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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    I'm not partial to US-made when it comes to picking gear - I'll buy what my people need. If it's US, well and good. Otherwise...

    Along those lines, the Honda Element (looks something like a "baby Hummer") is very interesting. Enormous interior with tons of headroom for you 7-footers (honestly), although the driver knee room for really big guys doesn't quite match the headroom. It has removable rear seats for more storage, differential AWD, and a completely washable "rubberized" interior so that you can practically hose it out. And, of course, it has government 5-star crash ratings and Honda reliability, to both of which I can personally testify. Also, they're very economical to own and operate. Of course, they can be equipped with a lot of aftermarket gear, including a tent that attaches to the back and could serve purposes like an emergency management command post. Other accessories include cargo organizers and even an interior bike tie-down - yes, there's room. You could drive to a site, patrol it on bike for stealth/economy, throw the bike in back and move on to the next. Or, two officers drive to the site, one takes the bike and the other patrols in the Element, using walkie-talkies to stay in touch. The back hatch doors open up wider than a ravenous crocodile, and form a "tailgating platform/seat" as well. Towing capacity is modest but decent (no problem for your speedboat or a trailer with a couple of Goldwings), and Honda makes some very high-quality hitches for it.

    This car came out in 2003, but it's built on the CR-V engine and tranny, so it has lot's of design history. The small turning radius is very gratifying in tight places (the proverbial turning on a dime - well, maybe a quarter), and it's got enough guts so it won't leave you hung out to dry in the passing lane. Steep hills are no problem. With all of this, though, it's still a compact, and you can park it anywhere.

    The heater/AC is excellent, and of course you can get monster sound systems for it for those lonely nights.... (Speaking of which, the seats fold ALL the way down to form a bed. Uh-oh!) You might wish the seats were a little less hard on your butt, but a lot of guys bring their own seat cushions anyway nowadays because this is a common problem in a lot of cars, both high- and low-end of the market.

    The "suicide" design of the side doors would be a question, and the back door cannot be opened unless the front door is opened first. This is very inconvenient for people with kids. However, it might be the perfect design for prisoner transport because there ain't no way they're gonna escape in case you forget to lock the door. Besides, I'd be removing the back seats for the gear storage anyway unless I did use it regularly for transport. And, the one GREAT thing about this door design is that side access to the rear compartment is simply huge as there is no middle side beam (the closed doors form the middle side beam that is among the strongest in existence, as the 5-star side crash rating shows - kudos, Honda engineers!)

    One downside to the Element is that you notice crosswinds on the highway more than you would in a lower-profile vehicle of the same weight. This can be a little disconcerting at first, but it feels worse than it really is, if you know what I mean. Under strong crosswind conditions, such as gusts of 35-40 mph or above, I would not drive the Element at speeds over 70 mph and if it still feels squirrelly it usually resolves by moderating your speed down to about 60 mph. Anyway, for the purposes we're discussing, i.e. city patrol, etc., this would not be a factor at all. The Element would never make the short list of pursuit vehicles for the Highway Patrol due to this wind thing, but so what?

    NOTE: The 2007 SC version rides 3" lower on a sports suspension and probably does better in the wind. Unfortunately, I think you give up the rubberized, washable interior for carpets and a more "plush" interior in the SC version. I'd prefer to keep the more utilitarian rubberized version for a service vehicle.

    Some people think the Element looks like a WWII ambulance (I prefer the Hummer analogy, thank you). In fact, the truth is that you could remove the right front and rear passenger seats, install stretcher retainers in the rubberized floor, and the Element would make a very good light-use medical aid car/ambulance because there'd be plenty of room for the stretcher on the right, with the seat remaining in back on the left for the attendant, plus all the headroom I've already discussed. It won't surprise me to hear that someone does use the Element in a configuration like this.

    Oh, and I've seen a black Element that was tricked out with gold reflective graphics, an LED light bar and spotlights. I think it had been lowered a couple of inches. Anyway, it was very kewl (rather mean-looking, actually) and I've always wished I had chased it and gotten a picture. There are also some around that have been painted camo, and they look quite military.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 05-04-2007, 09:01 PM.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    Training? What training? You put the guard on the bike, he rides around, he locks the bike up when he's done with it.

    I see the smiley, but those considering bikes do sometimes believe this is all there is to it. They should note that there are maneuvers and ways to use a bike for patrol that do require training if you want to use them to best advantage. Even from a liability standpoint alone I would not omit training. Bikes are potentially dangerous, both to riders and to pedestrians.

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  • echo06
    replied
    Horseback !

