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A Proactive Security Partner

Archive for the ‘security guard services’ tag

How Technology Adds Value to Security Services

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The foundation of good security is good people, and that’s always been the focus at Sunstates Security. At the same time, we’re always looking for opportunities to help our people provide even more value. That’s why we partner with proven experts as needed and we employ the best technology to enhance and extend what our security officers are doing. This policy allows us to apply best practices from a wide range of industries to enhance client security programs.

“We apply the concept of ‘dog fooding,’ where you should never promote or sell something that you’ve never tasted yourself,” says Sunstates President Glenn Burrell, CPP. “We identify a strategic partner and use their product or service to better understand its capabilities and limitations so we’re able to advise our clients on whether it’s an appropriate answer to their problem.”

New Solutions for Common Problems
Some of the technology we use is behind the scenes: our clients won’t necessarily know we’re using it. Some is more client facing. We constantly review the available technological solutions and work with trusted partners to employ the best solutions on clients’ behalf.

• Proximity Readers and License Plate Recognition Software. Many facilities, such as corporate/school campuses and residential communities, have a high volume of both regular traffic (e.g., residents, students, employees, etc.) and visitors (e.g., guests, vendors, etc.) driving in. We know what systems can most efficiently read a tag or other device from the front of a vehicle as it approaches a gate, allowing quicker entry. Pairing such technology with license plate recognition software can confirm identity.
• Key Tethers. A key tether connects a key (or set of keys) with another device and provides an instant alert when, say, keys are detached from a belt. We often also attach a GPS tile to find separated keys. Clients frequently entrust us with the keys to their facilities, and we have a critical responsibility to take care of their keys, regardless of cost. Key control is critical to our clients’ safety and well-being.
• KnoxBoxes. Many property management clients have maglocks on their doors because they’re convenient: access cards can be easily programmed to control access for individual employees. But those doors will lock down in a power outage. While they can be opened from the inside, authorized personnel cannot enter the facility, even with an access card. We’ve found a solution by using KnoxBoxes, which uses a master key—available for security or management—to open those doors manually.
• Mass Notification Systems. We partnered with Punch Technologies to offer clients the Punch Alert emergency communication platform. The system allows individuals to report emergencies and safety hazards through a smartphone app. In addition, the platform permits two-way communication during an incident, so users can submit information and responders can issue mass updates.

We evaluate new technology constantly to find solutions that provide a higher level of security and convenience to our clients. Technology will never replace the eyes and ears of trained security officers, but it can help them do their jobs better every day.

Do you have a challenging security issue that’s keeping you awake at night? Contact Sunstates Security at 866-710-2019 or email us. We’ll help you find a solution.

Written by Sunstates Security

August 14th, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Civil Unrest: How to Prepare for Uncertain Times

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From the Baltimore riots of 2015 to the political protests that continue today, such disturbances are emerging as “normal” threats with which American businesses must contend. In Sunstates Security’s home state of North Carolina, demonstrations related to police shootings and women’s rights have disrupted commercial operations, requiring additional security coverage.

Part of the reason for this unfortunate trend comes from increased polarization. Data from respected organizations like the Pew Research Center shows that the ideological center is shrinking, while those occupying the right and the left are growing farther apart.

Social media has made this volatile situation even more dangerous by making it easy to coordinate pop-up protests. Although relatively small, these gatherings form quickly and drive away customers, so even peaceful demonstrations have a negative effect on local businesses.

Crimes of Opportunity

Beyond the obvious disruption caused by these events, businesses in the surrounding area also need to guard against crimes of opportunity. Statistics show that minor crimes—such as break-ins of vehicles and buildings—spike during public disorder as opportunists take advantage of the diversion.

During President Glenn Burrell’s days with Scotland Yard, he dealt with hundreds of public order events, including policing picket lines. Video cameras proved effective as deterrents because they removed anonymity from the situation; people didn’t want to be identified. To maximize their deterrent value, he recommends making the cameras as conspicuous as possible, while protecting the equipment against tampering. Facilities should post prominent signs announcing the use of recorded video surveillance.

Similarly, businesses need to do more than keep an eye on a civil disturbance. They also need to look for, and shore up, any potential weaknesses that might be exploited while the main event holds the spotlight.

Steps to Consider

Effective protection against these threats starts with awareness, recognizing the potential for such events and evaluating the specific danger to an organization.

