Shootings, acts of terrorism, and general social uncertainty have made the age we live in a much scarier place. Having qualified personnel on a business’s premises ensures a level of protection in the event that a threat is present. Hiring a security service provides immediate value to a business in a few ways. Employees, customers, and the surrounding community feel safer with the presence of a security guard. Security personnel also maintain other client expectations: swipe-ins, surveillance, and detailed logging of activities on or around the premises. Whether it is a small business, local hospital, food manufacturing plant, or a place of higher education, having security on-site creates a safer environment.
On-Site Security Personnel
Having security personnel on-site not only provides a sense of safety, but it also deters criminal activity. A report supported by Cambridge University states that areas with uniformed security reported a 16% decrease in crime and a 49% increase in police-generated detections. It also concludes that security on-site is “linked to both reductions in prevalence of victims as well as higher counts of offenders detected.”
However, uniformed security guards are not the only form of security a business can implement. Security cameras, threat assessment, or pre-employee-discharge planning also create a safer workplace. Security officers monitor surveillance systems and physically patrol facilities; they are trained to deal with emergency incidents and are prepared to handle a myriad of dangerous situations. More often than not, they are certified to administer CPR, utilize AED’s, and are required to fulfill additional training to maintain their skillsets.
Tony Brownyard, president of the Brownyard Group, identified several security-industry trends in a recent blog post.
The Brownyard Group is a national insurance program manager that has developed and provided specialized insurance programs for select industries. Those industries include security services from trained professionals, private investigators, consultants, and alarm services.
Brownyard identified expanded responsibilities and increased specialization as trends pertaining to the security industry.
“Security guard firms are contracted to protect people and property in a wide variety of industries,” he stated. “Recently, more firms are being asked to provide additional services outside of the security role. These may be janitorial duties, executive chauffeur, handyman services, or even valet services at hotels.
“Many security guard firms once took on clients in a wide variety of industries. Today, however, as the security guard industry continues to grow, we’re seeing more specialization in industries such as government contracts, homeowners’ associations, schools, retail environments, and hotels – among others. Specialization gives firms a way to set themselves apart from competitors who are jacks-of-all-trades.”
Other trends Brownyard identified included remote video monitoring, more private investigators, and security consultants – as well as a growth in school security.
“Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, school security has continued to grow as a specialized industry niche,” he maintained. “When insuring school security firms, it’s important to determine risks based on the type and location of school, past crime activity and whether armed guards are used.”
Having a security firm on the premises isn’t isolated to primary education such as middle or high schools; many private and public universities utilize security firms year round. Schools that choose not to typically still employ security services for special events and parking enforcement. In Michigan in 2017, Alma College and Northwood University were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, as safest campuses in the state; both universities employ security services from STT. The basis for their placement included factors such as campus crime rate, local crime grade, student surveys, and alcohol/drug-related arrests. This criterion was used to evaluate 1,142 four-year colleges across the nation, and the top picks from each state were published.
The Healthcare Industry
But schools are not the only concern for security related matters. Hospitals and medical care centers have an inherent nature of serving people from all walks of life – representing all economic and social classes. Some of their clientele already face a high level of stress, have mental health issues, may be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or are predisposed to being violent. The healthcare workplace is also a setting where expensive assets, medications, and hazardous materials are abundant. There are a plethora of areas where only cleared personnel are granted access. Having security present prevents any disturbances in the normal daily routines; the officers also provide customer service in an environment that requires constant interaction with the general public.
Security personnel can especially assist in protecting the hospital’s employees. The healthcare industry boasts a concerning amount of negative statistics:
- 47% of emergency physicians have been physically assaulted; more than 60% of those respondents recall incidents within the past year
- About half of these cases reported being hit or slapped
- One third of these cases claim they were punched, kicked, or spit on
- 7 out of 10 emergency physicians claim emergency department violence has increased in the past 5 years; a quarter of them reporting it has increased greatly
- The majority of assaults on healthcare workers are by patients and visitors; pushing, grabbing, and yelling are the most prevalent behaviors
- Nearly all – 96% of women physicians – reported inappropriate comments or unwanted advances towards them from individuals in the hospital
Safeguarding our Food Supply
Delving into another niche: food defense was a subject covered in the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). It took over five years to gain approval for full implementation. The law involves the creation of a new food safety system; broad prevention mandates and accountability, a new system of import oversight, and an emphasis on farm-to-table responsibility. The FSMA was the first time the issue of food defense was addressed.
The FSMA defines food defense as the “effort to protect the food supply against international contamination due to sabotage, terrorism, counterfeiting, or other illegal, intentionally harmful means. Potential contaminants include biological, chemical or radiological hazards that are generally not found in foods or their production environment.” The difference between food safety and food defense is intent. Food safety measures focus on the effort to prevent unintentional contamination of food products by agents such as E. coli, Salmonella, or Listeria. Food defense exists to prevent food adulteration with the intent of harming those who consume it.
Hiring a reputable uniformed security firm helps facilitate the FSMA’s directives: interacting with visitors such as contractors, supplier representatives, delivery drivers, customers, and third-party representatives. An outside security firm also aids in the physical security by monitoring perimeter and facility access. They are responsible in accounting for all keys to the establishment, ensure parking enforcement is upheld, and logging all incoming or outgoing vehicles.
Security patrols are instrumental in making sure doors are secure and restricted areas are monitored. They carefully observe places where intentional contaminants can be hidden or brought onto the property. They also watch for unusual or suspicious behavior exhibited by staff and visitors. An independent security firm also brings a professional level of unbiased professionalism without any ulterior motive or vested interest in the food manufacturing business.
The added benefits of hiring a security firm for any business are countless. The business owner can rest easy knowing their facilities are guarded, employees and customers alike feel protected, and there is accountability for anything that takes place on the premises. Employees and guests can be escorted after hours or through unmonitored areas. Policies and procedures are further enforced, the risk of tampering or damage to assets is significantly reduced, and criminal behavior is deterred or eliminated. Security officers’ continued efforts ensure smooth and safe business operations.
STT Security Services provide the value and benefit of all services mentioned in this article. From site investigations, process serving, general surveillance, to discreet protective services, armed or unarmed personnel, or pre-employee-discharge planning, STT ensures the safety of your assets, business, and the people within it. Contact us today to receive a quote and to see what STT can do for you.
To read more about the statistics and references mentioned in this article, visit: