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Mock Robbery Training Gone Awry

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  • Mock Robbery Training Gone Awry

    "Safety Drill" at New Jersey hospital leads to a lawsuit Recently there was a civil lawsuit in New Jersey settled in favor of the plaintiff while the case was in trial. The case was about an unannounced or surprise mock robbery training exercise conducted in a hospital pharmacy setting on Christmas Eve 2007 by senior hospital staff members. The hospital claimed the action taken was a "safety drill." The pharmacy staff had no idea of what was about to happen to them and the case gained national notoriety as it was reported on extensively by the news media... Read more on my Security2LP SIW blog.
    Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
    CoAuthor - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

  • #2
    yeah, WTF were they thinking, however, I'm also pretty sure

    the frequency of PTSD from marginally stressful 30sec robberies varies proportionally with the Deepness of the Pockets in question.

    I do remember a pharmacist friend mentioning "getting robbed training" which went into some detail, like how to deal with "pros" vs Drug Addicts, etc.


    I'd say the biggest risk they took was of a 'victim' or bystander retaliating with serious or deadly force. How did they know their wasn't some random off-duty gun toting cop or some guy with a CC permit, or even that a staff member wouldn't take a chance and use force.

    During WW2 in Pacific some USN admiral thought a battleship's AAA crews weren't alert and order a few fighters to buzz them. All the fighters were blown out of the sky. WoOps.


    I would think the transportation of these drugs would be where all the risk of theft/robbery is. I haven't heard of them being transported by armed guard of armored cars.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Squid View Post
      the frequency of PTSD from marginally stressful 30sec robberies varies proportionally with the Deepness of the Pockets in question. So you don't think someone in a ski mask bursting through the doorway, holding a gun to the head of a coworker, demanding drugs can't result in PTSD?

      I do remember a pharmacist friend mentioning "getting robbed training" which went into some detail, like how to deal with "pros" vs Drug Addicts, etc.


      I'd say the biggest risk they took was of a 'victim' or bystander retaliating with serious or deadly force. How did they know their wasn't some random off-duty gun toting cop or some guy with a CC permit, or even that a staff member wouldn't take a chance and use force. This took place in a hospital setting, not on a street corner.
      During WW2 in Pacific some USN admiral thought a battleship's AAA crews weren't alert and order a few fighters to buzz them. All the fighters were blown out of the sky. WoOps.


      I would think the transportation of these drugs would be where all the risk of theft/robbery is. I haven't heard of them being transported by armed guard of armored cars.
      If you read the article you would have discovered this happened in a hospital, not on a street corner, and certainly not during WWII by some Admiral who I hope lost his commission and was court martialed. Really, sometimes you are all over the board on some of your posts.
      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
      CoAuthor - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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      • #4
        Thanks for posting this article Curtis. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't this posted on the forum a while back?

        I was shocked when I first read it and a little sick. I can't believe how many safety precautions they violated, and the chance the management staff took by doing such a drill. The hospital is very lucky nobody was seriously injured or killed in the process. I'm curious what happened to the individual who played the part of the robber?
        sigpic

        "Great danger lies in the notion that we can reason with evil" - Doug Patton

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tanko View Post
          Thanks for posting this article Curtis. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't this posted on the forum a while back?

          I was shocked when I first read it and a little sick. I can't believe how many safety precautions they violated, and the chance the management staff took by doing such a drill. The hospital is very lucky nobody was seriously injured or killed in the process. I'm curious what happened to the individual who played the part of the robber?
          I had posted this quite awhile ago. I thought maybe I was out of touch and wanted to hear from anyone who had used surprise mock robbery scenarios in the hospital setting. I knew in retail they should never be conducted as a surprise - as I had conducted a number of these exercises before and I knew that prior notification of all involved was a requirement, including an opportunity to opt-out of the exercise.

          The "robber" was an employee who worked for the maintenance section of another facility the hospital owns. Nothing happened to him or any other participant as the hospital executives had signed off on this Christmas Eve fiasco - Merry Christmas. Of course, all of this came out in the deposition phase and is public record.
          Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
          CoAuthor - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
            I had posted this quite awhile ago. I thought maybe I was out of touch and...
            Curtis, I sincerely hope you intended this statement to mean "somewhat out of touch with conducting mock robbery training scenarios, specifically in hospital environments"... because you most certainly are NOT off-base with your shock and horror at the way this particular "training" session went down.

            The sole reason I haven't responded to this thread is that the longer I contemplate my response, the more I see wrong with conducting a mock robbery in this fashion, regardless of the work environment.

            In other words, the longer I considered writing a response, the longer the response became; its bulk now resembles Tolstoy's "War and Peace".

