5 Things Off-Duty and Prior Police Officers Can Do

police facing awayIf you’re contemplating hiring a security guard to protect you or your employees, consider this: what kind of experience do you want your hired guard to provide? Security guards can help monitor events, schools, and businesses to keep them safe from theft and vandalism. But if you want to hire a security guard because of an upcoming, high-pressure scenario at your business or home, an off-duty/retired/prior police officer may be what you need.

Off-duty/retired/prior police officers are an alternative to the traditional security guard when a higher, more experienced level of service is needed. These agents are well-trained in law enforcement techniques and practice their skills every day in their day jobs. When you need protection under pressure, an off-duty/retired/prior police officer is your best choice.

Here are five things off-duty/retired/prior police officers can do.

  1. Off-duty/retired/prior police act as a calming force during terminations.

Office firings are hard for both the employee and manager in different ways. For the firing manager, there’s always the chance the employee may react poorly to the termination. Even in situations where the employee is aware it’s happening, there’s still a chance they could cause harm to themselves or others out of anger and frustration.

Office terminations are one scenario where an off-duty/retired/prior police officer can help. They can provide a calming yet authoritative presence in the room, possibly deterring the employee from making a scene. And if the terminated employee does happen to lash out, the off-duty/retired/prior police officer is always ready to respond, just like in his day job.

  1. Off-duty/retired/prior police can protect your important executives and dignitaries.

Depending on the type of business you are in, you may have high-ranking officials that require security when they visit your location. These people don’t have to be celebrities. Anyone who has power or money can be targeted for their wealth and status and may need to be protected.

In the case that you are expecting a high profile visitor, you may consider an off-duty police officer to protect these executives, dignitaries and other people of power. Police officers train for this daily in their jobs by looking into suspicious scenarios and protecting the victims or those who are threatened.

  1. Off-duty/retired/prior police know how to handle workplace threats.                 

Beyond employee terminations, there are other threats that can arise in the workplace. An example of a workplace threat could be a disgruntled customer who keeps returning or a known thief who won’t stop lurking in your aisles.

This type of situation may resemble a typical call a police officer receives while on duty, so it makes sense that they’d be a good fit to handle these issues off duty as well. Police officers are trained to react and respond quickly, and this experience can help during high-stressful situations in your workplace.

  1. Off-duty/retired/prior police can neutralize domestic standby situations.

While domestic disputes begin at home, they have their way of entering a significant other’s place of employment. One of the four types of workplace violence is personal relationship violence. Spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends and ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends were responsible for the on-the-job deaths of 321 women and 38 men from 1997-2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As a manager or business owner, you personally may not be threatening enough to intervene on a domestic violence dispute that has entered your workplace. That’s why an off-duty police officer can help neutralize the threat by using the law, which will have repercussions beyond the immediate incident in your workplace. Plus, depending on the severity of the situation, off-duty/retired/prior police can be hired to be unarmed or armed, which can be critical if the situation escalates.

  1. Off-duty/retired/prior police can escort important transports for your business.

So much of business these days happens online. Financials and other important business information can be scanned and emailed with the touch of a button. Deals can be made over the phone. However, there are still certain high-stake, non-digital scenarios in your business that call for a little extra protection.

For example, let’s say you ran a raffle at your business and made tens of thousands of dollars that you need to deposit in the bank. Or maybe you need to hand-deliver a piece of paper that could make big changes to your company and its financials. Both of those situations call for an off-duty police officer, who can ensure that nothing goes wrong in the transport of those items. Protecting a moving target is all in a day’s work as a police officer, and those instincts are still there, even on off-duty days.

Although you may already have a security plan in place, hiring an off-duty/retired/prior police officer for certain situations in your business can complement your existing plan. Off-duty police officers are the best fit for when a higher, more experienced level of service is requested, whether it’s ddressing a workplace threat, protecting a high-ranking executive or neutralizing domestic violence in the workplace. Check out other ways an off-duty police officer may be able to assist you.

Do you need a reputable company to handle the protection of a dignitary or executive? Have you recently experienced any threatening events in the workplace and are looking for help? Click here for a free quote!

By, Shawn Scarlata May 24, 2016

 

Continue reading →

10 Benefits of Video Surveillance for Your Home

outdoor-patio-security-camera-480Video surveillance is a useful security tactic for any property, including your home. If you’re a business owner, you may already have installed video surveillance in and around your location to deter and prevent crime. A comprehensive video surveillance system is fundamental to running a safe, secure business. However, it’s also a cornerstone of keeping your home safe as well.

