Be it in a department store, office building, or even movie theaters, the presence of uniformed New York security personnel is growing in recent years. There are a variety of benefits to having one or more uniformed security guards stationed at your business, many of which often go overlooked when determining whether or not added security is necessary in a particular location. With more attention being put on random acts of violence in recent years, the added security is never a bad thing to have, but here are some specific reasons why you may want to budget for professional security in addition to your standard loss prevention measures.
Security Guards Need Only Be Seen to Be Effectual
Uniformed guards, specifically armed uniformed security guards, certainly have a way of standing out in a crowd. Even if your security guard does not wear a traditional uniform and dresses in more business attire, the way security personnel carry themselves in contrast to your average customer or employee makes their presence known. Having your security guards visible and making their presence known offers a number of benefits in and of itself. Having your security personnel lowers the potential for theft at your location.
Security guards are trained on behavioral characteristics or trends to keep on the lookout for which may indicate potential theft. In a retail environment, for example, they will be watching for customers who are paying more attention to the camera placement than the products on the shelves, customers lingering in a high-value section without doing much actual browsing, or customers simply picking up items without looking at prices or inspecting the items. These behaviors are generally indicative of shoplifters. Most decisions are made by weighing the risk versus the reward, and the higher perceived risk presented by uniformed security will dissuade many would be thieves from even attempting to steal from your business.
This visibility also offers a twofold benefit. While it dissuades thieves and shoplifters, it also instills a sense of safety and security in your customers. Customers and employees will have a clear direction to go in case of an emergency situation, and be able to find help quickly and easily. Most security guards are well trained in how to respond to a number of emergency situations, and not just restricted to handling criminal activity. Your security personnel will be able to take action and ensure the proper emergency services are contacted and on their way as soon as possible in other situations such as medical emergencies and fires as well, and will be able to help direct customers and employees alike on how best to proceed.
Protection and Defense for New York Businesses
One of the obvious benefits of having security personnel is having additional security at your location. While it seems self-explanatory, there are a number of ways your security guards can be deployed or implemented depending on how your business is configured.
New York Retail Security
Theft Prevention Starts with Security Officers
For a retail environment, the best way to implement your security personnel is either by the doors to help with stopping shoplifting by providing one final checkpoint before customers leave the store, or having them walk high-risk sections of the storefront which might be targets for shoplifters. If you have more than one security guard, you can position them according to the highest risk locations. High-risk locations can be easily determined by reviewing your shrinkage numbers related to specifically to theft and missing inventory. If you have loss prevention employees in addition to your security guards, it is also helpful to keep them in close communication with each other, as loss prevention can notify your security staff of any suspicious behavior see on the cameras. Many retail stores such as Target, Macy’s, and Sears use a combination of both uniformed and non-descript loss prevention officers and security in keeping their stores safe.
Theaters in the NYC
Security for the Fine Arts & Performances
For movie theaters, having uniformed and well-trained security guards provides a large benefit, especially with the rise in violent activities in movie theaters as of late. There should be a theater-wide alarm system to alert your employees, security personnel, and customers in the event of an emergency, and an organized plan of action on what to do in case of an emergency. Your security personnel should be positioned in areas where they will be visible, such as the tills, concession area, aisles leading to theaters, and even parking lots if necessary. This added security will not only deter would be criminals simply due to the high visibility of your security guards, but your on-site security will act as your first line of defense in case of any criminal activity or perceived threats.
Office Tower Security
For office buildings, having a security desk inside the main entrance visitors must check in at will help keep a running log of every customer or patron entering your establishment, as well as the necessary information to match with security footage or other resources to identify them should a crime be committed on the premises. Most criminals try to stay anonymous, so having to check in using their name and identification will usually dissuade most criminals from the get-go. Having a few security personnel stationed on each floor for any general emergencies is also recommended. Many offices that handle confidential information, for example, Allstate’s Uniondale claims office in NY, has a security check in both in the main plaza of the office suite their office is housed in, as well as at the entrance of the Allstate office itself.
Security guards at schools should be positioned throughout campus, either at check in locations for non-classroom oriented buildings like the library, and throughout non-ID required buildings like lecture halls and the like. Your security personnel should also make an effort to communicate with the students, and keep an open ear in for any perceived threats based on conversational cues. In a school setting, the primary purpose of security guards is to prevent active shooter scenarios and ensure the general safety of students and staff. Many college campuses, Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY being a prime example, have security posted at the entrance to the library as well as visibly present in the main café area.
There has been an increased focus on active shooter incidents across the Unites States in recent years, which understandably has a lot of businesses and customers alike on edge. Your security team will be the first line of defense in not only preventing but also in stopping these active shooters. Most active shooters are usually unassuming, and often times are unable to be recognized as a threat until it is too late. Once authorities are contacted, it can take up to 20 minutes for police to arrive on scene. Most active shooter scenarios cause the most damage and casualties within the first 5-10 minutes. This is why your on site security is essential in these situations. Depending on if you have armed security or unarmed security, their approach to situations like these may be different, focusing on either neutralizing the threat quickly and efficiently if they are armed and properly trained for such a situation, or to assist with evacuations and giving law enforcement details on the shooters location and access to doors only your security personnel can access, giving law enforcement more mobility and options on how to apprehend the shooter. Most active shooter situations are planned in advance, so having security present and able to listen to conversations and interacting with your employees and customers may also help them evaluate a potential threat long before your employees and customers are in any immediate danger.
Overall, security guards ensure that your customers and employees are safe, and have a go to person in case of an emergency. They are trained to expect the unexpected, and know how to handle those sudden emergencies that seem to shatter the day to day routine the rest of your employees and customers aren’t always prepared for. Through calm and immediate action, your security staff can be your most important asset in diffusing an emergency situation, and keeping everyone safe. If you think private security is something your establishment can benefit from, find a firm with experience in your particular industry. Nationwide Investigations & Security, Inc. is a good example of where one might hire private security staff, as they offer a variety of services ranging from loss prevention to crowd control management and alarm system monitoring, have a number of locations across the US.