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April 19, 2013

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Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief 10-43: Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Boston bombings: Working with your private security assets

There are a number of angles from which I might approach an early analysis of the week's events in Boston.

I (and others like me) have been howling for years about young, disaffected, men from places like Chechnya. I (and others like me) have been warning about how easy it would be for such individuals to follow step-by-step instructions in the pages of Inspire Magazine on "making a bomb in the kitchen of your mom."

I (and others like me) have just about had it up to here with comments made in the aftermath of a slaughter — “he was such a nice boy” and “he never showed any signs that he’d hurt someone” — when we all know that there’s almost always a series of clear indicators to the type of attack we saw in Boston on Monday. 

Private Security Assets
But today, let's look at this from a different angle: law enforcement relationships with private security personnel.

We all know that there are varying degrees of effectiveness — and capability — for private security personnel. We all also know that police officers tend to look down upon anyone who isn't also a sworn law enforcement officer. 

But the recent events in Boston — the importance of the video provided to investigators by the Lord and Taylor security personnel — clearly shows that effective collaboration between police and private security can be the difference between quickly solving crime and not.

Five Key Questions
Ask (and answer) the following questions:

•    First and foremost, what are the most-likely soft targets in your area of responsibility?
•    Who are the security personnel working in those areas — not just at those locations, but other buildings nearby? 
•    What are the real and true capabilities of these folks — are they armed, and if they are, can they shoot?
•    What types of surveillance video capabilities do those security personnel have, and have we established a procedure in advance to maximize those resources when the situation arises?
•    Do we regularly visit with the security personnel at those locations so that we can all get to know one another's faces? 

We can read a capabilities and resources report, and we can have formal, sit-down meetings, but it’s also a good idea to — on regular patrol — make an effort to stop by and say "hello" to these folks. 

Private security personnel — armed and not armed (and I am reluctant to call an unarmed person "security") — can be the gate keepers to get you through to an active shooter or other criminal activity quickly and effectively. They know their turf and they know their terrain. 

Armed private security personnel provide a level of deterrence as well as response capabilities. 

Ensure that your relationships with those personnel are healthy before the need arises.

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 750 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a three-time (2011, 2012, and 2014) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Read more articles by PoliceOne Editor in Chief Doug Wyllie by clicking here.

Contact Doug Wyllie




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