Oct 022012
 
Greg Schneider, MS, CPP, CPT

As a subject matter expert in protective operations, it just boils my blood when I see security officers, especially armed security officers overweight and essentially unfit for the tasks at hand. Members of a popular gym chain were recently car jacked at the gym’s parking lot; the car jackers were caught by police shortly after the crime. The gym in response to the carjacking hired armed security to act as a deterrent against future carjackings or other parking lot related crime. On the surface, this is not a bad response to a violent crime, however what the gym management failed to understand was how to access and evaluate security firms and their officers.

Except for one individual who seemed capable of responding to an armed attack, the rest of the security team, smoked on duty, leaned against the gym building, lacked good communication skills, were all dressed in black BDUs and for the most part were overweight. The gym management hired the “lowest bidder” in this case without truly assessing if this security firm would lower their risk of another crime while acting as an extended customer service arm of the club. The danger that the security firm in question presents is related to security liability. Had another armed attack occurred, the overweight,smoking security officer would then be required to assess the situation, communicate the danger, RUN to confront the assailant, and potentially deploy his weapon, maybe fire it. How many of you want to trust your life to an out of shape armed person. When the heart rate elevates, fine motors skills like shooting accurately depreciate.

If selection of a security force is needed, the hiring decision makers have to ensure that the officers are equipped to handle a “worst case scenario”. Too often unarmed and armed security are hired as a psychologically deterrent, however when an actually emergency occurs in many cases these officers lack the proper training and physical fitness to respond as needed.

 

 

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