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Safety Considerations During Social Unrest

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Safety Considerations During Social Unrest, Sunstates Security CompanyOver the past week, many cities across the country have experienced heightened social unrest, protesting, and rioting.  Some peaceful protests starting in daylight hours turn into violence and rioting after dark. These types of gatherings present potential safety threats to both people and property. Other challenges associated with mass gatherings may include blocked roadways, disruptions of business schedules, and dangers to individuals in uniform.

During times of emergency, Sunstates Security’s primary objective is to effectively maintain operations and safely staff client facilities. Outlined below are strategies the company implements to safely maintain our services during protest and riot scenarios.

Sunstates Security Emergency Response Measures

 Initial and Ongoing Communications:

  • Initiate contact with management team members and security officers immediately when any type of highly publicized event that has the potential to result in social unrest.
    • Put all local officers and emergency response teams on call.
    • Operations Managers to visit all sites in the area of concern to assess safety, provide direction, and continuous support.
  • Contact clients directly to advise of a potentially emergent situation, find out client-specific requests, and make recommendations regarding changes in coverage.
  • Continuous communication between managers, security officers, clients, and law enforcement to share the latest information and adjust coverage as needed.

Increase Staffing/Training:

  • All clients in affected areas may be advised to implement 24-hour coverage if not already in effect.
  • Recommend double coverage (at minimum) at all affected sites to ensure no officer is working alone.
  • Stay in touch with clients located outside of the immediately affected area to ensure we are responding to their requests for additional coverage.
  • Provide specialized training regarding risk mitigation and safe/appropriate responses to facility-related issues that may occur during the unrest that presents a risk to personal safety. Training is customized and documented through the Sunstates Learning Management System (LMS).


  • Teams working in affected areas change to 12-hour shifts to minimize the amount of travel in and out of the geographic area of concern.
  • Adjust shift times from standard to accommodate public transportation schedules into areas of concern to allow officers the opportunity to get in place during daylight hours.

Officer Support/Safety:

  • On-duty Officers:
    • Continuous contact via phone, email, or on-site visit to obtain status updates and ensure safety.
    • Share information/answer questions.
    • Offer reassurance and support.
  • Scheduled Officers:
    • Contact officers via phone prior to their scheduled shift to discuss the following:
      • Ensure they have reliable means of transportation.
      • Brief them regarding on-going or anticipated action during their shift.
      • Share information about traffic delays or parking issues that may impact transit time
      • Offer the opportunity to arrive to work in plain clothes and change into uniform on-site to avoid drawing attention.


  • Utilize real-time reporting technology through a web-based platform to document tours, incidents, and activity with photos/videos.
  • Live video capability (i.e., FaceTime) with clients, managers, or other officers as needed.
  • Know the location and how to operate safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, AED units, etc.

Resource for Clients

Sunstates is committed to our clients and strives to serve as an information resource during difficult times. Following is a list of best practices to consider when preparing your contingency plan for dealing with protests or riots.

Best Practices for Facility Preparation.

  • Remove anything outside the facility or on the first floor/lobby that is not secured to the ground and could potentially be used as a projectile including tables, chairs, garbage cans, etc.
  • When locking down the building, be sure to include dock and elevators.
  • Be prepared to shut down the HVAC system in the instance that tear gas or other airborne chemicals are deployed in the immediate area of the building; should these substances get into the HVAC system, the entire building will have to be evacuated and decontaminated.
  • Recommend that a member of the building engineering team be on-site or available 24/7 as part of building an emergency response plan.
  • Be sure that all external security cameras are well secured and be prepared to share the footage with law enforcement.
  • Identify a safe place to park away from any action or plan to utilize public transportation. Do not park a vehicle in areas where action is anticipated and is likely to get blocked in and/or damaged.

Minimize Risk to Employees.

  • If possible, allow employees to work remotely.
  • Reschedule events for a later date.
  • Limit business hours to end early and allow travel out of the affected area before nightfall.
  • Provide training/guidelines on emergency response within your facility and the importance of situational self-awareness.
  • Maintain ongoing communication with employees who are remote or onsite during a violent scenario to provide support and direction, as well as ensure emotional well-being.

