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On May 3, 2015, in Garland, Texas, two gunmen opened fire upon attendees of a controversial event displaying caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. Although no direct link to ISIS has been proven, there is no question that terrorists worldwide are bringing their brand of fanatic violence to U.S. shores.

The world is becoming ever more dangerous, and few entities elicit greater threats than religious organizations. This puts faith-based organizations in the crosshairs of all sorts with axes to grind. But how can an organization with open doors be secured?

Trends in Security Threats

Terrorist threats; spree-shooters in schools, shopping malls and college campuses; and even random vandalism and theft all contribute to the need for increased security.

Faith-based organizations are turning more and more toward security services to protect their property and members, but often find their purpose and mission at odds with providing real security. Funds for faith-based organizations come primarily from the members, from the congregation, and these funds are expected to support education, outreach and/or worship. Nevertheless, for many large organizations, spending a portion of those funds on security has become necessary.

Real-World Security Solutions

Unfortunately, security breaches typically provide the biggest motivator to engage security services—after something bad has happened. A proactive approach is far more cost-effective than dealing with the aftershocks of a tragedy.

But prevention is harder to justify in budget discussions. People don’t see the benefits when security does its job. The security team can’t quantify how many incidents of vandalism, theft or violence are prevented, which makes it difficult to divert funds from a church’s youth programs or community ministry to security.

Despite these challenges, Sunstates Security offers these best practices for protecting large faith-based organizations, based on decades of experience securing these unique communities.

  • Partnerships. Close working relationships with both the security team and local law enforcement is key to security. Everyone working together is the best way to protect the organization and its members.
  • Emergency action plans. Organizations should develop an emergency action plan before the unthinkable happens. Members should know what to do in the event of a crisis, where to go, who to call, how to get to safety. Ideally, the plan should be developed with a security partner and law enforcement.
  • Testing and assessment. An emergency action plan is most valuable if it’s tested, assessed and refined. This means planning, table-top exercises and drills to ensure that a plan that looks good on paper actually works in the real world. Preparedness saves lives during emergency situations.
  • Education. The more that organizations can educate members about security, the more everyone will be on board. Posters, notifications, letters, notes in the weekly bulletin, etc., can all help raise awareness. An attitude of, “If you see something, say something,” empowers members to contribute to the safety and security of the community.
  • Mass notification. The technological age has created many ways to communicate quickly with large numbers of people. Email and social media are acceptable—if often slow, maybe too slow in emergency situations—ways to accomplish this.
  • These best practices apply not only to faith-based organizations, but also to any organization that is, by its very nature, an open environment, including schools, college campuses, shopping malls, etc.

    If you would like to know more about how your organization can improve its security, contact Sunstates Security.

    Written by Sunstates Security

    June 18th, 2015 at 3:00 pm


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    Pandemic Preparedness

    Pandemic Preparedness

    The arrival of the Ebola virus to U.S. shores has revealed a number of chinks in the armor of disease control preparedness. While the epidemic was raging in West Africa, Americans generally gave it little thought, nursing only vague fears that the virus would hop the Atlantic Ocean and find new hosts here. But when it did, we found ourselves unprepared at almost every level.

    A phenomenon like Ebola (or the Spanish flu of a century ago, or the bird flu, or the regular flu season) is not just a public health issue; it is also a security issue and a business continuity issue.

    What happens to an organization in the short term when half of its employees stay home sick? What happens if employees bring their contagion to work and infect more employees? Who is going to guard your assets if your entire security staff is ill? How do you mitigate the long-term damage of having your business effectively put out of commission until the illness passes?

    Do you have a plan in place to mitigate the damage of a pandemic to your organization?

    A Unique Security Challenge

    Sunstates works with a number of large, faith-based organizations in Dallas, where the first U.S. cases of Ebola occurred. Such organizations have unique security risks, in that their open-door policies and large gatherings could put thousands at risk if an infected individual sought solace there.

    Sunstates recognized the potential catastrophe and, having done extensive research already, offered swift guidance for pandemic response to Dallas clients. Sharing this information provided tremendous peace of mind and allowed for adaptation to their own business continuity plans.

    Glenn Burrell, President of Sunstates Security, says, “Business continuity comes from having the ability to backfill personnel if they are taken out of action.” For instance, one of the ways Sunstates handles this is with the Sunstates Mutual Aid Rapid Response Team (SMARRT). These specially trained and equipped team members are ready for rapid deployment at a moment’s notice to fill such personnel gaps and provide security.

