure the safety and security of the client, the client site, and site personnel.

· Prepares any required site or incident documentation.

Job Requirements:

A prospective EPS Security Officer must meet one of the following criteria:

· Law enforcement experience

· Other public safety experience

· Correctional officer experience

· Military experience within the past three years

· Graduate of an accredited police academy

· High school diploma or GED

· One year of prior satisfactory security experience

Additionally, a prospective EPS Security Officer must:

· Be able to make foot patrols of up to a half-hour, and/or stand for long periods of time.

· Be able to walk over uneven terrain and navigate inclines and stairs.

· Be able to read, write, and print clearly and legibly.

· Be able to work variable hours and shifts.

· Hold a valid operator’s license.

· Be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others.

· Have the ability to reasonably protect themselves and others.

· Be able to follow both verbal and written directions.

· Have access to a motor vehicle at all times.

· Maintain a “Smart” telephone with Internet capability for proper communication.

· Maintain an active e-mail account.

· Demonstrate basic computer skills.

· Successfully complete the Echelon Orientation Course.

· Pass a pre-employment drug screen.

· Be capable of occasional lifting of objects weighing up to twenty-five pounds.

Echelon Protection and Surveillance is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its employment practices.


Echelon Protection & Surveillance is hiring for an unarmed Security Guard Rover to service our Philadelphia Area clientele. Schedule: Monday- Sunday;  Shift times varies between 1pm-7:00am.  Applicants must have at least one year of guard experience to qualify! We offer PAID on the job training. Candidates must have 1. A flexible schedule. 2. PA Child Abuse Clearance 3. FBI Fingerprinting 4. Drivers License. If you don’t have the clearances, I can help you get them. Candidates must have reliable transportation (YOUR OWN CAR) to qualify for the position.

Salary Package $31,200k (annually) w/:

  • SALARIED Bi-weekly Pay
  • Paid-Time off
  • Medical Benefits
  • Paid on-the-job Training




Job Title:

Echelon Protection & Surveillance (EPS) Security Officer

Job Description:

The EPS Security Officer is responsible for providing for the safety and security of client, client property, and personnel at an assigned site or event.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

· Monitors and surveils an assigned client site.

· Responds to any incident that involves safety, security, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity, or other unsafe condition.

· Reports any incident that occurs at the client site per site protocols.

· Contacts, coordinates, and cooperates with law enforcement agencies when an incident involves that agency response.

· Protects and preserves any scene or evidence at the site when necessary to further an investigation.

· Assists with traffic direction and/or parking at the assigned site.

· Conducts required patrols of the client site on foot or in vehicle.

· Inspects any safety equipment, fire suppression apparatus, or protective devices.

· Controls access to the client site.

· Uses appropriate force to preserve order and ensure the safety and security of the client, the client site, and site personnel.

· Prepares any required site or incident documentation.

Job Requirements:

A prospective EPS Security Officer must meet one of the following criteria:

· Law enforcement experience

· Other public safety experience

· Correctional officer experience

· Military experience within the past three years

· Graduate of an accredited police academy

· High school diploma or GED

· One year of prior satisfactory security experience

Additionally, a prospective EPS Security Officer must:

· Be able to make foot patrols of up to a half-hour, and/or stand for long periods of time.

· Be able to walk over uneven terrain and navigate inclines and stairs.

· Be able to read, write, and print clearly and legibly.

· Be able to work variable hours and shifts.

· Hold a valid operator’s license.

· Be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others.

· Have the ability to reasonably protect themselves and others.

· Be able to follow both verbal and written directions.

· Have access to a motor vehicle at all times.

· Maintain a “Smart” telephone with Internet capability for proper communication.

· Maintain an active e-mail account.

· Demonstrate basic computer skills.

· Successfully complete the Echelon Orientation Course.

· Pass a pre-employment drug screen.

· Be capable of occasional lifting of objects weighing up to twenty-five pounds.

Echelon Protection and Surveillance is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its employment practices.


Posted On 12/11/2017
School Security Guard
Coatesville Job Class: Manual Labor

Echelon Protection & Surveillance is hiring for an unarmed Security Guard to work at Coatesville High School in Coatesville, PA for the current 2017-2018 school year. Work will start immediately. Experience with youth is preferred but not mandatory. We offer PAID on the job training. Candidates must have: 1) PA Child Abuse Clearance, and; 2) FBI Fingerprinting (specific to school districts). If you don’t have the clearances, we can help you get them. The starting pay is $13/hr, and we offer a travel stipend.  Candidates must have reliable transportation (re: your own car) and a working cell phone to qualify for the position. APPLY NOW!



 Job Title:

Echelon Protection & Surveillance (EPS) Security Officer

Job Description:

The EPS Security Officer is responsible for providing for the safety and security of client, client property, and personnel at an assigned site or event.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

· Monitors and surveils an assigned client site.

· Responds to any incident that involves safety, security, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity, or other unsafe condition.

· Reports any incident that occurs at the client site, per site protocols.