Installing a video surveillance system in your home has many benefits. It’s the easiest way to keep your home secure. Today’s technology makes it possible to tap into your video feed from anywhere, so you’re never far from knowing what’s going on at your place of residence. Video surveillance systems are a great complement to your existing home security plan, or they can provide a great foundation for your security plan, if you don’t have one already.

The following are 10 benefits to installing a video surveillance system in your home.

  1. Video surveillance enhances your existing home security system.

As a homeowner, you may have already installed a home security system. These systems come in all shapes and sizes, from notifying you when someone opens a door or window to alerting the police of a break-in, like the SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security System. A video surveillance system with features like this one can record the actual events in and around your house, acting as a second layer of information when it’s time to solve the crime.

  1. Video surveillance allows you to monitor your home anytime, anywhere.

These days, you can do everything from your banking to setting your thermometer on your mobile phone. Smartphones allow us to store our most important information right in our pockets. These days, you can also use your smartphone to watch the activity that’s happening in your house. Companies that sell video surveillance systems have features that send the video feed right to your phone, along with security alerts, so you can stay up-to-date on what’s happening with your home while on vacation or at work.

  1. Installing a video surveillance system could save you money.

According to Farmers Insurance, one of the top 5 ways to reduce homeowner insurance premiums is to make your home safer. Insurance companies define safer as “anything that can reduce the risk of damage being done to your home.” By installing a video surveillance system in your home, you’re taking a step towards making your place of residence safer and more secure. Catching any activity that causes damage to your property on your video surveillance camera is one way to positively impact your homeowners insurance rate.

  1. Video surveillance systems are easy-to-use.

It’s important to use frameworks and technologies that work for you and fit your lifestyle. Video surveillance can be a great “set-it-and-forget-it” security system for busy people. Most companies will take care of upkeep and maintenance of your system. Once installed, you’ll only be responsible for knowing how to use the software on your computer or smartphone where you can see the video feed.

  1. Video recordings are the best evidence for court cases.

One of the main reasons you might install a video surveillance system is to prevent and deter crime. If a crime were to occur at your home, you’ll need to have a record of what happened in order to solve the crime. The best way to do that is to have indisputable evidence, and video recordings are great tools for the courtroom. Although you may not use it on a frequent basis, court-ready recordings can be a real asset if you’re involved in a criminal case.

  1. Video surveillance allows you to check in on your family and pets while you’re away.

Even though you might be thinking of video surveillance as a safety tactic, it can also be used to check up on your family, kids and pets when you’re away from home. Since most video feeds can be streamed right to your smartphone, you can see if the dog is behaving or if your child made it home safely after school. Video surveillance systems work to keep your home safe, but they can also provide you with peace of mind.

  1. Video surveillance holds your household staff accountable for their work.

At your home, you may employ a variety of people to help you upkeep your home. They could work inside, like a housekeeper or a chef, or work on the outside of your property in the garden or yard. Since these people are under your employment, you are paying them for the services they provide. By using video surveillance, you can be sure your employees are doing their jobs as agreed upon. There’s little dispute on what has and hasn’t been done with video evidence.

  1. Video surveillance systems can communicate with the authorities for you.

One aspect of your security plan is how you will alert the authorities to a possible theft or crime. Depending on where you are in your home, you may not have a phone readily available when a crime occurs. A benefit to installing video surveillance in your home is that you can utilize your security company to communicate with the authorities for you, ensuring that no matter what happens inside your home, police are immediately notified of the situation.

  1. Video surveillance systems can monitor low-traffic areas in your home.

In a business, dark corners or long hallways are prime spots to place your video surveillance system. This is because these areas have low foot traffic and are hard to see, making it a criminal’s dream. The same can be said about your home in areas like your garage, backyard or other areas that are not well-lit or traveled. Installing a video camera to monitor these areas will allow you to have more eyes on your property than humanly possibly.

  1. You can use video surveillance in lieu of other monitoring systems.

Beyond a home security system, special circumstances in your life may call for other monitoring systems in your home. For example, newer models of baby monitors display a video feed from a crib to a handheld device that a parent can take anywhere in the house. Instead of adding another costly system, video surveillance can be a low-cost way to keep tabs on your baby. You can use the same system for dogs, seniors or anything else you’d like to monitor in your home.

Video surveillance systems have many uses and benefits when used in the home. These systems can double as baby and pet monitors, and can also keep you safe by alerting the authorities of a crime. Even if you’ve already installed a home security system, coupling that with a video surveillance system will create the safest environment for you and your family.