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  • Charger
    replied
    Originally posted by FireEMSPolice
    How would I go about asking for a change in vehicles? Of course I would have to present stats, etc.
    Here's what I did to get us the bikes. The same type of process could be used for a vehicle:

    Look up all the stats on the vehicles you're currently using. Not just the estimated mileage they're rated for, but what type of mileage they're ACTUALLY getting, and what kind of MONEY is being spent on them. (Remember the key thing for management, is the cash) If you've had verbal judo training, this will sound familiar. You want to make them AGREE with you that you need a different vehicle. So find all of the bad stuff regarding the current setup, and bring up all the good points of the new idea. MAKE them want the change. It's easier said than done, but you might be surprised how easy it is to convince them when you bring up the cost. Money talks, after all.

    Personally, once I had all the stats, I actually put it together in a Powerpoint presentation that I showed to the management staff. This of course would be completely optional, but it showed them that I really cared about the subject, and was willing to take the time to show them how strongly I felt about it.

    In the end, how you go about it is up to you. But like I said, do what you can to make them WANT the change, and the rest will pretty much take care of itself in time.

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  • Charger
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    Training? What training? You put the guard on the bike, he rides around, he locks the bike up when he's done with it.

    Aint that the truth.. Nah, I made sure we got a good training session from the local PD.. Learned all sorts of nifty stuff... The sliding take-down was my personal favorite.. LOL

    Personally, I would also look into some other company than BP... The problem is, (this was also the case at my mall), a lot of times they want the vehicle as CLOSE to the mall property as possible at all times, so they choose whatever station is closest to the property. It may not be plausible to change to a different vendor.

    Vehicle-wise, here's another idea. Since I'm partial to the american-made cars, I'm surprised it slipped my mind earlier. You need good mileage, but something that'll still hold all your gear. You might try getting them to look into the Dodge Magnum. The Police package one with the 3.5 v6 gets almost identical mileage to the CVPI. If you opt for the smaller engine it's even better. You probably wouldn't need the HEMI since you aren't (or at least, probably aren't) getting into pursuits. Anyhow, I'll get off my soapbox now. Just throwin some other ideas out there for ya.

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  • FireEMSPolice
    replied
    The only reason we use BP is because its on the corner. I cannot do anything to change that at all.

    How would I go about asking for a change in vehicles? Of course I would have to present stats, etc.

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  • HotelSecurity
    replied
    This is wha the By-law enforcement people used to drive in my borough http://policecanada.policecanada.org...unQC003_PB.jpg

    This is what they drive now in order to save money http://policecanada.policecanada.org...unQC004_NF.jpg

    (2nd photo taken by me!)

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  • GCMC Security
    replied
    Get rid of BP for starters. At least in this area they are always the highest gas around by a large amount too. It's who we use as well and we've been telling management for months to change it.

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  • FireEMSPolice
    replied
    Originally posted by LPCap
    A few questions:

    1) Are you a contract company working for a mall property management group

    2) Do you work directly for the mall management group (inhouse)

    3) Is your mall owned by a national, regional or local group?

    How do you pay for fuel, on the company fleet card at any fuel station?
    To answer the questions:

    1) We are in-house and the company that owns the mall I work in owns 25 others and other various properties nationwide.

    2) Again, in-house

    3) It is owned by a local company and owns other properties nationwide.

    4) We have a fleet card for BP. It has to be refueled & washed at BP

    Also, motorcycles are out of the question and would not be practical. We have a couple of Smith & Wesson bikes.

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  • Investigation
    replied
    Another fuel saving idea would be to use motorcycles. I believe one contract security company in the Seattle area used a motorcycle some time back (before we had the hike in gas prices). At 45+ miles per gallon, it makes fairly good sense. Granted, you don’t have the same storage space of a sedan, but you do have the fuel economy. Officers could be issued PDA’s to keep track of their activities.

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  • bigshotceo
    replied
    There's been significant criminological research about the effect that the police cruiser has had with police-community relations. Most often it is felt that the cruiser serves as a physical barrier, separating and alienating the officers from the community they were. Since security guards are often promoted as a way for citizens/property users to be able to better maintain relations with those who were ensuring their safety, companies are often reluctant to introduce physical barriers such as cruisers.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Originally posted by Charger
    Having worked in a shopping mall, where they issued us a golf cart, I can give you a little insight on this from my perspective.

    Simply put, if they don't like the gas-hog SUVs, then they need to look at smaller cars. I personally don't like using foreign vehicles for law enforcement duties, (call me old-skool, or whatever.. lol), but something like a Subaru Forester would give you better mileage while still offering room for equipment. The golf carts/gators/etc. are accidents waiting to happen. And they DO. We had a couple incidents involving the cart while I worked for them.