· Contacts, coordinates, and cooperates with law enforcement agencies when an incident involves that agency’s response.

· Protects and preserves any scene or evidence at the site when further investigation is necessary.

· Assists with traffic direction and/or parking at the assigned site.

· Conducts required patrols of the client’s site on foot or in a vehicle.

· Inspects any safety equipment, fire suppression apparatus, or protective devices.

· Controls access to the client site.

· Uses appropriate measures to preserve order and ensure the safety and security of the client, the client site, and site personnel.

· Prepares any required site or incident documentation.


Job Requirements:

A prospective EPS Security Officer must meet one of the following criteria:

· Law enforcement experience

· Other public safety experience

· Correctional officer experience

· Military experience within the past three years

· Graduate of an accredited police academy

· High school diploma or GED

· One year of prior satisfactory security experience


Additionally, a prospective EPS Security Officer must:

· Be able to make foot patrols of up to a half-hour, and/or stand for long periods of time.

· Be able to walk over uneven terrain and navigate inclines and stairs.

· Be able to read and write, as well as print clearly and legibly.

· Be able to work variable hours and shifts.

· Hold a valid Driver’s License.

· Be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others.

· Have the ability to reasonably protect themselves and others.

· Be able to follow both verbal and written directions.

· Have access to a motor vehicle at all times.

· Maintain a “Smart” telephone with Internet capability for proper communication.

· Maintain an active e-mail account.

· Demonstrate basic computer skills.

· Successfully complete the Echelon Orientation Course.

· Pass a pre-employment drug screen.

· Be capable of occasional lifting of objects weighing up to twenty-five pounds.


Echelon Protection and Surveillance is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its employment practices.



Posted On: 12/11/2017

Echelon Protection & Surveillance is hiring for an unarmed Security Guard to work at a Medical Facility in Royersford, PA Monday- Friday 11pm-6:00am. No experience is necessary! We offer PAID on the job training. Candidates must have 1. PA Child Abuse Clearance 2. Drivers License. If you don’t have the clearances, I can help you get them. Salary range $11-$13/hr Candidates must have reliable transportation (YOUR OWN CAR) to qualify for the position. Immediate employment available. APPLY NOW!



Job Title:

Echelon Protection & Surveillance (EPS) Security Officer

Job Description:

The EPS Security Officer is responsible for providing for the safety and security of client, client property, and personnel at an assigned site or event.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

· Monitors and surveils an assigned client site.

· Responds to any incident that involves safety, security, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity, or other unsafe condition.

· Reports any incident that occurs at the client site per site protocols.

· Contacts, coordinates, and cooperates with law enforcement agencies when an incident involves that agency response.

· Protects and preserves any scene or evidence at the site when necessary to further an investigation.

· Assists with traffic direction and/or parking at the assigned site.

· Conducts required patrols of the client site on foot or in vehicle.

· Inspects any safety equipment, fire suppression apparatus, or protective devices.

· Controls access to the client site.

· Uses appropriate force to preserve order and ensure the safety and security of the client, the client site, and site personnel.

· Prepares any required site or incident documentation.

Job Requirements:

A prospective EPS Security Officer must meet one of the following criteria:

· Law enforcement experience

· Other public safety experience

· Correctional officer experience

· Military experience within the past three years

· Graduate of an accredited police academy

· High school diploma or GED

· One year of prior satisfactory security experience

Additionally, a prospective EPS Security Officer must:

· Be able to make foot patrols of up to a half-hour, and/or stand for long periods of time.

· Be able to walk over uneven terrain and navigate inclines and stairs.

· Be able to read, write, and print clearly and legibly.

· Be able to work variable hours and shifts.

· Hold a valid operator’s license.

· Be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others.

· Have the ability to reasonably protect themselves and others.

· Be able to follow both verbal and written directions.

· Have access to a motor vehicle at all times.

· Maintain a “Smart” telephone with Internet capability for proper communication.

· Maintain an active e-mail account.

· Demonstrate basic computer skills.

· Successfully complete the Echelon Orientation Course.

· Pass a pre-employment drug screen.

· Be capable of occasional lifting of objects weighing up to twenty-five pounds.

Echelon Protection and Surveillance is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its employment practices.


Posted On: 06/26/2018

Echelon Protection & Surveillance is hiring for an unarmed Security Guard to work weekends (Fri-Sun) at our client sites in the Philadelphia Area (hours range 16-24 hours/week). No experience is necessary! We offer PAID on the job training. Candidates must have 1. PA Child Abuse Clearance 2. FBI Fingerprinting (specific to school districts). If you don’t have the clearances, EPS can help you get them. Base pay is $11/hr and increases with experience. Candidates must have reliable transportation (YOUR OWN CAR) to qualify for the position. APPLY NOW!



Job Title:

Echelon Protection & Surveillance (EPS) Security Officer

Job Description:

The EPS Security Officer is responsible for providing for the safety and security of client, client property, and personnel at an assigned site or event.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

· Monitors and surveils an assigned client site.