Were you thinking about installing a video surveillance system in your home? Not sure where to start or what you need? Click here for a free quote!

By, Shawn Scarlata May 18, 2016

Continue reading →

The 5 Components of a Comprehensive Video Surveillance System

video screens 2

As a business owner, you want to be able to find out what’s happening with your business at any time, all the time. Now that the Internet has replaced the old, standalone filing cabinet of the past, it can be easy to check in on the records of your business. You might use a service like QuickBooks for your accounting needs, or a service like DropBox for your business files. The accessibility of these files from your computer or smartphone is what makes these services so useful.

Your security plan could be this accessible, too. Companies today that offer video surveillance as part of an overall security plan have features that make keeping tabs on your business easy, affordable and user-friendly. These features usually come as part of a comprehensive video surveillance system, a multi-faceted security plan that touches multiple areas of your business. Business owners today can use a comprehensive video surveillance system to keep their entire business safe, from their budget to their employees.

Here are five components of a comprehensive video surveillance system.

  1. Financial Stability for Your Security Budget

Keeping your business secure can be costly. With new features coming out as technology gets better, businesses have to keep budgeting and financial planning in mind. According to a 2011 report by Electronics.ca Publications, a market research firm, the video surveillance market was slated to grow from $11.5 billion in 2008 to $37.5 billion in 2015 due to increased interest in video surveillance.

When considering a comprehensive video surveillance solution for your business, you’ll want to find a company where you can lock in the costs. Deciding up front what your budget is for security and sticking to it will help you keep new financial addendums to your security plan at bay with the comfort of knowing your business is secure.

  1. Mobile-friendly Features for Your Smartphone

These days, your mobile phone is likely just an arm’s-length away. Our smartphones are our banks, our mailboxes and our social networks. They’ve also become part of our business workflow. This year alone, the U.S. could see an increase of 45 million employees who use smartphones in conjunction with their work.

Your video surveillance system should work the way you work, and if you use a smartphone for business email or documents, it’s best to find a company that can utilize your mobile phone in your security plan. For example, some companies will allow you to view your property from your smartphone, or get security alerts to your phone around the clock. These features can help you stay connected to your business on your time.

  1. Complete Video Coverage of Your Business

Depending on your security needs, you may already be using a security guard at your location. Security guards can be a great option for businesses that are smaller in physical size, or in certain scenarios (like an event) at your business that require a fast reaction or a human touch. But if you’re looking to “see” every square inch of your business at all times, a security guard isn’t enough.

For the most effective 24/7 security monitoring for your business, you’ll want to either supplement your security guards with video surveillance or install a video surveillance system when you create your security plan. Video surveillance systems allow you to have “more eyes” on your business than a security guard has, and can help decrease theft and vandalism in and around your business.

  1. Quick, Robust File Retrieval of Your Video

Businesses that already use video surveillance as part of their security plan understand the benefits of having a record of all the activity in your business that’s indisputable. Video surveillance systems boast one feature that you can’t really get anywhere else: recorded proof of the identity of someone you think may have robbed or vandalized your business. In a serious situation, video recordings may be all you have to prove what you’re saying is true.

For this reason, one component of your video surveillance system should be quick and easy access to your video recordings coupled with the ability to use those files as you see wish. It’s your video and therefore your data, and you have a right to access it in a timely fashion. Plus, different companies might offer different lengths of time to hold the recordings, which could be beneficial if a serious situation involving the law does arise.

  1. The Latest Security Features and Functionality

As your business grows, so will advances in technology. As a business owner, it’s your job to ‘keep up with the times’ and know the latest offerings available to you from your vendors. Even if you don’t handle the majority of the systems maintenance on your own, it’s in your best interest to know if you’re using the right services for your business.

When evaluating systems, be sure it’s understood between you and the video surveillance company how you’ll maintain as well as update your equipment in the future. While the first purchase is important, it’s just as important to choose a company that will guide you through choosing and understanding different features and functionality, keeping your system up-to-date with the latest technologies while not sacrificing what you need from your system to meet your business goals.

Even if you’ve already start dabbling in some video surveillance equipment or techniques, creating a comprehensive plan that includes the present and future maintenance of your system can only be beneficial. Doing so will help you better plan with your security budget, unlock the features you truly need (and those you don’t) and give you the security of knowing that at least one area of your business has a stable, long-term plan. Although it’s noted that video surveillance packages can be costly, you’ll have to balance your budget with services that meet the goals you have for business. Start by researching what these kinds of companies have to offer today.

