To Guard Or Not To Guard: The Debate on School Security

How to best protect children has been a lifelong concern for parents since the dawn of time. Yet, today, safety at schools unfortunately stands at the forefront of those fears ever since the horrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut occurred in December 2012. Once considered almost untouchable sanctuaries of learning, schools across the country now find themselves among an evolving world where almost nothing seems as safe as it once was.

A recent Associated Press article titled “Trained police needed for school security” purported that the debate on school security originally hinged on whether or not to have a police officer present on campus in any capacity. Now, the debate includes whether anyone (hired guard, officer or employee) should be allowed to carry weapons on school property, and whether that armed ‘guard’ must be a law enforcement official, volunteer or security guard.

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Adding fuel to the debate, the National Rifle Association recently called for trained, armed volunteers to be present at every school in the nation. Regardless of which stance a person may take on any part of this issue, the simple fact remains that a person, trained or untrained, armed or unarmed, who is solely dedicated to the safety of the school grounds will do more to prevent an incident than not having one at all. If that seems like an oversimplification, it is.

The debate concerning a ‘guard’ tends to progress into an all or nothing scenario. At which point, the duty of protection may be assigned to a faculty or staff member for reasons of budget or fear of backlash. The truth is, a person with another primary function, such as a teacher or principal, cannot consistently devote the necessary attention to keep an area safe while also doing their main job satisfactorily. On the other hand, a guard who has created a working safety relationship with the people and environment he or she is protecting allows those being protected to remain calmer and focused on education, not security.

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While it is unfortunate to say, today’s educational institutions must prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. It is the only way to help reduce the risk of an incident becoming yet another tragedy. Yet the simple truth remains that a guard dedicated to the security of an area remains an active deterrent to security breeches and can be used efficiently and effectively with the aforementioned options.

There is no greater ‘asset’ we can safeguard than our children’s safety. And nothing should stop us all from doing that to the absolute best of our abilities.

Source by Ray Cavanagh

Security Guards at Hospitals

Security guards at hospitals are essential for many different reasons. Access control, security of controlled substances, the security of newborns and ill patients and the protection of the property are just some concerns hospitals normally deal with. It is highly important to hire a security company that understands the various challenges and security requirements. A security consultant with experience should meet with management and discuss past challenges, expected risk factors and security of sensitive spots like especially vulnerable patients, location of controlled substances and expensive equipment. 

After the meeting with hospital management, the director of security and the general hospital staff and a full walk through of the property a written and detailed security plan should be composed. The security plan should be shared and discussed with all involved parties and once approved should be passed on to field supervisors of the company. Field supervisors and the consultant should choose the security guards being deployed carefully. Costumer service skills, vigilance, professionalism and sometimes being bi-lingual will be required. Once the plan and the staff are in place the consultant will write detailed post orders according to client’s expectations and the plan. After approval of the post orders by the client, security guards and supervisors should be trained according to the post orders.

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General access control will require recording and identifying each visitor to the hospital. That will ensure that only authorized personnel and identifiable visitors enter the building. Most hospital buildings are vast and personnel are busy and scattered. Access must be controlled diligently at the point of entry otherwise it will be impossible to guarantee security. Many hospitals are targets of robbery and burglary, because they store controlled substances that are interesting to drug addicts and drug dealers. Security officers should be aware of the location of controlled substances and should pay special attention to the location where they are stored.

California legislation requires a special security protocol for hospitals that house newborn babies. It is extremely important that security guards are familiar and trained by the protocol and those supervisors frequently and consistently ensure adherence to the regulations. Sick and elderly patients at hospitals often become the victim of violence and robbery at hospitals. The company in charge and its security guard must be aware that they are protecting people that cannot care for themselves; therefore security personnel must display special care and vigilance.

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Doctors, nurses and administrative staff at hospitals are constantly busy and are frequently dealing with stressful situations and emergencies. Most hospitals are extremely big and the security situation will be challenging. Therefore the hospital will need a security company that is professional and vigilant. It should provide the necessary peace of mind to the hospital staff that they require focusing on their job.

Source by Charles A Willis

Tips To TroubleShoot A Security Camera

Every now and then you may find yourself in a position where one of your security cameras has stopped working. Maybe you bought the camera used or maybe one of your long trusted cameras has malfunctioned. Whatever the case may be; there are a few steps you can take to determine whether the problem is with your camera or some other component in the system.

