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COVID-19 Update: What Sunstates Security is doing

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Coronavirus Update- Sunstates Security Company

Updated May 12, 2020

In accordance with the government’s “Opening Up America Again” initiative, Sunstates Security is taking steps to return to normal operations.

For employees:

  • Staying in communication with furloughed officers, assisting with funding options, checking on their well-being, and providing updated information as it becomes available on when their positions may return.
  • Continuous communication with active employees to check health, ensuring site safety protocol compliance, and collecting feedback on how we can best support their specific operation.
  • Preparing for a gradual return to work in Phase 1, including employee training & screening, workplace modifications to accommodate social distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols, and limitation of visitors and contractors.

For clients:

  • Continued evaluation of federal, state & local government regulations by our legal & compliance team as it relates to shelter in place, stay at home, PPE guidelines, etc.
  • Actively recruiting and increasing our talent pipeline to ensure we have the resources to respond quickly to increased site coverage requirements as the economy begins to reopen.
  • Implementing automated processes for electronic issuance and approval of invoices and payment options for all clients.
  • Collaborating with client management teams on return-to-work processes and procedures to ensure the safety of their employees, clients, visitors, vendors, and contractors while continuing to enforce security protocols.
  • Continued sourcing of new pipelines for procuring PPE and sharing resources with clients as necessary.

Sunstates Security continues to focus on the health and well-being of our employees and the safety of those we serve while fulfilling our service commitments.

On the following pages, we have included a timeline of actions the company has taken since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and which we continue to maintain as the scenario unfolds. 

Summary of Actions Taken to Date

For our employees…

Sunstates appreciates our employees, and our first and foremost concern is their safety and well-being. Our goal is to keep people employed while providing a safe workplace and clear operating protocols in line with CDC guidelines.

Ongoing Safety Communications/Resources:

  • As needed, provisions of PPE, cleaning, and sanitizing supplies provided for offices and posts while maintaining an updated inventory by region.
  • Ongoing and regularly scheduled conference calls including Legal & Compliance, Human Resources, Quality Assurance, Training, and Executive Management Team members to discuss COVID-19 updates, hygiene practices, evolving client requirements, and operational processes.
  • March 16 – Sunstates began providing ongoing communication to educate employees, including COVID-19 Safety & Preparedness Bulletin, Hand Washing & Sanitizing Guidelines, and Social Distancing Strategies Protocol.
  • March 20 – CEO Kathryn Burrell communicated to all employees regarding safety and employee resources.
  • March 23 – Sunstates issued a bulletin regarding security employee classification as essential employees by the DHS and provided officers with a letter to carry, along with their state licenses, when traveling to/from work.
  • March 26 – Human Resources sent communication regarding medical coverage, including the availability of Telemedicine visits and COVID-19 testing.
  • April 17 – Rolled out an employee pledge campaign asking all officers to commit to social distancing and other COVID-19 recommended safety guidelines; participation will be tracked through the LMS system.
  • COVID-19 Training: Sunstates launched a mandatory COVID-19 training module for all employees on March 16, easily accessible, and tracked through our online LMS. 
  • April 1 – Released a new training module regarding the use of PPE with enrollments based upon management requests; updated information released on April 10.
  • April 13 – Released a new training module regarding vehicle cleanliness; managers send job numbers to the training department to auto-enroll officers with driving positions.
  • April 20 – Released a new training module for conducting temperature checks including important guidance on maintaining proper social distance, utilizing permanent barriers, and incorporating technology such as thermal imaging cameras that achieve safety, accuracy, and efficiency.  This training is mandated for all employees performing this function.
  • Continued Employment: Sunstates is doing everything possible to retain employees who may have been affected by reductions in coverage by cross-training at other locations, refining schedules, adjusting to 32-hour workweeks, and offering opportunities to fulfill additional service requests through the Sunstates Mutual Aid Rapid Response Team (SMARRT) program.
  • Employee Benefits: On March 20, our Human Resources Department distributed information on government benefits. We have also expanded company policy to allow those whose positions are negatively impacted by COVID-19 to retain employee status with the ability to resume work at Sunstates without having to reapply or losing tenure once the emergent situation has passed. Continue to share information about virtual health care resources, EAP information, and communications from Empower for those enrolled in the Sunstates Security 401(k) program.

