ARMED SECURITY: IS IT NECESSARY?
After the Sandy Hook catastrophe, a local high school contacted Sunstates Security about providing armed security or police at every possible entrance. Such a system would not only be expensive, but also ineffective. Instead, Sunstates recommended implementing early warning mechanisms, communication, buffer zones, and safe rooms.
Lockdown protocols and safe rooms prevent attackers from accessing potential victims. The key is to build communication and early warning systems, and have those protocols in place before an incident occurs.
The presence of armed security officers could, in fact, provoke violent responses, potentially resulting in even more victims.
Best Practices for Armed Security
Sunstates President Glenn Burrell worked for 20 years in Scotland Yard, during which he served on the security detail for Great Britain’s Royal Family. Studies at Scotland Yard, which is mostly an unarmed force, revealed that armed officers were more prone to aggression and confrontation, which escalated the likelihood of violence.
More than 98% of Sunstates’ security coverage is unarmed. In the rare instances where armed protection makes sense, the firm recommends the following best practices.
- The right person for the job. In cases where an armed security force is necessary, recruit individuals with extensive firearms training, such as former police officers or military personnel. These individuals should also be screened for the correct psychological profile and temperament. “Simply giving a security officer a firearm and putting him or her out there is a recipe for disaster,” Burrell says.
- Verbal and non-verbal de-escalation skills. Defusing tension and conflict is critical to avoid violence, even if the officer is armed. Sunstates Security officers undergo extensive training in defusing conflict through verbal and non-verbal communication. This approach has proven effective in managing threats and reducing the threat of violence.
- Risk management. Certain assignments – like cash-based establishments in high-crime neighborhoods – are better left to police. Assigning private security officers would only place those individuals at risk. With private security personnel currently outnumbering public law enforcement by three to one, the best practice is to protect the private sector with proactive security, while freeing police to deal with criminals.
For consultation on your security needs, contact Sunstates Security today. Our specialists can help you develop a security plan tailored to your unique