Soft Target or SAFETY Act Certified: How Safe Is Your Property?

24/7 Software
Jan 28, 2016 7:45:00 AM

9/11 caused radical changes for security professionals.

It has been almost 15 years since the attacks, and the industry is still working incessantly to improve its security standards.

Enhancing security is a constant post 9/11 concern, and properties that are not prepared for the worst become susceptible to other attacks.

You need to be prepared.

You need to be prepared because most properties, especially sports stadiums, are ‘soft targets’ for terrorist attacks.

A ‘soft target’ is a property that’s unprotected or vulnerable, especially to terrorist attack.

This hits home for us, because we work diligently with professionals like yourself to improve operations to ensure the safety of everyone on your property on a daily basis.

After reading Randy Southerland’s latest article “Stadium Security Protocols Tighten Amid Terrorism; Enhanced Physical Security Standards Improve Public Safety” –we wanted to join this conversation.

We knew we could help here.

We want to help you move from a ‘soft target’ property to a secure, efficient, and effective one with the potential to become SAFETY Act Certified.

Randy’s article includes insights from a few of the greatest minds in the industry:

  • Jeff Spoerndle, Vice President of Whelan Event Services
  • Paul Turner, Director of Event Operations & Security for AT&T Stadium
  • Lou Marciani, executive director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4)
  • Richard Fenton, Vice President of Corporate Security at Ilitch Holdings Inc. (Detroit Red Wings & MLB’s Detroit Tigers)

They discuss the importance of communication, security, guest experience, the SAFETY Act Certification, and other industry security guidelines put into place.

All of these are vital to your property, especially if you want to limit your exposure as a ‘soft target’ and move towards the Certification.

We’d like to contribute to your advancement.

We’d like to help you achieve peace of mind through enhanced awareness, increased communication, improved documentation, smarter analysis, and emerging technology.

Keep reading to find out your next move.

The ACDA Principle™ Helps Strengthen Operations

If you’re going to improve your operation, it has to be a combination of processes and innovative technology.

Let’s start with the processes.

The ACDA Principle™ came from discussions, research, and breakthroughs over the years.  It’s an acronym that we put together based on tons of insight from industry professionals, exactly like the ones from Randy’s article mentioned above.

There are four pillars to the Principle:

  • Awareness
  • Communication
  • Documentation
  • Analysis

In order to limit your exposure as a soft target and to move your operation to a position of becoming SAFETY Act Certified, you’ll need to have all four of these in place.

We know the importance because the committee addressed these aspects when we were awarded our SAFETY Act Designation, which can help our clients become certified.

Safety Comes From Processes & Technology

Having awareness, communication, documentation, and analysis requires effort.

Making a change here or there won’t do the trick. Your operation might need a complete overhaul. Effort.

But, if you want to significantly improve your operation, keep reading as we’ll show you how to pair the Principle with the right solutions to make your property forever safer.  

Are you ready to run an operation good enough for SAFETY Act Certification?

Let’s start with your awareness.

Awareness of What’s Occurring at Your Property

Full awareness gives you and your staff the ability to respond to incidents in less time.

Your team becomes proactive. You know what you can expect and how to take care of it - not just react to it.

This lets you take care of other vital duties – especially during your busiest times.

Text communication is a great solution to consider implementing for improved awareness.

Provide text communication so your guests can instantly and discreetly report issues to your command center. It’s also useful for your staff that don’t have radios.

This is a solution many operations have embraced to avoid incidents from going undetected.

When you have awareness like this nothing slips through the cracks.

Using text communication software at your property can drastically improve the safety of your guests and their overall experience.

Having thousands of people available to report issues is a powerful benefit on your operations awareness and ultimate effectiveness.

Text communication gives your operation the advantage during crucial situations like terrorist attacks or natural disasters.

Time is saved for staff by eliminating the need to find someone to report an incident or issue.

Imagine the simplicity for your guests. They no longer have to leave their seat, find a staff member, and then explain the issue or incident.

That takes way too long.

One quality to note about text communication: During a cellular outage, text messaging is the last communication channel to cut out.

More times than not, you’ll be able to maintain communication with guests and staff during an emergency situation using a texting solution.

This is a simple, powerful solution that you should have no barriers to putting in place.

Incident Management Systems Increase Awareness

Introduce an incident management system into your operation to effectively manage your process and create order.

An incident management system allows your staff to simultaneously enter and update incidents; therefore reducing the time it takes for all departments to get updated on what’s happening.