As your security partner, Sunstates Security is committed to the ongoing support of our regular security operations while serving as a resource to our clients for any emergency response requirements. The Sunstates Security management team is available 24/7 for our employees and our clients.  You are encouraged to reach out to your local contact if you have questions, concerns, or additional coverage needs or visit our website.

Fevers and Coronavirus: What You Need to Know about Taking Temperatures

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Fevers and Coronavirus: What You Need to Know about Taking TemperaturesAs businesses begin to reopen, many are instituting temperature checks before employees or clients are allowed to enter. Organizations should understand the best practices before adding that type of policy. They should also understand that temperature checks are only part of a comprehensive health and safety strategy.

Understand the Limitations

Checking temperatures is a valuable tool to help ensure the health and safety of employees and clients, but it isn’t foolproof.

For one thing, not everyone with the coronavirus has a fever or an elevated temperature. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 83-99% of people with COVID-19 experience a fever, and people typically don’t show symptoms for 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

As many as 13% of infected persons show no symptoms, according to the CDC. People who are asymptomatic can still infect others. Also, other diseases can cause fevers as well; not everyone with a fever has COVID-19.

Choosing Equipment

Consumer-grade, handheld thermometers are widely available. Many of these devices cost less than $100.

Those products use one of three technologies: thermal, infrared, and tympanic. A review of 16 studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, part of the National Institutes of Health, found that tympanic thermometers, which are inserted into the ear canal, are the most accurate. The other two types of thermometers varied inaccuracy.

Inexpensive handheld scanners have other drawbacks:
• Increased exposure to risk, as operators must violate social distancing guidelines.
• Slow when scanning many people.
• Risk of cross-contamination when scanning multiple people.
• Labor intensive.
• Faulty readings and errors triggered when ambient temperatures and conditions fall outside desired ranges.

Put simply, inexpensive, handheld forehead scanners may be too inaccurate, slow, and inconvenient for widespread business use.

Benefits of a System

For many organizations, particularly those that need to screen a significant volume of employees, tenants, or visitors, a thermal camera system is a better solution than a handheld.

Commercial-grade temperature screening systems—those designed for human bodies, not industrial applications—have many benefits over a handheld, consumer-grade units:
• Automated; no need for a human operator to get close to subjects.
• Automatically find the subject’s face, forehead, and eyes.
• Much more accurate, up to within 0.3 degrees Celsius.
• Alerts/Alarms to indicate fever.
• Results are logged and saved.
• Compensates for ambient temperature.
• Compensates for distance.
• Portable for use in different areas.
• Fast; designed for high volumes.
• Self-calibrating for minimal temperature drift.
• Advanced analytics for minimal false alarms.

Most temperature screening systems can be used as stand-alone systems or integrated with security or video management systems, and they can be networked.

Best Workplace Practices

Taking the temperature of everyone who enters a facility is one step in protecting occupants. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends that organizations and facilities managers also follow these practices:
• Develop policies and procedures for workplace health and safety.
• Acquire an infectious disease preparedness and response plan.
• Promote frequent and thorough handwashing, and make handwashing stations and hand sanitizer widely available.
• Encourage sick employees to stay home.
• Emphasize respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
• Establish policies that help workers distance themselves, such as remote work and staggered shifts.
• Discourage workers or visitors from sharing equipment.
• Maintain stringent cleaning and disinfecting practices.

Training and Educating

Sunstates Security has added mandatory COVID-19 courses for all employees to its in-house Learning Management System, which tracks completion. Those courses include basic COVID-19 safety, how to use Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), how to properly conduct temperature checks, how to sanitize patrol equipment, and an employee pledge to uphold company guidelines, based on CDC and local government standards and regulations. All security personnel, whether supplied by a security partner or part of an in-house security team, should be specially trained to mitigate COVID-19 threats.

