Serving Our Customers Better: Standards Within the Security Guard Industry

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 illustrated the need for enhanced security throughout our country. As private security companies responded, organizations such as the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) set high standards for security personnel and promoted ethical conduct from companies and their employees. This helped to transform the security sector into the professional industry it is today.

NASCO

According to their website, NASCO is, “the nation’s largest contract security association, representing private security companies that employ more than 400,000 of the nation’s most highly trained security officers servicing every business sector.”

Their mission is, “To promote standards and professionalism for private security officers…and within the contract security industry, participate in federal and state legislative and policy on issues affecting private security, advocate for raising standards at the federal, state and local level for the licensing of private security firms and the registration, screening and training of security officers.”

NASCO is leading efforts to set meaningful standards for the private security industry and the security officers who work in it. NASCO works in the arena of public policy. The organization monitors state and federal legislation and regulations that affect the quality and effectiveness of private security services. NASCO offers its public support to legislation that helps improve the industry and questions those bills that might negatively impact it.

California’s Requirements

Amongst the 50 states, legislation differs in its regulation of the security industry. The State of California, though, has some of the most stringent standards for security guards in the country. To work in this state you must be 18-years-old and undergo a criminal background check. The checks are conducted through the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

The State has also mandated that all applicants must go through a 40-hour training course. To be able to carry a gun and work as an armed guard in the state, security officers must submit to an additional 14 hours of course work and training.

As a security firm located in Southern California, the guards with American Security Force must meet the requirements set out by the State. Once hired, we continue to train our officers to handle every security detail. The guards who work for us are highly trained and professional.

We believe that having higher standards is the best way to serve our customers. We stand ready to help you with your security needs.

Call us today at 877-722-8585 for a customized security assessment.

Security Guards: Risking Their Lives to Protect Your Property and Business

It’s clear that the job of a security guard has a certain amount of risk. Proactively protecting people and property means you will at one time or another run up against those who are not behaving appropriately. When that happens, security guards act to protect others and the property to which they are assigned.

That’s why it is sad when the news media runs stories about security guards that show them in a bad light. Are there guards that misbehave? Sure, just as there are employees in every industry that behave badly.

But right now, guards are receiving some unfair negative attention from the media. This is happening because the media is reacting to the misplaced negative feelings about police from some sectors of the society. These feelings are spilling over to the security industry because of our pseudo-law-enforcement role.

Today, the security industry has never been stronger. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 1,077,500 security guards working in the U.S. Of that number, only a handful of officers are having negative headlines written about them.

In addition, guards are performing acts of heroism. Here are just a few examples from 2015.

Recently security guard Cory Lapp saved the life of a Buffalo racetrack customer after the man experienced a heart attack.
In Virginia, J.J. Williams, a mall security guard, saved a baby’s life by providing life CPR after she quit breathing.
Thomas Elio, a campus security guard, performed the Heimlich maneuver on a student who choking, saving his life.
In addition, within the last year, two security guards gave their lives to save others.

On New Year’s Eve 2014, security officer Richard Williamson sacrificed his life to save a number of teens and families at a Southern California roller rink. This man gave his life to keep others safe!
In February, San Jose security guard Manuel Alvarez Zuniga saved his co-worker’s life by stepping in front of him when shots were fired in their direction after a store robbery. Zuniga was killed.
The security industry typically attracts veterans, firefighters, former police officers and paramedics. These are individuals who are accustomed to helping others. It’s no wonder, then, that when you dig a little deeper, you find stories such as these

The security guards at American Security Force do not have similar stories. They are highly trained officers who carry out their jobs as professionals, handling every type of security scenario assigned to them.

Do you need help you with your security needs. Call us today at 877-722-8585 to learn how our professional team can help you.

The Best Way for Retailers to Avoid Shrink

ASF-Shoplifitng-8-19-15-300x225It is the most costly property crime in the country. In 2014, retailers lost $44 billion in inventory to shrink. No other form of crime comes close to it.

