Terror Shooting in Orlando: The Tragic Events

Terror Attack headline on a newspaperJune 12, 2016 will be remembered with sadness. It’s the day 29-year-old Omar Manteen walked into the Pulse nightclub and opened fire. This American citizen who lived in Florida was heavily armed, and killed 49 fellow Floridians and wounded 53 more, all in the name of terror and ISIS.

June 12, 2016 will also be remembered as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Manteen had visited the Pulse nightclub in the past, most likely checking the gay club out. He was watching ISIS videos in the days and weeks leading up to the shooting. As part of his plan, he intended to target Disney World, as well. He swore allegiance to the terror organization ISIS in a 911 call just before the shooting.

As his victims lay on the floor of the club, Manteen made 16 phone calls and posted to Facebook about his deadly deed. This was a terrorist who had no misgivings about his actions, felt nothing for his victims and carried out his actions with a cold, dispassionate demeanor.

The shooting turned into a hostage situation as 15 people were held in a bathroom. Three hours after the shooting began, Orlando police officers and Orange County sheriff’s deputies moved into the club and entered into a fire fight with Manteen. He was killed in the exchange.

Heroes on the Scene

WESH.com reports that an off-duty police officer was working at the club and engaged Manteen in a shootout. It was not enough to stop him and we’re unsure as to the status of that police officer.

A former marine working as a bouncer played a critical role in saving between 60 and 70 lives that night. CBSNews.com reports that 24-year-old Imran Yousuf is no stranger to the War on Terror. He had served in Afghanistan. On June 12, he was working in the back of the club when the first shots were heard. To get away from the gunman, people began streaming into the back hallway with nowhere to go.

Yousuf knew there was a latched door on the other side of the throng and jumped through the crowd to open the door. “As soon as people found that door was open they kept pouring out,” he told CBS News, “and after that we just ran.”

Terror: The New Normal?

It seems like our American society may have entered into a new era, a time when savage, terror-related shootings happen without warning. If so, we should all mourn our lost sense of security.

After that, we need to begin developing plans to keep ourselves safe from terror.

We can’t say for sure if additional security at the Pulse nightclub on June 12 would have helped. The odds are that more security guards on the premises may have saved some lives.

One thing is for sure, though. If we are to be safe moving forward, we will all need to be on the alert.

Our shared security has now become a shared responsibility.

Power Grid: The Best Solution to Protect It

the power gris has a number of substations that are vulnerableSome have called it a “military-style raid.” Others think it was just vandalism. The event was not widely reported on the news. But the April 2013 attack on the Metcalf substation here in California raised serious concerns for the security of the U.S. power grid.

The Attack at Metcalf

From all reports, there was a measure of precision and coordination in the attack. WSJ.com reports that phone lines in the area were cut first to slow the response of law enforcement. Then attackers positioned themselves and began shooting at the radiators of giant transformers that fed power to Silicon Valley. Seventeen were taken out in the attack that lasted 19 minutes.

The attackers were gone before police arrived.

PG&E power workers had to route power around the substation to avoid a blackout. Repairs to the substation took 27 days and cost $15 million.

Retired vice-president of transmission for PG&E, Mark Johnson, told an industry gathering after the attack that, “This wasn’t an incident where Billy-Bob and Joe decided, after a few brewskis, to come in and shoot up a substation…This was an event that was well thought out, well planned and they targeted certain components.”

U.S. Power Grid Concerns

The fear, of course, is that similar attacks, if coordinated, could take out the entire power grid. It’s a scenario so devastating to our society and economy that no one wants to consider it.

SecurityInfoWatch.com explains the situation clearly:

 

Substations are nearly ideal targets for terrorists or malcontents, as they are generally in remote or isolated locations, do not require sniper levels of accuracy to sustain severe damage, and don’t shoot back. High-voltage transformers are particularly targetable, as most are custom-designed, replacements are not stocked, and manufacturing and installing new ones can take over a year.

 

Solutions

To protect the power grid, power companies need to address the Five “Ds” of Physical Security: Detect, deter, delay, deny and defend. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has set up guidelines and regulations that address active shooter concerns. Starting in July, companies will need to begin investing resources to deter and respond to active shooting events to meet these new regulations.

Solutions will no doubt combine electronic detection systems with more traditional methods, security guards, who can physically react and respond to threats. Officers posted on-site are the most effective solution for detecting, deterring, delaying denying and defending.

Employment as a guard with American Security Force involves successfully passing the State of California’s stringent requirements, as well as our own additional training course. Our guards supply an efficient response to threats at your property or business.

To learn more about how we develop a plan to protect your property, call us at 877-722-8585.