Anyone with permissions can see incident-related updates in real time. This leads to the full awareness we want you to have.

Dr. Lou Marciani said it best in Randy’s article,We’re on the cutting edge of situational awareness.” That’s a fact for facilities using incident management software.

Heighten your awareness by integrating mobile applications that ensure data is never lost due to limited or no Wi-Fi connection.

Have your staff utilize a solution that allows them to enter data in an offline environment for future upload. Retrieve vital information as soon as your devices connect to Wi-Fi.

There’s no parking lot or building far enough that can prevent you from having awareness in check…especially with the best solutions in place, and at your disposal.

Your staff knows exactly what’s happening when it’s happening. They know how to handle everything.

This is how you become a difficult target for terrorists. This is how you keep your property safe!

You Must Be Effective at Communication

What we noted about incident management mobile apps is only the beginning. 

They’re also excellent for communicating issues and incidents. Your staff can expertly and efficiently report incidents from them as well.

This closes your communication gap and limits any bottlenecks that might hinder your operation and the safety of guests.

We’re curious…

  • How do you execute your incident management process? How do you want to execute your incident management process?
  • When was the last time you evaluated your emergency management plan? Is it a little dusty?
  • What tools do you have in place to execute effective communication throughout ALL your departments and properties?
  • How do you feel your communication abilities measure up?

Here’s the thing, you might have processes in place but how well are they executed when the pressure is on?

This is how.

  • Mobile communication with incident management ‘mobile’ apps for cell phones and tablets.
  • Alerts and notifications that automatically notify staff and prevent anything from slipping through the cracks.
  • Processes coupled with mobile technology, allows staff to know exactly what they need to do, how they need to do it, and to have the best solutions to confidently execute their duties.

This improves training, limits stress, and eliminates the unknown.

Automate information to empower your staff and you’ll see improvement amongst all your departments.

Automation removes human error from the equation. This allows your staff to perform with great efficiency and effectiveness - without hesitation.

Hesitation can be dangerous.

Having Full & Accurate Documentation Is the #1 Rule of ‘Certified’ Properties

You don’t always know when you’ll need incident details, but you do know there’s always the potential you will need it in the future.

That’s why you need to be able to access any incident whenever that time comes.

You also need it to be legible, right?  

You must protect your guests…but you must also mitigate costs associated with litigation. Having complete and accurate documentation is your best chance of effective liability protection.

With that said, using an incident management system will help you remove the problems associated with illegible handwritten notes from the list of problems that stress you out.

You’re now able to replace them with the right information. You can access your digital documentation at any time. You can have peace of mind.

Every change and update are recorded in the incident management system.

You know who wrote what, when and if any changes were made, and you can prove it with a detailed record of the incident’s history.

Your staff can attach and reference pictures, video, audio statements, and signatures that can keep your incidents honest in a court of law.

Giving your staff the ability to immediately record details is the difference between success and liability.  

Analysis Is How Top Operations Improve Everything

How do top operations improve? Analysis.

As professionals, you can’t wing it. You don’t have time for that – and it’s too dangerous.

We’ve said it before, without data you’re just another person with an opinion.

So, in order to improve the balance between property safety and the guest experience you need to regularly analyze your operation.

You don’t have to take our word for it either.

“You want to make sure you have adequate resources so that you can consistently deliver the level of security. It’s trying to balance security with the guest experience. It’s making sure that you can conduct that search consistently, but you’re not having excessive wait times of your guests and they’re getting frustrated with the time it takes for you to do that screening.”Paul Turner of AT&T Stadium on the topic of balancing sports security with guest experience

Data can help you make specific changes that result in the difference between being a soft target and a certified operation.

From resource allocation to line wait times, each facet is important to both security and experience. Your ability to recognize this will drive your understanding of, and reliance on, quality data to make smart decisions.

  • Document accurate, reliable, and digital incident & issue records that can be scrutinized after each day or event.
  • Communicate your findings with your staff, boss, and if you’re a sports team, your league.
  • Increase the number of conducted tabletop exercises in order to improve specific areas of your operation.

Having analytics is one thing - using your analytics to improve your effectiveness is what really counts towards the level of safety at your property.

Over to You

You already know that security and the safety of your guests must be your top priorities. What you might not know is how to achieve this. We believe this article will help you.

Use the ACDA Principle™ and the progressive solutions we mentioned above to advance your operation from a soft target to one worthy of becoming SAFETY Act Certified.

So, are you ready to improve your operation in a way that permanently protects your guests and staff from unforeseen incidents?

Download our free eBook about text communication software


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