Since May 2020 protests have been happening across the country. Destruction to property and looting of businesses have happened as these protests quickly turned into riots.
Police officers become overwhelmed and cannot respond to each individual incident. Providing quality security to local businesses is the first line of defense in preventing looting and destruction of property.
During the first night of the riots a car dealership in Scottsdale, AZ was attacked and had some damage. The next day, in response, they hired my company to protect the dealership. Once we were called in to protect the property from there was no damage reported. We made this happen by creating a secure presence letting the looters know people are protecting the business.
Establish a Firm Presence
Here are some of the things we did in creating a security presence to deter looters and protect the business. When you have people whose entire desire is to throw a brick through a window and brag to their friends for a social media post, proper security presence stops it from happening.
Presenting yourself in a professional manner makes an impact in the way you conduct your work as security personnel. Giving off an impression of authority stops many instances from happening. The way you stand and the way you hold yourself lets the looters and rioters know they aren’t getting through to that business.
Police officers have to do their work by the book. As a security company, we are acting on behalf of the owner or registered management of a particular property, whereas the police are working for the municipality.
When we were hired to protect the dealership, we became their de-facto representatives allowing us to tell people to leave the property. If the rioters didn’t leave, we used our Constitutional right to make a citizen’s arrest. The perpetrator was then turned over to law enforcement and charged with trespassing.
Monitor Social Media
Preplanning, starting with following social media, helps security firms do their jobs more effectively. In many instances, listening to social media, checking out websites and who is talking to who is crucial. In Scottsdale, we found out people were going to be congregating in our area. In our studies of these channels, we helped to deter many people looking to destroy windows at the dealership and possibly steal merchandise as they were going through the area. Social media monitoring also provides details on the number of people coming into an area. This allows the creation of an escape plan if security personnel need to get to safety.
Creating an Escape Plan
There are many times where security guards can find themselves overwhelmed with the number of people attempting the looting of a business. A safe escape plan needs to be created before any personnel are deployed to a job.
Looking at exits and where doors lead is important in any safety plan. Knowing where a door opens provides an outlet to get to safety and call for back up. Once in a safe place call the security firm for help, call the business and call local authorities. Get the help needed to keep safe. Always have a backup. Never go into any situation without a backup plan.
Protecting businesses during riots takes planning and coordination with all involved from the security guards, the management to local law enforcement. The security firm is the eyes, ears and muscle protecting the business. Following simple tactics allows security to do their jobs effectively and safely.
Protecting Businesses During Riots with Simple Security Tactics
By Michael Morrison
Michael Morrison is the President and Owner of LionHeart Security Services located in Tempe, Arizona.