Security Guards: A Simple But Effective Solution

Security guards in lobbies providing safe environmentCan Security guards keep people safe? That’s one question being raised by a recent lawsuit.

Last November, nine people were wounded and three were killed during a shooting at a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The shooter, 58-year-old Robert Lewis Dear Jr. is not mentally fit for trial and is being held at a mental facility for treatment.

SecurityInfoWatch.com reports that this week a Denver District Court ruled that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains should have taken greater steps to safeguard its clients, such as posting security guards. That ruling came from a lawsuit filed by a person wounded in the attack and by the family of one who was killed.

No Security Guards On Duty

The lawsuit revealed that on the day of the shooting there was no security in place. This is unusual, since the other Planned Parenthood clinics in the region had security guards posted onsite.

It’s also troubling because this particular clinic has a history of violent threats and attacks against it. In fact, there have been incidents of arson, bombings and the murders of doctors and staff members over the last two decades.

Even more confusing is the fact that just two months before the shooting, the FBI filed a threat assessment and warned the clinic that a future attack was imminent. However, no action to improve the clinic’s security was ever taken.

A Simple Solution

This tragedy could have been avoided with security guards posted at the clinic. The presence of trained security officers onsite provide a sense of safety. Clients can relax and have confidence that the area is safe and secure.

The sight of a security guard also acts as a deterrent. Anyone thinking of entering a building to do harm to others will think twice when seeing guards on duty, knowing that they will be apprehended if they move forward with their plans.

American Security Force supplies some of the best-trained officers in Southern California. Our security guards secure properties, parking lots, medical offices, events and businesses. We’re proud that we keep our clients safe and their property secure.

Call today at 877-722-8585 to learn how we can keep your property or business secure and your employees and customers safe.

School Security: Attack Happened When No Guard Was Present

school security might have protected a girl on a Dayton playgroundLast Friday a seven-year-old girl was stabbed while playing on a school playground. It happened at the World of Wonder Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio. The attacker walked onto the grounds, stabbed the girl and ran off on foot.  Inadequate school security could be to blame.

On Monday of this week, the little girl was released from the hospital, but the attacker had not yet been arrested.

Yesterday, the family of the little girl asked the Dayton Public Schools to make security changes. WDTN.com reports that they wanted assurances that the school would be safe before they allowed the girl to return. They also wanted to know what happened? Were there security lapses that led to the attack?

No School Security Present

CBS News reports that there is a typically a security guard posted at the school. However, on the day of the attack, the officer was not on duty because of illness.

The WDTN.com report notes that the district’s policy calls for a “liaison with the district” is to fill in when there is a security guard vacancy. The challenge that the school faced last week, though, was that no one was available on the day of the stabbing. So, there was no guard on duty.

Deterrent Power

While it might not be reasonable to say that the absence of the security guard led to the attack, the reverse could be argued: Had the guard been on duty, the attack might never have occurred. That’s because of the deterrent power of a security guard.

When attackers see a guard, they know they’re not going to get away with whatever it is they were planning to do. So they abandon their plans. It is very likely to assume that if a guard had been on duty at the World of Wonder playground last Friday, the attack never would have happened.

That’s the power of having a security guard on-site, whether it is a school, business, or property.

For more information about how American Security Force can protect your property or business, call us today at 877-722-8585.

Security Companies: Consolidated Corporations Are Not Always the Best Solution

Security guard monitoring screens for security companies..There are thousands of security companies across the country.  Does their size make a difference when it comes to their ability to deliver services?

This week, SecurityInfoWatch.com reports on the merger of two large security firms. The new company will be one of the largest security corporations in the nation. On the surface, one might think that this larger company is better positioned to meet any security need. But the merger raises questions about the perceived advantages of large corporations in our industry. Can they really supply better security on a day-to-day basis?

There is a difference between large security corporations and private security companies.  Let’s explore them here.

Security Companies are More Nimble

Security companies have the advantage of being nimble over large corporations. They can switch directions quickly when a customer’s needs change.  They have the ability to adjust on the fly when it’s needed.   Because of the corporate structure and its layers of middle-management decision-making, larger firms often don’t have this ability.

Individualized Service

Large corporations and security companies offer similar services. To be cost-effective, though, corporations often apply a cookie-cutter process to working with customers.  It saves time and money.

On the other hand, non-corporate security companies can bring a personal touch to their services. They can take time to understand the individualized needs of each customer and ensure that there is a plan in place to meet each of their needs. They can afford to be more comprehensive in their approach.

More Overhead = Expensive

Businesses that consolidate often put forward the idea that their larger size can now provide a better service to their customers. The truth, however, is that consolidated corporations have more overhead in the form of additional offices, equipment and payroll. Because of that, consolidated corporations are often more expensive when compared to their competition that supply the same services.

