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

Violent Crime: The Most Dangerous Cities

Police car on the street at night responding to a violent crimeNeighborhoodScout.com released its list of the 100 Most Dangerous Cities for 2016. The study looked at cities with 25,000 people or more and ranked them based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. NeighborhoodScout defines violent crime as murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

The top five cities in order are:

  1. East St. Louis, IL,
  2. Camden, NJ,
  3. Detroit MI,
  4. Alexandria, LA,
  5. Wilmington, DE.

Surprisingly, some of the largest cities in the country, where one assumes violent crime happens, did not make the list, places such as New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Smaller Cities, More Violent Crime?

While many large cities aren’t on the list, some smaller cities near larger metro areas are. For example, Compton and San Bernardino are both near Los Angeles and both made the list. The fact that these smaller cities have a higher violent crime rate challenges the popular notion that these incidents happen predominantly in larger cities.

NeighborhoodScout.com explains that urban violent crime was once thought to exist in inner city, high-rise public housing but now that view has shifted. Today, data has revealed that violent crimes happen in areas where you will find single family homes, abandoned homes, low-income areas and inner suburbs next to decaying cities.

California Cities

Four cities in California made the list. They are Oakland at number 9, Stockton ranks 20th, San Bernardino places 42nd and Compton is in the 44th position. Two of those, San Bernardino and Compton, are cities near Los Angeles. Oakland and Stockton are satellite cities of San Francisco.

While the popular perception is that Los Angeles can be a dangerous place, the data shows that the number of violent crimes per 1,000 people does not even rank it in the top 100.

A Trend

That these smaller cities hold the majority of the positions on the Most Dangerous Cities list seems to be a trend, as well. The data collected by NeighborhoodScout and presented in each of their Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities lists since 2012 supports this theory.

While crime happens wherever there is a large concentration of people, the largest urban centers in our country are not always the most dangerous. NeighborhoodScout’s data has shown that more attention needs to be given to satellite cities to determine what is happening in these places.

In theses areas, private security for your property can deter violent crimes. Call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585 to learn how we can create an individualized security plan.

 

SOURCES:

http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/top100dangerous/

http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/86910-report-lists-the-most-dangerous-cities-in-the-us

Technology Use Serves Clients Better

Security guard using technology to monitor remote cameras
security guard watching and operating video monitoring surveillance security system

Technology is touching every facet of our personal and professional lives. The security industry is in transition as it continues to develop and employ new technologies that allow officers to report more efficiently, be tracked via GPS and provide real-time intelligence to decision-makers.

Red Rock Security

This week, SecurityMagazine.com tells readers how security officers at the Red Rock Resort and Casino in Las Vegas use technology in every facet of their security operation.

Because of all the interfacing with technology, security officers have become skilled positions in today’s world. Officers use technology throughout the day to report from the field via handheld devices, monitor remote surveillance cameras, or work with access control systems or alarms.

In addition, technology now exists to track and monitor guards as they patrol. In addition, body cameras allow decision-makers to see what is happening at a scene in real-time. This allows for faster response times to situations.

How We Use Technology

In Southern California, American Security Force leads the way by embracing and employing leading-edge technology.

For example, our GuardTrack app allows clients to actively track and monitor security guards on patrol, eliminates the need for bulky two-way radios, and allows officers to record and report what is happening in the field in real time.

If voice communication security over a cellular connection is a concern, we offer a solution called Vigilant Call. It’s a device that plugs into the micro SD slot of any iPhone, Android or Blackberry smartphone. When callers on both ends have Vigilant Call installed, voice communications become encrypted and secure.

Body cameras are another innovation we make available to clients. These small cameras worn on the body offer transparency and documented evidence of events. Video can be recorded, uploaded or live-streamed and monitored by decision-makers.

The importance of security camera video can’t be overstated. It provides empirical, unimpeachable evidence of an event. That’s why American Security Force offers two additional video services.

The first is our Remote Monitoring service. It involves video that is monitored and/or recorded remotely by our security officers at our state-of-the-art command center. There, officers are able to call the authorities if a situation calls for it.

The second is the Remote Surveillance Security service, which is more complex. It is a leading edge, mobile tracking system contained in a mobile unit. The unit has sensitive motion detectors and automated cameras with night-vision. The video is sent to our command center via cellular or internet connection and is monitored and recorded there by our highly trained officers.

Our dedication to technology is not just isolated to our security services, though. American Security Forces has completely embraced cloud computing. This has streamlined the administrative side of our business. Our customers no longer experience service delays because of our server outages.

Cloud computing redundancies ensure that we will always be up and running. So we no longer need outside IT vendors, either. Those savings, as well as those we’ve seen from reduced energy and paper usage, are passed onto our customers.

When it comes to technology, we’re all in! We understand how it streamlines operations and makes our officers more efficient. It also saves our customers a lot of money!

If you want to learn more about how American Security Force uses technology to better serve our clients, call us at 877-722-8585.

Source:

http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/86892-streamlining-guard-tours-with-technology

Retail Security Services

a man stealing at a grocery store where a loss prevention program is needed

Internal theft at retail stores, restaurants, and companies is a problem much bigger than most businesses realize.

Employees can and will steal. That’s the bottom line. From office supplies, gadgets, clothing, and accessories, to shoes, food, toilet paper, and even cold hard cash from the til. Nothing is safe. That’s just the sad reality.

Most of the time it’s harmless, but over the long run, it adds up.

The good news is, it can be prevented or at least drastically minimized with a strong retail security program.

One of the more necessary services that American Security Forces offers is our retail security that helps prevent losses.

Here’s why: Fortune.com reports that retail businesses have lost over $32 billion due to shoplifting and employee theft!

A clerk taking a pack of cigarettes or a shoplifter walking out with a book doesn’t seem like it would have that big of an impact. But when those small crimes happen across millions of businesses throughout the country, it adds up quick. Unfortunately, theft is happening everywhere and not just to retail businesses, either.

Retail Theft is Everywhere

The sad fact is that if your company has employees and you keep some type of inventory, the chances are high that you have experienced theft. From office supplies to larger items such as appliances or machinery, employee theft and fraud is rampant.

A 2014 article by InCorp.com reports that businesses lose 5% of their revenue to fraud every year and that employee theft reaches an estimated $50 billion annually!

In addition, 75% of all employees have admitted to stealing at least once from an employer. Again, it doesn’t sound like much. But the impact of those thefts can be disastrous to businesses. One-third of all companies that filed for bankruptcy report the cause as employee theft.

The Fix: A Retail Security Program that Prevents Losses.

There are a number of security measures a business can take to reduce theft and fraud. Perhaps the most important, though, is implementing a retail security program that prevents losses that is designed for the needs of your business.

A security program that prevents losses will look at your business and identify areas of opportunity for thieves. Then, the program will identify solutions. It may also identify any operational errors within the business that could lead to losses.

American Security Force can develop a program and put a system in place to reduce theft and fraud. Then we can create a security team to help manage that program internally.

If you suspect your business is suffering from shoplifting, employee theft or fraud, call American Security Force at 877-722-8585 today to learn how we develop security programs with customized plans for our clients.