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  • Abandoned Apartment Complex's

    I work in the part of Austin very similar to the 9th ward in Nawlins. Obviously Not quite as bad but it is the worst part of town. There really is no describing it you have to have seen what I am talking about to truly understand. Well anyways we just got several accounts that PD will not patrol, They will only respond on calls. Several of them are completely abandoned and we have serious problems with drug, prostitution, gang and vagrant activity. Well we about 90% of the time run a 2 guard unit in this area however when I am working it alone I feel very uncomfortable making foot patrols especially when I have to check out a apartment where we suspect people have been living or doing elicit activity's. I really enjoy working this area My question is if I feel uncomfortable should I request to not work that area by myself? I am just afraid if I do that the supervisor will then not put me on that site at all.

  • #2
    WOW - you need to run a k9 team through these places and it will soon have people scattering left, right and centre. We have some big issues with squatters who take over a property and live in there usually trashing them and legally they are given so many weeks after weeks of 2nd and 5th chances by the police and the local councils (county). I found 1 group had been living in a house adjoining a clients building and using his outdoor bathroom as their own with hot water and power leads strung over the fence line at night. We soon cut their free living off with extra padlocks the next day.
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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    • #3
      I am trying to become a apprentice for k9 however we don't have any dog's and the boss says we need to have a little more money before we can do that kind of stuff.

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      • #4
        How much are you being paid? Is it enough to make up for the loss of your life? I would not work that area alone. Or any area that made me feel "uneasy". The PD won't patrol the area. My guess is they know more about the area than you, or even your boss does. Yes our job will sometimes put us in harm's way, but to do so in this manner seems foolish.
        "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ChuckyZ73 View Post
          ....however when I am working it alone I feel very uncomfortable making foot patrols....
          There's a great book entitled "The Gift of Fear", which is really not about fear, but about intuition, and specifically that we should listen to the little voice in our head that says "Something's wrong here...this place (activity, whatever) isn't safe...etc."

          We don't know how intuition works, exactly, but multiple studies have shown how accurate it can be. Basically, intuition is the product of your subconscious brain that is taking in all kinds of "inputs" that you might not even consciously notice, processing them, comparing them with previous experiences, etc., and then producing that "gut feeling" of uneasiness that you're getting.

          The point is, security companies should also pay attention to officers' reports of being uneasy about their safety with certain assignments. Profit motive and "manpower availability" CANNOT be the only considerations that go into the process of making assignments (but this question should have been assessed BEFORE the bid was placed, and the bid should have covered the need for two officers at all times). Officer safety MUST be considered, not only for the sake of the officer, but because it's also in the best interest of the company. (And, folks, I'll tell you plainly that we should start taking security companies to court when they deliberately "underman" sites that are demonstrated "hot spots" for sheer reasons of profit, with resulting injury and/or death to security officers. Security companies can no longer be allowed to ignore officer safety by undermanning posts, any more than a construction company is allowed to provide unsafe scaffolding for its workers.) When a construction company bids a job, they have to take into account their PROPER costs, including the costs of doing the job according to OSHA standards. The client pays for the built-in cost of "safety" no matter who they award the contract to, so it's not a "competitive factor" in the bidding.

          You're afraid that if you discuss this with your supervisor you might not be assigned to this site, which ordinarily you find enjoyable. If that is the supervisor's response (yanking you off the site) when you raise your quite natural (and, I would think, very obvious) concerns, not only are you better off in the long run, but I'd start keeping my eye out for a company that has smarter management. It might take you awhile to find one, but when you do, jump on it.

          If he doesn't yank you or fix the problem, but instead he just basically blows you off, the next step is to consider your options. As others here have pointed out, what's your life worth? It really does sound to me like it comes down to a question as serious as that where this site is concerned.
          Last edited by SecTrainer; 11-06-2007, 08:01 AM.
          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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          • #6
            Abandoned Apartment Complex's

            You have nothing fear but fear itself.
            But if truey are in fear maybe this anit line work for you