For the day-to-day protection of your property or business, a corporation headquartered in another city holds no advantage. Non-corporate security companies are more nimble, offer a more individualized service and are less expensive. In fact, large corporations may not even work with many small businesses because the revenue potential is too small.

If you’re looking for a security solution based in Southern California, call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585 to learn about the advantages of working with us.

Church Security Addressed in New Law

Church security is needed in light of the vulnerability of churches. This is a photo of hands folded in prayer.This week, SecurityInfoWatch.com reports on a new law in Mississippi that is highlighting the need for church security. The law permits members to carry guns into their churches. Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill earlier this month.

The Church Protection Act

The new law gives church governing bodies the authority to form armed security teams. Those on the team must have firearms training. However, the law does not require those individuals to have a gun permit to carry a holstered weapon.

This new law has a basis in the “castle doctrine” that allows for an individual to protect himself, his family and his property. Here, the security teams would act in self-defense of the church and its members.

One church in the state has created a comprehensive security team that includes members who are law enforcement and medical professionals. The security extends beyond the sanctuary, as well, as security team members monitor the parking lots and greet churchgoers a the door.

Charleston, South Carolina

The law is a response to the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting where nine people were killed during a prayer meeting. That incident involved a white man who opened fire in a historic African American church, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.

Critics argue that the law is another step in furthering the proliferation of guns in public places. Supporters say churches now have the ability to protect themselves.

Church Security Needed

While Mississippi’s new law may be controversial, it does bring attention to the need for more security in churches. They are lagging behind other institutions.

By their very nature, churches are vulnerable. They welcome strangers and are places of non-violence. While in attendance, members are involved in prayer or contemplative thought. They are not in a mindset that would be on the lookout for external threats.

Because of these reasons churches are easy targets to those who want to do harm to others.

A less-controversial alternative for church security is to post security guards. Their presence would act as a deterrent and be a symbol of security for members. The officers at American Security Force are trained for multiple situations and would seamlessly and respectfully provide security for churchgoers. If you are concerned about keeping your members safe, call us today at 877-722-8585 to see how we can help.

Workplace Violence 2: The Impact on Business

A graphic that resembles a stamp that reads Workplace ViolenceLast week we wrote the growing trend of workplace violence. This week, let’s explore its effect on business.

The Impact of Workplace Violence

The impact of these types of confrontations can be wide spread within an organization. For example, there is a real cost associated with these incidents. In a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 37% of the businesses reported a loss of productivity, while 34% of the companies noted staff replacement costs as a result of the clash.

Over half of the businesses claimed that there was an additional cost associated with these events in the form of management time and expenses.

Violent episodes also affect other employees. Of those businesses that participated in the survey, 29% stated that morale decreased as a result of these clashes and 28% received complaints about employees feeling less safe and secure. The same number of companies also cited a drop in productivity and less trust amongst employees.

Company size does not seem to be a determining factor either, though larger companies do have a higher rate of workplace violence. For example, 33% of small businesses with 100 to 499 employees reported an incident. For larger companies, 91% of them with a staff of 25,000 or more experienced some type of violent skirmish!

What’s Being Done?

These numbers are already staggering to consider and nearly half of the organizations surveyed are taking these threats seriously. Forty-seven percent report that they have a Zero-Tolerance policy in place when it comes to these types of incidents, resulting in immediate termination.  However, that means 53% of business don’t have a policy in place, or aren’t sure how to proceed.

One of the ways businesses can reduce workplace violence is with onsite security. The professional security offices with American Security Force are trained to deal with threats and violence in the workplace. Often their presence alone is enough to deter most incidents from taking place. But when they do, our security guards can make sure those involved are isolated from the rest of the workforce and escorted from the property if needed.

For more information about how American Security force can keep your workplace safe and secure, call us at 877-722-8585.

Workplace Violence 1: The Scope of the Problem

 

A graphic that resembles a stamp that reads Workplace ViolenceRegrettably, workplace threats and violence are real concerns for all businesses today. According to a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, over one-third of all businesses have reported an incident.

SHRM defines workplace violence as:

Assaults and other violent acts or threats that occur in or are related to the workplace and entail a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to individuals or damage to company resources or capabilities. Workplace violence may involve employees, clients and vendors of the affected organization as well as those who do not have a relationship with the organization but who may know the intended victims.

Workplace Violence in the U.S.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 403 workplace homicides in the United States in 2014. The Bureau reports, “Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Unfortunately, many more cases go unreported.”

For a business in our country, there is a 1 in 69,000 chance that a workplace violence incident could happen on their property. Those are some pretty long odds, but do you really want to take that risk?