· Responds to any incident that involves safety, security, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity, or other unsafe condition.

· Reports any incident that occurs at the client site per site protocols.

· Contacts, coordinates, and cooperates with law enforcement agencies when an incident involves that agency response.

· Protects and preserves any scene or evidence at the site when necessary to further an investigation.

· Assists with traffic direction and/or parking at the assigned site.

· Conducts required patrols of the client site on foot or in vehicle.

· Inspects any safety equipment, fire suppression apparatus, or protective devices.

· Controls access to the client site.

· Uses appropriate force to preserve order and ensure the safety and security of the client, the client site, and site personnel.

· Prepares any required site or incident documentation.

Job Requirements:

A prospective EPS Security Officer must meet one of the following criteria:

· Law enforcement experience

· Other public safety experience

· Correctional officer experience

· Military experience within the past three years

· Graduate of an accredited police academy

· High school diploma or GED

· One year of prior satisfactory security experience

Additionally, a prospective EPS Security Officer must:

· Be able to make foot patrols of up to a half-hour, and/or stand for long periods of time.

· Be able to walk over uneven terrain and navigate inclines and stairs.

· Be able to read, write, and print clearly and legibly.

· Be able to work variable hours and shifts.

· Hold a valid operator’s license.

· Be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others.

· Have the ability to reasonably protect themselves and others.

· Be able to follow both verbal and written directions.

· Have access to a motor vehicle at all times.

· Maintain a “Smart” telephone with Internet capability for proper communication.

· Maintain an active e-mail account.

· Demonstrate basic computer skills.

· Successfully complete the Echelon Orientation Course.

· Pass a pre-employment drug screen.

· Be capable of occasional lifting of objects weighing up to twenty-five pounds.

Echelon Protection and Surveillance is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its employment practices.


Posted On: 05/25/2017

Security Guard – FT Daytime / Including 1 Weekend Day – 40 Hours
Philadelphia, PA, US

Job Class: Manual Labor

SECURITY GUARD JOB: Full time, 40 hour schedule (includes one weekend shift). Must have vehicle, cell phone, PA Child Abuse & FBI Background Checks. All guards will be drug tested. Starting pay: $25k ~ 30k/year, based on experience, plus benefits.

Requisition ID 1006

Echelon Protection & Surveillance is hiring for an unarmed Security Guard to work part-time Overnights at our sites in the Philadelphia Area Monday-Sunday 10:00pm-7am. No experience is necessary! We offer PAID on the job training. Candidates must have 1. PA Child Abuse Clearance 2. FBI Fingerprinting (specific to school districts). If you don’t have the clearances, EPS can help you get them. Base pay is $11/hr and increases with experience. Candidates must have reliable transportation (YOUR OWN CAR) to qualify for the position.  APPLY NOW!



Job Title:

Echelon Protection & Surveillance (EPS) Security Officer

Job Description:

The EPS Security Officer is responsible for providing for the safety and security of client, client property, and personnel at an assigned site or event.

Major Areas of Responsibility:

· Monitors and surveils an assigned client site.

· Responds to any unwanted & illegal activity

· Reports any incident that occurs at the client site per site protocols.

· Contacts, coordinates, and cooperates with law enforcement agencies when an incident involves that agency response.

· Protects and preserves any scene or evidence at the site when necessary to further an investigation.

· Assists with traffic direction and/or parking at the assigned site.

· Conducts required patrols of the client site on foot or in vehicle.

· Inspects any safety equipment, fire suppression apparatus, or protective devices.

· Controls access to the client site.

· Provide vigilant patrol service to client and site personnel;

· Prepares any required site or incident documentation.

Job Requirements:

A prospective EPS Security Officer must meet one of the following criteria:

· Law enforcement experience

· Other public safety experience

· Correctional officer experience

· Military experience within the past three years

· Graduate of an accredited police academy

· High school diploma or GED

· One year of prior satisfactory security experience

Additionally, a prospective EPS Security Officer must:

· Be able to make foot patrols of up to a half-hour, and/or stand for long periods of time.

· Be able to walk over uneven terrain and navigate inclines and stairs.

· Be able to read, write, and print clearly and legibly.

· Be able to work variable hours and shifts.

· Hold a valid operator’s license.

· Be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others.

· Have the ability to reasonably protect themselves and others.

· Be able to follow both verbal and written directions.

· Have access to a motor vehicle at all times.

· Maintain a “Smart” telephone with Internet capability for proper communication.

· Maintain an active e-mail account.

· Demonstrate basic computer skills.

· Successfully complete the Echelon Orientation Course.

· Pass a pre-employment drug screen.

· Be capable of occasional lifting of objects weighing up to twenty-five pounds.

Echelon Protection and Surveillance is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its employment practices.


church against blue sky with white clouds

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 555

church against blue sky with white cloudsThe tragic shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, underscores an unfortunate truth of our current time: places of peace and worship are particularly vulnerable to random violence. Equally disturbing is that such events are as unpredictable as they are hard to deter by the very nature of these religious institutions. Whatever we may find out about the shooters background or motive, we cannot escape the fact that, like the Mandalay Bay Hotel incident in Las Vegas, nobody could have predicted that any specific incident would happen on a particular day and location. But does that mean that there is simply nothing that can be done? Are there any ways to prepare for, or possibly even prevent, such an incident?

