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Does your site or department have a "DEFCON" system?

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  • Does your site or department have a "DEFCON" system?

    Similar to the military's Defense Condition (DEFCON) system, or the old Homeland Security color-coded "Terror Alert Level" system. Our site has nothing formal, but with COVID-19 and an increase in crime (the police aren't even booking most non-violent suspects anymore) I've started thinking it might be a good thing. We do have a disaster and incident response manual, but no formal system when things start going south except telling the guards to increase patrols.

    The only drawback I see is it could cause concern for non-security employees, and a lot of guards would just ignore it - minimum wagers are just going to punch in as usual, look busy, and clock out with no change in behavior.

  • #2
    Sounds like a good idea to have some type of system in regards to threats to the site. I can see some being alarmed and careful wording of the system could help minimize that.
    Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Hey, let's be careful out there.."

    THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

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    • #3
      Who would make that decision and be responsible for the fallout?

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      • #4
        I've worked DHS contracts and currently work as a civilian police officer on a military installation. DEFCON has now been replaced by FPCON (force protection condition). That's how it is on all DoD sites but we never had that in the GSA-owned buildings I've worked at.

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        • #5
          I work Government so we follow FPCON but I've never seen anything similar on "normal" sites I've worked.
          "What if this is as good as it gets?" ~ Melvin Udall

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          • #6
            I've never thought about it before this year. My thinking is that with all the unrest going on, the "threat level" against a facility might change rapidly. When we initially dealt with the protests it really was "on the fly," and we did well (with a lot of luck, for sure). I asked one of the S/Os who has worked there for almost 20 years - he said they had never had any threats close to what occurred this year.

            My only recommendation is that if your site is in a major city close to city or federal buildings, you should at least have a page in the emergency manual titled, "civil unrest." Don't rely on the police to come - in Seattle they have deliberately targeted the precinct stations, which has slowed response all over the city.

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