Were you thinking about installing a video camera system at your property to protect your residents, tenants, customers and employees? Do you want to talk to someone about installing a comprehensive video surveillance system? Click here for a free quote!

by, Shawn Scarlata May 2016

Continue reading →

5 Situations in Which Off Duty/Retired Police Officers Can Keep Your Business Safe

 

police-officersThe duties of a police officer extend way beyond your typical 9-to-5 office gig. While an office worker might punch a timecard at the end of the day and ‘leave work at work,’ police officers have a job that doesn’t adhere to a clock. People employed as police officers typically carry their police powers 24 hours a day in their jurisdiction, whether they’re on-duty or not. Since off-duty police officers still have the authority of being a police officer, they can legally stop crime, even if they’re off the clock.

Because of this, off-duty and retired police officers are often sought-after by security companies for their extensive training and knowledge of safety and security, which is a nice supplement to the traditional security guard skills they already have as part of the job. A business may choose a well-trained law enforcement officer for specific high-stakes workplace situations that involve personnel and asset protection, workplace violence or threats and employee terminations.

Here are five situations in which an off-duty or retired police officer can keep your business safe.

  • Employee Terminations

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of being a business owner is the responsibility of terminating employees who aren’t a fit for your business anymore. Sometimes these can be employees that have been with the company for a long time and may have committed a crime. Both of these situations can lead to a termination, leaving the at-fault employee feeling confused, upset, and angry.

When you think you may be facing an employee termination that may become volatile, an off-duty police officer can help. Off-duty police officers have experienced different levels of stress and many high-pressure situations as part of their everyday careers. In this situation, an off-duty police officer can create a calm while serious atmosphere, dissuading the employee from becoming violent in the face of a termination.

   2)   Workplace Threats

Workplace threats and violence doesn’t start and stop with your employees. The public can play a role in verbal and physical threats to your business. These threats are recognized by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in four categories: criminal intent violence, customer/client violence, worker on worker violence and personal relationship violence. Examples of workplace violence include violent confrontations, assaults, armed robberies, hostage incidents, property damage and sexual harassment.

It’s estimated that 85% of employees exhibit early warning signs before becoming violent. If you have an employee that has exhibited this kind of behavior, you may need an off-duty police officer to help you escort them off your property, dilute the threat or take other actions. Security companies can provide an agent that has specific experience with Emergency Services (SWAT) or hostage negotiation teams, which may be helpful depending on the issue. In this situation, an off-duty police officer can safely take care of the workplace threat without endangering other employees.

   3)     Escorting Courier Service Drivers

Depending on the type of business you own, you may be in the business of transporting your goods from place to place. You may have drivers delivering paperwork, light retail packages or edible goods, or you may be transporting high-value items like money or jewels, or even high-value medicine like medicinal marijuana, to and from a certain location. If that’s the case, you have a responsibility to yourself and your business to keep those items safe and secure during transport.

While you can take precautionary measures like well-planned routes, itineraries and scheduled check-ins, an off-duty police officer could be a good investment for your business during these important transports. If you are moving high-value items, the driver of those items becomes at risk for armed robbery, assault or other threats. In this situation, an off-duty police officer can escort your drivers to and from the destination, ensuring their safety and the delivery of your goods while preventing and deterring crime with their presence.

     4)     Domestic Standby Situations

Domestic violence is a serious issue that has the potential to spill over into the workplace. One of the four types of workplace violence is personal relationship violence. This generally occurs when an employee’s current or former significant other appears at the employee’s workplace and engages in hostile behavior. The workplace is a convenient location to find somebody, since office buildings and business property usually run on a schedule. If someone is really trying to reach you, showing up at your place of employment during your scheduled hours is likely to do the trick.

If you own a business and know an employee that is facing serious domestic threats, you may want to hire an off-duty police officer to keep your employee and your business safe. In this situation, an off-duty police officer is meant to either apprehend or deter the perpetrator from committing any domestic violence in your place of business. Since domestic violence is one of the most common assignments for off-duty police officers, you can rest assured that your officers know what they’re doing.

     5)     Asset Protection

Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Some are office buildings that contain furniture, technology and your employees; other businesses may be chock-full of goods for sale, like a retail location. No matter what the makeup is of your business, you likely have assets you want to protect. Allocating part of your budget for asset protection should be akin to paying a cloud service provider to host your business data. As a business owner, you want to pay a professional to protect your important ‘stuff,’ no matter what that ‘stuff’ is.

