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Weird Question - An Examination of Purpose

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  • Weird Question - An Examination of Purpose

    I was reading one of those magazines, you know, the kind that you really wish they'd shrink wrap in opaque material instead of tossing on the front steps with the word POLICE for all to read. Especially when you didn't even buy the damn thing, it comes gratis for some reason. Stupid mail man.

    And it brings me to a question. This is primarly for armed officers. Unarmed, too, in contracts where your mission is:

    - Respond to life-threatening incidents
    - Protect life of others against natural or man-made threats
    - Take immediate action to neturalize natural or man-made threats

    Let me be specific here, to me a natural or man-made threat is anything from the fire in the trash can to the shooter running through your office complex with an AK-47.

    How many of you have had your mission specifically explains like that? The term "We rush in as others rush out," has meaning in the Fire Service and Law Enforcement, as they fight threats both man-made (Fellow human and our devices ala LE) and natural (Everything the Fire Service deals with, even if started by man-made devices.)

    How many of you are required to rush in when everyone else is rushing out? Where does that requirement come from? Is it legally defensible if, in rushing in, you confront the source of the issue and shoot it?

    When the average man flees, and you run in, it can be seen as heroic, stupid, or aggressive. A LEO has a federal, state, and local death or injury benefit waiting them if they fall while rushing in. You have... worker's compensation, if the company doesn't fight it.

    So, who tells you you should be rushing in? And does it really matter that you have been told you are to?

    Note: I'm talking about people who are trained to some level to take immediate protective action, are equipped to do so, and have a contractual duty to their employer to take that action when confronted with the situation. People who don't meet all of those have no real reason nor need to do anything but run far and call 911, the duty of any citizen.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

  • #2
    Quebec laws are very supportive to workers. The Health & Safety law allows an employee to refuse to do a task if it is too dangerous. HOWEVER it does not if the danger is part of your job. (EG a fireman can not refuse to fight a fire). I have never heard if it would support an unarmed security guard responding to a dangerous situation. I was just thinking of it while working alone, unarmed (not even a baton) searching the 1st floor of my hotel this evening. The banquet salons are located on the floor. It's a concession. If there is no function the staff goes home. They turn off all the lights (except a few emergency lights), lock the elevators, stairways & lock a folding door across the top of the escalators. The motion detector is turned on. When tripped we are required to go up there alone & check it out
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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    • #3
      Ooo, we have a tricky policy on that one. The armed subject with a firearm is pretty easy.. clear the area of others, and stand off until LE arrives. In other words, dont take the chance on our policy to agress the individual with a gun. If you choose to, thats on you, but insurance will take care of you after wards. Edged weapons and blunt weapons are a spray and take action, if it has effects.

      The one I get a personal kick out of, is the fire or natural disaster. The building is going up in flames, or down in other means, Security is to remain on site, and maintain center control. We allow no entry onto or into the property, and safely control damages and loss.

      I worked a refinery a long long time ago. If the place blew up, everyone but security was permitted to leave. They gave a complimentary gas mask to the staff. I didnt care for that one!
      Deputy Sheriff

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      • #4
        In my time at the hospital I have had to confront a person armed with a loaded double barrel 12 gauge shotgun in our main hallway, and disarm him.

        Officers regularly search our off-site buildings when we find unlocked doors - usually alone.

        We respond to incidents of assaults, domestic violence, and aggressive behavior by patients or visitors and intervene to take control of the situation - preventing any further violence.

        All of this is done before we ever have law enforcement respond - if we even determine we want their response. It is in our policies that we take action - in fact our hospital policy specifically states that waiting for assistance/backup is NOT a reason to not take action in the defense of another.
        "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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        • #5
          Another thing, being In-House we don't have a written contract saying what we are supposed to do & what we are not supposed to do. There is some bnean counter in the back office that is always thinking of ways to save a penny. Lots of hotels have cut the daytime security shifts ("Managers can call 9-1-1"). So if we don't take care of a situation someone will be thinking of cutting us.
          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

          Comment


          • #6
            All right, so we've established its "policy" that requires us do such things, yes? So, is this policy legal? Can we, as private persons employing other private persons, order others into danger? If not, why not?
            Some Kind of Commando Leader

            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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            • #7
              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

              Comment


              • #8
                It is a fairly easy answer for me as just about everything I do is at point of contact.