            Hey New Orleans 9th ward anti that bad central city New Orleans is bad.
            CAPTAIN KOOLAID 9594


            oh ya

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            • #7
              Thank you very much. As soon as I am done typing this I am going to the book store to get this book. I will check it out. I should also point out, I am not letting this fear get in the way of my work. I still do make foot patrols I am just extra cautious and I get uneasy feelings quite often. As far as biding a 2 man account the supervisor does not want to go back to the client and say "hey we should have bid this as a 2 guard account can we please have more money for another guard?" I have given several ideas to management that I think will reduce the amount of people that want to go in there. I have suggested early morning sweeps of all the vacant buildings. I have suggested removal of all doors and windows this serves dual purpose. It is winter and they are looking for a warm place to sleep and if they have a candle or even a fire going it will be much easier to tell from a distance. I also suggest adding flood lights to all areas to make it almost like daylight as right now 99% of the complex is completely dark. I do not see any of my ideas coming to fruition because these complexes are scheduled for demo in the next couple of years. Do any of you have any ideas or other books I can read that will help me with this situation.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CAPTAIN KOOLAID View Post
                You have nothing fear but fear itself.
                But if truey are in fear maybe this anit line work for you

                Hey New Orleans 9th ward anti that bad central city New Orleans is bad.
                There's a difference between a healthy fear, and tombstone courage.

                Having one guard working a large complex where he is the only one there (no police patrols, no residents, just him and the trespassers) is a bad strategic decision by management.

                No doubt, the client is only paying for one guard. Maybe because the firm bid one guard, or maybe because the client has certain expectations from their service provider, and these expectations are exceedingly low.

                To only put one guard out there is bad management. The cost of turn-over, worker's comp coverage increases (for when the guards get hurt out there), and failure to reduce trespassing (one guard for an entire complex? please, they'll just go to the next building group when they hear him coming.) outweighs the cost of an additional guard.
                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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                • #9
                  What are your post orders for this location Chucky?

                  I have a feeling that you guys may be going beyond the scope of your duties when you say "I have to check out a apartment where we suspect people have been living or doing elicit activity's."

                  I highly doubt that a SO would be responsible for making entry into locations that people live in (even illegally), as even sworn police officers have very strict limitations on when they can and can not enter someones home without a search/arrest warrant.

                  Now if your whole site is supposed to be considered abandoned property and there is not supposed to be anyone anywhere on the property, sure, search away...but to me it sounds like a neighborhood that the city has written off as a total loss, or would rather concentrate the police efforts elsewhere.
                  Anything that hits the fan,
                  Will not be evenly distributed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ChuckyZ73 View Post
                    Thank you very much. As soon as I am done typing this I am going to the book store to get this book. I will check it out. I should also point out, I am not letting this fear get in the way of my work. I still do make foot patrols I am just extra cautious and I get uneasy feelings quite often. As far as biding a 2 man account the supervisor does not want to go back to the client and say "hey we should have bid this as a 2 guard account can we please have more money for another guard?" I have given several ideas to management that I think will reduce the amount of people that want to go in there. I have suggested early morning sweeps of all the vacant buildings. I have suggested removal of all doors and windows this serves dual purpose. It is winter and they are looking for a warm place to sleep and if they have a candle or even a fire going it will be much easier to tell from a distance. I also suggest adding flood lights to all areas to make it almost like daylight as right now 99% of the complex is completely dark. I do not see any of my ideas coming to fruition because these complexes are scheduled for demo in the next couple of years. Do any of you have any ideas or other books I can read that will help me with this situation.
                    I have read this book as well, it's a really great book.
                    Here's the cliffnotes: Your brain is smarter than you are, so listen to it when it tells you something.
                    Anything that hits the fan,
                    Will not be evenly distributed.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                      There's a great book entitled "The Gift of Fear", which is really not about fear, but about intuition, and specifically that we should listen to the little voice in our head that says "Something's wrong here.
                      Sec is absolutely right. Every living creature, including humans have that "lil voice" inside them. Unfortunately, as the "higher" species, we all too often ignore what our little voice tells us because we think we are "smart" and we do the opposite. Officers go into that vacant apartment alone against their inner voice's advice. The woman goes into that elevator car occupied by that "innocent" looking man. If you don't feel right, get re-assinged or find employment elsewhere.

                      Be Safe,

                      Hank
                      " We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on one hand and of overwhelming force on the other" - General George C. Marshall

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Contact View Post
                        What are your post orders for this location Chucky?

                        I have a feeling that you guys may be going beyond the scope of your duties when you say "I have to check out a apartment where we suspect people have been living or doing elicit activity's."

                        I highly doubt that a SO would be responsible for making entry into locations that people live in (even illegally), as even sworn police officers have very strict limitations on when they can and can not enter someones home without a search/arrest warrant.

