Preventive Security Measures – Best Practices

Encourage Employee Situational Awareness

Surveillance normally occurs before attacks are carried out. Recognizing the indicators increases the possibility of deterrence and prevention. Most employees know what is normal in the immediate area and they should be encouraged to report anything extraordinary, such as:

  • Person or vehicle seen in the same location on multiple occasions.
  • Person sitting in a parked car for an extended time.
  • Person not fitting into the surrounding environment, such as wearing improper attire for the location.
  • Person who stays at bus or train stops for extended periods while buses and trains come and go.
  • Long conversations on cellular telephones.
  • Person videotaping, photographing, drawing pictures or taking notes.
  • Person having unusual or prolonged interest in personnel and entry points.
  • Person exhibiting nervous behavior.
  • Person hesitating or looking around when entering a building.
  • Person turning away when observed.
  • Vehicle parked in prohibited zones.
  • Vehicle with an altered or obstructed license plate.
  • Broken down vehicle.
  • Suspicious packages, devices, unattended briefcases, or other unusual materials.

Recognizing Suspicious Activity

Suspicious Vehicles

  • Slow moving vehicles, vehicles without lights, and/or the course followed appears aimless or repetitive. This is suspicious in any location, but particularly in areas of parking lots and buildings with assets that can be capitalized on the open market.
  • Vehicles being loaded with valuables are suspicious if parked in front of a closed business, even if the vehicle is a legitimate looking commercial unit – possibly even bearing a sign identifying it as a repair vehicle, moving van, etc.

Suspicious Behavior Involving Vehicles

  • Persons attempting to forcibly enter a vehicle, especially at night or in a parking lot.
  • Persons detaching mechanical parts or accessories from a vehicle especially at night or in a parking lot.
  • Apparent business transactions conducted from a vehicle and especially if juveniles are involved.
  • Persons being forced into vehicles, especially if juveniles or females.
  • Objects thrown from a vehicle, especially while traveling at a high speed.

Suspicious Behavior Involving Property

  • Property being removed from or being placed into vehicles or buildings if removed from closed locations.
  • Someone offers to sell you something for significantly less than the market value.
  • Items that accumulate in private garages, storage areas, or on a property, especially if the items are in good condition but not in use.

Other Suspicious Activity

  • Continuous “Repair” operations at a non-business location.
  • Open or broken windows at closed businesses or residences whose owners are temporarily absent.
  • Unusual noises such as gunshots, screaming, abnormally barking dogs, or any noise that is suggestive of foul play.
  • Unusual smells coming from location.
  • Continuous traffic that comes and goes to the same location, usually staying for very short periods of time.

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  • Establish written security policies and procedures for the specific types of incidents.
  • Establish employee awareness programs pertaining to the identification and reporting of suspicious activity.
  • Ensure a thorough background investigation is included as a condition of employment.

Awareness Training

To better understand the indicators leading to criminal activity and violence, a training program would be beneficial. As events can lead to physical altercations or an ex-employee returning to the plant once terminated, identifying and assessing potential indicators could reduce the potential for an incident to escalate to violence. Increased training in the following areas should be considered:

  • Recognizing suspicious activity
  • Understanding motivations behind targeted violence
  • Management actions to take

Training should be completed by employees and local management annually. The requirements should be developed in conjunction with ACIPCO management and can be taught using lectures, group work with activities, scenario training, and videos.

E-learning can be used as an alternative teaching method. These e-learning tutorials can be geared towards new employees and resident contractors to give them a feel for ACIPCO’s culture, with a preview of things they will learn over the following few months about their job and the organization.

Included in this overall training:

  • Review of written security policies and procedures
  • Proper badging and identification of all workers
  • How to verify identities of service personnel and visitors
  • How to identify violent indicators
  • How to report a concern
  • Difficult terminations
  • De-escalation techniques
  • How to get additional support from upper management

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, ensure that your employees receive awareness training to identify and report suspicious activity. This includes anything from suspicious criminal activity to observations of behavior of concern.

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