Useful Items To Have

If you have a secondary cctv camera that is functioning, you can probably get the following components from it; otherwise you may have to do some searching.

1. A secondary test camera.

2. A secondary video cable.

3. A secondary power source / cable.

4. A voltage meter (For Installers & Surveillance Professionals).

Swap The Camera (If Possible)

If you have a secondary camera on the system that is working; A quick test is to swap it out with the malfunctioning camera. If it doesn’t work, then you can assume the problem lies in the connectivity components. If it does work however; you may be looking at a dead security camera.

Test Your Power

The first connectivity test you should do is to test to see if your power is working. If your camera has a power indicator light, you should make sure that is on. If it isn’t or if it doesn’t have one; you will want to take a secondary power supply / cable and attach it to the camera to see if you get any power. If you have power now; you have determined that your power cable and or supply have gone bad.

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On a side note if this is a new camera you may also want to make sure you have the correct power supply. Be it 12V, 24V or whatever; if you do not have the correct voltage you may not be able to power up your camera, or you may run the risk of overloading it and frying the components.

Test Your Video

As you did with the power cable; you will want to swap out your video cable with a secondary one to test if the cable has gone bad. Also if you are connecting to a monitor or a DVR; it may be a wise idea to switch which port you are connecting to, this way you can determine if your video port has gone bad.

Voltage Test (For Installers / Technologically Adept People)

If you have a voltage meter at your disposal and you have determined that one of your cables has gone bad; you may be able to fix it. By using the voltage meter you can determine if only a small section of your cable has gone bad. If this is the case you may be able to cut out that piece of cable and splice the cable back together yourself. This can be a somewhat tricky process for some as it may involve crimping on new connectors or splicing two cable ends together.

If you don’t feel comfortable fixing your own cctv cables; it may be a wise idea to buy a new pre-made cable or have a professional do it.

Source by Christian M Gillman

Using a Wireless Security Surveillance Camera Without Cable Or DSL Internet

Security cameras really do one thing. Create peace of mind. How much is that worth to you? You can rest easier knowing that if something does happen, you will know about it and be able to catch the perpetrator or criminal in their tracks! So it comes down to what type of system will you use? For many you will want a wireless security surveillance camera that you can view from anywhere. There are some cool new services that allow you to check your cameras from anywhere with any Internet device like a laptop or even iPhone or smart phone. How cool is that to be able to check in on your house when you are in Europe on your iPhone? Very slick indeed!

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Well for some people having a device that is an IP (Internet Protocol or “Wifi”) camera is hard to do because they don’t have regular cable or DSL service available at the office or home that are trying to protect. Well we have some solutions even for that. With a Mobile Broadband card like the ones from Verizon, Sprint, or T-mobile and Mobile Router, you can have a Wifi network that will power your security cameras anywhere! Now, just like regular Internet, mobile Internet does have a monthly charge, but think of it as insurance for protection your property and safety 24/7. Now you can see what is going on back at your house even in a Car, RV or your hotel room on vacation as well! This is only limited by your imagination.

What equipment is needed? First off you need an IP camera. These will work great with regular Wifi or with the Mobile Broadband Wifi service I mentioned earlier. You could get a fixed camera or a PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera that lets you remotely point the cam in any direction. You can also install motion detectors that will have the camera record the video only when motion is detected, so you don’t have to store tons of blank and useless video. This is especially recommended if you are using one of the Mobile Broadband services since most of them have a 5GB data limit per month. There are some other ways of limiting the bandwidth as well so be sure and test your usage so you don’t blow past the 5GB limit. Of course, this can be also be stored on your computer and viewed anytime.

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Do not let the lack of Internet access limit your Security Camera needs. Pairing a good Wifi Video Camera with Mobile Broadband and a Mobile Router will greatly expand the areas where you can operate these cameras and safeguard your life.

Source by Steve Sasman

Camera Security and Surveillance: The New Community Security

Every day I read articles on how this community is finding it too expensive to continue keeping a full time gate security guard on duty and have been receiving calls regarding communities losing their sense of security as the age of gated communities is falling prey to a falling economy. This can be a real source of concern for those residents who moved into the community for that very reason that the community had additional security benefits. There are answers that are economically feasible to those who feel that lack of security as the “age of the gated community” dwindles.