Sadly, houses of worship are quite familiar with violence. Dozens of Jewish community centers and synagogues have experienced bomb threats recently, mosques have been vandalized or attacked, and there have been 147 shootings at churches in the 10 years between 2006 and 20161. While, of course, this number is disconcerting to say the least, it does provide a statistical sample of reasonable enough size to learn something.

For example, according to Dallas Drake, a criminologist at Center for Homicide Research in Minneapolis, 48% of these attackers were affiliated with the church that they attacked. Furthermore, in 17% of these church shootings, the attacker felt unwelcome or had been rejected by the church. So that begs the question as to whether or not church officials and/or members might be able to recognize potential warning signs. Perhaps they could consider undergoing training to recognize behavior that may lead to violence, or possibly even create member run groups to reach out to troubled individuals. Maybe they can consider looking a little more closely, perhaps with the aid of social services or law enforcement, at church members who display troubling signs.

While church leaders are wary of creating an environment that does not facilitate feelings of peace and safety, they must consider the well-being of their congregation. Security guards, either armed or unarmed, may well be part of the solution.  Many churches have already installed security cameras and some now lock their doors once the service has begun. Church leaders speak frankly to their congregations about staying aware, and some churches are engaging local police or security companies to provide comprehensive security assessments, workshops and classes on what to do in violent situations.

Since many churches have police offers and security professional among their congregation, some have created volunteer programs where these members offer to act as guards, either armed or unarmed, during services and church events. Others have taken the step of hiring security professionals to patrol the building and grounds before, during and after services and church events like holiday festivals, picnics and the like.

The bottom line is that religious facilities and gatherings are soft targets for an attacker bent on doing harm due to the concentration of people confined in one place, at a specific time, with their attention focused in one direction. No matter what approach religious facilities take to address security, all agree that doing nothing is not an option.

1Burke, Daniel, The Truth About Church Shootings, Nov10. 2017, CNN.com http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/06/us/church-shootings-truth/index.html

Hotel sign at night

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 498
Hotel sign at night

After the recent Mandalay Bay hotel terrorism attack in Las Vegas, hotel owners, managers and their security teams are forced to take stock of their procedures and security protocols. For the most part, experts agree that given the conditions in place at the Mandalay Bay at the time of the incident, there was probably nothing that could have been done to prevent the tragedy from happening from a security protocol perspective. Nonetheless, the event has opened up the discussion, and a wide variety of ideas are being floated, from metal detectors and bag checks to bomb sniffing dogs.

Of course, for reasons of security, hotel spokespersons are reluctant to discuss any specific tactics, nor are they willing to publicly announce that they are “more secure” than other hotels for fear of a potential attacker considering that to be a challenge or a dare. However, most experts agree that a visible presence of additional security guards can certainly help. At the very least, it will help guests feel more secure and it may possibly deter a would-be attacker.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the industry’s main trade association, offers assistance and education on best practices for hotel security. Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the AHLA said in a recent written statement.

“Hotels have safety and security procedures in place that are regularly reviewed, tested and updated, as are their emergency response procedures…As we better understand the facts in the coming days, we will continue to work with law enforcement to evaluate these measures.1

Guests should expect hotels to be testing new procedures in the coming months, especially as the holidays approach. More robust surveillance systems are likely and some hotels are considering the possibility of X-ray machines and scanning equipment, but since hotel guests are paying a premium, in part for privacy, this will be a difficult tactic to implement.

That said, it may still be the best option. In countries where hotel attacks have occurred before, tougher and even invasive security procedures are regularly in use. Trace explosive detectors, baggage scanners and even facial recognition systems are in use in hotels on India, Israel and Egypt.

Security teams, training and overall risk are often based on the size and type of hospitality venue. At smaller hotels, security is often minimal, but this will have to change if industry participants no longer want to be regarded as “soft targets.” Training staff will be a key element of success, and everyone from hotel cleaning crews to the front desk personnel will need to be trained in spotting anomalies and warning signs.

Certainly, the hospitality industry on the whole has been slow to embrace stricter security measures for fear of alienating guests. But as we get used to longer lines at the airport, cameras on every street corner, and police officers with long guns, we may have to adjust our expectations when we check into our favorite hotels for the sake of safety, security and peace of mind.


1Source: New York Times; Oct 11, 2017 “Las Vegas Shooting Underscores Hotel Security Choices

Personal Protection at Comic_Con_1

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 497

Personal Protection at Comic_Con_1For individuals in the spotlight, fame offers both the pleasure of positive recognition, and the dangers that accompany being a known entity. Whether you’re a famous performer, a political figure, or a high-profile business person, finding yourself bumping up against excited fans, paparazzi, or constituents can prove to be one of the greatest risks of your particular role. An unfortunate consequence of today’s political climate is an extra charge of conflict between those with celebrity status and the public. Increasingly, there are individuals who feel it their responsibility to take a stand, sometimes by using violence. Because of these greater threats and the less stringent gun laws and regulations, if you are someone whose work places requires you to be in the public eye, you should take steps to protect yourself and your family.

