Friday, August 25, 2017

"Don't Make Me Come Over There."

How many times did we hear that phrase when we were growing up?  Or, "You just wait 'til your father gets home!"  I know I did.  I was scared to death, at least, until I was twelve or so and my Grandma whacked me with a wooden yard stick and it broke.  Then I knew I was too big to get a spanking any more.  Besides, by then I figured out I could blame my younger brothers and they'd "take it for me".  Love those guys!
Well, the same holds true in corporate America.  Sure, the boss isn't going to paddle anyone.  At least, I hope not.  But "unwanted behaviors" in the work place must be dealt with and it doesn't always have to be the boss or the security folks to deal with it. 
When "unwanted behaviors" occurred someone needs to step in.  That can be a co-worker or colleague.  Not that they need to "tattle" but behaviors outside of what's acceptable puts everyone at risk - from both a safety and a security perspective.
Non Security Personnel Can Play a Part
Non-security members of the organization can play a major role in identifying behavior that is unwanted.  But, they must be trained on when to interact on their own and when to keep their distance and report.  Smart leaders will develop scenario based training that includes all the members of their organization and promotes the interactions of the groups.  This can go a long way in instilling confidence in each other and creating a culture of unity and capability.  Which in turn, creates a feeling of safety and security within the organization.
But sometimes, even the best trained staff member is not capable of responding or diffusing the situation.  In this case, security force personnel should be called in.
Security Forces Compliment Non-security Forces 
Security response forces actually compliment other staff members and not the other way around.  That said, security personnel must receive additional training and have ability to accurately assess and engage the threat.  The operative word is “accurately” assess.  If they misunderstand the actions of the threat or assume aggressive behavior when there isn’t any the situation will quickly spiral out of control and actually escalate.  How many time have we heard, “I thought he had a gun”?
With that in mind, training is fundamental and paramount.  Training must be physically and mentally challenging.   Virtual, “situation based awareness” scenarios can be developed so that they stress the participants.  Role playing is always a benefit. Unless stressful conditions are trained for, guard forces won’t react properly when confronted by them.
The mindset that the responding officer must always be in control is correct.  That doesn’t mean they are superior it means they have the skills to neutralize the threat, sometime that requires force and sometimes not.  The use of de-escalating tactics is a learned behavior.  As such, highly aggressive and chaotic training scenarios serve the response forces well in learning how to deal with these types of behaviors. 
Cultural norms also play a big part is calming the confrontation between response forces and perpetrators.  What works in Los Angeles doesn’t necessarily work in Amsterdam or New Delhi. 
Responding forces must remember, the continuum of use of force is scalable and that deadly force is only used as a last resort.