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Originally published in Interiors & Sources

11/30/2012

Use of Force Policies and You

Ensure that your guards are making the right decisions with a strong stance on the use of force.

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A security guard confronts a trespasser. When the officer’s verbal commands are ignored, he or she chooses to physically restrain and pin the individual to the ground. The situation has been resolved, but did the guard make the right decision?

The answer to the question lies in your use of force policy. It is one of the most critical documents you need to have if you use a security force on your property.

“The policy outlines the appropriate amount of force required in the management of a incident by first responders,” explains Sean Ahrens, global practice leader for security consulting and design services at Aon Risk Solutions.

If you don’t have a use of force policy or assume your security provider is responsible for its creation, you are exposing your company and its security force to unnecessary risk.

“From a legal standpoint, you’ve left yourself in a precarious situation,” cautions Jesse Stanley, a security consultant for Strongside Principles and a member of ASIS. “What you end up with is informal, institutional knowledge that doesn’t carry well in a court system.”

“Security is a non-delegable legal duty, even if you hire someone else to cover your security needs,” adds John Elliott Leighton, a civil trial lawyer and manager partner of Leighton Law, which specializes in personal injury.

Don’t leave room for any doubt – learn how to sit down with your security team and iron out the details of your policy.


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