Security professionals in modern America spend virtually every working moment developing, fine tuning and implementing strategies that will offset, prevent and mitigate the possibilities of violence.

It is both timely and relevant to review and examine strategies and best practices that will support security professionals, their loved ones and friends in the modern United States. So what are some sentinel best practices that will allow security professionals to live the “good life” while off setting the possibilities of personal tragedy? We will highlight some key points and realities for your review.

Sensitize yourself to the destructive and lethal impact of alcohol abuse.  Alcohol abuse leads to:

  • Ruined careers
  • Divorce
  • Incarceration
  • Job loss
  • Ruined health
  • Death by car
  • Suicide
  • Addiction
  • Bankruptcy – financial ruin
  • Family break up and ruined homes

Texting. One key personal safety enhancement we need to advocate for with family and friends is personal awareness. There has been in the last three years an eight fold increase in “distracted walkers” and there has been a surge in pedestrian deaths and injuries that can only be described as a sea change. Personal electronics has in many ways atomized us as a culture.  People are texting, talking, messaging non stop in every public venue.  Teach your family and friends that texting while driving for 5 seconds is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Emphasize to your loved ones that the chances of a tragic auto accident increase 26 times if one is texting.  Also, never text in parking lots or on public streets. There’s strategic benefit to knowing what’s going on around you.

Learn about elder and senior fraud and scams.  I was recently supporting or attempting to support two seniors who were systematically robbed of over a half million dollars from scam artists – career criminals. We involved the Police, the F.B.I., Attorney General and others to stop this onslaught. We have only enjoyed minimal success. This is just one case. What to do? Study the problem. Call the police, alert the Attorney General, call the scam artist on the behalf of the victim and advise them you’re contacting every legal entity on earth. Scammers are intelligent, professional and well seasoned in the nuances of human nature.

Learn about our opioid crisis. Prescription pain killers in the United States are killing 90 people a day and that is just scratching the surface. Educate yourself on the realities of a pain killer epidemic that has impacted millions of Americans.  If you know someone who or may have a problem with pain killers reach out. Security professionals need to acquaint themselves with the realities. That knowledge will help us assist those we know who may be caught up in an addiction they cannot control.

The realities of suicide in the United States. Ninety three Americans will die by gun every day in the United States. About half of those will be suicide. Fifteen years ago we would see a suicidal – self injurious patient come through our Emergency Department perhaps once a week. Now we see 15 to 20 a night. We need to support people in crisis. The problem is real and growing. Learn to be an educator, an advocate for those in crisis and yes an activist. We can help those in crisis. Security professionals can make huge contributions here both personally and professionally.

Dating Safety for teens – young women.  There is a deafening indifference to domestic violence in the United Sates. A woman’s chances of getting shot to death in a domestic altercation are 16 ½ times greater in the United States than in any Western country.  So on a personal level what can a security professional do to safeguard family and friends? Look for any history of prior violence. Be a resource and an advocate for any friend/family member in a domestic violence situation. Teach family – friends the realities of U.S. domestic violence, as casting light on the problem is crucial. Meet people in public settings. Support any family member – friend who needs a legal protection order against a violent partner.  Security professionals know how to obtain an order.  Be a sound advocate for them.

Be informed. You never agree to meet an angry stranger alone one on one at work or anywhere one on one in an isolated area.  Never agree to meet an angry stranger alone – period. Never engage a stranger in a parking lot. Stay far away from parking lot confrontations. Read and become a world citizen. Stay informed of regional, national and global events. Invest in becoming knowledgeable about both current events and history.  Educated informed security professionals are a strong deterrent against the forces of intolerance that have found traction in recent years.

All of us harbor a shared commitment to support, provide and safeguard our families and friends.  An astute lawyer advised me recently “a lot of really bad things” occur out there that we can’t control. That said there is a great deal we can do away from work to help prevent tragedy. There are looming problems to be sure. The scope and impact of income inequality cannot be minimized. The collateral impacts again include mental health challenges, homelessness, alcohol abuse, fear and desperation. Security professionals can be both catalysts and advocates for crime prevention and public safety.  Our collective efforts will indeed help us build a better, safer future for those we care about.