Those are some of the conclusions from the 2015 National Retail Security Survey. The University of Florida conducted the survey in partnership with the National Retail Federation. The results were released late last month.

This survey is different from the Global Retail Theft Barometer that we reported about in April. That report looks at retail theft on a global scale. The good news is that the percentage of shrink to all retail sales was reduced in 2014 to 1.38 percent. That is the lowest this statistic has been since this particular survey started in 1991.

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to this optimistic figure. Dr. Richard Hollinger of the University of Florida conducted the survey and believes that one of the reasons this year’s number was lower is because some of those stores that were hit hard by theft in previous years, closed their doors and are no longer in business. That skewed the number downward.
Continue reading “The Best Way for Retailers to Avoid Shrink”

Retail Security: Saving You Money by Reducing Shrink

A female in the act of shoplifting or stealing puts an item under her clothesWherever people gather, the potential exists for crime. This is especially true in retail locations. Malls and shopping areas attract large numbers of people. Some are there to shop and enjoy themselves, while others are there to take advantage of the crowds and go unnoticed as they engage in shoplifting.

In 2013, the U.S. experienced $42 billion in shrink. These inventory losses were due to shoplifting, employee or supplier fraud, and also administrative errors. These losses were passed on to consumers, costing American households an average of $400 in increased prices.

Unfortunately, many shoplifters go unchallenged by store staff. Employees are fearful of making a wrongful accusation. They also want to avoid an awkward situation that could turn violent.

While shoplifting was a major reason for shrink in the U.S., accounting for 37.4% of all cases, it was not the leading cause. In 2013, employee theft resulted in 42.9% of all shrink cases, making this a more complicated challenge for retailers. Other store employees may not be aware of their co-workers involvement in theft, or they may simply not want to get involved in reporting them. Thus, these crimes often go unreported.

While most retailers use some type of merchandise detector that triggers an alert when merchandise crosses the store’s threshold, blindly relying on technology will not solve this problem.

Instead, the best solution for reducing shrink is onsite security guards from American Security Force. Our professional guards are trained to detect suspicious behavior that might lead to shoplifting. They are able to step in and stop or apprehend shoplifters, where store employees might be fearful of doing so.

American Security Force guards are also independent. They are not employees of that retailer. Thus, they will not have any social anxiety when it comes to looking for and reporting employee theft.

Whether it is for fun, or out of necessity, shoplifters will take what they can where they can. Their actions have created a major challenge for retailers. The most effective means for stopping shoplifting is onsite security. Learn more about how American Security Force can reduce shrink at your retail location by calling 877-722-8585.

 

Sources:

http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/12017387/2014-global-retail-theft-barometer-finds-slight-decrease-in-shrink-worldwide-increase-in-costs-of-retail-crime-in-the-us

School Security: More is Needed to Keep Our Children Safe

ENSCHEDE THE NETHERLANDS - 02 FEB 2015: Students are walking through a hallway with lockers on a high schoolNo matter where you live or what your background might be, parents share something in common: The love for our children. We all want what is best for them as they grow up. We want to teach them to be good people, and put them in a position to succeed. As parents, we also want to protect them and ensure their safety.

Sending our children to school is a way to make sure they learn knowledge and skills that prepare them for college or some other vocation later in life. We used to think of our schools as safe places for our children. That notion, however, was challenged in 1999 when 14 students and one teacher at Columbine High School lost their lives after two students went on a shooting spree.

Columbine began a national discourse about school security. That conversation, however, did not bring the needed security changes. Consider this: After Columbine, from 1999 to 2012, another 64 school shootings took place in grades 1 through 12. Of those events, 38 were fatal shootings that resulted in 83 lives lost. That’s an average of 4.5 shootings with 5.9 deaths each year!

Then came the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December 2012, the largest such event at a grade-, middle- or high school in U.S. history. Sandy Hook shocked the nation when we learned 20 children and six adults had been fatally shot.

Security in schools was again addressed, and many school districts finally took it seriously. Main entrances at schools that were once open to all quickly became locked, with admittance only possible if you were “buzzed” into the building.