One option is to purchase and set up one’s own security or surveillance camera system. This can be done fairly economically and in the end may save the owner who is paying a monthly fee for the manned security gate some money. There are a variety of security and surveillance cameras to choose from and can vary anywhere from one camera to a 16 camera setup depending on your needs and desires in a system and coverage area. I would suggest that before you purchase any system that you talk to a security expert to get the best information as to the type of camera and number of cameras you need for your situation and which camera will give you the clearest picture factoring in weather conditions, lighting,etc.

Another option is one I have mentioned in a previous blog and that is to set up a neighborhood watch using security and surveillance cameras. The community as a whole can meet and see who resides where and what view they are best able to watch and set up a schedule for those interested in keeping an “eye” on the community and notifying neighbors of any foul play or anything suspicious so their neighbor can check it out or call law enforcement before a crime is committed or trouble occurs. If a number of neighbors are interested, this system can be worked out quite efficiently and make everyone more at ease knowing that security is still in place with a watchful eye!

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The last option is would be to take turns driving through the community and keeping a watchful eye out. Now the trouble with this system is that no one can be everywhere at once and to me this could become boring very quickly and people might loose interest and then we are back to the beginning again. Now there may be those who disagree with me and that is fine, but I have found that most people prefer the sanctity of their own home. With camera surveillance and security one can stay at home and still keep that watchful eye out for both themselves as well as their neighbors.

If your community is one of those who is losing it’s claim to fame as a “gated” community then this article is for you. Talk with a security specialist and get the help you need to find the security or surveillance system that best meets your needs. If your gate is coming down, there are answers to maintain the security you desire for your home and community.

Source by Marie Abbatoy

In House Security Versus Security Company

Many businesses in today’s challenging economic times hire security guards in house to save money while not realizing that they are actually losing money. In house security guards require benefits, payroll expense, worker’s compensations insurance, general liability insurance, sick pay and unemployment insurance. The security officer must be supervised and most of the time supervised by people that do not have the necessary expertise.

In such companies a security plan and post orders are virtually non existent. I provided a security consultation to a business about a year ago. They were buying stock up merchandise from large retailers and selling it at more than 500 percent profit. Their sales were terrific, but at the end of the year the company managed to loose money. Although it was obvious, the owner could not explain it. The security guards were hired in house and new all employees at the warehouse.

The warehouse was basically plundered by employees and the security guards. Some employees would have people come to the warehouse and sell merchandise to them while pocketing the money and paying off the security officers. It became so rampant that the business was actually losing money.

The first thing we did was hiring an outside security company that would not allow anybody to leave with merchandise. Over time the worst employees that tried to continue stealing were caught and fired. The company’s sales were still terrific and the company actually made exorbitant profits. The hourly rate for the security officers was actually lower than what they were paying before. The client got security guards that did not fraternize with employees, were better supervised and trained and saved money on top of it.

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Saving on general liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, unemployment, sick leave and all the other benefits the client got much better service from licensed and experienced professionals while saving a lot of money. The general assumption in the business world is that in house will save money, because security companies will add their profit to the labor costs. What many managers and clients fail to see is that security companies add a lot of value for what they charge. That value outweighs the costs by much like the example above proves. Also there are economies of scale for security companies. They get cheaper insurance, because they are licensed and are insuring more people. Supervision is cheaper for them, because they have proven methods that people not in the industry do not know about. Managers in companies that employ in house security guards should definitely contact a security consultant for a free consultation. It will not benefit every business, but most businesses will be better off outsourcing their security services.

Source by Charles S Willis

Armed Security Guards: Training, Benefits, and Posts

Armed security guards are guards who handle firearms or other weapons and use them to protect an individual or property against potential danger. These guards are highly trained and skilled for handling weapons before they are deployed to their perspective employers. In order to be eligible for an armed guard job, these individuals must pass strict requirements such as a comprehensive background check and the legality of their age. Tests such as fingerprinting and even DNA testing may be included in the screening process.

How Armed Security Guards Differ from Unarmed Guards

Armed officers carry a firearm with them at all times. This weapon maybe used in the aid of securing an individual or property. Unarmed guards on the other hand do not carry weapons. Their duty is to observe and report to a higher authority. Armed guards receive higher pay when compared to unarmed security guards. In part due to the amount of training that is required as well as the cost for firearm’s licensing. Due to the risks associated with using a gun, armed security guards also have higher insurance premiums than unarmed ones.

