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Guidepost Solutions

Security & Technology Consulting Practice – At Work

What we’re working on…Project Spotlight

How Event Security Will Evolve Post Las Vegas

We love attending events – concerts, festivals, sporting events, celebrations, corporate events, tradeshows, and more for entertainment. Our planning includes purchasing tickets, buying a new outfit, arranging for travel and transportation, and making it “an event to remember.” We assume we will be safe.

With the Las Vegas shooting and the Manchester bombing fresh on our minds, we must all do our best to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. “What will I do if something happens?”

Event managers, venue managers, and security and law enforcement personnel continually collaborate to mitigate risks. Event and venue managers regularly work with security and law enforcement personnel to prevent incidents such as active shooters, snipers and bombings when assessing threats. Now more than ever; everyone must figure out ways to be more diligent, including people attending the event.

As each tragedy unfolds we find ourselves recommitting to “doing something this time” to be prepared. Businesses have a responsibility to their customers, schools to their students and employers to their employees. Given the randomness of when and where incidents occur, event/venue management, employers, businesses, schools and other entities should re-consider their overall security posture and mitigation measures to deter, detect, and deny known or possible risks and threats.

Considerations should be given to:

  • Identifying a secure perimeter – ranging from known entities and approved guests to a screening policy of some level.
  • Extending the perimeter – adding physical security measures that can be implemented to protect against vehicles as a weapon threat.
  • Security technology – adding video surveillance to improve situational awareness.
  • Security personnel presence – detecting and deterring capabilities to significantly increase the presence of security personnel at the extended perimeter.
  • Employee, guest, crowd flow – reviewing ingress and egress paths of travel ensuring facilities are easy to navigate.
  • Evacuation routes – ensuring they are clear, direct, and appropriate for individuals with disabilities to navigate.
  • Good “hide” locations – designing the infrastructure to maximize the ability to safely separate oneself from danger.

Physical site design and understanding evacuation routes and shelter locations are important to human judgment when it comes to survivability.

Other questions to consider include:

  • What relationship have you built with your local first responders? Building this relationship is essential to improve the response effectiveness. First responders should be familiar with your facility, understand your current capabilities, be informed of all of your abnormal operations, have easy access to floor plans and be familiar with evacuation routes in your plan as well as designated “shelter in place” safe zones.
  • Do you have roles and responsibilities identified among your leadership team and down through your chain of command? 
  • Do you practice tabletop scenarios to understand communications and decision making?
  • Who is responsible for engaging first responders on behalf of your organization? Even in a crisis situation your management team has a major role to play while first responders are resolving the crisis.
  • Who can talk with the media to ensure accurate information is disseminated?
  • Where will organizational leaders gather to ensure continuity of operations, if critical?

In a crisis moment, clarity of roles and responsibilities can become murky quickly as individuals either assert themselves or recede in panic – it’s important that roles are defined so key decisions can be made quickly.

Once the plan is developed a robust training and awareness program should be used to ensure the emergency plan is understood.