    The keys to maintaining continuity in your business in the event of a pandemic or other emergency include the following:

    ·       Cross-training personnel

    ·       Resource depth to bring in additional personnel, as needed

    ·       Top-down commitment to the business continuity process

    ·       Regular re-evaluation of procedures, modifying as necessary in the face of changing circumstances

    ·       Live and tabletop drills simulating emergency situations

    Sunstates Security has been helping clients create customized emergency and business continuity plans since 1998, including pandemic contingencies. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

    Written by Sunstates Security

    December 18th, 2014 at 3:52 pm


    without comments September 2008, thieves broke into an Alltel Communications warehouse in Fort Smith, Ark., via four of its loading docks. The intruders disabled the alarm and surveillance systems before helping themselves to four tractor-trailers loaded with an estimated $10 million worth of cell phones.

    Furthermore, threats can go beyond theft.

    In August 1982, Leonard Avery entered an IBM plant in North Carolina carrying a Thompson submachine gun, where he went on a shooting spree that left one employee dead. He came in through the unsecured loading dock.

    Would you leave the back door to your house open while locking the front one? Probably not. Nevertheless, loading docks represent exactly that—a back door that is often left open in the hustle and bustle of normal business operation.

    The Dangers Go Beyond Physical Security

    Far less dangerous but far more prevalent is theft via the loading dock. The nature of the shipping industry often results in shipments and pickup drivers coming and going at all hours. Cybercriminals know that it’s much easier to have their victims hand something over than it is to sneak in and steal something. Today’s practice of brokering shipments makes this method of theft increasingly easy.

    Many suppliers post loads on the Internet for pickup, and carriers bid on or schedule loads through these listings. Carriers receive the information they need to pick up the loads and then come to the facility. Sometimes, thieves will steal the identity of a legitimate carrier and use that to accept the brokered load via the Internet. They then arrive at the warehouse with the necessary information to pick up the load and drive away.

    Loading docks are also the perfect place for employees to walk out with company property, or to facilitate theft by propping open doors or otherwise giving accomplices warehouse access.

    Balancing Daily Business with Real Security

    Insecurity at any loading dock results from several competing needs. Trash must go out. Supplies must come in. Shipments must go out. Employees and vendors come and go. It can be a hectic, volatile environment, one that requires a diligent balancing act.

    Richard Tesauro, Vice-President of Security at NFI, a transportation and logistics company based in New Jersey, says that lax procedures or enforcement creates opportunities for bad things to happen. Based on his experience at NFI and 28 years with the New Jersey State Police, he offers a variety of measures that organizations can take to secure their loading dock areas.

    • Record truck and driver identification—driver’s license, identification, license plates, phone numbers. Make sure they are who they say they are, and verify their contact information.
    • If possible, use your own carrier or one third-party carrier. Having a consistent system in place reduces the chance of theft. Familiarity with carriers can help alert you when anything is amiss.
    • Use a Dock Lock System, where a hook locks onto the ICC bumper at the back of the trailer. Designed as a safety mechanism, it can also serve as a security feature. Until released from the inside (by someone at the facility), the trailer can’t be pulled from the dock door.
    • All personnel or man doors should be closed, locked and alarmed, 24 hours a day, with a limited number of doors designation for entry and exit. Limit the ease of people walking in and out.
    • When not in use, all dock doors should remain closed, latched and have a padlock attached through the latch.
    • The driver’s entrance at the Shipping and Receiving office should be separated from the warehouse floor by a fence to limit drivers’ access to the warehouse. Drivers should only be allowed access to dock area under escort.
    • Install interior and exterior cameras for surveillance of all doors, drivers and workers.
    • Maintain strict supervision and oversight. All the security measures in the world are useless if not supported and followed by every level of the organization, from top to bottom.
    • Perform security audits of loading dock procedures to identify and correct weaknesses.
    • If loaded trailers are left in an unsecured yard, apply kingpin locks to prevent anyone from hooking up to the trailer and driving away.

    For more information about eliminating vulnerabilities in your loading dock security, call one of our specialists at Sunstates Security today.

    Sources: Canfield, Amy. “Hospital loading docks rival ERs for security concerns,” Security Director News, 25 November 2013.