To learn more about how Sunstates Security can support your organization’s health and safety efforts, call 866-710-2019 or email us.

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.


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Sunstates Security

The International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection recently highlighted Security Officer Dorrian Williams in its February 12 newsletter.  Officer Williams’ quick response helped avert significant property damage from a fire, caused by a cigarette.

“We at Sunstates are proud of Officer Williams and his performance,” said Sunstates President Glenn Burrell. “Employees like Officer Williams truly form the backbone of this company.”



Written by Sunstates Security

April 9th, 2014 at 7:55 pm


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Lamberti brings multifaceted approach to security challenges of private-sector clients                      

Glenn Burrell, President of Sunstates Security with Sheriff Al Lamberti

Glenn Burrell, President of Sunstates Security with Sheriff Al Lamberti

Former Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti joins Sunstates Security as a Senior Consultant. After 35 years of public service in an agency that managed law enforcement, fire rescue, security and corrections, Lamberti offers private-sector clients an integrated approach to security challenges. 

“Right now, homeland security is front and center,” said Lamberti, who managed 6,300 employees and a $725 million budget as sheriff. “In serving the public sector, protecting the infrastructure—specifically, energy companies, seaports and airports—was a top priority. Now I’m transferring that experience to the private sector.” 

Lamberti’s focus on larger security issues led him to Sunstates Security, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., with an extensive presence in Florida and several other states. Founder and President Glenn Burrell not only shared Lamberti’s extensive law-enforcement background, having served in Scotland Yard for 20 years, but the company also emphasized a strategic approach to national security, including special challenges facing ports, residential communities, schools and faith-based organizations. 

As sheriff, Lamberti oversaw security for Port Everglades, the second largest seaport on the Eastern seaboard and the only one that handles cargo, passengers and fuel—in addition to housing an electric power plant and a convention center. “Each one of those entities provides a security challenge individually,” he said. “When you put them all together, it’s a unique challenge.”

Lamberti successfully met that challenge by developing close partnerships with the private sector. The need for such cooperation has increased in recent years as public budgets have dwindled, while demand for services has gone up.

“We need to be able to fill in the gap, and Sunstates is well positioned to do so,” said Lamberti. “The company has a vibrant presence in South Florida—energetic, enthusiastic and committed to providing the best possible service.” 

This focus on service quality is especially important as the area gains prominence as a global gateway. “The corporate world is expanding in South Florida, and the international presence continues to grow,” says Lamberti. “International development and construction are on the rise. This presents special security challenges, which Sunstates is well positioned to handle.” 

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 regions. 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). 

Contact Denis Kelly at 919-398-6445 ext. 13 for more information.

Written by Sunstates Security

March 11th, 2013 at 6:04 pm


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Sunstates Security 2012 ASIS Reception held on September 11, 2012 at Maggiano’s in Philadelphia, PA. Sunstates remembers those who perished eleven years ago on September 11th and all those servicemen & women, law enforcement, firefighters, and security professionals that support the safety and security of our country each and every day. Sunstates made a charitable contribution on behalf of each attendee to the Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund which is building a memorial for fallen police and firefighters in Philadelphia.

Written by Sunstates Security

September 21st, 2012 at 7:34 pm


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Frebruary 25, 2011
“I would like to compliment your officer at the entrance gate. He is always very polite and professional. It is truly nice to have the first person you come into contact with at the main entrance to have a great attitude like his. I know your company always exemplifies the best and he makes it obvious!”

See more Sunstates Security client testimonials on our website.

Written by Sunstates Security

February 25th, 2011 at 7:26 pm


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February 21, 2011
“A recent robbery incident at our corporate headquarters has resulted in arrests. After many interviews and a good vehicle description the suspects were identified and arrested for armed robbery. I want to personally thank employees at our corporate headquarters and our Sunstates Security Officers for their time and diligence in helping police detectives solve this case with good, detailed and accurate information.”

See more Sunstates Security client testimonials on our website.

Written by Sunstates Security

February 21st, 2011 at 2:32 pm