First, consider hiring a certified protection professional to accompany you and your companions when you are traveling or know that you will be otherwise more publicly available. You can find body guards whose sole mission is to maintain your safety, while also allowing you a sense of autonomy and freedom despite their presences. When you are working with professional security group, ask them to access your level of risk, and to point out when and where you might be most vulnerable. You should also request that they create a strategy that takes into account all parties involved, and that includes ways to avoid any unnecessarily risky situations. Specifically, this could mean mapping out driving or travel routes, and searching for the safest alternatives.

Secondly, the ideal protection professional will always bear in mind the need for life to continue on as normally as possible, without the obvious intrusion of outside protection. Jim Dambach, Director of Executive Protection and Investigations, former Lieutenant, and Veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, Secret Service, and FBI explains the philosophy of Echelon’s approach. “Our eyes do not leave the individuals we are hired to protect. We anticipate and avoid threats, rather than reacting to them. Our number one priority and area of expertise is to cover the client and make sure he or she remains secure while also providing a minimal amount of interference.”

At Echelon, we pride ourselves in hiring the highest caliber bodyguards who are trained to manage the specific needs of a VIP and her or his cohorts. In addition, they are trained to administer emergency medical attention, to be adept at package inspection, and to be armed as needed. Lastly, they receive training in ways to serve and protect without invading your privacy, so that your travels or interactions are both safe and natural.

Our team is backed by an executive director with over 40 years of experience in a high-level position in the Philadelphia Police Department, and approximately thirty years investigative experience dealing with everything from street crime to corruption to homicides. We are prepared to protect you in the best way possible, with the least amount of infringement on your day-to-day activities.

Man Sitting Inside Car Photographing With SLR Camera

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 443
Man Sitting Inside Car Photographing With SLR Camera

Many people believe that a quick Internet search can lead them to all the information they need on any individual. In truth, online sources vary in reliability, and many of them require hefty fees for public information that could be obtained more quickly and efficiently by a professional investigator.  If you are considering investigating someone because you are either in the process of hiring or you suspect illegal conduct, don’t sacrifice the integrity of your business by using short cuts. Hiring a trained investigator will save you time, money, and will provide result you can count on.

Here are five advantages to working with a security company to obtain more information on an individual(s) before moving forward with any further decisions:

  • Reliable information: most private investigators or undercover agents are certified to gather information from state, local, and federal sources that are not easily accessible to the average citizen and that can be used in a court of law if needed.
  • Tangible proof: investigators will work to seek documents, photographs, financial, and/or legal reports with an eye toward information that will be persuasive to your advantage should the case need to move into litigation.
  • Discretion: a good agency will ensure that the information they gather is done in a discrete way, so that you can know the work is being done without your direct involvement.
  • Smart interpretation: oftentimes, private investigators will not only gather data, they will also assist you in interpreting its meaning. Most will have previous experience with criminal investigations, and so can explain the severity or meaning of any troubling information that’s uncovered.
  • Strategy:  once information is gathered, a good investigator will have already begun to formulate follow up measures including steps to take when further action is needed, advice about how to proceed, and some guidelines about the best ways to handle the matter at hand that will cause you the least amount of personal or professional stress.

At Echelon, we have a high level team of investigators with over 40 years of experience with the Philadelphia Police Department, and approximately thirty years investigative experience dealing with everything from street crime to corruption to homicides.  Our employees are all former police officers, detectives, or veterans of law enforcement skilled specifically in investigative services and bound to confidentiality and the highest level of ethics.

In the words of my colleague, Jim Dambach, Director of Personal Protection and Investigations at Echelon, and former Lieutenant, and Veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, worked with the Secret Service, and the FBI: “We bring a high level of experience and confidentiality to each investigation, tailoring it to fit the client’s needs. Our motto is to always operate with the utmost professionalism, integrity, and dedication to provide accurate and thorough results and informed guidance for next steps.”

School Campus Security

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 629

School Campus SecurityWhen parents send their children to school, the last thing they want to be thinking about is their safety. In response to this concern, a recent bill passed by the Pennsylvania Senate has voted to allow teachers and employees to carry guns while at school. Passing by a narrow margin of 28 to 22, Senate Bill 383 would “allow workers with concealed carry licenses to possess guns in schools if they meet training requirements and pass a psychological evaluation.”

However, many state senators and those who study school violence remain opposed to such measures, including survivors of the Sandy Hooks Elementary School attack, who collectively wrote in an open letter that arming teachers or others “would not have made us or our students any safer. In fact, it might’ve made things worse.”

