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Preventing Work Place Violence

Preventing Workplace Violence:

Shaffer Security Group (SSG) will work with your Legal Department, Human Resources, Security and C-level executives to develop a strategic plan to recognize & prevent Workplace Violence.

SSG has worked with numerous firms developing their Security Plan.  These plans emphasize how to recognize and prevent workplace violence.   We have worked with Fortune 100’s, Non-Government Organizations, Charitable Groups, Churches, Schools and Manufactures.  Shaffer Security Group will teach you to recognize “Pre-Incident Indicators” and help you develop a portal to which your employees can report suspicious and potentially dangerous behavior.  Our experts know the security of your firm is based on teamwork.  We not only work with your Human Resources (HR), Legal Team, Chief Security Officer & your C-level executives; but we also work with your employees to develop and communicate a Security Plan that meets your firm’s specific needs.

Statistics Show Increase in Fatal Workplace Violence:

The most common indicator for Workplace Violence is “Domestic Abuse” at home. Does you firm have an established, effective means by which your employees can report domestic abuse?  Is your reception aware of these potential threats?  Do you have intervention capable employees to step in and help diffuse conflicts or violence? What are your legal requirements to protect your employees?

http://www.krgv.com/story/35596413/stats-show-increase-in-fatal-workplace-shootings

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Risk & Threat Assessment and let us develop a strategic security plan utilizing security, intelligence & training solutions to prevent workplace violence.

5 Steps to Develop your Active Shooter Response Plan

Developing Your Active Shooter Response Plan:

Does your firm have an Active Shooter Response Plan?  Has your plan been communicated to your employees?  Do you routinely have Active Shooter Response Drills?

As you are aware, the national conversation and the most recent statistics show that violence in the workplace is becoming more common.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 5% of all businesses experience an instance of workplace violence each year. For larger organizations with over 1,000 employees, this rate is increased tenfold to 50 percent.  A 2014 report from the FBI found active shooter incidents in the U.S. now occur on an average of once a month. Of these incidents, almost half (45.6 percent) occurred at a business while nearly a quarter (24.4 percent) occurred at schools and institutions of higher learning.

Although active threats can vary from incident to incident, the common threads found throughout can be woven together to create an effective and successful safety program. The following are bullet-points from lessons learned gleaned from research & years of experience fighting terrorism both on and off the battlefield.  I help businesses develop tools for building a solid foundation for a safety-minded workplace.  Then, I teach them how to respond when violence visits.

Mindset to Clear the First Hurdle:

More often than not, active threat training is the elephant in the room. Everyone has seen or heard of incidents, but are reluctant to take the steps toward mitigation. The reasons may vary.  From believing it’ll make employees more fearful than empowered; to worrying the training might not be “right” for the team. However, looking the other way is not a solution to any problem, much less one with deadly consequences.

Statistics show an active shooter incident is more of an ‘when‘ than an ‘if‘.  Unfortunately, violence doesn’t discriminate on where it can take place.  It could happen at your headquarters, warehouse or storefront.  All aspects of your business should be involved in preventative measures.

Breaking through the barrier of apprehension begins “One Team, One Goal” approach.  Leadership should evaluate the type of training that fits their organization’s culture.  Supervisors should communicate the importance of such training to employees, and clearly explain how the training will be implemented.

Flexible Response Plans:

Violence is seldom a cookie cutter affair, and a “one size fits all” response is an ineffective solution. Conversely, having too many threat-specific responses can be confusing, if not outright dangerous.  While different threats do warrant varying responses, a series of “stovepipe” procedures can cripple an organization during a high stress scenario.

All active threat response plans should be built upon the same principles.  Even if the minute details are lost in the heat of the moment, team members can still make informed decisions to ensure their safety.  Streamlining processes encourages a quick implementation and retention of information.  Knowledge increases confidence, confidence increases decisiveness, and it is decisive action in a critical incident that saves lives.

Proactive Response Plans:

As a result of the number of Active Shooter Events (ASE), there is a movement for companies to have a Plan of Action.  For better or worse, increased exposure of violence in the workplace means it an issue thrust into the forefront.  A strategy based on “it won’t happen to me” is a folly that can irreparably destroy a brand.

An effective response plan doesn’t begin when the incident occurs, but as soon as training can be conducted. Empowering employees with tools on how to identify and communicate possible high-risk indicators such as signs of growing anger, depression or erratic behavior can be just as, if not more effective, as decisive action during an active threat.

Clear Communication Plans:

A cohesive “one-team” mindset supported by a response plan based on fundamentals cannot take place without clear communication before, during, and after a critical incident.  The language plays a critical role in an active threat response program and can dictate the program’s success or failure. Such language should be consistent with current policies and procedures so the program is both effective and legally defensible.

Each company will need to tailor its active threat response plan to fit its culture and workplace environment. Thankfully, a simple concept already exists so organizations may build a clear and coherent plan: “Run, Hide, Fight.”