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Training for Armed Officers

Armed officers are trained in all facets of protecting a person or a property. Often, the security company that hires and manages these security guards provides the needed training. The training includes operating a surveillance system, the use of firearms and doing street surveillance.

Before being deployed, Texas law requires that armed security guards, who are not currently policemen, will have completed 30 hours of required training. Additionally, they would have to undergo an 8-hour refresher course in training every year that they are on the job. Current police officers, or even retired ones, are some of the few who are exempted from taking the extensive trainings. Also included in the exemptions are licensed private investigators, peace officers and some military staff. For certain work environments, some additional training might have to be taken. For instance, armed security guards who are assigned to prison will have to undergo training on dealing with angry prisoners and on how to deal with prison riots. Armed security guards may have to be trained as well on company policies and ethics.

Benefits of Hiring Armed Security

A number of businesses employ armed security guards to protect their properties and employees. For business locations that have high incidents of vandalism, theft or robbery, armed security guards can provide better protection to individuals and properties. They are also ideal for businesses or properties that have alarm systems or video cameras installed, as they are well trained in operating these kinds of systems.

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Armed Security Officer Posts

Armed security Officers are trained to perform their duties serving many different posts. These might include, government buildings, banks, jewelry stores, political events, and even personal protection services. Personal protection services might include protecting dignitaries, CEO’s, and movie stars. They can also be assigned to man and operate closed circuit televisions (CCTV) as they are trained and knowledgeable in operating these systems. Of course, there are also the standard patrol duties as are often found in apartment and mall security. Armed guards have a large spectrum of clients and locations to protect creating quite a varied job.

Source by J. Singletary

Security Guard Facts

Security guards make up an increasingly large portion of the security and guarding detail that is done on a daily basis today, yet most people do not understand the job or its duties. The facts about the job and its duties may surprise you.

Security Guard Name History

During the middle ages in Europe, watchmen were employed to look after valuables as well as to observe and report on any incoming attacks. Later on in America they became known more predominately as night-watchmen before their title evolved to a more general and inclusive title such as security guard, private patrol officer, or security officer.

Can Security Guards Make Arrests?

Yes, and No. Guards do not have the power, or are required to make a criminal arrest. They can however make citizen’s arrests or act as an agent of law enforcement officers in restraining individuals when told to do so by a law officer.

Can a Guard Carry and Use a Gun?

Security officers can be deemed as either and unarmed guard or a armed guard. An armed security guard that has passed and completed the unarmed guard training can then go and complete the training to become an armed security guard. Armed guards are then permitted to carry and use a gun if necessary, although it will still be a last resort and only used in defense. A gun though must usually be worn in a visible manner unless you have obtained a concealed weapons permit.

Can You Become a Security Guard if You’ve been Arrested?

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The regulation and licensing of guards is handled differently from state to state. Most states will not permit anyone who has been convicted of a felony to become a security guard. Many states will not allow misdemeanor convictions as well. Depending on the arrest you may be still able to qualify as a guard but you should check the specific laws in your state.

Do You Need an Education?

Just like the regulations in each state concerning arrests and guard training, education is dependent on where you will be applying to become a guard. Most states though do not have strict education requirements and do not require a college education. Usually a potential applicant will have to complete a certain amount of required guard training through a state approved training facility before they can begin work as an official guard.

Do Guards Need to Be Strong and in Shape?

While most guard jobs do not have any fitness requirements, a guard should not be completely out of shape. They also do not need to be overly strong or in shape. Most of a guard’s job involves observing, reporting, and communicating. Very few times are physical strength actually needed for a situation.

Is being a Guard a Good Career?

Yes! Security Officer jobs are growing at a rapid rate with no sight of slowing done. The benefits of having a guard on duty and the heightened sense of security that most places are in today are creating a growing need for more guards everyday.

Source by Alex Wallst

Unarmed Security Guards: Requirements, Training, and Job Duties

Unarmed security guards are guards who protect properties and or individuals without the use of a fire arm. An unarmed security guard’s main job is to make rounds on a property, monitor and report any abnormal happenings that have been observed. Aside from these basic functions, they can also assist in giving proper directions around the facility to citizens who need help. In some cases, unarmed security guards are even tasked with receiving packages and signing papers on behalf of the employer while on duty.