While on the surface, allowing teachers to carry guns may seem like a reasonable solution, experts in the field of law enforcement agree that it actually creates more potential for disaster and creates additional problems than it avoids. According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “Laws that strip regulations for carrying guns in public places are associated with a 12% to 18% increase in violent crime over the 10 years following their adoption.” Furthermore, arming citizens who do not have access to the same training as law enforcements officials often leads to more casualties and more deaths.

For school administrators, the safest and most secure option is to hire professional security guards who embody the expertise and training needed to handle life-threatening situations. In this way, teachers can concentrate on their main purpose—educating students—while parents and students can rest easy, knowing that trained professionals are focused on the role of broad protection in multiple scenarios.

Proper school security relies on a mixture of planning, preparedness, and technology alongside vetted, trained, and certified security guards who are supervised by those outside of the school administration. Employing an experienced security company allows schools to look at the entire picture. First, most companies will develop a strategy by reviewing potential vulnerabilities in the school’s layout or design, as well as identifying and tagging the number of exit strategies that exist. They can then make recommendations for improvement. Secondly, a security company can create an emergency plan that can be shared among the teachers, administrators, and students as appropriate. As with most things, preparedness allows for much greater success in the event of an emergency. In addition, installing the proper technology such as video surveillance, or, in some cases, scanning mechanism, allows for a daily assurance that the property is being thoroughly monitored by individuals trained to spot problems.

The presence of certified school security guards offers numerous benefits. First and foremost, it creates an environment of accountability; those outside and inside the school recognize that an active monitoring system is in place, and threats of bullying or violence on all fronts are lowered. Secondly, with trained guards, you can be assured that responsive time and assessment in the event of an emergency situation will be enacted by individuals specifically trained to respond to these occurrences. Lastly, your students and faculty will not only feel safer, they will be better protected by guards whose sole purpose is to ensure their safety.

To learn more about how to best protect your school and your students, contact a representative at Echelon Protection & Surveillance. Our certified security guards and staff are the most highly-trained in the region, and members of our team come from backgrounds that include work in the highest ranks of the Philadelphia Police Department, Federal Agencies and other high-level, high quality areas. Our guards are supervised and monitored, and their progress and reports are documented on a regular basis to ensure transparency and accuracy.


fire damaged business

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count:  649

Securing Your Business after a FireImagine this: you receive a call late at night, learning that a fire has started at your business, leaving the structure in ruins. If you’re like most business owners, you first thought will be for the safety of your employees and the people in nearby buildings. Next, you’ll want to make sure that you have the necessary insurance documents to cover the costs of rebuilding.

Most business owners realize that they must have substantial accident insurance in the event of an unforeseen disaster. But often, they may not consider the steps that really need to be taken to protect them when the unthinkable happens. As a business owner or manager, you must consider what you would do if you experienced such a loss. Having insurance is obviously an important consideration, but so is knowing what to do to save time and money when a fire does occur.

Here are a few actions you can take in the moments following an unexpected loss due to fire:

  1. Within 24 hours of a fire, you are legally required to contact a licensed contractor to repair damaged system and pull any required permits. You must also contact state or country licensed personnel to conduct an ongoing fire watch.
  1. Hire a trained security officer to patrol the areas impacted. All fire and safety officers should be trained in fire prevention or be certified CFSI fire inspectors who understand the state law requirements as well as OSHA and NFPA safety standards.
  1. Research shows that construction site crime costs more than $1 billion per year in the United States. Get a professional assessment to identify vulnerable areas of the property and to develop a strategy to keep the site safe from trespassers, thieves or vandals.
  1. Secure your property. To avoid further loss due to theft, consider hiring a security company with the knowledge and manpower to ensure there is no further vandalism or material theft, which can create costly delays.
  1. Assess the floor layout, review emergency shutdown procedures, repair any damaged fire protection systems, and make sure that all of your equipment meets the state law standards.
  1. Consider adding additional security measures as you rebuild your property, such as surveillance tools or onsite guards who can offer 24 hour protection.
  1. Install additional security measures such as perimeter fencing, access control, temporary surveillance cameras, exterior lighting, deterrent signage, and a strategic jobsite layout.
  1. Keep accurate records of all fire watch reports to keep the fire marshal and the fire department informed.

For all of these services and more, Echelon Protection & Surveillance can meet with you immediately onsite to set you up for a successful transition from calamity to security. Along with the measures above, EPS will assist you with construction site security, starting with a strategic plan, tried and true safety measures, onsite protection, certified fire watch patrols, and daily logs complete with digital photos that identify areas of risk. A security account manager is also at your disposal, free of charge, so that you can receive regular status updates. As one final and important step, we work in tandem with local police to support our security measures, and further our goals of visible deterrence.

As a volunteer fire fighter for over 40 years and in my current role as the Fire Police Captain in Worchester Township, Montgomery County, I can assure you that Echelon is prepared to handle any crisis or hazard that develops.  Consider contacting a representative today, at no cost to you, to see what you can do to keep your business safe, including measures that prevent fire damage, such as better alarm systems, immediate notification of illegal entry, and a quick plan of action to put into practice should a disaster occur.