In California

In 2013 there were 397 workplace fatalities due to violence. The State of California reported 43 of those, or roughly 10% of the total in the U.S. that year.

Not every state addresses workplace violence or a safe working environment in their legislation. But California does. California Labor Code 6400 requires every employer to furnish “a place of employment that is safe and healthful for the employees therein.” Thus, to stay compliant with the law, businesses in the state must take steps to maintain a safe workplace.

One of the ways you can do that is by posting a security guard on your property or at your business. The presence of a security guard acts as a deterrent to most workplace violence incidents. If an incident does occur, then the guard can break it up, never allowing that event to turn fatal.

Learn how the highly-trained officers of American Security Force can keep your property and business safe. Call us today at 877-722-8585.

Terrorism: How Do You Secure Your Property?

security guard on site working to prevent terrorismThis week’s attacks in Brussels and the tie to terrorism raises concerns again about how to keep property and businesses safe and secure.

ISIS immediately claimed credit for the attacks that killed 31 and wounded more than 180. Today Fox News reports that one of the terrorists killed at Zaventem Airport outside of Brussles also made explosives for November’s attacks in Paris.

Terrorism In the U.S.

While these attacks happened in Europe, residents of Southern California learned the hard way that terror can strike here as well. Last December 14 people were killed and 22 injured when terrorists struck a holiday party in San Bernardino.

It appears that the ideology that fuels this brand or terror is present in the United States.

What Can Citizens Do?

As individual citizens, we must all be vigilant. That means looking out for and reporting suspicious activities. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is asking for help:

It’s a fact that certain kinds of activities can indicate terrorist plans that are in the works, especially when they occur at or near high profile sites or places where large numbers of people gather—like government buildings, military facilities, utilities, bus or train stations, major public events. If you see or know about suspicious activities, like the ones listed below, please report them immediately to the proper authorities.

What Can Businesses Do?

Take the necessary steps to secure your property or business. If you have not done a risk assessment for your business, plan one soon. If you aren’t sure where to begin, call American Security Force for help. That assessment will identify areas of weakness in your security and also detail steps for taking care of them.

You should also consider onsite security guards for your property or business. Physical security serves as both a deterrent to would-be criminals and also as a means to protecting your employees and customers. After all, the safety and protection of our clientele is our top priority.

Our officers are highly trained at their jobs. They must successfully go through required training by a certified training facility or private patrol operator. They also have to submit to and pass background checks performed by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Finally, our guards receive additional training from our senior training officers here at American Security Force.

Don’t hesitate to do what you can to protect your property and the people at it today. Call American Security Force at 877-722-8585 to see how we can help.

Security Guards In California: A Cut Above

Security guards watching downtown Los AngelesSecurityInfoWatch.com reports that a security employee was indicted on misdemeanor assault charges last week.  He was one of many security guards working a championship game in December. He is accused of punching a fan after the University of Houston’s win over Temple.

The Cougar’s win at their home stadium was for the AAC title. Fans rushed the field to celebrate and that’s when Derrick Dewayne Hicks savagely punched a student. The incident was recorded on an attendee’s cell phone. The video clearly captures the crowd booing after they witnessed the assault.

The incident is not a proud one for the security industry. By the very nature of the job, security guards are put into positions of trust. Hicks broke that trust. While this incident might tarnish the reputation of security guards, it does not represent them as a whole. The assault at the University of Houston was an isolated incident and is certainly not indicative of our industry.

Consider this: According to the United States Department of Labor, there are over 1 million security guards working in the U.S. For arguments sake, let’s say that at any given time, there are five stories in the news from across the country about security guards behaving badly. That equates to just .00046% of the total number of guards. That’s a pretty small percentage.

California Security Guards

When it comes to the number of security guards by state, California has the most with 148, 740. When looking a little closer at the number of guards per area, Southern California ranks second after the New York City Metropolitan Area.

California also stands out because of its stringent training standards for security guards. It includes the “Power to Arrest” training, plus an additional 32 hours on top of that and eight hours of continuing training each year to stay licensed. That means our state has some of the best-trained security officers in the nation.

In addition to California’s mandates, officers with American Security Force receive additional classroom instruction and in-field training. We believe our team of security professionals is the best available. Because of that, we compensate our officers above the industry standard. Doing so results in less turnover and more stability for our customers.

So while you might hear stories in the news about security guards behaving badly, remember, these incidents involve a tiny fraction of the total number of guards working in our country. They don’t represent our industry and they certainly don’t represent the guards at American Security Force.

Sources:

http://www.securityinfowatch.com/news/12169187/security-worker-indicted-after-punching-fans-at-uh-game
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339032.htm