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  • Concerned for Safety of Small SO

    The Steel Mill was doing it's annual maintiance shutdown and we were opening temporary parking lots for contractors as well as doing something we don't normally do, stop everyone coming into or going out of the main enterance and sign them in and out.
    Since we don't usually work at this higher security level it is a major cluster f*** as we try to figure out new policies which are changed every year with no regard to what worked or didn't work previously.
    We called our main office in Baton Rouge and put in a request for extra S/Os for the 2 weeks this was going to be taking place.
    Keep in mind that we are your classic WBS company. We had S/Os who had reported to the main office around noon, filled out their application, been issued uniforms and by 4pm that evening were on our site being handed a radio and clipboard.
    One of our temps was a small 18year old black girl named Brittany. When I say small I mean she was about 5 feet tall and stick thin. If she weighed 90 pounds then I'm the King of England. Somehow the main office, when issuing her uniforms, had found pants which were too small even for her. I could only imagine they came from the Barbi the Security Guard doll collection at Toys-R-Us. So Brittany shows up in uniform with the top snap of her pants unhooked so she can breathe. She was assigned to the new contractor lot on the side of the plant.
    By the next day my Site Supervisor/SO/EMT had decided that he wasn't going to put here there another night. " One of those contractors or truck drivers could toss her over his shoulder and carry her off."

    I couldn't believe this. "It's not like she's patroling the French Quarter. She's in the plant at a guard shack with a radio. She's there to sign people in and out."
    "Well, I'm going to move her up here to the main gate," he says, "and I'll put someone else back there." The next night we had another female officer work the contractor lot but this time she was a big girl. "Anyone tries to drag her off will probably hurt himself," he joked.
    I'm not sure what peeved me off more. That the guard company we work for would hire someone like Brittany or that my Site Supervisor was so concerned about her that he had to move an officer to accomidate her.
    I've encountered other S/Os who showed up at our site and made statements such as "I didn't know that we'd be way out in the boondocks/swamp/woods like this." Well, duh. When they build chemical plants or big steel mills like this they put them on the outskurts of town so that they don't wake everyone up in the middle of the night working or have a buffer zone in case of an accident. "Well someone could drag me into teh swamp/woods/etc and rape and/or kill me." Don't flatter yourself, honey.
    Maybe it's my time in the Army where, if you are assigned to a job, you are expected to be able to perform the duties related to the assignment. Maybe it was all that time working as a Corrections Officer in a State prison where female officers were expected to work along side male officers. When we had a female officer who couldn't do the job or was afraid of the environment she was refered to Personell who told her that working for the Dept of Corrections wasn't for her.

    Anyone else ever have to deal with something like this?
    Last edited by EMTGuard; 01-10-2008, 02:14 AM.
    Hospital Security Officer

  • #2
    In another post I reported the 4'10" indian woman who worked LP uniform for me during a Xmas sale and whom we lost in the clothing racks but when I made an arrest alone (bugger the policies) she came flying into support me (latched onto that ankle like a bulldog and kept biting hard .... ok kidding there).

    It all depends on what the situation might be and working solo shifts I have always been wary of where I am safe and what I could do to get the hell out of a situation. 1 slight build S/O would scare anyone away - her mouth would make a Springer Show melt with her language. So no fear of her being attacked as they would be attacked verbally.

    EMT that is not a smart move from the hiring company and I am sure there is some bloody rule that says she has to be hired but workplace safety should come into play again if they are being serious. A nice person I am sure but not a good situation where site safety is paramount too.
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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    • #3
      Honestly... This is a non-confrontational post, right? (In writing.) So, why is she being moved? Supervisor's not thinking, he's basically saying that there is a risk of attack on the main gate.
      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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      • #4
        There are police officers around that are that size which I really am not a huge fan of. But, for O and R security work I don't see a problem at all.

        When I worked an O and R suburban office building, my favorite guards where the 70 year old plus retirees. They actually had a good work ethic and showed up every shift (usually very early).
        Last edited by CorpSec; 01-10-2008, 03:34 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
          Honestly... This is a non-confrontational post, right? (In writing.) So, why is she being moved? Supervisor's not thinking, he's basically saying that there is a risk of attack on the main gate.
          Everything is non-confrontational. She's being moved from the contractor gate (a one man post) to the main gate where there is at least two other officers. There's no real risk of attack. He's worried that if she's left alone at a guard shack she could end up on a milk carton.
          Hospital Security Officer

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          • #6
            While working at Pelican Bay Prison, I was assigned as a yard gunner one day where I watched a female officer who was about 4'11" and maybe 90 lbs break the leg of an inmate who had attempted to attack her. She used her PR24 baton to accomplish this. Do not be hasty to conclude that small people cannot do the job, it is all a matter of how much "heart" they have.
            Murphy was an optomist.

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            • #7
              Yeah, let's not get too hasty.

              I'm male, just shy of 5'3" myself, and about 135 pounds. However, I'm a big-time martial artist, and I have a ton of experience in physical confrontations.

