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11 Roles of Unarmed Security Officers – Part I

Re-posted with permission from Campus Safety Magazine and edited.

Unarmed campus security officers can be a tremendous asset during an active killer, active shooter or active assailant attack. The traditional advice given to unarmed security officers who encounter active killer, active shooter or active assailant incidents has been to get out and let armed officers handle it.

Unfortunately, this approach ignores the fact that security personnel, armed or unarmed, are likely to be among the first targets in an attack. In addition, it results in poor resource management and reduced ability to manage a complex incident.

However, security professionals can be a tremendous asset during an active attacker incident when they perform the right roles. Numerous incidents have already shown that security officers might be able to stop an attack, even when unarmed, before police officers can get on scene.

Here are the first five of eleven roles they can perform during these incidents:

1. Protect Self

While unarmed security officers should never be expected to respond to an area with an active attacker, they might be confronted head-on by the threat and have no other alternative. Security officers should be taught easy-to-remember and easy-to-perform techniques to handle this type of encounter, like “Grab, Drop, Strike”.

2. Warn and Direct

Security staff members who are not immediately targeted can warn others in the area and direct people on what to do/where to go to get to safety. They can also start the process of issuing emergency notifications.

3. Monitor and Communicate

Initiating armed response quickly is vital, and continuing to monitor the location of the attacker from a position of cover (such as relaying that the suspect is on the third floor of the building) can significantly reduce the time it takes armed officers to locate and engage the suspect. This is important if the attacker is no longer making noise (possibly because he is reloading a firearm). The information that security officers provide can be used by law enforcement to locate the suspect.

4. Help the Injured/Trapped

Security officers can show others how to hold pressure on major bleeding or a tension pneumothorax, or do it themselves if nobody else is around. They can also use a foot-drag or carry technique to move people to a casualty collection point, if safe to do so.

5. Provide Information for Investigators

Security officers can identify what is not normal in the environment, recognize who people are, provide emergency contact information for students or staff and offer information on any previous encounters with the attacker.

Come back next week to see the other 6 roles that unarmed security officers should handle during a crisis event at your organization or school.

Let the ISG Help

Talk to your local ISG expert about tools that your unarmed security officers can use to help keep your people and property safe and secure. From access control to visitor management, valid identification to video surveillance, the ISG has the solutions that your staff can use to protect everything important to you.

Talk to your local ISG member today.

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