Threat assessment. Security teams should analyze the likelihood of a civil disturbance at or near their operations. Some threats are external, such as physical proximity to a courthouse or other government structure, or to public gathering space. Internal threats may arise from negative events, like layoffs, or ideological differences. A threat assessment should include all these factors and analyze both physical and operational vulnerabilities.

Early warning. In addition to maintaining relationships with local law enforcement, companies may consider commercial solutions to monitor social media chatter. Such programs can be customized with keywords and dates to help alert organizations to protests during the planning stage.

Employee education. Enlist personnel in the security effort through training programs. Teach them to recognize warning signs and to communicate this information along an established chain of command. For additional support, a skilled security partner will likely already have courses to teach officers crowd management and nonviolent conflict resolution, which can be adapted for non-security employees.

Additional resources. For known events that could trigger a disturbance—such as a potentially unpopular court verdict—organizations at risk should speak with their security provider about backup personnel, if needed. A larger firm should have additional staff available. Some firms also offer trained special-response teams that can travel where needed for emergencies. Such efforts should address not only threats related to the primary demonstration, but also crimes of opportunity.

For information on how Sunstates Security can help your organization prepare for social disturbances, please call us at 866-710-2019 or email us.

Written by Sunstates Security

March 21st, 2017 at 6:47 pm

THE NEW PIRATES: DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE A PLAN?

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Globally, piracy and hostage-taking have been on the upswing for several years. Al-Qaeda and its splinter groups, such as the East African terrorist organization  known as Al-Shabaab, have lost most of their primary sources of funding, as a result of U.S. and European anti-money-laundering efforts.  Forced to look elsewhere for easy sources of cash, they have turned to piracy, kidnapping and ransom. Currently, at any given time, a global average of 500 individuals are held in captivity for ranson.

The new kidnapping threat
Foreign nationals, employees of international businesses, and passengers and crew on ships at sea are all vulnerable to the risk of being victimized by these criminals. With an average of more than 100 kidnappings per month in Somali waters alone, and a typical settlement in shipping piracy of $3-4M, terrorist organizations have found their new cash cow. The average ransom demand for individuals is $1.15M, and the average settlement is $355,000 per person.

The kidnapping industry has an index of the ransom worth of any given person. The international standard starts at $600,000, regardless of the person’s wealth or social status. If the kidnappers know the identity of their captive, however, the initial figure generally starts much higher.

This new reality poses a frightening challenge for companies conducting international business, and can seem like a daunting obstacle. Many are reluctant to travel at all. Consulting with an expert familiar with this new criminal reality has become crucial. Sunstates Security President Glenn Burrell has extensive training in terrorism studies and the dynamics of hostage taking. His knowledge and connections in government and law enforcement can be a critical component in a company’s ability to evaluate risks, and develop an action plan should an employee fall prey to kidnapping.

An ounce of prevention
Sunstates and its partners can train your company to avoid some commonly overlooked risks and prime target scenarios. “Ninety percent of abductions occur at the point of arrival or departure from home or work,” he explained. “They’re the two primary vulnerabilities.”

Additionally, Burrell advises companies about the repercussions of these crimes. Even when victims are released and unharmed – 94% of kidnap victims survive their experiences, 70% after ransom is paid — victims often suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic-stress disorder, which directly affects both their personal and professional lives. This PTSD spills over to the victim’s colleagues and their family members, as well.

These tips can help global companies reduce the abduction risk of their workforce:

  • Employees should dress as locals and avoid showing wealth; for instance, driving an older car can help maintain a low profile.
  • Educate employees on local areas where they should and should not travel. Many abductees are mid- or low-level employees, not CEOs. These employees don’t realize how valuable they are. They may wander into places where they shouldn’t be.
  • Track employees with GPS chips installed on vehicles, cell phones and even clothing.

Call Sunstates Security today to learn how to protect your employees. Drawing on our international network, we can help you evaluate your current practices and provide an action plan for hostage contingencies.

Contact Sunstates Security

866-710-2019

www.SunstatesSecurity.com 

RECENT CLIENT TESTIMONIAL-SUNSTATES SECURITY TEAM IS TERRIFIC TO WORK WITH

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April 28, 2011
“I just wanted to reach out and say “Thank You”. The security team here is terrific to work with and it has made my job easier. You have no idea what it’s like to not have to worry that your clients and tenants are getting poor customer service. Thanks again for all your help and efforts in the transition.”

See more Sunstates Security client testimonials on our website.

Written by Sunstates Security

April 28th, 2011 at 8:00 pm