Business man and woman arguing silhouette

Planning for Employee Termination is Your Best Insurance

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 643

Business man and woman arguing silhouetteA disgruntled former employee can threaten more than your company’s reputation. Even when you follow clear human resource protocol in terminating an underperforming or difficult member of your team, that individual can still pose a threat to the safety of your business and the peace of mind of your current staff. However, you are not alone. With some prior planning and the support of security company skilled at managing conflict, you can ensure that an uncomfortable situation does not turn into a dangerous one.

As with most security measures, the first step is to employ smart safety strategies when hiring individuals. Though Benjamin Franklin’s axiom “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” may sound cliché, it’s true that anticipating challenges helps you avoid potential disasters down the road.

The first safety measure to take is to complete a thorough background check prior to hiring. It doesn’t matter if the prospective employee comes highly-recommended, or is someone you’ve known in a social capacity—you need to screen every new hire with the same level of scrutiny as you would a stranger. More than just checking references, think about hiring a security company who specializes in employee vetting and background checks. Such an organization will have access to national and international databases and records that you cannot get on your own.

Echelon Protection & Surveillance can provide access to credit checks, multi-state background checks, motor vehicle records, employment records or nearly any information criteria combination thereof.  We work with numerous law enforcement agencies and federal government sources to cover all of your bases. Basic background checks will give you results almost instantaneously. For more in-depth screenings, outcomes will be generated within just a few business days.
In rare instances, even when you work with a security company to ensure proper vetting, a former employee may still prove to be a threat. In that case, there are other measures you can take to protect your business and associates.

First of all, be cognizant of the possibility that an employee who has been let go may be less likely to respect the business as they are leaving the premises. In more obvious terms, this means that the individual may be more prone to theft of property or property damage in the wake of the termination. To avoid these costly situations, it’s best to have a strategic plan in place for end of employment that includes a safe exit strategy and surveillance plan as the individual is being asked to leave. Computers or other password protected accounts should immediately be changed. Keys, equipment and ID’s must be returned at the time of the exit interview. A security guard or other trained professional should be on hand to monitor all activity with the former staff member when they’re clearing out a work space and leaving the property. If you don’t have an on-staff security guard, you can hire one for as little as one day or as long as needed. The key is to have a trained security person on hand until you’re certain that there will be no retribution from the terminated employee(s). Be sure to consider key indictors of perspective challenges from terminated employees, such as: veiled or direct verbal threats, contact with former co-workers by phone, email or social media, returning to the property, or references to violence of any kind.

Echelon provides professional armed or unarmed security guards to trained in termination support planning to prevent unwanted activity in this situation. All of our security team members have been trained to deal with conflict resolution and de-escalation during crisis moments. They also have the added value of being an outside source not associated with the business, which often creates a less stressful environment for all involved.

Lastly, if you suspect that a former employee might retaliate via an act of vandalism, verbal or physical threats, and/or other forms of intimidation or illegal activity, consider heightening your security measures—whether temporarily or more permanently. The onsite visual presence of a security guard can strongly deter a would-be assailant, and surveillance video cameras also decrease the likelihood of a volatile threat.

You owe it to your business, your current employees, and yourself to create employee termination strategies that keep everyone safe.

Zoo Guards

Positive Behavior Training for Security Officers

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 662

Zoo GuardsWhen hiring security officers, you want to employ individuals who are highly-trained in crisis management, adept at handling conflict with professionalism and wisdom,  capable of de-escalating encounters, and, perhaps most importantly, level-headed during times of stress. In other words, you want security officers who function like the best of emergency professionals; able to act quickly while also minimizing further conflict or violence.

Particularly if your security officers are interacting with students/children, you will need to ensure they have been educated about how to best relate to school age children. This training should not be focused on behaviors during stressful situations, but more holistically on creating positive daily interactions that lead to a more constructive school environment overall. Studies show that students who view officers as helpers are more likely to report crimes or to share information regarding illegal activity.

One option to consider is giving your security officers special instruction and certification in conflict resolution. Most local community colleges offer these types of classes for working professionals. Other organizations will hold one to three day training programs that lead to basic certification in conflict resolution. Still others will train your entire security staff onsite for a nominal cost.

Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Employ a service specifically designed to train your security officers in this area. MOAB® Training International, Inc., for example, offers in-house instruction, one or three day courses, and courses specifically geared toward public safety officers. Courses from MOAB are designed solely for law enforcement, security, and military personnel. Visit their website for more information at moabtraining.com. As mentioned above, consider investigating continuing education courses located a nearby community colleges. Many will have coursework geared toward working professionals in the law enforcement field.
  2. Supply your staff with recommended reading or video materials geared toward conflict resolution. Elsevier, a world-renowned textbook resources, offers books such as Conflict Management for Security Professionals. Security Guard Management (sgmnow.com/conflict-resolution/) have several reasonably priced DVDs for training purposes that focus on conflict resolution and crisis response for those in uniform. Nightclub Security Consultants and OneStop Interactive offer online classes for a nominal fee on conflict resolution and the proper use of force (www.nightclubsecurity.com/).
  3. Hire security professionals who already possess a level of training in anger management, conflict resolution, and best practices for deescalating stress. At Echelon, all of our security officers learn how to evaluate tense situations as well as how to avoid further conflict. Each security guard is trained to deter and prevent unlawful activity in virtually every industry and They are subject to an intense screening process, including comprehensive state and federal background checks, and extensive interviewing processes. We also make certain that they receive continuing education in crisis management to ensure that they have the most up-to-date training and skills to keep them vigilant and engaged.  Those who work at schools are trained to interact with this population to create an atmosphere of trust and security. They are taught to manage a balance between respect and approach-ability, important qualities in building stronger relationships with young adults.