                What I mean is I am just a few steps or right at the piont where the Gremlins will be directing their actions so I am in the immediate threat area.

                I will have to respond force on force just to save my own hide.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                  All right, so we've established its "policy" that requires us do such things, yes? So, is this policy legal? Can we, as private persons employing other private persons, order others into danger? If not, why not?
                  Good question Nathan. While a blank statement of "if you take a man's money you ride for the brand" would say yes it is legal, I think it would be a correct statement to say that you can be ordered to respond to a danger situation. Whether or not you go into danger would be based upon the judgement of an officer in how to deal with the dangerous situation without becoming anything more than another victim.
                  "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jimmyhat
                    Not one single Security professional in this forum will be able cut and paste state-code that requires the private person to endanger themselves in order to eliminate a clear and present threat. I believe that to be the jist of N.A.'s original question.

                    Company policy aside, no state would enact such an adventurous and proactive statute. The ACLU would have a conniption fit!

                    Now, just to be fair, try to find code/policy in any state that requires the same of sworn L/E (private, local, state or Federal). The result is the same. Time and time again case-law has proven (at least in the U.S.) that even the police have no obligation to place themselves in harms way to save the life of another. Arresting with probable cause is one issue, however no department policy will ever require that the Office be valorous in that act. That's why shiny medals and cool ribbons were invented. The obligation, or moral authority to move toward danger instead of running away from it comes down to pure intestinal fortitude, not code.

                    Fight or flight, the decision as to how we'll react to imminent danger is made the moment we are born. Neither tactic is superior to the other, it just is what it is. We'll either succumb to self-preservation, or fight to the end "that others may live" (AF PJ credo)

                    My own personal demon is my temper. A knucklehead pulls a piece in my presence, it's not bravery that propels me forward, it's my own vanity. I don't want to be on the loosing end of a gun-fight, and I really don't want my peers thinking that I ran away from one.

                    That's the foolishness that may get me dead one day, but I can't help it, I was born stupid!
                    I don't know. That's how I read article 13 of Quebec's Health & Safety law.
                    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Exception.

                      13. Le travailleur ne peut cependant exercer le droit que lui reconnaît l'article 12 si le refus d'exécuter ce travail met en péril immédiat la vie, la santé, la sécurité ou l'intégrité physique d'une autre personne ou si les conditions d'exécution de ce travail sont normales dans le genre de travail qu'il exerce.

                      This is as you mentioned a cut & paste of the Quebec law on Worker's Health & Safety. Translation is a profession so I can't guarantee what I write is 100% correct but as far as I can interpret it says:

                      Exception

                      13. A worker can not exercise the right in article 12 (the right to refuse to do work if it is danerous), if the refusal puts in immediate danger the life, health, safety or physical intergrety of another person or if the work is a normal part of his job.

                      again this is just my interpretation of the words. As for how it would stand up in court, I have no idea.

                      Just for the record it is not a Canadian law. It's a Quebec law!-
                      Last edited by HotelSecurity; 08-22-2006, 05:07 PM.
                      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Even better here it is from Google Translate:

                        13. The worker cannot however exert the right which article 12 recognizes to him if the refusal to carry out this work puts in immediate danger the life, health, the safety or the physical integrity of another person or if the conditions for implementation of this work are normal in the kind of work which it exerts.
                        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That sounds specifically designed for public safety personnel, so they can't refuse to do things like firefighting, police work, or EMS.

                          American laws usually won't do that, since it invites civil suit against the state for putting a citizen in a position where self-preservation is illegal.

                          I've heard that companies can fire you for refusing to perform the job requirements, even if they say you must put yourself in danger. I've never seen it tested. Mainly because the only time people at my former employer put themselves in danger, it was the other guy who needed a hospital.

                          I have been told by a supervisor there that since its part of the "job," you are required to be put in that position and cannot flee from it. Florida law seems to support this, dereliction of duty under 493 is a criminal offense.

                          Keep in mind I never saw a formal job description for "security guard" or "security officer," let alone "Corporal."
                          Some Kind of Commando Leader

                          "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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