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Hotel security: Navigating concerns and identifying solutions

Bob Chartier, Vice President of Key Accounts, AlliedBarton Security Services. | June 24, 2014
Here are nine considerations for balancing security and hospitality

This effort shouldn't end when the sun goes down and foot traffic in the lobby slows. An around-the-clock security presence is a strong deterrent to unwanted activity, and a clear signal to guests that your property is secure. In addition to personnel, ensure that your up-to-date closed circuit system is tracking all of the hotel's public areas, including the parking lot, gym, restaurants, loading dock, etc.

Assess Location and Local Crime Statistics
In terms of area crime statistics, each hotel is different. A hotel in a rural community will have a very different crime profile than one in an urban market. CAP Index is recognized as the authoritative leader in quantifying the overall likelihood of crime or loss affecting a location's safety, operational goals, or profitability. This knowledge is power and can lay the groundwork for your hotel's safety and security plan.

Security Officers that Welcome and Protect
Hotels must foster an inviting atmosphere for guests while ensuring safety and security. Presenting security personnel in a customer service role, with officers dressed in upscale business clothing rather than traditional police or military style uniform, makes for a more accessible presence.

This careful balance of customer service and security requires experience, specialized training, and supervision. When your guests feel that they are both welcome and watched-over, they will feel more comfortable.

Ensuring that the right type of person occupies this customer-centric security role is also important. Candidates should be identified through selective recruiting resources like hospitality and concierge associations, and conduct extensive interviewing to ensure they possess a high aptitude for customer interaction.

Bolster Public/Private Initiatives
Establishing public and private programs that further police and security cooperation helps to enhance safety and security. Police officers dedicate a significant about of time to public nuisance and lifestyle assistance issues, such responding to noise complaints, administering first aid, and addressing public drunkenness.

When private security works in partnership with law enforcement to respond to these issues, police officers have more time to focus on solving crimes and enforcing the law. You also want police to be familiar with your location and understand you commitment to maintaining a safe and secure environment -- both on property and in the surrounding community. Your security team can help bridge that gap.

The keys to success are the hiring of high quality security professionals who have developed quality relationships between all public and private groups - whether or not formal "partnerships" exist. Private security officers can make a significant impact on safety and security as they can be dedicated to specific posts or areas. This constant presence serves as a deterrent to crime, but also as a resource to local law enforcement and the community.


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