    Something that hasn't been mentioned yet, that's especially effective with Summer coming up, is has the mall considered bike patrol? I convinced management at our mall to purchase a bike for us for the summer months. It's faster than a golf cart, can get into even smaller areas, and costs absolutely $0 for fuel. (Basically, I convinced them that the benefits FAR outweighed the cost of the bike and additional training)

    If you want any more info, let me know. I'll be glad to offer assistance if I can.
    Training? What training? You put the guard on the bike, he rides around, he locks the bike up when he's done with it.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    One CVPI and two bikes would be an excellent idea. The CVPI can be used as both patrol vehicle for inclement weather, and as a bike tender (rack on back) and carry-all.

    Do not forget that in addition to the substation, its reatively easy to hire off duty police officers who will bring their qualified immunity with them. Let the off-duty cop hurt people, its not like the mall can be sued! (Yes, it can...)

    I see many malls going with "two cops, eight guards." Where the security staff's sole purpose is to summon the mall's contract police force (off-duty local police), who will then use their police powers to enforce whatever law is being broken. (Usually trespassing, since the unarmed guards told the person to leave.)

    Unless the officer is politically suicidal, they can't enforce the rules of the mall, only the laws of the state. That's what the unarmed guards are for, advising people of the rules, then summoning the police officer when the rules are not obeyed and the person is ordered to leave.

    If the person refuses then, ha, off to jail they go. Or they get thrown through the door and told to leave again.

    On another tangent... SUVs are visible. But, too, the striping and "vehicle graphics" have to be eye-catching or else it looks like a joke. We have a vehicle that runs around Kenosha for "Kenosha Private Police." It is some kind of Kia SUV. It is grey. It has, in blue letters that you buy at K-Mart (the stick on kind), the words "KENOSHA PRIVATE POLICE" on both doors and the back. It has a little yellow "motorist distress" light that is also bought at K-Mart with about 10 candlepower attached to the top.

    This has never inspired confidence in anyone I've asked about it. Not that it says "POLICE," but that it looks like they outfitted their vehicle at K-Mart.

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  • Charger
    replied
    Having worked in a shopping mall, where they issued us a golf cart, I can give you a little insight on this from my perspective.

    Simply put, if they don't like the gas-hog SUVs, then they need to look at smaller cars. I personally don't like using foreign vehicles for law enforcement duties, (call me old-skool, or whatever.. lol), but something like a Subaru Forester would give you better mileage while still offering room for equipment. The golf carts/gators/etc. are accidents waiting to happen. And they DO. We had a couple incidents involving the cart while I worked for them.

    Something that hasn't been mentioned yet, that's especially effective with Summer coming up, is has the mall considered bike patrol? I convinced management at our mall to purchase a bike for us for the summer months. It's faster than a golf cart, can get into even smaller areas, and costs absolutely $0 for fuel. (Basically, I convinced them that the benefits FAR outweighed the cost of the bike and additional training)

    If you want any more info, let me know. I'll be glad to offer assistance if I can.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Chimpie
    This is going to be a rambling post, so please bear with me.

    <snip>

    When I see security patrolling in small, single cab pickups, some with flashing amber lights on top, some with nothing, I think they were purchased because they were the cheapest thing money could buy. When I see security patrolling in golf carts, Gators, or something else small and ridiculous, I think that management doesn't care about their officers.
    1) This was not a rambling post by a long shot.

    2) It's not that they don't care, it's a money issue. Let's say you're mall management. Every store in the mall pays tribut, er, rent. Likewise with all the kiosks and other vendors. All the carnivals and assorted junk that sets up in the parking lots pay cashola for the privilege. Along comes security. Much like the janitorial staff, they need to be paid, and don't bring any money in. Why spend more money equipping them with a nice new CVPI or something, when you can cut your losses and get them a golf cart?

    Sure, you have to pay for janitorial staff, parking lot cleaning, etc. But they pretty much stay the same week in and week out. You KNOW what they're going to take off your bottom line. But those damn guards? Fuel costs differ every week...They could screw up and injure someone, causing a suit to be filed...They always whine about "training" for which you have to pay for an instructor...Screw them.

    Pay them as little as the law allows, grudgingly fork out a little money for a used golf cart, round file the "training" notion, and set them to work doing management's job, i.e. enforcing signage rules and gathering paperwork from vendors.

    The almighty dollar speaks louder than some outdated notion of "safety" these days, especially when the local cops are more likely than not to set up a substation of some sorts- free protection!

    I am compressing this heavily, but you get the general idea.
    Last edited by OccamsRazor; 05-03-2007, 02:20 PM.

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