Guard Forces Still Necessary Despite Improved Security Technology

Recent domestic police shootings, international terror attacks, and rampage violence incidents have led to newfound concerns among facility owners and operators—causing many to take a second look at their current security programs to determine if appropriate measures are in place. And, this is rightfully so. Just like no city is immune, no facility is either. This fear and real risk affects every type of building—industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities alike.

At the same time, the costs of security personnel, which typically comprise the largest portion of a security budget, continue to rise, thus putting pressure on finding new ways of reducing these costs. The need for increased security and the desire of many organizations to reduce personnel costs for an operational guard force have collided to create the perfect security storm. And this storm could actually threaten the safety of those facilities even more.

Given recent advances in security technology—specifically the ability for equipment to perform or greatly assist traditional guard functions, many facility owners and operators see increasing its use as a possible solution. Like everything in life, moderation and balance are key to a successful security program. Hence, there is the security triangle—a calculated combination of Physical (locked doors, window bars, etc.), Operational (on-site guards), and Systems (security technology). There is no prescribed amount regarding how much each of these three must be maintained to demonstrate optimal security. Each facility executive needs to determine his or her percentages based on their own distinct threats, risks, and budget.

For example, a vault that necessitates high physical security (i.e., hardened construction, high security doors/locks, and limited access), may only need one guard, whereas a museum with 20 entrances and publicly accessible high value items might require more guard force and the use of camera equipment throughout. The ultimate goal is to create a balance—as one part of the security triangle is increased, the others may be reduced while maintaining the same level of security.

Click here to learn more about a six-step process you can take to construct a balanced security program.