Sadly, these steps have not been enough. It’s been just over two years since Sandy Hook, and school shootings have continued. In that time, the nation experienced 44 events in grades 1 through 12. Twelve of those shootings were fatal and 50 students or adults lost their lives. That’s an average of 22 shootings with 20 deaths each year! These two-year numbers are larger than what was seen in the 14 years between Columbine and Sandy Hook.

If this trend continues we will see a larger number of school shooting deaths over the next decade than we experienced between 1999 and 2012!

Clearly, the security precautions taken after these two events has not been enough. To keep our schools and our children safe we need to institute enhanced security measures at our schools.

Trained and experienced security professionals, like those from American Security Force, can create individualized plans for school districts. Onsite security guards, patrolling buildings and campuses will act as a deterrent for those looking to harm others. Armed with the latest technology, our guards are able to report in real-time to school administrators, and provide live video of evolving situations. Our security professionals can even train staff on crisis response, as well.

Call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585 to learn about our specialized security solutions. Our children deserve a safe learning environment.

 

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States

Lobby Security to Protect Your Business

Silhouette Of The Security GuardOne of the most important security areas of any business is one that is often over looked. It’s the lobby. The lobby is the main entryway for visitors into your business.

But the lobby is more than just an entryway or a place of welcome. It also serves as a buffer. It is that area where visitors enter and can either be allowed access to your facility, or be denied and turned away.

Thus, your lobby, from a security point of view, serves a vital purpose. It is the first security area inside of your building and it is where your employees will encounter visitors who may be angry or disruptive. For those visitors who are irate, if they refuse to leave when asked, or push into the business further, they are trespassing. Every state has legislation regarding this crime, and it is more common than you might think.

The City of Mesa, AZ has decided to combat the trend of business trespassing by posting tips on their website for dealing with business trespassers.

Criminal trespassing occurs in the education sector, as well, where the reasons behind the act could be due to deeper, darker motivations. In 2013, for example, a Philadelphia area school went on lockdown after a trespasser was seen loitering in the hallways. He was later arrested outside of the building.

In the State of California, where the number of gun murders and hate crimes rank as the highest in the nation, many businesses still don’t think of their lobbies as a security area. In fact, there is often little or no security there making it the most vulnerable point of entry to their facility. Because it is the public entranceway, attitudes toward allowing access during business hours can often be lax by employees.

If an angry visitor does enter your lobby, what do you have in place to keep that person from getting access to the rest of your facility? To really keep your building secure you need to consider enhanced lobby security that includes the highly trained security guards from American Security Force.

Onsite security guards have an immediate impact. Often the mere sight of a security officer will cause trespassers to reconsider their plans. For those who choose to continue on, the posted security guard can physically intervene and halt any further penetration into the building. Onsite security guards keep your employees safe, and offer a level of protection that is unmatched.

The security experts at American Security Force are experienced at developing specialized security solutions. We can assess your security situation and make recommendations for a plan based on your individual needs. That plan might involve technology solutions, live security guards, or both. Every business is different, and needs vary. Our team will recommend the best security solutions for you.

In a world where tempers seem to flare more often, and respect for others seems to be a thing of the past, onsite security guards are an effective, affordable means for protecting your employees, and your most valuable investment, your business.

Call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585 to see how we can help secure your business.

Source:

http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/85889-back-to-basics-for-lobby-security

California Hate Crimes: Keeping Your Business and Property Safe

Hate crimes, social problem concept with a dark grey brick wall with spray can paint painted on the building structure as a symbol of racism and race discrimination as an illegal racial act of hatred and vandalism based on fear and xenophobia.In December, the F.B.I. released its Hate Crime Statistics report for 2013. The data on these Hate crimes was collected from law enforcements agencies around the country.

The report showed that 5,922 hate crimes occurred that year, involving 6,933 offenses and 7,242 victims. Law enforcement was able to identify 5,814 offenders responsible for these crimes.