    Paul, Lauren Gibbons. “10 Steps to Loading Dock Security,” CSO Online, 5 October 2008.

    Written by Sunstates Security

    April 9th, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Posted in Security Tips

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    According to a February 2013 report released by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Chinese hackers are engaged in a massive, ongoing cyber-espionage campaign targeting U.S. companies. The systematic campaign targets nearly every sector of the U.S. economy, from aerospace and automotive to finance, energy, media and technology—even breaking into the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Estimated losses are tens of billions of dollars in compromised intellectual property.

    Other countries’ cyber-espionage programs cited in the report—France, Russia and Israel, among others—are less widespread but just as dangerous, and all for economic gain. American intellectual property and business secrets—perhaps yours—are worth billions of dollars.

    Sunstates president Glenn Burrell says, “This is not a plot from an action-thriller film; it is real and happening right now.”

    Is your company doing all it can to prevent cyber-attacks and protect valuable assets? Burrell offers the following best practices to enhance your security.

    Best Practices for Cyber-Defense 

    • Assess network infrastructure and identify risks. Organizations must assess their network infrastructure and make sure that their IT staff has the support from management to build a successful security program. Then, they need to establish a system for identifying and analyzing security risks.
    • Create and document cyber-security policies. Companies need to identify every segment of their infrastructure and place everything under the governance of their security policy. Look for vulnerable or unprotected devices or access points, and define the process by which these vulnerabilities are to be removed or brought into compliance.
    • Implement and test firewalls. Firewalls are the first line of defense in any network. While they are common practice nowadays and not to be overlooked, they are not always sufficient, however, particularly with laptops, which may have outdated anti-virus software or firewalls.
    • Secure remote access with strong authentication techniques and quarantine technology that identifies vulnerable remote devices.
    • Control access to high-level risk points such as servers, back-ups and administration systems with stringent security policies.
    • Establish password policies that make passwords harder to break. Mandatory password resets, password requirements such as using both upper and lower case characters, special characters, numbers, minimum length, etc., are all techniques that increase password security. The majority of hacked passwords consist of names, birthdays, all the things that most people will have as their passwords. Cyber-security audits still routinely find computers with passwords taped to the underside of keyboards, a practice that should be strictly forbidden by any security-conscious organization.
    • Conduct annual third-party security audits. Audits can identify hidden or overlooked vulnerabilities in an organization’s infrastructure. Companies should not wait to be attacked before performing a security audit. Auditors have the resources to test—and strengthen—an organization’s cyber-defenses.

     For assistance with your cyber-security needs, contact Sunstates Security today. Our specialists can help you develop a security plan tailored to your unique situation.

    Written by Sunstates Security

    September 18th, 2013 at 8:24 pm


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    Museum Security Challenges

    Tens of thousands of works of art are stolen every year. In 1998 alone, according to Interpol, more than 60,000 works of art were stolen. In January 2013, two men were sentenced for attempting to sell a stolen Matisse painting. Last December, a woman pled guilty to transporting a stolen bust of Benjamin Franklin. In September 2012, a Renoir painting stolen in Houston was added to the FBI’s Top Ten Art Crimes list.

    ABC News quotes Interpol as saying, “Art theft is a crime exceeded in dollar value only by drug trafficking, money laundering and arms dealing. Estimates have put the losses at $4 to 6 billion worldwide.”

    The most spectacular art heist in modern history occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on March 18, 1990, where two thieves dressed as Boston Police officers talked their way inside, subdued the staff, and walked away with $300 million in Degas, Rembrandts, a Vermeer and a Manet. The thieves still have not been caught.

    Museum Security Challenges
    Theft is not the only threat faced by museums. In addition to art theft, damage to inventory, much of which may not even be on public display, is another concern.

    In a North Carolina museum, a Sunstates security officer recently discovered a serious water leak in a storage area. Had this leak not been discovered quickly, it could have caused millions of dollars of damage.

    The purpose of art is to stoke people’s passions, and this occasionally happens in the negative. Vandalism to works deemed “offensive” to various sensibilities also presents a threat.

    Best Practices for Museum Security
    Museums are typically quiet, low-activity environments, making it easy for security officers’ vigilance to wane. Contrast this with occasional periods of high activity, when large crowds are passing through. The contrast creates unique security challenges.

