“When a suicidal gunman entered a New Jersey mall on Monday night and opened fire, store manager Daisy Rodriguez locked the doors and hid in the back of her shop, nothing guiding her but instinct.”I was panicked. I was scared. I was just shaking,” said Rodriguez, 21, a manager at Soma Intimates in the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus. “They never trained us.” She adds…” November 8th. Reuters
Following a long list of security events taking place in soft targets such as malls and hotels, I find myself dealing again with the subject of lack of security training for employees. Experience has shown us time and time again that once the security event/attack begins the first few seconds of reaction are critical to saving lives. In fact one could say that there is a mathematical equation factoring time and death.
It is our conviction that the effective creation of a security aware employee can only be achieved through a comprehensive system that gradually surrounds the community member with several layers, namely: the creation of awareness procedures for non-security employees; followed by the conducting of training programs for the formal distribution of security-related knowledge; and finally providing a continuous process of education which will provide employees with constant boost to the knowledge already gained. Together, they make up the Comprehensive Approach, an ongoing process that begins as soon as the employee enters the community and provides a ground in which security awareness becomes second nature to him or her.
Procedures – Employees have to be provided with a set of security procedures intended to help integrate security-promoting activities into their everyday routine. These have to create a common security-related terminology across the community, fostering motivation and improving communication.
Training – Training is a central element of the security program to enhance non-security community members’ participation in the security effort. It is designed to make employees more aware of the risks posed to the facility in which they work and help them assimilate the security-related procedures relevant to their position in the community. Besides conveying knowledge to the participants, training has from our experience the added benefit of elevating the level of motivation among employees.
Education – Employees will undergo the training component of the program upon beginning their work at the facility; however training is not a continuous process and its effect can therefore be assumed to weaken with time. Employees’ Education helps keep the level of security awareness at the facility high at all times. It is a continuous system that keeps on running in the background of the employees’ daily operations throughout their professional life span. This way employee’s receive ongoing reminders of what they had learned during training and their motivation levels are kept high as they are reminded of what they can do to make a difference.