Written by Robert D. Sollars
We have seen a shift from being proactive to reactive before. When the first formal police department was formed in Boston in the 18th century they were proactive. They checked doors of businesses, patrolled the streets stopping anyone to ask their business, and generally were there to assist the citizenry in many different ways. You can compare this to The Andy Griffith Show of the 60s.
After the New York police department was formed in the middle of the 19th century…it began to change. Police. Instead of crime prevention, they were instead being reactive. They had exponential growth in crime, they had to take this approach or turn the city, and consequently the rest of the country into a police state.
Unfortunately, organizations are in a reactive mode rather than being proactive to prevent violence within their walls. It comes down to, telling them what to do & not to do then…punishment. Not many people, stop to think about prevention anymore.
It’s relatively simple to prevent most of it…if you have the intestinal fortitude to do so and can withstand the firestorm that will envelop you due to the new rules, regulations, policies, & procedures…and the unbreakable idea of them.
No doubt it will create a lot of backlashes because you are not fair. Many times, the reasoning for a zero-tolerance policy and not continually reminding them is that is simple and expedient to tell them once and then…punishment for simple ease of paperwork & time. By doing this you may be actually instigating a more serious or potentially fatal, incident.
many security departments, companies, & professionals are now also in a reactive mode rather than being proactive and attempting to stop crimes from occurring. Whether it would be from computer hacking, theft of material (computer and other) by insiders, and even violence. The idea of being proactive is a grand idea, but…
Unfortunate is the fact that as security professionals we must deal with human resources, legal departments, C-suite management & ‘bean counters’ who don’t wish to turn loose of any financial resources unless a proven return on investment can be shown.
Gut instinct and situational awareness of seeing it even peripherally, that just won’t work for them. Like most scientists, they only see what can be put on paper, counted or possibly be ‘wrong’, not willing to take a ‘leap of faith in the professionals they’ve hired to do exactly that same thing…whether it be a ‘gard compny’ or proprietary staff.
Should we continue to push the case for improved security based on mere gut instinct, observation, and situational awareness? The obvious answer is yes…but it has to be tempered with facts, statistics, and your own observational skills, no matter how those observations are derided.
When pitching a new program or any form of increased security, you must present your own observations, then put the facts as you know them on paper. The next part of a professional request, and report, to the C-suite, is to include all the pertinent statistics you can gather.
The last aspect of attempting to be proactive to any potential situation is the conclusion. Make your pitch for whatever. Sometimes you have to verbally threaten with blunt, succinct, & honest language to the C-suite. You could put it to them in this way – They can be criminally liable if anything untoward were to occur after it has been identified by…someone.
That being what it is, we need to keep pushing and prodding for the most effective and efficient ways of protecting our organizations. Does this mean spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to accomplish it? In most cases, NO. Remember the very old adage “The simplest and easiest solutions are often the best”? It’s very true with security.
If we follow the ROI on most things and use the simplest avenues to protect and safeguard the lives and property of those, we are supposed to protect then hopefully we can both make everyone smile, at least a bit, not to mention saving their bacon, property, & assets.
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