    To address these challenges, Sunstates President Glenn Burrell identifies these best practices for museum security:


    • Recruit security officers who have a real interest in the museum itself, such as art or history aficionados. Encourage a sense of participation and vested interest in keeping the exhibits safe.
    • Educate security officers about the exhibits, and cross-train personnel in various positions. Visitors often assume that officers are guides or regular museum staff. As part of their PR responsibilities, they should know the fundamentals of the pieces themselves.
    • Quickly identify individuals of interest. Then, have officers trade coverage to provide discreet visual surveillance. This practice requires efficient communication between security officers.
    • Move security officers around the facility to create the impression of a larger staff, which is a useful deterrent.


    Contact Sunstates Security today to discuss your unique security needs.

    “Art Theft.” Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Chang, Andrew. “Art Theft: Big Money, Big Problems”. ABC News. March 19, 2013.


    Written by Sunstates Security

    May 10th, 2013 at 3:06 pm


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    Armed Security: Is It Necessary?After the Sandy Hook catastrophe, a local high school contacted Sunstates Security about providing armed security or police at every possible entrance. Such a system would not only be expensive, but also ineffective. Instead, Sunstates recommended implementing early warning mechanisms, communication, buffer zones, and safe rooms.

    Lockdown protocols and safe rooms prevent attackers from accessing potential victims. The key is to build communication and early warning systems, and have those protocols in place before an incident occurs.

    The presence of armed security officers could, in fact, provoke violent responses, potentially resulting in even more victims.

    Best Practices for Armed Security

    Sunstates President Glenn Burrell worked for 20 years in Scotland Yard, during which he served on the security detail for Great Britain’s Royal Family. Studies at Scotland Yard, which is mostly an unarmed force, revealed that armed officers were more prone to aggression and confrontation, which escalated the likelihood of violence.

    More than 98% of Sunstates’ security coverage is unarmed. In the rare instances where armed protection makes sense, the firm recommends the following best practices.

    1. The right person for the job. In cases where an armed security force is necessary, recruit individuals with extensive firearms training, such as former police officers or military personnel. These individuals should also be screened for the correct psychological profile and temperament. “Simply giving a security officer a firearm and putting him or her out there is a recipe for disaster,” Burrell says.
    2. Verbal and non-verbal de-escalation skills. Defusing tension and conflict is critical to avoid violence, even if the officer is armed. Sunstates Security officers undergo extensive training in defusing conflict through verbal and non-verbal communication. This approach has proven effective in managing threats and reducing the threat of violence.
    3. Risk management. Certain assignments – like cash-based establishments in high-crime neighborhoods – are better left to police. Assigning private security officers would only place those individuals at risk. With private security personnel currently outnumbering public law enforcement by three to one, the best practice is to protect the private sector with proactive security, while freeing police to deal with criminals.

    For consultation on your security needs, contact Sunstates Security today. Our specialists can help you develop a security plan tailored to your unique

    Written by Sunstates Security

    May 10th, 2013 at 2:57 pm


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    In December 2007, Matthew Murray walked into New Life Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colo., with Armageddon on his mind. Armed with a semi-automatic rifle, two handguns, and plenty of ammunition, he walked into the front foyer of the church and started shooting. He killed two teenage sisters and wounded three other congregation members before he was shot and wounded by a security volunteer carrying her own concealed handgun. He then took his own life. 

    Later it was discovered that, during the previous night, Murray had tried to gain entry into a youth mission center in Arvada, Colo. When he was refused, he shot four people, killing two of them, before he fled. He had been planning his anti-Christian rampage for some time.

    This nightmare scenario is rare, but all places of worship must be aware that at some point, for any reason, they could become of the target of any number of threats, from deranged or disgruntled individuals, to thieves and vandals. In 2008, 30% of faith-based organizations suffered some sort of security threat. Seventy-five percent of those had no security measures in place.

    The Uncertain Line between Open and Safe

    Faith-based organizations must walk a careful line between being open, welcoming places that can bring hope to society’s “lost” and the moral and legal necessity to protect their congregations. Thanks to President Glenn Burrell’s experience on the security detail for Britain’s Royal Family, Sunstates Security knows how to strike that balance between accessibility and safety. Sunstates Security has accumulated more than a quarter million hours of experience providing security for faith-based organizations.