Requirements to Become an Unarmed Security Guard

The most important asset to look for when hiring a person for a security position is the ability communicate clearly and quickly. A nice presentable appearance is another basic requirement for the job. Some high school education is also required; however a high school diploma is not necessary. The applicant must also pass a drug test and be physically fit. He or she must also be able to pass criminal background checks.

Training for an Unarmed Guard

Training an unarmed guard is very different from training an armed one. As they don’t deal with firearms, the unarmed security guards’ primary weapon is effective communication. Thus, proper training in effective communication is a must for these kinds of guards. On-the-site training is given to the guard by a supervisor. This would include walking with the guard throughout the facility and working with him for a few hours. Training on how to operate some electronic equipment may also be provided by the employer. Employers might also provide additional training on particular company ethics, as well as company policies. An unarmed security guard has to complete 45 hours of training, which should be completed on his first 100 days of work. Within these first 100 days, he or she should also be able to pass a proficiency examination in order to receive a training certification for the job.

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Typical Job Situations for Unarmed Security Officers

Some typical assignments for unarmed security officers might include apartments, parks, construction sites, and malls. They can be assigned to do either static or patrol duties, or even both. Patrol duties are situated towards the particular venue. Patrols might be done while walking, riding horseback, or from a motorized vehicle. Aside from their most common service, to guard establishments and people, these guards can also serve at help desks. As they are trained to communicate effectively, they will be effective in providing customers and citizens with information regarding the company that these guards work for.

Benefits of Hiring an Unarmed Officer

Unarmed security officers offer lower salary expenses for the employer, as compared to armed security guards. These guards are good for businesses which are situated in relatively peaceful environments. Hiring security that is armed could put some stress on the residents of these areas, which is why it is sometimes a better solution to place unarmed officers. With these security officers, there is little to no issue on the safety of guns in the workplace as there are no guns involved. Unarmed security guards also contribute to a more relaxed environment both for the clients and the people in the area.

Source by J. Singletary

What About Security For You And Your Information When It Comes To A Virtual Assistant?

The global economy becomes more relevant each day thanks to technology, the internet, and standard currencies. Business operations from manufacturing to customer service management are successfully conducted throughout the world. Many are still operating locally, but a growing number of businesses and corporations are regularly conducting business from remote locations. Small business owners and established corporate executives are finding that Virtual Assistants give them an edge over their competition and leverage in the online marketplace. Hiring a Virtual Assistant online has become a relatively common event, but does raise some valid concerns about security.

Information Security Online

While the internet has made virtually every business process easier, online transactions pose a significantly higher risk of error, misuse, and fraud. People are constantly inundated with warnings against providing their personal information online. Personal and business transactions such as dating websites and internet auctions all create a potential risk for the misuse of personal data. Companies who specialize in online information management offer measures to protect their clients by raising awareness around the areas of concern and to change the way information is collected.

Third party vendors offer temporary credit card numbers that customers use to make online purchases. If a hacker is able to obtain the information from the temporary credit card, it will essentially be useless to them because it was created specifically for a single use. Every additional layer of security that is added to online information management helps protect consumers and track down criminals who want to prosper off the hard work of others. Impersonal business transactions and internet banking are one thing, but when a person must establish and maintain an ongoing relationship with another individual online, the situation becomes more complex.

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Internet Hiring Practices

The hiring process for a Virtual Assistant online is essentially the same as a personal interview conducted face to face. An initial interview may be conducted by email or phone to ensure the person meets the qualifications for the projects at hand. A secondary interview can be conducted via a video conference. This step is essential to determine the genuine nature of the potential candidate. This initial greeting process is very similar to the common sense advice given to members of online dating sites. Quite simply, it makes sense to investigate and check out everything a person says about themselves.

A virtual assistant will eventually have access to potentially private information such as credit card data, financial account information, and much more. Before hiring an assistant online, an employer must be completely comfortable with the interview process and be able to confirm the full name, physical address, and other verifiable contact information of the candidate. It is not unreasonable to request references and even a criminal background check to ensure the integrity of information security online. Diligent entrepreneurs and financial experts recommend staying in close communication with a virtual assistant to create a solid working relationship and a sense of loyalty.

The overall benefits of having an efficient virtual assistant take care of routine administrative tasks, such as billing and communication, are well worth the risk of transmitting personal data online. Business owners should always conduct business through secure servers and never store personal or financial information in unsecured personal email accounts or on a personal desktop or laptop computer without encryption.

Source by Russell D Armstrong