These incidents can occur against people and organizations. Those involving people include offenses such as intimidation, assault, rape and murder. Incidents directed at organizations or institutions take the form of property damage or destruction and vandalism.

Acts against people accounted for 63.9% of the total offenses in 2013. That comes out to be about 4430 incidents.

California Ranks High for Hate Crimes

The State of California ranks first in the number of hate crimes across the nation according to the F.B.I. statistics. Its total of 1012 incidents is far and away the most of any other state. The second leading state, New York, experienced 655.

That means out of all of the 50 states, California had 14.6% of all hate crimes in 2013!   Those incidents involved one murder, one rape, 235 occurrences of intimidation, 239 assaults, and 149 aggravated assaults.

Hate crimes by their very definition are crimes of emotion, and because of that, can occur anywhere or at anytime against any segment or group. If they occur at your business or property might involve lawsuits and, ultimately, higher insurance premiums.

The saddest thing about these incidents is that they can be avoided. The best deterrent for hate crimes is security.

The security guards from American Security Force are highly trained and professional. Often, their presence alone is enough to keep criminals or those who might engage in intimidation or assault from doing so for fear of being apprehended. They are also trained to detect threats from others, and are able to predict and prevent violent behavior before it happens.

California is a beautiful, diverse, exciting place to live and work. Don’t allow the threat of hate crimes or other incidents to invade your business or property. Call us today at 877-722-8585 and learn how we can help keep you secure.

 

Sources:

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/december/latest-hate-crime-statistics-report-released/latest-hate-crime-statistics-report-released

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/violent-crime/violent-crime-topic-page/violentcrimemain_final

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2013/tables/11tabledatadecpdf/table_11_offenses_offense_type_by_participating_state_2013.xls

http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/85988-fbi-releases-hate-crime-statistics

Security Company for Private Communities Southern California

Aerial view of new luxury australian neighborhoodWith the number of recent riots, suburban homeowners are taking precautions to protect their families and their investments. Across the country, upscale homeowner associations (HOA) are beginning to consider and install CCTV and regular patrols by private security.

HOAs charge dues to residents and in return provide a number of valuable services such as landscaping, pool maintenance, property management and security services. An HOA board is made up of residents who create or implement the rules, regulations and policies of a neighborhood.

Security company for gated communities Los Angeles

For some HOA boards, implementing and enforcing their rules can be a challenge. Without an enforcement body, residents are expected to follow the rules by way of the honor system. However, trusting that all of your neighbors will do the right thing does not always prove successful, and some form of security enforcement ends up being needed.

Expecting HOA board members to do enforcement is not a workable solution, either. After all, they live in the neighborhood, and are neighbors with those they would have to police.

There is also a safety factor to consider. It is becoming more common for criminals from outside of the communities to wander into them and burglarize cars and homes. To complicate matters further for HOAs in California, the State has made it a legal duty for property owners to provide a safe and secure environment.

Here’s an example of horrific condominium security. Imagine the problems and crime that the lack of adequate security can invite in your condominium, complex, or neighborhood that is governed by a homeowners association.

In this atmosphere, more and more HOAs are looking to hire private security companies, such as American Security Force, to patrol their neighborhoods. Our professional, highly trained security officers can enforce your community’s rules, while also serving as a deterrent for criminals.

Working with American Security Force means that your HOA will have a dedicated security patrol. If desired, a guard can be posted at the gate of your community, ensuring a heightened sense of security for your residents. Patrolling officers can also perform parking and traffic enforcement duties.

Call us today at 877-722-8585 to learn how we can develop a security plan that fits the needs of your community.

 

Sources:

137 Top Ten Security Mistakes Home Owner Associations Make

http://njcooperator.com/articles/37/1/Hiring-Security-for-Your-HOA/Page1.html

http://communityassociations.net/cacondoguru/how-much-security-does-an-hoa-need/

Best Security Guard Company in Los Angeles and Southern California

Security agent watching Los Angeles downtown areaAs one of the leading providers of specialized security solutions in Southern California, American Security Force believes that hiring a security company is more than just a business expenditure. It is an investment that goes towards protecting your company’s assets and personnel. To justify that investment you need to know that you are getting value for the security dollars you’re spending.