    Large faith-based organizations are often more likely targets and – since they have larger budgets – are more likely to put real security in place, either security officers or trained congregation volunteers. For open worship centers, Burrell stresses a soft approach that includes security officers, threat identification, and employee education and vigilance. Burrell says, “Very rarely does a serious threat show up out of the blue. Matthew Murray is a perfect example.”

    Burrell says, “A security team in any place of worship should start with a thorough review of security contingency procedures, then establish some best practices and adhering to them. The time to look at these things is not after the fact.”

    • Team Composition. Identify and install a security director and thoroughly screen security team members. Train them to handle communication, evacuation, and emergency response. Include medical professionals along with law enforcement or security officers on your team.  Consider building a security team of volunteers from experts within the congregation, including doctors, EMTs, FBI, Secret Service or other law enforcement professionals.
    • Medical Training. Assemble a comprehensive and fully stocked first aid room on-site. Train your safety team in first aid and CPR and instruct them to look for emergency medical ID cards.
    • Attack Response. Develop contingency plans or lockdown procedures, and have them in place in the event of an attack. Implement evacuation and emergency drills. Communicate your security procedures to your congregation, employees, and volunteers.
    • Equipment and Access. Use security equipment such as cameras, alarms, and panic buttons. Limit access to certain areas, such as classrooms or children’s centers.
    • Firearms. Every place of worship must decide for itself whether to allow its security team to carry weapons. If so, ensure that the team members are licensed (if required) and thoroughly trained to use any issued weapons properly. Educate your security team to use conflict resolution methods before resorting to weapon use.

    Sunstates Security can help your place of worship develop and maintain effective security plans, including site vulnerability assessments, training, and personnel. Contact us today to find out how.


    BBC News, “US church gunman killed himself”, December 12, 2007 —

    New York Times, “Gunman Kills 2 at Missionary Center Near Denver”, December 9, 2007 —

    Written by Sunstates Security

    December 10th, 2012 at 9:34 pm


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    Image for Safe Employment Termination Post

    By September 28, 2012, it had been an ongoing situation for Accent Signage when they fired Robert Engeldinger. Engeldinger had received a written reprimand for habitual tardiness and poor work performance. When they fired him, he went out to his car, came back with a pistol, and started shooting. Engeldinger killed four people – including the business owner – and wounded three others, including his supervisor, before taking his own life.

    The mass shooting at Accent Signage in Minneapolis highlights one of the most dangerous threats to workplaces nationwide–the disgruntled employee.

    Second Leading Cause of On-the-Job Fatalities

    Bureau of Labor statistics from 2010 show that 506 workplace homicides occurred, and almost 80% (401) of those were shootings. Assaults and attacks are the second leading cause of fatal injuries for employees on the job. These instances are rare, but the devastation they can cause to employees and the business itself cannot be underestimated.

    Sunstates Security President Glenn Burrell says, “Small and medium-sized businesses think it can never happen to them. Supervisors miss the red flags because of a lack of understanding about the triggers of workplace violence. Issues can start small but intensify quickly into violence. That’s why it’s so important to have in place security protocols that address employment termination.”

    Preventing Violence at Work

    So what can organizations do to minimize their chances of workplace violence?

    • Use background checks, performance records, and psychological evaluations to assess whether employees represent any risk of violence
    • Ensure that company IDs and badges are returned.
    • Restrict access to vehicles during shifts.
    • Restrict firearms from company property or facility grounds.
    • Employ well-trained security officers.
    • Evaluate the need for an armed security presence.
    • Monitor parking lots with security personnel, cameras, access controls, etc.
    • Develop an active shooter plan with law enforcement for emergency situations.
    • Train employees and supervisors to recognize indicators of workplace violence and how to respond in such circumstances.

    Sunstates Security offers a variety of services to help businesses of every size increase their level of security, from presentations to consultations to full security plans, complete with personnel. Please contact your Sunstates Security representative for more information.


    Bureau of Labor Statistics, “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2010 (Preliminary results),” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010),

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Homicides by Selected Characteristics” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011), 198,

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2010 (Preliminary results),” (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010),

    Mohr, Elizabeth, Sarah Horner and Joseph Lindberg, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, “Minneapolis shooting scene showed signs of struggle, police say”, September 28, 2012 —

    Magan, Christopher, Twin Cities Pioneer Press,“Minneapolis workplace shooting the deadliest of its kind in Minnesota”, September 28, 2012 –

    Written by Sunstates Security

    December 10th, 2012 at 9:28 pm


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    In the wake of the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting, the City of Houston released an Active Shooter training video funded by the Department of Homeland Security. The video “Run. Active ShooterHide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event” provides steps individuals should take should they encounter an active shooter situation.

