Miscellaneous DESC


Debbie Howlett, TrackTik, Network Partner

The year was 1945, and equality between men and women was a core tenet in the United Nations Charter. Seventy-five years later, women and girls still live in a world of gender inequality. 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace, and Security, yet the gender gap remains wide. While the past decades have seen some significant progress for women and girls, change has been inconsistent and uneven. “At the current rate of change, the global gender gap will not close for another 100 years. Change is coming at a pace that is too slow for the women and girls whose lives depend on it,” the Secretary-General warned. 

The gender gap, of course, is not unique to the security industry. Even though the calendar may say 2021, there are many professions still unnecessarily gendered in the public’s opinion, with security officer industry being one of them. Today, it is still perceived as man’s work.

In the security officer industry, however, the gender gap is clearly visible. At present in the US, only 25% of security officers are female and the other 75% of security officers are men. The gap is wider in the UK, where the Security Industry Authority (which is the regulator of the UK’s private security industry) recently released data on the demographics which make up their license holders (as of March 2021). According to statistics, only 10.2% of SIA license holders are female and while the remaining 89.2% of license holders are male. 

According to ISTA (the International Security Training Academy), there are several misconceptions about security officers that may be holding women back from pursuing a career in the security industry. Thanks to Hollywood, security officers are often portrayed in one of two ways: They are either gun-toting, macho mustachioed men racing through parking garages in the dead of night, or they are lazy, unskilled mall cops like Paul Blart, Mall Cop. But Hollywood isn’t real life and the reality is that security officers play a key role in protecting people, property, and communities. During the ongoing pandemic, we have all come to rely on security officers to keep us safe, and the sight of a security officer outside a grocery store, a pharmacy, or an office building fills us with a sense of security. 

Dispelling the myths

  • Myth #1: All security officers are men

Simply not true. While at present, men do take up the majority of available roles in the security officer industry, women are slowly starting to step up and take on valuable roles thanks to their covert presence, calm demeanor, and their ability to empathize with the general public, whose nerves are at all-time high right now. 

  • Myth #2: Security officers need to be built like bodybuilders

In some scenarios, size does matter, such as in roles as bouncers outside pubs and bars, or in situations where a security officer is needed to control a sizable crowd. But there are plenty of other opportunities for women in control rooms, corporate security, areas of loss prevention, and more. 

  • Myth #3: Most of the available work is for late nights and weekends

Right now, while many opportunities in the late-night entertainment and overnight travel industries are on hold, there are still many security positions available in retail stores, government agencies, office buildings, schools, banks, and other locations. A lot of this work is also performed during a typical day, though the need for security officers is typically 24/7.

  • Myth #4: Security work is too dangerous for women

This myth is a huge misconception. What makes security work dangerous is improper training or not equipping your officers with the techniques and communication skills to diffuse potentially difficult situations. Security officers are hired to protect properties, public spaces, residential complexes, and educational institutions. Not typically known for being high-risk areas.

How to inspire change in the security officer industry

The topic of Sexism and Security was a recent Thought Leadership Webinar sponsored by the OSPAs, Perpetuity Research, and TECAs. The panel discussion confirmed that research in the security sector shows that women suffer from different forms of sexism in the security officer industry, with behavior, attitudes, and language just a few examples. According to a recent survey, 64% of female officers have experienced bullying, sexual harassment, and gender-based violence while working in a security role. 

But sexism is not just a women’s issue to be solved by women. Although women don’t talk about it, they do experience it every day. And while there are more women in security than ever before, we need to encourage women to pursue careers in the officer industry by including women in leadership roles. But sometimes, encouraging women is not enough. Women are at least as competent as men, if not more. Still, if the industry wants more women to join their ranks, they need to create support structures and tailor security and mentorship programs directly for women and encourage them to pursue leadership roles. 

Anyone who claims that men make better security officers than women completely misunderstands the role of the modern security officer. The industry has evolved beyond physical characteristics like strength and towering height, and qualities such as communication, empathy, and industry knowledge are critical to present-day security sectors and sought after by employers.

There are also many situations where there is a real need for women security officers. Female spaces, for example, require a female security officer as some women may feel uncomfortable with male officers entering areas like washrooms, changing rooms, or performing pat-downs and searches for which women security officers are required. Finally, female security officers are often seen as less intimidating to other women and children.

Change can be challenging, but it’s possible with training, awareness, and conversation. On April 20, 2021, Saudi Arabia stationed female security officers at Mecca’s Grand Mosque for the first time in history. The decision to station the female officers is a part of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud’s ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ strategic framework reform.  According to political analyst Ali Shihabi, A Saudi female security officer in Makkah supervising pilgrims. Amazing change for Saudi society!