To ensure you get that value, choose your security provider wisely. Look for a security company that will place the needs of your organization first, and one that will be transparent and reactive through the course of their service to you.

As you assess security providers, make sure the communication channels with them are open before you sign the contract. Are you comfortable dealing with them? Gauge their responses as you ask them about their services.  Are your questions being answered in a way that alleviates your concerns?

You will want your security partner to listen to your needs, goals and concerns and then provide you with solutions that are appropriate to your situation. If they have no recommendations, perhaps this is not the best company for you

When interviewing companies, ask them how they support their security guards in the field. What type of people do they hire for guard positions? Does the company invest in security training for its personnel? Are the guards equipped with everything they need to do their jobs properly? Do they use new technology?

These are important questions because it will be the guards who will implement the security plan at your property. Knowing how the security company supports them informs you of how the guards will perform. A security provider that empowers their employees to do their job correctly will have guards with better attitudes that will go the extra mile for the client, and be better able to provide the appropriate level of service.

If you’re curious about the particular guards that will be posted at your property, ask to meet them.

Nowadays scammers can even come to your house and pretend to represent security companies.

Above all, trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable about any aspect of the proposed security service, don’t sign the contract. Talk to another company.

American Security Force is proud to offer highly trained and professional security guards to businesses throughout Southern California. Our goal is to provide innovative and custom-crafted security solutions that meet your needs. Our guards are equipped with the latest technology that allows for real-time, remote monitoring.

Find out how we can help you with your security needs. Call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585.

Film and TV Production Security Company in Los Angeles

film production security los angeles, film set security, movie set security protection hollywoodTalk about touristy locations. Film studios and film sets are always teeming with tourists, bystanders, crowds, and traffic. Everyone always trying to get a glimpse of movie stars and or the next big silver screen blockbuster.

On top of it all, Sunshine. Warm temperatures. Palm trees…and TV and film. Southern California has it all!

The beautiful weather makes it the ideal place for film production. With that, though, comes curiosity from the public. The hope of meeting celebrities, or seeing a film or TV show produced, prompts fans to trespass or engage in activities they might not normally do.

Like any business, time is money for TV and film crews. When fans disturb production shoots, the lost time increases costs. Security is needed to allow the cast and crew to work undisturbed both on the studio grounds and when they are on location. Security also ensures the safety of the production equipment, which is an investment of millions.

American Security Force has been providing security to TV and film productions for years. Like this industry, we are also located in Los Angeles, and understand the industry and its needs. Our highly trained and professional guards can keep fans at a distance, away from productions, and allow them to proceed smoothly.

Security guards from American Security Force understand the need for privacy and secrecy. We recognize that some film and TV productions don’t want information or images leaked from the set and uploaded to the internet as “spoilers.” To avoid this, we can create the right team of security guards in Los Angeles that will keep your set secure, and patrol for those looking to invade your privacy.

As you can see in the video of the film production of Captain America in Washington DC, whenever the public sees filming in communities that are not common for film productions, there are usually crowds of hundreds of people/fans watching whats going on. Sometimes, this can be a problem if your film production has less than adequate security.

When shooting on location, our guards prove particularly handy. They are skilled at crowd control and will keep curious on-lookers at a distance, while protecting personnel and vehicles involved in the production. But the cast and crew are not the only people that need safeguarding.

Film and TV sets, whether they take place at the studio or on location, can be dangerous places for those not familiar with them. Hot, heavy lights, cables strewn across the ground, and high voltage wiring can all cause injury to those who are not familiar with sets. Our guards are able to provide protection to both the production and to those who pass by. This services safeguards against lawsuits due to injury to the public.

It is an enduring business, with an image of glamor that attracts enthusiastic fans. We understand how to provide security for productions, and are here ready to provide our expertise. To learn more about how we can keep your next project safe, call American Security Force at 877-722-8585.