    The video encourages citizens to evaluate the situation and:

    • Run if a safe path is available. Always try and escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.
    • Encourage others to leave with you but don’t let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape.
    • Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 9-1-1.
    • If you can’t get out safely, find a place to hide.
    • When hiding, turn out lights, remember to lock doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone.
    • As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons and fight.

    To view “Run. Hide. Fight. Surviving an Active Shooter Event” visit

    To help you prepare your organization in the event of an active shooter situation contact Sunstates Security today: Denis Kelly,  1-866-710-2019 .

    About Sunstates Security

    Based in Raleigh, N.C., Sunstates Security provides uniformed security personnel and security consulting services to clients throughout the Southeast, as well as in the Northeast and Southwest. The company is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Greater Business Women’s Council, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).



    Written by Sunstates Security

    August 3rd, 2012 at 7:21 pm


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    Today’s corporate campuses are not unlike small towns. With an average population of 5,000, modern facilities house cafeterias, vendor shops, even services like dry cleaners and coffee shops. In addition, these campuses often have extensive grounds, with thousands of people coming and going every day. This environment creates unique security challenges.

    Security Challenges for Corporate Campuses

    1. Internal Violence. The greater the employee population, the greater the chance of violent acts, either against other employees, or against company property.
    2. External Violence. Disgruntled former employees sometimes seek retaliation or attempt theft. Some companies
      might be the targets of activists groups, theft, or vandalism.
    3. Unauthorized Access. With a high volume of daily traffic, facilities can quickly lose control of who is coming and going.
    4. Perimeter Control. Corporate campuses often lack a perimeter fence, which makes intrusion–both accidental and intentional–more likely.

    How to Overcome Those Challenges

    Sunstates Security has many years of experience meeting these security challenges. That experience has helped refine a number of best practices for large corporate campus facilities.

    • Planning is always the first step. Have teams already in place and functioning on a consistent basis.
      • A senior-management level security team to oversee security procedures, with the authority to make decisions.
      • A crisis management team to develop contingency plans and take charge when a crisis occurs.
      • An emergency response team to enact contingency plans ensures employee safety, and protect company resources.
      • Contingency plans that include crisis response, lock-down procedures, and emergency evacuation procedures, with regular drills.
    • Safety protocols for the prevention and intervention of employee violence. Such protocols include placing HR interviewers with their backs to the door of a meeting room to prevent their being cornered by a potentially violent interviewee, along with discreet security officer presence, training in the use of pepper spray, and other measures.
    • Training Security Officers in non-violent, verbal resolution of conflicts. Sunstates President Glenn Burrell says that mutual respect is the key to resolving disputes: “My experience over the years has been that 99% of the time, if you show respect and offer quality verbal resolution, you can defuse the situation. For the remaining 1%, we use training to contain the situation and call in reinforcement.”
    • Security badge awareness is critical. Encouraging personnel to challenge people who do not use proper badge entry helps prevent “piggy-backing” the social niceties that allow holding open the door for someone who might not have a badge, such as a potential intruder or a former employee who no longer has access. Communication between HR and security personnel is critical to retrieve and deactivate the badges of terminated employees. This requires the cooperation of top-level management, who should not be immune from having to use their security badges.
    • Educating employees that security is a company-wide responsibility. The workforce must understand that flow of intelligence and communication is critical. Sunstates encourages companies to build a culture of security and safety through training classes and brown-bag lunches, whereby employees learn that security is a personal responsibility.
    • Early detection of intruders when the campus lacks a fence line more vigilance is required. Security personnel must ascertain whether the intrusion is accidental or intentional, and this requires early detection, tempered by strong public relations skills.

    As a final thought, President Burrell recommends vetting applicants thoroughly as a proactive way of preventing problems. Background checks, drug testing, personal and professional reference checks are excellent tools; potentially dangerous people rarely resort to violence without prior warning signs.

    Logging more than a decade of experience at such facilities, Sunstates Security understands specialized security requirements for large corporate campuses. Contact Denis Kelly at for more information on how Sunstates Security can be your partner of choice.