Customer Service:

Communication during a critical incident is not limited to employees.  It extends to customer interaction as well. How a company communicates around and with customers during an active threat incident can play a vital role in minimizing the harm as a result of panic.

Every active threat mitigation plan should include an emergency communication strategy which may contain one or two common components:

  • First is the use of a code like “Code Adam”.  This will notify employees to a specific issue, while customers and vendors remain unaware of any possible threat.
  • The second option is to use “plain English”.  This will notify everyone quickly which improves situational awareness.  For example, instead of using “Code Red” for an active shooter incident, the alert would announce there is an active shooter situation in progress.  This will allow employees, customers and vendors to take decisive action.

Every active threat situation will unfold differently.  External factors such as the weather, type of environment, and other variables can present unpredictable outcomes. By being proactive, such as implementing sound training strategies, companies can be prepared for and respond to an active threat. Through the empowerment of its most valuable assets – its people – companies can mitigate risks.   Thereby, protecting the safety of its employees, customers, and community.

SSG specializes in designing & implementing Active Shooter Response plans for your business, school, or firm.  We work with your CSO, Legal, HR and Supervisors to develop a portal to report pre-incident indicators.  We help develop and train your Crisis Management Team; and we will train your entire staff in how to identify threats and how to respond in the event of an armed assault.

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Active Shooter Response training today.

http://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/88045-keys-to-building-a-successful-active-threat-plan

Staying Healthy this Summer Travel Season

The Summer Travel Season is upon us!  Are you planning on traveling overseas this summer?  If so, there are a few things you need to consider. During your pre-planning, its easy to think, “I’ll just look online or hop on over to the Doc-in-a-Box and they’ll tell me everything I need to know to keep from getting sick.”

That’s not always the case!

A study published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that travel clinics missed giving the measles vaccine to about half of eligible travelers.  For nearly a third of the missed cases, doctors or nurses simply didn’t offer the vaccine, even though measles is a problem in many parts of the world, including Western Europe and Mexico.  A traveler can be very easily exposed to measles around the world. The risk is very real.

With international trave it’s best to figure out what you need before you go to the clinic or your doctor and tell them exactly what it is you do need!

Here are just two tips to help you stay healthy while traveling:

1. Take the Pepto! 

The most common malady while traveling overseas you’re most likely to suffer is:  FOOD POISONING.  About a 25% of travelers will get gastrointestinal ‘distress’ within the first two weeks of an international trip.  Your best defense against this is both cheap and safe – Pepto Bismol.

Back in 1987, a study found that two tablets of Pepto Bismol tablets, taken four times a day, cut the risk of traveler’s diarrhea by more than 60 percent. The pills dropped the risk from 40 percent to only 14 percent.

If you do get sick, the pink pills may come in handy as the active ingredient, Bismuth Subsalicylate, can shorten the duration of a bout of diarrhea, and is a good alternative to antibiotics.

2. Remember the Routine Vaccines.

There’s a good chance you might need a vaccine prior to your travels – even if you’re just headed for a quick trip to Europe or the U.K.

The CDC recommends that all international travelers be up to date on routine vaccines, no matter the destination. Routine immunizations are the ones we get as children. The list is long. It includes about a dozen vaccines, everything from the pneumonia and whooping cough vaccines to those for Hepatitis A and B.  When you add onto this list any shots recommended for your specific destination, the list of possible vaccines can get complicated.

Plus, the CDC’s recommendations often get updated. Just a few weeks ago, the agency officially started recommending the cholera vaccine for travelers headed to places with ongoing outbreaks. And last month, they warned of a potential yellow vaccine shortage.

To make sure your clinician gets the list right for your specific trip, we recommend using the CDC’s new travel app, called Trav Well.

Users type their destination and time of travel into the app, and it tells them what they need to do to prepare.

So, travel safe this summer season and please do not hesitate to contact SHAFFER SECURITY GROUP if you have any questions about safety and security concerns for your summer travel plans.

 

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

One of the most often overlooked, yet critical aspects of Personal Security is, Situational Awareness:

“Check Your Six”, “Head on a Swivel”, “Be aware of your surroundings”.  You have probably heard all of these before, but what do they mean?

As the names implies, “Situational Awareness” is simply knowing what’s going on around you. It sounds easy in principle, but in reality requires much practice.  This skill is ingrained in soldiers, law enforcement officers, and yes, government-trained operatives!  At SSG, we understand how important a skill it is for civilians as well. Ultimately, being aware of a threat even seconds before everyone else, can keep you and your loved ones safe.

Situational Awareness is a skill that can and should be developed for reasons outside of personal defense and safety. Situational awareness is really just another word for mindfulness. Developing mine has allowed me to survive multiple overseas operations in very high-threat environments.  This same ‘mindfulness’ has also allowed me to be more cognizant of what’s going on around me in my daily activities, which in turn has helped me make better decisions in all aspects of my life.

