Incidents of violence in the news have dramatically increased over the past 2 years. These situations include:
•San Bernardino CA office party
•Orlando FL nightclub
•Charleston SC church
•Aurora CO movie theatre
•Dallas TX parking garage in Texas
Perpetrators have also begun to prey on law enforcement. Violence against the police in 2016, topped out with 21 officers killed in November alone, 140 deaths in the line of duty for the year. When your protectors need protection, you begin to look for stronger solutions to maintain security.
Shock from these events has been widespread. Wisely, leaders in both the public and private sectors have begun to re-examine current policies and to actively look to build their security posture.
We had the chance to talk with Michael Delamere , President of Premier Risk Solutions, LLC, about the kinds of security problems clients are talking about in 2017, and how he and his colleagues are helping organizations protect themselves.
We are seeing that the 2 hottest areas for security concern right now for a lot of the clients are:
1. Global Terrorism and the Threats Attached to it
2. Active Shooter scenarios
I work in the global marketplace and so I travel to other nations to work with businesses in those regions.
Terror Prevention Through Risk Assessment
In the last six months, I’ve traveled to London, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Munich to do risk assessments. I have resources in all of these areas to bring to bear on a local level.
In these areas the concern is around ISIS and similar types of organizations, who have infiltrated the refugee population. Local governments have created a situation. Loose entry policies into their countries have increased threat levels for terrorism.
One client is concerned because they have expats, who regularly travel in-and-out of these areas for sales. The company may also have local sales offices in areas where threat levels are high. They’ve come to us for help.
The way we combat these threats is through risk assessments. A great security program for any company–it doesn’t matter if you are small, medium or large–starts with the RISK ASSESSMENT.
That’s what gives you the foundation for your program.
Think of it like you’re building a house. Any time you build a house, you’re going to start with the foundation. A risk assessment acts like a blueprint or a map and shows you where to take your program in contrast to where you are today.
So getting back to my example, let’s take London. I did an onsite assessment in Fall of 2016, for a large company event they are hosting at a local venue. It’s a public space and will be shared by another group the same night.
Delamere and his team do a site visit and check the flow of the location. They also review where out-of-town travelers are coming in from for this event. Where are they lodging?
A group of 4 C-Suite executives will be included. It’s not the entire C-Suite, but it’s a large enough percentage that the company feels they need to take extra precautions to stay secure. In the unlikely possibility of terror, the impact of losing that many key decision makers would be severe.
Once they understand the flow of the venue, good risk assessment professionals look at other logistics involved. To protect people, they consider how to secure lodging, travel in and during the time they are at the venue. What times are they moving around and who are they moving it with?
Once that is understood, he staffs the event from a security perspective.
Another consideration is technology. This includes security cameras: where are they positioned, how many digital, how many analog, color, black-and-white, and so on. He also checks for access readers. Social media gets thrown in there, and 3rd-party service providers like Everbridge and Octopus, and the list goes on and on.
Third-party service providers will aggregate Social Media for you within a certain circumference. You can customize and monitor social media for specific keywords that point to possible threats. Maybe one client is interested in their entire brand that happens to be going on within a particular 2-mile radius of their venue.
So technology plays into the assessment process, as well. And, how are you deploying cameras? How are you recording? Monitoring?
A lot of questions go into forming the optimal security mix. It’s a very thorough deep-dive process into the best posture for each situation. Every situation is unique and requires a tailored approach.
Active Shooter Situations
The second HOT TOPIC in 2017 is concern over active shooters, or workplace violence. People are concerned about current or former employees/contractors coming back to a workplace, or by extension of the workplace to venues where companies host events. These tend to be annualized. Former associates go back to familiar locations, which tend to be public and easy to locate through searches on Google.
Clients are concerned about what to do during an a event when a perpetrator has a firearm or machete–whatever weapon the assailant might choose.
That leads back to the assessment process.
How would someone like me, looking at the London scenario, work that into the recommendations process? Ninety percent of the time it’s a hybrid approach.
That means educational awareness. We give them pre-event recommendations in the form of a briefing report of all important information. These are things like:
•Medical emergency guidelines
•Shelter in place designations
As part of our recommendations, we also look to harden targets within reason. Hotels and third-party rental companies are considered to be soft targets. That means they’re accessible.
How do we put in preventative measures to make it harder for people to do something bad?
We blend the effectiveness of personnel, technology and policy to create the best solution for our clients.
How to Prepare for a Risk Assessment
If your company is considering having a risk assessment done congratulations. You’re lowering the potential for catastrophic events considerably. In a 2012 report done by the , 38 percent of active shooter incidents occur with people who have professional relationships with the shooter.Here’s what you can do ahead of time to make the most of your onsite security consultation.
1. Gather Incident Reports
Premier Risk Solutions requires any incident data within the last 12-months data. Three years worth of reports would be ideal, but 12-months at minimum gives them a clear picture of significant events happening on property or on campus.
2. Identify Chief Stakeholders for Interviews
Your consulting team will need to interview the key stakeholders within your organization. This list is about 6 people and would give a composite view of the company history and day to day operations.
This list runs the gambit of titles from top to bottom. You might include your Chief HR Officer all the way to your Receptionist. The HR Officer understands and has access to HR policies.
The Receptionist is the eyes-and-ears of your organization. He or she sees and hears what happens at that front lobby door everyday, business-wise, from 8 am to 5 pm.
3. Inventory Security Technology
This would be a list of and location for things like card readers and security cameras so that your consultants can have a picture of your current security capabilities.
4. Collect Security Policies and Procedures
This gives them an idea of what’s currently expected from your security team. What are they charged with enforcing on a daily basis.
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Special thanks to Michael Delamere, President of Premier Risk Solutions, LLC., for his insight on boosting security for businesses, institutions of learning, and public sector organizations in 2017.