Security Planning: Advice From An Expert
Accent Distributing sponsored a webinar in August 2018 about active shooter mitigation hosted by Security Magazine. The webinar featured Tom M. Conley, who has responded to more than 300 violent incidents throughout his 35-year career in the military.
During the webinar, Conley answered questions submitted by security industry professionals from across the country. Here are some of the subjects discussed:
Do you have any advice for hiring a security consultant?
When looking for a commercial security consultant, it’s important to find someone with real-life experience, Conely said. Ask if they’ve responded to violent situations in the past. Be sure to check their references. Professional certifications are also important. The industry standard is the CPP credential from ASIS.
Finally, be sure to hire someone articulate and with a strong attention to detail, he said. If, unfortunately, a violent event was to occur at your business, your security consultant could be an important witness at a civil trial.
What are the most common barriers to putting a high-quality security plan in place?
One challenge that security departments often face is lack of visibility to the C-suite, Conely said. Security programs don’t typically produce the types of metrics that appeal to executives. Having a security sponsor within the C-suite can help address this problem, he said.
Another issue is that security plans are often based on budget rather than risk, he said. Just remember, there’s a high cost to cheap security if a violent incident does take place.
Why is cybersecurity such a well-funded issue?
In many cases, cybersecurity receives more funding than physical security, Conely said. This is largely because company executives can face criminal charges for violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The consequences of a violent event can be more abstract to executives as they’re high-cost, low-probability situations.
What are some warning signs of an active shooter?
In all his experience, Conley said he’s never heard of an active shooter who didn’t demonstrate some warning signs or telling behaviors before the event. If you notice something suspicious about someone’s behavior, don’t be afraid to report it, he said.
If you have good baseline security in place, it’s easily to discreetly increase your threat level without causing panic, he said.
It’s important to layer your security to slow down violent intruders. Doing this can help you buy enough time for law enforcement to arrive if you don’t have a tactical response team in place.
Conely suggested conducting a risk management security survey so that your business can be well prepared should a dangerous situation arise.
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