            In short, we're supposed to be in the business of preventing risk, not creating it. A simple notification of a realistic mock robbery drill would have gone a long way toward preventing several foreseeable - and major - risks to the hospital and all personnel involved.
            "I'll defend with my life your right to disagree with me" - anonymous

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 5423 View Post
              Curtis, I sincerely hope you intended this statement to mean "somewhat out of touch with conducting mock robbery training scenarios, specifically in hospital environments"... because you most certainly are NOT off-base with your shock and horror at the way this particular "training" session went down.

              The sole reason I haven't responded to this thread is that the longer I contemplate my response, the more I see wrong with conducting a mock robbery in this fashion, regardless of the work environment.

              In other words, the longer I considered writing a response, the longer the response became; its bulk now resembles Tolstoy's "War and Peace".

              In short, we're supposed to be in the business of preventing risk, not creating it. A simple notification of a realistic mock robbery drill would have gone a long way toward preventing several foreseeable - and major - risks to the hospital and all personnel involved.
              I knew, based on my knowledge and experience that surprise mock robberies were not an accepted industry best practice. A mock robbery is the same no matter what venue they are used in and the same preparation and notification procedures apply. I was trying to validate my thoughts by asking input on the forms.

              A mock robbery training exercise is just that, a training exercise. The object is to train associates as to the real world atmosphere of an armed robbery. Mock robberies can have a real world affect on participants even when they are notified and willing participate. I know from past experience.

              The fact is, even though I have organized and conducted these events in the past, I have not recommended their use for many years now.
              Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
              CoAuthor - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 5423 View Post
                In short, we're supposed to be in the business of preventing risk, not creating it.
                Well put.

                Originally posted by Curtis Baillie View Post
                The fact is, even though I have organized and conducted these events in the past, I have not recommended their use for many years now.
                I have a question in regards to you conducting mock robbery drills in the past - were the majority of first time drills conducted after the employees received training some kind of training (minus safety briefings), or was were the drills conducted before any kind of training?
                sigpic

                "Great danger lies in the notion that we can reason with evil" - Doug Patton

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tanko View Post
                  Well put.



                  I have a question in regards to you conducting mock robbery drills in the past - were the majority of first time drills conducted after the employees received training some kind of training (minus safety briefings), or was were the drills conducted before any kind of training?
                  I started doing mock robbery training at the request of retailers when I was in LE. I can't say for sure if every retailer had conducted prior training to MR training, but I do know some did.

                  When I conducted the training in my retail career - yes every employee received robbery training during their new hire orientation.
                  Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                  CoAuthor - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If I was hospital management, I'd require all employees to sign-off that they had

                    been informed that they would be subject to unpredictable and possibly violent outbursts from upset patients and/or patients friends and family, and ask them if they had any experience in coping with that in the past without coming down with a bad case of PTSD.

                    Actually, I'd do that for any security guard, waitress, retail clerk, etc....just about anyone who might come within 100yrs of the public when in my employe.

                    Lately, with all these guys coming back from Iraq, with real cases of PTSD, it seems PTSD is contagious.

                    I've known of a few armed robberies, but never heard of anyone having PTSD as a result, much less "disabled" by it.

                    In fact, in one case female clerks said it was "great"(to see the boss being threatened) and said the robbers were "hot"(cute).

                    I know at least two guys who came back from Iraq with pretty decent cases of PTSD who were unable to resume working at their prior jobs (at least at the same level) but since they could still hold SOME job they weren't considered 'disabled' and didn't get squat from the Govt.

                    IMO, unless you either had something really bad happen(like rape) or spent a few days in uninterrupted extreme risk(combat) I'd put these Deep Pocket PTSD cases in same category as 99% Medical Marijuana 'evaluations', where vague symptoms are translated into the desired course of treatment.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Squid View Post
                      been informed that they would be subject to unpredictable and possibly violent outbursts from upset patients and/or patients friends and family, and ask them if they had any experience in coping with that in the past without coming down with a bad case of PTSD.
                      .
                      In this case the hospital did have such a policy that is signed by employees, but the action they took was far beyond the pale of what any employee should expect during the normal course of their employment - and that is a point of law in many of these cases. Your suggestion does not shield an employer against extraordinary actions on their part. There had been no robbery training whatsoever.
                      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                      CoAuthor - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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                      • #12
                        Does anyone have the court documents detailing this case? I'm having a little trouble finding it. Thanks!
                        sigpic

                        "Great danger lies in the notion that we can reason with evil" - Doug Patton

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tanko View Post
                          Does anyone have the court documents detailing this case? I'm having a little trouble finding it. Thanks!
                          I can't release any documents I have in this case. I've looked and the internet has yet to pickup official court documents - if the court has even released them yet.
                          Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                          CoAuthor - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

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