Our Situational Awareness Courses Include:

  • Defining Situational Awareness Detractors.
  • How to use your “Gift of Fear”.
  • What is the OODA Loop & How Can It Be Reset?
  • Travel Security & Intelligence.
  • Using Improvised Weapons.
  • Mobile Phone Apps that can save your life.
  • Actions during an Active Shooter Event (ASE).

SSG personnel have spent years in the field developing their Situational Awareness. This skill set is what has kept the SSG partners alive in hostile, high-threat corners of the globe.  Let SSG help develop in you this important skill. Most notably, the focus is primarily on developing your situational awareness to prevent or survive a violent attack.  However, these same principles will also help hone your powers of observation in all areas of your life.

Finally, here are just a couple of links to provide you a list of mobile phone applications that you can download and start using today.  Stay Safe!

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/10-apps-save-life-case-emergency-article-1.2438105

http://coolmaterial.com/tech/8-apps-that-could-save-your-life/

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Situational Awareness training course.

Is it safe to travel to the EU for the Holidays?

Is it Safe to Travel to Europe for the 2016 Holiday Season?

Shaffer Security Group (SSG) is please to provide an interesting article from “Forbes” magazine detailing the threats and dangers of traveling to the EU over the holidays.  

SSG teaches the best way to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings and keep your head on a swivel.  Being Situational Aware is the best advice anyone can give as you travel to the EU or anywhere.

The SHAFFER SECURITY GROUP prides itself on maintaining close liaison with other security firms, police departments and intelligence agencies across the globe. These relationship allow us to provide you up-to-date, real-time threat assessments and risk analysis for your destination.  Our ties to many reputable, vetted and experienced security firms in the EU allows us to provide you a point of contact in the event you need immediate security assistance.  We can help you book a driver who is knowledgeable of the area, but also has specialized training to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe journey.  SSG’s many contacts with various EU police departments and with the FBI Attaches in U.S. Embassies can also be leveraged in the event of a critical situation.

Let us develop a travel security plan for you and your family as you travel this holiday season.  We can provide you professional drivers, security professionals, and keep you abreast of any threats during your travel.  Contact SSG for details.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2015/11/20/should-you-come-to-europe-for-the-holidays-paris-terrorism-attacks/#71003c8c23a6

What Do I Do?

Greg,…What Do You Do?

I get asked this countless of times at social events, at the gym, or at conferences. My go to answer is: “I’m a Security Expert”.

In reality, there is so much more I do as a security professional.  As a result, I have to generalize it for the average person. The “elevator speech” or 30 second introduction may give people some insight to what I do.  However, it often doesn’t tell the whole story.  The “Whole Story” goes something like this:

“I create, manage, and implement security, intelligence, and training solutions designed to protect businesses, organizations, facilities, and people both domestically and internationally.” 

What I mentioned above is not what I do but what I offer to clients. What I do is comprised of tasks, disciplines, and training geared to support my clients. Recently I was retained by an international businessman.  This client required security solutions to protect his home, office, and himself upon traveling abroad. The client really fit into my wheelhouse of services, but I didn’t see this project as just an Executive Protection (EP) assignment. Though I have worked Executive Protection for years, what I was doing for this client was far more than being a body guard.

To Satisfy the Client’s Quest & Need for Security, I had to do the following:

  • Conduct a risk assessment to identify the critical assets and business processes.  This requires protection, analyze the threats, assess the vulnerabilities, and then move forward with a plan the meets the client’s needs.
  • To secure the client’s home and office(s) I had to do the following:
    • several site security survey’s,
    • research and assess the proper technology needed,
    • evaluate access control and emergency response procedures.
  • Given the nature of my client’s work and the location of his travel, I had to develop an intelligence program.  This Intelligence Program needed to address the geopolitical, natural, and criminal threats.  These “threats” could disrupt my client’s business and possibly threaten his life.
  • The most important element of executive protection is doing an advance prior to the client embarking on travel.  I had to coordinate with trusted partners in areas that I couldn’t reach myself. The intelligence is critical when doing an advance for a client.  My international law enforcement & intelligence agency contacts provide critical information in which to base my threat assessment.
  • On occasions that I had to undertake a protective role.  I had to do tactical training to ensure that my perishable skill sets remain sharp.  I had to do reality based training, firearms training, personal defense, first aid, to better serve my client.
  • In the case of a crisis, I had to do lots of policy writing.  It required my coordinating with my client’s legal team, insurers and my client’s family to ensure fast resolutions to a multitude of crises.
  • I wrote agreements with other partners to support my client in the event of a crisis.
  • I had to ensure the domestic office staff were well prepared to assess, communicate, and respond to a crisis.  Therefore, I developed training scenarios to test their situational awareness and response to incidents.
  • When realizing that the local first responders were not involved, I developed a tactical response plan to include police, fire & EMS that could be implemented to improve response efficiency.

So yeah,…. That’s What I Do?

Risk Management & Security Consulting.

Contact Shaffer Security Group for your Risk & Security Assessment and let SSG develop a strategic security plan based on intelligence, training & experience.