4 strategies to improve organizational safety and security
Some cities and counties across the country have taken steps to reduce law enforcement funding in favor of other community needs or organizations. As the debate over the effectiveness and results of such a reallocation continues, many leaders wonder what to do when the resource they previously relied on for security and protection is no longer as readily available as it is. previously.
From what I see, organizations ranging from factories to professional services to schools are starting to grapple with the realities of implementing heightened security measures, but often without the knowledge or expertise to find out if the changes will actually be effective. Additionally, many organizations have failed to budget for increased security spending, creating a larger security gap.
As a former law enforcement professional who now leads a safety and security training for schools and businesses, I recommend that business leaders consider the following physical security strategies to help to reduce crime and violence by detour:
Access control and visitor management
The foundation of any security plan is controlled access to assets or buildings. Whether the control is by electronic key cards, physical keys, exterior fences or gates, ensuring that only authorized persons have access to defined areas is essential not only for the protection of the assets but also for the safety of the personnel. Access control is not limited to office buildings or warehouses; in organizations open to the public, access control can be locked storefronts, securing high-value merchandise or restricting access to stores or employee areas.
For professional settings and schools with restricted access, visitor management plays a critical role in understanding who is allowed to be in defined areas and for how long. Regardless of the type of access control, periodically check assigned keys, badges or other access devices to ensure that none are missing / lost or retained by a terminated employee or an employee who has otherwise changed their location. role or responsibilities.
Many buildings use a security alarm of some type, as well as a surveillance camera system. However, these systems can become obsolete over time or stop working. Alarms and cameras should be tested regularly to ensure they are working properly. A review of the system may be necessary to ensure the correct number of door sensors, cameras and other components based on any changes in interior space layout or movement of critical areas / storage.
In addition, ensure that the system is monitored either by a third party vendor or by internal staff trained in the operation of the various systems and how to respond to alarm activations. Consider 30-45 days of storage for surveillance footage with appropriate policies for access, review, and release.
I see that some organizations choose to pay for dedicated private security in the absence of law enforcement. Often viewed as a visual deterrent, uniformed security officers can play a role in crime prevention, loss reduction, and management of security systems such as access control, visitor management, alarms and surveillance cameras. However, this can be an expensive option and out of reach for some organizations.
Especially in the absence of defined uniformed security guards, every employee plays a role in the security of the organization. Checking visitor badges, reporting unusual circumstances or broken security features, regularly locking doors, and raising awareness should all be part of organizational culture. Consider additional professional development training on topics such as workplace violence prevention, situational awareness, personal safety, and active shooter.
Aside from fences and door locks, the overall design and appearance of the workplace should be taken into consideration. Avoid dark or poorly lit areas in outdoor areas or parking lots, remove illegal graffiti, maintain landscaping, and repair items in poor condition such as broken windows, doors, pavement / sidewalks, etc. The general appearance of a building or property can be inviting or help prevent potential crime.
While the location, circumstances, and risks of each organization vary widely, these basic security strategies can begin to pave the way for a more secure work environment. While safety is usually the last topic on the minds of most leaders, it is the number one topic in creating a safe environment and protecting everyone’s most important asset: your people.