New Protocol for Recruiting & Onboarding to Ensure Safety and Social Distancing: 

  • Phone and/or video interviews, using multiple platforms, such as Skype & Facetime.
  • Staggered timing for hiring events, in-person interviews, sizing for uniforms, etc., to limit the number of people and to allow for six-foot distancing.
  • Changes in location or size of training classes to allow for adequate distancing; implementation of live-stream video training for state licensing (where approved by the state licensing agencies) as well as Sunstates orientation.
  • Employee Recognition: Special recognition of officers who are going above and beyond the call of duty during this challenging time. 

For our clients…

Sunstates Security continues to serve our clients, adjusting coverage requirements as needed. As the situation evolves, Sunstates is exploring creative solutions to fulfill client requirements and to meet our internal quality standards, while ensuring safe social distancing and compliance with CDC guidelines.

  • March 16 – Implementation of Virtual Quality Assurance Checks.
  • April 9 – introduced a new COVID-19 specific virtual QA check to ensure proper use of PPE and compliance with social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
  • Scheduled and impromptu video meetings and calls with clients.
  • Continued consultation with clients to develop a protocol and share best practices regarding new pandemic-related requirements such as social distancing measures, use of PPE, sanitary standards, temperature checks, etc. in ways that mitigate risk for our clients and our officers.
  • Provide PPE, cleaning & sanitizing supplies for officers at client sites when needed.
  • Proactive planning for additional coverage requirements through expanded recruiting and enrollment with the Sunstates Mutual Aid Rapid Response Team (SMARRT). In the past 60 days, enrollment has increased substantially, providing an enhanced emergency coverage resource for Sunstates clients.

Such strategic changes to our processes and operating procedures will allow us to continue taking care of our employees and clients, while stimulating the economy by creating new employment opportunities throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Please reach out to the Sunstates management team or search for employment opportunities on our website.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF PREVENTION – STAYING SAFE IN A DANGEROUS WORLD

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In most emergency situations, whether instigated by humans or caused by natural disaster, the reactions of security personnel are just that—reactions. A proactive approach, on the other hand, yields better results.

Business Continuity Planning Is SMARRT

How do you keep your business operating if it becomes a crime scene or disaster location for weeks at a time?Image for THE PHILOSOPHY OF PREVENTION – STAYING SAFE IN A DANGEROUS WORLD Post - Emergency Preparedness

Recent natural disasters and tragedies have spurred more companies to develop business continuity plans. Such plans include tabletop exercises, drills, and working with skilled security partners that can provide hands-on training and the benefit of experience and best practices.

According to Sunstates president Glenn Burrell, “Business continuity plans work best when everyone in an organization is invested in security, from top to bottom, management to mail room. An organization is a community. If everyone looks out for each other, keeps their eyes open, and then communicates, the organization benefits. Many potential crisis situations can be defused before they explode. This kind of cooperation doesn’t happen overnight, however. It takes practice and education.”

Sunstates has developed its own business continuity program to ensure its ability to take care of clients in a crisis situation, including creation of a special response team.

Now operating in most regions across the U.S., Sunstates Mutual Aid Rapid Response Team (SMARRT) consists of 81 specially trained and equipped team members whose primary focus is protection of clients’ personnel and assets and immediate containment of incidents. SMARRT is ready for rapid deployment at a moment’s notice, available only to clients.

Active Shooter Training

Among the manmade crises plaguing the nation, active shooters have become a high-profile threat for a wide range of organizations, from schools to businesses. Image for THE PHILOSOPHY OF PREVENTION – STAYING SAFE IN A DANGEROUS WORLD Post - Active Shooter TrainingTraining individuals how to deal with this type of situation is critical to preventing loss of life.

Moreover, the ways that law enforcement engages such situations are evolving, and organizations should evolve as well. Instead of waiting outside, for example, police are now directed to enter the scene and engage the suspect.

But how do organizations keep themselves up-to-date with current best practices? By partnering with experienced security professionals.

Sunstates has participated in active shooter training scenarios at the middle-school and college levels, conducting live drills where volunteers acted as shooting victims. In both cases, the training went well, and everyone from EMTs to the school administration and faculty gained valuable experience.

Sunstates president Glenn Burrell says this type of training is the best available. “Planning is absolutely key, so that if such a tragedy were to occur, everyone knows what they have to do.”

The president of a large community college in North Carolina described the exercise as not only vital to campus security, but also beneficial to everyone involved.  He stated, “It allows local law enforcement and emergency services personnel to become familiar with the campus, while getting excellent training. And it ensures that the college has procedures in place in the case of such an event.”

Written by Sunstates Security

October 29th, 2015 at 6:05 pm