              Size doesn't mean a whole lot.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nauticus View Post
                Size doesn't mean a whole lot.
                I'm not saying that size matters. I'm saying that it's a sad state of affairs when my Supervisor feels it necessary to move an officer the company sent us because he's worried she could be carried off in the night. For all I know the girl is a fracking ninja. What I do know is that after her first night my supervisor rewrote the schedule to put her on another post here at the site. All she had to do was sit in the guard shack at the other lot, because contractors can't park in the main lot, and make sure everyone walking in signed the clipboards for their companies. Apperently the supervisor figured that some horny guy here for the turn around would grab her out of the shack and the day shift S/O would show up to find the clipboards scattered and the shack empty. Sad. Personally I would have put her on the post which she was hired to work and expected her to do the job like everyone else.
                Hospital Security Officer

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                • #9
                  Are short, cute, attractive women so rare there that they're afraid one will corrupt the morals of the contractors to the point of trysts (forced or not) in the woods?
                  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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier View Post
                    Are short, cute, attractive women so rare there that they're afraid one will corrupt the morals of the contractors to the point of trysts (forced or not) in the woods?

                    I take it you have never been to Louisiana?

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                    • #11
                      I once worked on a site where the Captain refused to place female guards on vehicle patrol patrol. We had more female than male guards on the site, and the site was strictly slick belt/ non-confrontational (in theory).
                      "A good deed’s like pissing yourself in dark pants. Warm feeling but no one notices." - Jacob Taylor

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                      • #12
                        Seems to me the equation is pretty simple:

                        1. What are the duties at this post?

                        2. What are the known or reasonably likely risks at this post?

                        3. Is the individual assigned to the post equipped, trained, and able (physically, emotionally, etc.) to deal with conditions #1 and #2 in a safe and competent manner?

                        Size might figure into the "physical" issue in #3, but both training-for-skill in defensive tactics, negotiation/verbal skills and certain kinds of equipment (OC, baton, Taser or firearm) can also mitigate the importance of size to the point that it becomes a minor consideration. In other words, an officer is not JUST "a person of a certain size" (sex, etc.) but a whole "package" of capabilities, so to speak.

                        The question, then, is really this: Does the "package" fit the requirements of the post?

                        I've mentioned elsewhere that I have learned from firsthand observation of officers of different sizes and appearance what a mistake it is to judge a book by its cover in that respect. There's no shortage of 6'4" wimps in the world, and plenty of people much smaller that you would be ill-advised to tangle with (unless your skills and willingness to do whatever it takes to win the fight at least matches theirs). So, the next time you're tempted to think overmuch about size, or to be overconfident that you have the "size advantage", just ask yourself this: How big is a rattlesnake?

                        The "rattlesnake adversary" above is chosen deliberately because the average strike range of a typical rattler is about the same as the arm-strike range of a 5-foot human adversary who launches from a stationary position, and is several inches less than their leg-strike range. If the human also steps in to you while launching, which a rattler cannot do, the 5-foot human's effective strike range is considerably greater than any rattler.

                        In the paragraph immediately above, you will also find one reason that I have frequently said that stepping IN to an adversary, as counterintuitive as it may be, is usually the best strategy. Doing so adds the distance you move in to the range of your strike. If you move away while striking, every inch you move subtracts from your strike range and you will probably miss altogether.

                        Another reason: The force (mass x velocity) of your body movement adds force to your strike if you move in; it subtracts from the force of your strike if you move away.

                        Another reason: Moving in to an adversary cuts down his angles of escape from your strike dramatically.

                        Another reason: Moving in almost always surprises the adversary.

                        Another reason: Moving in changes the relative roles. He has been thinking of himself as "the aggressor" and you as "his victim"...or of himself as "the hunter" and you as "the hunted". It takes nothing more than your decision and swift action to turn the tables. Become the hunter, and it is a rare adversary who will not be rather shocked when he suddenly becomes the hunted. No cosmic force has "decreed" who would be the hunter or the hunted in this fight. The adversary thought he would make that decision, but you can overrule him in the blink of an eye. Role reversal is THE most important winning strategy, so JUST DO IT. Never simply consent to being someone else's "prey".

                        Another reason - more complex: Although stepping in while launching provides the advantages above for you, it simultaneously diminishes the effective strike zone for your adversary's response if you step inside his power zone. How these two seemingly contradictory facts can be true is a little complex, but still true. An officer of 5'3" can have a taller opponent dead-smack center of his power zone while being inside the opponent's power zone. "Reach" becomes a disadvantage when the target is inside the zone. Usually, this will cause taller opponents to react by stepping away to reestablish this zone, and when they do that, the fight should be in its final stages.

                        As a general rule (and that's what we have most available to our minds when fighting), when you strike step into the strike, not away from it, and move immediately inside the adversary's power zone for a second short-range strike. Yes, you'll be invading his personal space. And yes, there's a chance he might vomit or bleed on you at close range. I've had it happen and was very glad to see it. I'm washable, and you can't win a fight thinking about AIDS. Keep your mouth closed (as you should be doing during a fight anyway, not hanging slack-jawed), do the biohazard thing afterward, and you'll get over it.

                        Got a little off-topic here, but what I have said above applies to the question of whether a "shorter" officer should be considered any less capable than a taller one. A rattlesnake can kill a wildcat, and an officer of shorter stature, utilizing the principles noted above, can defeat adversaries who are taller.
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-10-2008, 12:13 PM.
                        "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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                        • #13
                          At the hospital we have a quard who is 5' 1" and about 90 lbs. We have basic CPI training but nothing to protect her from an angry 15 yr old kid in Psych except other staff nearby. We releave DOC officers when they are here with a prisoner and need to pee and one would not let her releave him for the sake of her size. I had to do it but oh well.
                          Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

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