Physical Security for Financial Institutions

With modern-day technology, physical security needs sometimes come in second to technology-based options like security cameras and panic alarms.  However, inside financial institutions including banks, credit unions, check cashing locations and alternative lending locations, physical security must be a top priority.

FBIAccording to the latest FBI stats available; (in 2011) financial institutions had more than 5,000 robberies. During those robberies, over $38,000,000.00 was stolen and over 100 people were injured or killed.  Although cameras, panic alarms, die packs, GPS locators and other technological advances are great tools, physical security officers already on the scene can make a significant impact in decreasing dangerous situations.

 

Bank Security

Providing world-class security protection

VSS Security Services specializes in using off duty police officers to secure financial institutions. VSS recruits police officers from state and local police departments to work off duty at higher risk locations. Our officers are the first employees to arrive at the building in the morning and the last to leave at night. When officers arrive in the morning they check the area to ensure there is no suspicious activity, including thief’s waiting to ambush employees as they arrive to work and enter the building.  At the end of the day, VSS officers personally escort the employees to their vehicles to eliminate any potentially dangerous situations.

At VSS Security Services, we ensure that the officers we recruit to perform security at financial institutions have three specific qualities; physical presence, customer service and public relations.

When you walk into a financial institution that is protected by VSS Security Services, the first thing you will see is a police officer in uniform. We encourage our officers – your off duty officer –  to open the door for your clients and greet them as they enter. This approach quickly calms any fears of the clients while maintaining the physical presence and visual deterrence for the bad guys. Officers will then say goodbye to the client as they leave the financial institution. We also offer escorts to vehicles for any clients who may be carrying large sums of money or who would just like walked out to their vehicle. Our officers are often pleased with getting to know community members, who often tell them about community safety issues and concerns.

 

VSS Security Services customizes all security plans and procedures to fit your goals and needs. While we prefer to use off  duty police, we can also use non-police, uniformed security officers.

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FBI Stats (FBI.gov)

 Violations by Type of Institution

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Number, Race, and Sex of Perpetrators

The number of persons known to be involved in the 5,086 robberies, burglaries, and larcenies was 6,088. The following table shows a breakdown of the 6,088 persons who have been identified by race and sex. In a small number of cases, the use of full disguise makes determination of race and sex impossible.

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Unknown Race/Sex: 86

Investigation to date has resulted in the identification of 3,263 (54 percent) of the 6,088 persons known to be involved. Of these 3,263 identified persons, 1,229 (37 percent) were determined to be users of narcotics and 583 (18 percent) were found to have been previously convicted in either federal or state court for bank robbery, bank burglary, or bank larceny.

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Please contact us today for a complimentary security assessment from one of our security professionals.

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Security Guard Company Selection Checklist

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Customers should carefully consider multiple important factors beyond price when choosing a supplier of security guard services. In this article, Anthony Rumore, National Business Development & Marketing Manager at VSS Security Services provides a checklist of points to consider when evaluating security manpower suppliers.

From historical reputation and size of the workforce to the professionalism of the security guards or the company’s ability to use technology to enhance safety, the 10 points listed in this article help to identify the right provider of guard services.

 Ability to offer technology to complement security officers and enhance safety

Customers should seek out security providers that have developed or embraced software technology as a tool to make officers more valuable to the customer organization. Ask security guard companies about how they are using technology to enhance safety, mitigate risk or drive efficiencies.

Examples might be the use of automation and communications tools designed to boost the effectiveness of the guard force or even a custom solution that meets unique needs within a particular vertical market. Technology can also add value to facilities and risk management as well as legal, safety, engineering and building services departments.

 Stability of the company and size of the workforce

How long has the company been in business providing security services? How many operating offices does it have? What is their financial situation? Consider what liability coverage is provided – is it adequate for your needs? Does the company provide a hold-harmless agreement to the client?

 

Reputation in the industry and community

Make some calls to determine the company’s relationship with the local law enforcement. Inquire about state licenses, complaints and violations. Ask for proof of a working relationship with various minority subcontractors to be used when required by bid specs.

 

An effective operations and support team

Look for a company that supports its security personnel with a 24-hour communications center. Consider how the company handles transitions – is there a formal transition plan? Consider the local office management and staff, including their professional backgrounds, job duties and length of employment. Does the company provide an ample supply of uniforms, weapons and other equipment? What resilience plans does the security provider have in place to handle emergencies and national disasters?