While it’s easy to consider a traditional security guard in this scenario, there may be instances where an off-duty police officer is better suited to protect your assets. For example, perhaps you have a high-profile celebrity coming to a company event and need someone trained in executive protection detail. In this situation, an off-duty police officer is more suited to protect your business in this situation than a security guard due to the everyday nature of a police officer’s job.

Off-duty and retired police officers can be a great choice of security for your business in multiple situations. While a traditional security guard may provide your business the protection you’re looking for on a regular basis, off-duty police officers can be extremely helpful in situations including violence and threats, employee terminations and asset protection. In these scenarios, off-duty police officers bring years of training and knowledge of safety, security and the law to protect your business.

Do you need a reputable company to handle the protection courier drivers using off-duty law enforcement officers? Have you had instances of workplace violence or threats where an off-duty officer could help? Click here for a free quote!

Continue reading →

How to Use Security Guards and Video Surveillance to Protect Your Business

 

ops center 2The security plan for your business is one of the most important operational plans you will have. As a business owner, you have a responsibility and a right to keep the people in and around your location safe. Depending on the type of business you own, you have several choices on how to execute your security plan. Usually, businesses choose either a traditional security guard or a video surveillance system to meet their needs.

Although security guards are known as the more traditional route, it’s not uncommon for security companies to enhance a security guard’s protective reach with technology. More and more, the coupling of human intelligence and technology is becoming a popular way to protect your business, as it provides an extensive and versatile security plan. Creating an effective, comprehensive security plan requires you to consider and outline a framework where both your security guard and surveillance work together to keep your business safe and secure.

Here are three strategies for effectively combining video surveillance and the aid of a security guard for a comprehensive security solution.

  1. Assign ‘roles’ to your security officer and video surveillance system.

It’s true that there is safety in numbers when it comes to protecting your business. As a business owner, having both systems may feel like you’ve ‘got it all,’ and that’s true. Together, these systems can be powerful in preventing and solving crime. But these systems combined are most powerful when they’re each focused on an individual solution.

When creating your security plan, it’s important to know how each system will be used and what you want out of it, so when you implement your system in your business, you know it’s working for you. If you are using both a guard and video surveillance at your location, you should lean on your security guard to prevent crime, and your video surveillance to solve crime. It’s true that security cameras are significant crime deterrents, but a security guard is best equipped to stop crime in its tracks. Cameras are indisputable when it comes to the facts after the crime.

Assigning these roles to each system can help you with the physical implementation, too. For example, if your video surveillance system is present in your business to solve crimes, it should be placed where the faces of the people in and around your business are visible and clear on the video camera. If you own a retail store, you may want to place a security guard near the entrance or exit in case of a theft.

  1. Create a communication framework for your two ‘systems.’

While security officers can come equipped to provide video monitoring duties, it doesn’t mean they’ve come equipped to carry out the systems you’ve put into place for how your security guards and video surveillance system will work together. In fact, getting down on paper how these two ‘systems’ will communicate is one of the most important facets of your security plan.

It may seem strange to think about how technology and a human will communicate together, but that’s not the type of plan you need — it’s more about how one system relies on the other and how they work together. For example, when your guard is on monitoring duty, what should he do if he sees a theft? Who does he alert? How does he do it? It’s also important to consider edge cases like how your guard should report crime when your camera isn’t working, or how to troubleshoot the video surveillance system if it needs a reboot. Understanding the flow of communication from you to your security system and back is one of the ways you can be certain it’s an effective system.

  1. Train your officers and your staff on the whole process.

If you’ve taken the time to sit down with your team, create a security plan, buy video surveillance equipment, contract with a security guard, and work out all of those details in-between, then you have to get your entire staff — including security personnel — on board with the plan. Security training is vital for security personnel, but as a business owner, having your entire workforce on the same page about security can help prevent and even deter crime.

If you’re transparent about your security plan, your employees can help you spot suspicious behavior, recognize known criminals and even report a crime. Teaching them the in’s and out’s of the plan and showing them you are invested in protecting your business will likely deter them from committing crimes themselves. If they know you’re actively participating in your security plan, it may not be worth the risk for them.

While you may have exclusively used one system over the other in the past, combining traditional security guards and video surveillance equipment can create a comprehensive, effective security plan for your business. In order to maximize your benefits, make sure to fully understand how and when each system is used; create a solid communication plan between you, the security system and the authorities; and train your staff on your security plan so they can help your protect your business.

  • Have you starting working on your security plan, and now you’re ready for the next step? Are you looking for ongoing security guard service and video surveillance? Click here for a free quote!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading →