A grand jury’s decision not to indict white Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August fatal shooting of an 18-year-old African-American, Michael Brown, resulted in rioting, fires and looting Monday night in the City of St. Louis, Missouri and its nearby suburb, Ferguson.
Eighty-two people were arrested in the two municipalities. Local police reported hearing over 150 shots fired throughout the night, and Missouri National Guardsmen were called out to secure the Ferguson Police Department. Angry residents displayed their frustration over the decision by confronting police, looting stores, and burning strip malls.
Both Ferguson and St. Louis geared up their respective police forces for the possibility of rioting in the preceding months. The police in Ferguson spent over $100,000 since the August riots purchasing body armor, tear gas handcuffs and other crowd control items, expecting the worst.
Interestingly, the grand jury responsible for the decision did not meet in Ferguson or St. Louis. Instead, it convened in the wealthy suburb of Clayton. Because of that fact, the predominantly white residents did not just rely on law enforcement to protect them from rioters, but took extra precautions to do the job. They hired private security firms.
Private security guards contracted to protect Ferguson and St Louis from rioters.
Businesses and individuals have contracted with several St. Louis-based security companies in the last few weeks in preparation of the decision. One was Asymmetrical Solutions. Their plan was to send operatives to areas they believed would be flashpoints.
Their philosophy of riot preparedness and response is markedly different from that of leaders in Ferguson and St. Louis. There, armored police were sent out to confront rioters with teargas. Asymmetrical Solutions chose not to put fighters in the field, but to instead send “thinkers and managers.”
Another area firm, Securitas, posted officers at malls, banks power plants and businesses. They also offered an elevator escort service for corporate officers. Their escorts could either be armed or unarmed. With the buildup to Monday night’s rioting, the requests for unarmed were nearly nonexistent.
Private firms also monitored social media for threatening mentions against their clients, and developed alternative driving routes for corporate employees to get to and from work. One firm removed any moveable items that would be found outside of a business, such as statues or waste cans, because they could be used to break glass doors and windows.
The security that Clayton residents and businesses employed costs money. But the cost is significantly less than that of rebuilding a home, a business, or a life.
Private security firms offer much more in the way of service than public law enforcement ever could. The philosophies, the strategies and the tactics employed are forward thinking, not confrontational. Private firms also provide a level of one-on-one personal service that is unimaginable from law enforcement today.
Riot footage from Feruson
Simply put, private security looks after the interests and the well-being of their clients. In life- and property-threatening situations, isn’t that the peace of mind that you are after?
American Security Force regularly provides that peace of mind to individuals and businesses in Southern California. We are uniquely qualified to deliver that same level of service and protection during times of local crisis. Our security officers are highly trained and experienced, and can meet a wide range of security needs.
When Southern California is in a time of crisis, or when you just want to ensure your security or that of your business, call American Security Force at 877-722-8585.