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Trend: Security Officers Must Be Alert For Lone Wolf Attacks

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If you are tasked with hiring a security company for your business, you now need to think of more than just whether or not officers have the required clearances and certifications for employment. Unfortunately, in light of recent lone wolf terror attacks, you need to think actively about the company's training policies for their officers. Today's security climate calls for increased preparedness; after all, lone wolf attackers often hit "soft targets" such as malls and sporting events. This means the very real possibility that the officers protecting your business may be the first line of defense in a crisis. Here are some actions in which you want to ensure officers who guard your business are trained.

1. Establish baseline

The first thing you want officers from a new security company to do is to create a baseline of normal activity for your business. You want them to get a sense of the usual ebb and flow of the activity in and around your property--quickly. Ask them to note, within the first two weeks of hire:

  • Who are your employees? What access should they have--or not have--to different areas of the building?

  • What are high traffic times?

  • What customers can they expect to see on a regular basis?

  • What suppliers deliver to your business, and when are deliveries made?

2. Beware of abnormalities

The next thing you want officers to do, once they've established a baseline of normal activity for your business, is to note any abnormalities. Examples of anomalies you would want to know about include

  • individuals who begin coming to your business but not buying anything; rather, they seem to be observing staff members and schedules

  • trucks arriving when you would usually not get a delivery

  • anyone filming business activities with a cell phone

  • vehicles parked in the lot when your business is closed

  • people who, rather than coming into your business, remain in their cars for a substantial length of time making notes or taking pictures

You want to know that if the officers providing security for your business notice any anomalies such as these, they will notify you and local law enforcement in a timely manner.

3. Be proactive

However, you want the security officers for your business to go beyond just noting and reporting abnormal incidents. You want officers to

  • approach suspicious persons and ask them about their behavior

  • note names, vehicle license plates, and other identifying information in a central log

  • enforce your company's policies against loitering or trespassing

Dangerous situations can sometimes be prevented simply because security officers act on what they observe. Because lone wolf attacks depend on an element of surprise, anyone who is up to no good may realize your business is not an attractive target after being questioned.

Establishing baseline observations, noting abnormal behaviors by people around your business, and engaging with suspects in a professional manner all take training. For instance, as Canada's terror laws undergo change in light of recent attacks, it is possible that more intelligence information could be shared with companies contracted to provide security to malls and large event venues.  If this occurs, it stands to reason that security companies will provide specialized training for their employees in line with these new responsibilities.  Make it a point to hire a company that is seeing these probabilities and already training its officers accordingly.

Sadly, Canada isn't what it used to be, and neither is the rest of the world. The new reality for business owners and managers, unfortunately, is the need to hire security companies that are prepared for multiple eventualities that, hopefully, will never happen.

For more details, reach out to some security companies in your area.


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