                        Now if your whole site is supposed to be considered abandoned property and there is not supposed to be anyone anywhere on the property, sure, search away...but to me it sounds like a neighborhood that the city has written off as a total loss, or would rather concentrate the police efforts elsewhere.
                        Our post orders are to patrol the property and remove any and all persons on the property that are not the police PERIOD. The biggest thing is the owner is scheduling the complexes for demo and there are people in the buildings. Whether they are vagrants sleeping, prostitutes turning tricks, crack heads smoking crack, or gang members having meetings/tag sessions. We are there to remove them and keep them out of the apartments. They start fires and burn down stuff(this has happened before we started), They get hurt in the buildings and sue the owner Ect. (this also happened before we started) Also as I am sure you all know this causes the crime rate in the whole area to shoot up and I am not certain but I believe 1 corporation just bought up all the apartment complexes in the 4 or 5 square block area. In total there are 14 complexes this person or corporation owns. All are scheduled for demo eventually. We currently have 7 of them, 2 are at full capacity, 4 are at >50% capacity and one is completely vacant. We are there to concentrate on the vacant areas on only patrol the areas where people live mostly to give a security presents in the area. Since we have worked there I have gotten into 3 foot pursuits, 4 fights one of which we found out later the suspect had a knife, and in one I got bit by a prostitute. We should NOT be alone and if I were the manager I would go to the client and request the funding for an additional guard or even a police officer.

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                        • #13
                          I don't think regardless of what training I have had would I work in such a dangerous situation alone. I would want a K9 team at minimum and be working with another partner plus be required to conduct welfare checks every 30 minutes (we used to do them hourly and between high risk sites we would do our own every 30 minutes). Some will say "oh just carry an 870 or 410 and you will be fine" but against a someone whom you may not see or someone who has 10 other friends, the odds are far from good.

                          I have worked CPP assignments that have been less dangerous in places that have had military action in a province and had little blokes running around in green pyjamas with AK's ......... but that is nothing compared to what you are informing us. There should be a minimum 3 x welfare checks by a patrol officer to ensure you are lying injured (don't mean to sound gorey) but I would also be asking for a mercury switch radio (used in corrections and psych. hospitals where if they tilt they send a duress call after 15 seconds back to base).
                          "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                          • #14
                            Quebec's Health and Safety law allows an employee to refuse to do work if he considers it too dangerous. Exceptions are for Police & Firemen whose jobs are naturally dangerous. (Although the Fire Department is forced to have a Health & Safety Chief who responds to every major fire along with a Union Health & Safety offical - they decide if a situation is too dangerous). I do not know if a Security Guard could use this law if he felt what he was being asked to do was too dangerous. He probably could. Maybe I should try it the next time the hotel has 2000 drunk teenagers & I'm working alone
                            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ChuckyZ73 View Post
                              ...the supervisor does not want to go back to the client and say "hey we should have bid this as a 2 guard account can we please have more money for another guard?"
                              So, what you're saying is that he would rather put his employees in a compromised situation than to approach the client with the need for contract revisions. This is a supervisor who frankly doesn't have the cajones needed to be a supervisor in the first place.

                              There is nothing whatsoever that is the least bit inappropriate or odd about a company coming back to the client and presenting a REVISED RISK ASSESSMENT - along with a modified contract proposal - for a site, whether because the original assessment and the resulting bid were wrong, or because conditions at the site have changed since the initial assessment.

                              Modification of contracts is something that happens all the time in every industry. It is not at all unusual for facts to become known, or for situations to develop during the course of a long-term service contract that mandate changes to the original contract. In fact, it happens so often that you should Google the phrase "change orders" (including the quotes), which is what such modifications are called. The first thing you'll notice is that you get 233,000 hits on that phrase, giving you some idea of just how common the process of changes to contracts really is.

                              You might think the client could just blow off the revised risk assessment, but they really can't. First of all, they can't shift their own shared liability by merely denying it. Second, all that would probably be necessary would be for your company to assert that the client did not provide full information about the risks, either in the RFQ/RFP (request for quote/request for proposal) that they issued originally when seeking bids, or in their discussions about the site and their requirements prior to the bid being made. In the face of inaccurate or inadequate information provided by the client, the whole contract would very likely become null and void. Any competent corporate counsel could drive a truck through this whole situation, so I wouldn't worry about that.

                              Bottom line: If I were your company management, I'd already have an appointment with the client and would simply tell them how the cow ate the cabbage with regard to this site and its requirements, given what you now know about it. Two men are required, AT A MINIMUM, period. Or, they get 30 days written notice (funny enough, it is clients who always request such clauses in most security contracts - they bite both ways, though)...and they can find themselves some other suckers.

                              Cajones - wonderful things to have if you plan to run a business.
                              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                              "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                              "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                              "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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