 Professionalism exhibited by the supplier’s security officers

Visit the client sites to determine professionalism of a company’s security officers. Do the security personnel present a professional appearance and demeanor? Are duties being performed efficiently? Are work areas neat and orderly? Get the security providers to bring in 3 to 5 working security officers from various job sites to be interviewed and ask the company if they have the same high expectations and standards for its security personnel.

 Emphasis on client feedback and customer service

How does the company receive feedback on how it is performing? For example, are there customer satisfaction surveys? If dissatisfaction is expressed, what actions are taken? Ask to see letters of recommendation from clients and the public. Consider past client cancellations – ask for specific reasons and then judge the authenticity of the answers. Availability of value-added options beyond basic security guard services Consider what additional services you might need. Do the security officers have basic CPR and first aid training? What services does the company offer beyond “basic guard service?”

 

Hiring practices and human resources expertise
What are the recruitment practices – does the company recruit consistently from the military? What is the supplier’s background investigation process? Consider how the supplier ensures accurate payment of wages. Consider vacation and healthcare benefits and other employee programs.

 

Certifications and memberships
Has the company ever been certified regarding safety requirements by a client? How involved is the company in supporting national, state and local industry associations through active membership and sponsorship opportunities? The true measure of any security program’s effectiveness ultimately begins with recruiting the best people and equipping them with the best training. Skills can be utilized by providing a fulfilling professional development path.

 

To carefully evaluate security guard companies, be sure to compare them all using this simple checklist. Score the companies based on the strengths outlined above to truly evaluate the quality of the security guards and integrity of the company that you will be entrusting your security to so as to ensure you get the best value. If all of the information above makes sense to you, then VSS Security Services is the right security company for you.

 

Property Managers & Security

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Property Managers & Security

Property managers, building security goals, tenant security needs, balancing technology and people, avoiding surprises, security costs and ROI

 

Defining Building Security
Security is a mindset that “encompasses security technology, security people, tenants, and geography.”

Different locations require multiple strategies, “For instance, in a downtown Phoenix office building, I expect to see cameras, a guard desk, or both. If I don’t, I’ll have questions about security. Then again, you might see less security in buildings located in surrounding cities and northern Arizona.”

Balancing Security
Security needs balance; different clients expect different kinds of security. “One client may want you to manage visitors carefully to guard against theft or workplace violence, while other cautions against a system so strict that tenants and employees feel uncomfortable. You have to balance these desires.

“You also have to balance security people and security technology. While we all rely on technology, it is important to have enough security people to make judgments about and to act on the data produced by VSS-Trax our real-time reporting technology.”

Avoiding Surprises
Security surprises can be maddening! There are many difficulties of integrating base building security & technology.

“Everyone says open buildings makes the integration of access control impossible. But even open systems sometimes don’t share enough key data points to allow effective integration.”  “When you’re buying technology, you must ask very specific questions about integration.”

A security officer’s knowledge level about technology can surprise a property manager as well. “When we first began integrating VSS-Trax, half of our officers didn’t know how to use the software.” “We incorporated specific training to make sure that all officers were trained before we installed new equipment.”

The Cost of Security
Property managers agree that buildings must execute a security strategy adequate to the task of mitigating a building’s security risks.

Depending upon the prevailing market rents for particular classes of buildings in certain locations, a property manager may or may not be able to recover security costs through rents.

The consequence is that you must have an appropriate level of security for the type of building, location, and client or you will not be able to lease the building. If you can’t cover the cost in the rent, you have to pay for it!

 

Return on Investment
The cost of security and the difficulties connected to recovering security costs in rents has led property managers to seek ways of creating a security ROI.

“In the long run, security is part of a building’s amenities.” “It increases the marketability of the property. New technology and top-notch guards give me a competitive advantage. That’s how I look at ROI.”

Technically, though, ROI means investing and earning a profit or return. For instance, today’s access control technology can integrate with environmental controls so that a building system can turn on heat or air conditioning in an office when someone cards in after hours or on weekends. The ROI comes from savings on utility bills.

“Security can sometimes offer opportunities to produce an ROI”. “But you have to be careful to take advantage of those opportunities without compromising security. Security has to come first, and sometimes a necessary security execution won’t produce ROI simply because it can’t.”