In addition, Frank Williar, Echelon’s Vice President of Operations and Training, provides an additional level of proprietary training and a special orientation class for all incoming security officers. Williar, who is part of the day-to-day interactions with our staff, served in the Lower Merion Township Police Department for more than 30 years, starting as a patrol officer and later working as a criminal investigator and a member of a surveillance team.  Like the rest of our staff, he is dedicated to public service, and ensuring the safety of Echelon’s clients by hiring and training the best security officers available.

However you decide to handle this aspect of best protecting your business, it is important to recognize that your security officers should be trained to resolve conflicts. Their ability to manage an emergency situation can make the difference between a peaceful outcome and a violent one.

School Security: The Importance of Highly Trained School Security Officers

By: Stuart J. Visnov, Chief Executive Officer, Echelon Protection & Surveillance
Word count: 682

In the past several years, we have seen our schools become the site of deadly mass shootings. According to statistic from FBI records in 2016, there had been 50 mass murders or attempted mass murders at schools since the Columbine shooting. In a recent report compiled by ABC News, there were a record 270 total shootings at schools since the Columbine event. While we prefer to imagine that our schools are safe and secure, the truth is that shootings are on the rise and gun laws become less stringent or stay the same, it is unlikely that this trend will change. However, school officials and administrators do not have to feel helpless. There are many tested and proven strategies to protect your students, faculty, and staff from this type of tragedy, and from lesser acts of violence, such as bulling or vandalism.

Many schools today do employ professional security guards, but unfortunately, they may not realize that their teachers, monitors or volunteers do not have the training or experience needed in the event of life-threatening challenges. And the unfortunate truth is that even trained security guards don’t provide 100% safety. To ensure you have taken every step possible to maintain the security of your educational facility, take the following steps:

  1. Keep your emergency team and staff up to date on training and resources. In other words, know what you’re process will be in the event of any type of emergency situation, including weather-related disasters, power outages, an accident on campus, internal violence and/or unexpected or threatening visitors. Make sure that your staff are clear on the steps to take in specific events, including the chain of command, an evacuation plan, where emergency exits and fire alarms are located, and other life-saving techniques such as CPR. These emergency processes should be reviewed and practiced on a regular basis, and new staff should always be trained on this information.
  2. Hire qualified school security guard personnel who can control building access, offer a visual presence as a deterrent, and who have the specific knowledge about how to handle a wide-range of difficult situations with the utmost care and professionalism. This investment may at first seem financially challenging, but Echelon Protection & Surveillance will work with you to develop both a sustainable and affordable solution to making your campus safe and secure.
  3. Respond immediately when you are worried about a student, faculty, or staff member who is exhibiting signs of stress, making threats or has a preoccupation with violence. Make sure that you communicate your counseling and/or psychological services to all of your students and employees frequently and in many different media. According the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education, 81 percent of school shootings happened even though someone had information that the attacker was considering or planning the event. Take each and every warning sign seriously and contact local authorities if you are concerned by a student’s behavior.
  4. Develop specific protection and safety protocols before, during, and after any school events including: athletics, special events, administrative meetings, and pick-up and drop-off locations for students. During these times, consider hiring trained security professionals to monitor these activities and events. Our security guards are trained and prepared to keep a close watch on your people and property in any situation, and to respond swiftly and appropriately if a problem or challenge arises.

If you take these steps, your students, faculty, staff and guests will be better protected, and feel safer. Having highly trained security guards onsite provides more than just a deterrent or presence in a uniform – they are professional goodwill builders and problem solvers with extensive real-world school experience. In addition, all of our school security guards possess specialized training to aid them in working with young people, allowing them to become an integrated and trusted part of your safe and secure educational environment.

We urge you to take the necessary steps to avoid becoming another tragic news story. These actions will in turn reduce your risk and liability. In the long run, you can focus on what matters most—educating students.

Hate crime photo

Hate crime photoOn 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.

Protect your inventory photo

Protect your inventory photoWhether 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.


  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
security guard photo

security guard photoAs 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.

Photo of security guard shirt backDid 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

Three unifomred security guards

Three unifomred security guardsTerrorism 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.

Security guard with video monitoirng

Why Combining Video Surveillance with Onsite Security is Invaluable

Security guard with video monitoirngA 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.

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