Women need to be encouraged to join a security officer industry committed to diversity and inclusion. There are numerous opportunities for women in security, but this needs to be recognized and championed by the leadership at the top. Education is critical and acknowledging the lack of women in the industry is the first step towards a stronger, more diverse security workforce. 

Resources for Women

SIA: Women in Security Forum Committee

ASIS: Women in Security Community

Women in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group 

Debbie Howlett

Debbie is an experienced writer with a demonstrated history of working in the security industry. She is based in Montreal, Canada, with TrackTik—a dynamic and cutting-edge tech company that sells cloud-based security workforce management software.

Twitter: @TrackTik 



Tony Unfried, CSA360

Over the last 13 months, everyone likely became very wary of hearing the phrase “The New Normal.”  As the world has opened up and the vaccine has started to roll out, the changes we have all experienced haven’t gone away.  The reliance on new and old technology being implemented in the security industry continues to grow.  Looking back on what we have all done, and forging ahead into the future, we can now ask, “What has changed forever in the security industry?”

The Need for Security

The need for security and visitor management systems at a facility has increased. A drastic increase in certain crimes and a global pandemic has intensified the need for physical security even if the facility is empty. The role of a security team and their use of technology became more important than ever with them being tasked with running temperature checks, enforcing masks, and still social distancing. Even in neighborhoods, the increased amount of security surveillance was needed more than ever. What has changed forever though is now we have to monitor empty schools with physical or remote cameras, but still communicate with boots on the ground.


Public health became a new concern for the security industry due to the padmenic. We had a new role of making sure everyone was following social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, and even prescreening all people who enter a building. We now have to consider how to pandemic-proof a facility for the foreseeable future. It is our job to assure that all workers feel safe even from microscopic threats. 

2020 was the year we were forced to adapt. Security guards are essential workers and while most of the US was in quarantine we were on-site securing and monitoring the world. We turned to technology to find a way to make sure security teams were in contact with as few people as possible and finding ways to automate as many processes as possible with technology. The use of visitor management pre-screen and temperature checking kiosks is rising at an exponential rate.
Facial recognition became more common for managing control in big facilities like warehouses and large business buildings. It can be used to grant access into different areas contactless getting rid of biometric readers and keypads which is a possible breeding ground for viruses. 

Security teams are looking to their current software to provide them, even more, use manage facilities.  Paperless incident reports, guard tour checkpoints, push notifications, and contactless visitor management has helped teams adapt to these trying times. Being able to be happening in real-time with your team, your schedule, and the visitors in your facilities gives your team the ability to adapt and be prepared.  This new invasion is what has changed forever.

Tony Unfried, CEO of CSA360, holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs and Criminal Justice from Indiana University, where he graduated with honors. While enrolled in his master’s program, Tony worked for The TJX Companies, Inc., leading the region in loss prevention and moving the company toward technology use in Security. Tony went on to join the most significant security company in Indiana, managing more than 500 employees and 50 sites, including the Indiana Convention Center, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center. Seeing a noticeable gap in technology use in the physical security sector, Tony created his first security software application, launched at the Super Bowl in 2012, and recognized twice for Excellence in Mobile Technology by Techpoint. Tony has also spoken on Tech in Physical Security on panels with ASIS and IAVM.


Jeff Davis, TEAM Software General Manager & Director of Business, CALSAGA Network Partner

Manual screening and submission processes are usually tedious, even if they save you money. Industry-specific software can help you claim budget-saving tax credits easier and faster.

As a security company, it’s likely that labor costs are a significant hit to your annual budget. And, in the labor-intensive security industry, it’s not like you can make drastic cuts to curb labor costs and still maintain your service quality and retain your clients. While all of this may be true, it’s also true that there are tactics you can employ to save money on your bottom line, including leveraging the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program to offset your labor costs. 

WOTC in a Nutshell

If you’re unfamiliar with WOTC, here’s the long and short of it: WOTC is a U.S. federal tax credit designed to promote the hiring of individuals from certain groups who have faced significant barriers to employment. When an individual from a qualifying group is hired, the employer can claim a federal tax credit against the employee’s paid wages, effectively lowering your company’s taxable income so you’re paying fewer taxes and ultimately saving more money.

But, is it worth the effort? 

The answer is a resounding yes. With around 20-30% of employees being eligible for WOTC, there’s a high potential for earned credits your company could be taking advantage of. Let’s say, for example, that your company employs 250 guards. At a standard industry 100% turnover rate, it is estimated you could be seeing tax credit savings up to $40,000, as you can qualify for up to $9,600 in tax credit per eligible hire. 

The effort — made easy. 

Once you know the benefits, you want to simplify the process of claiming those credits as much as possible. It’s a process that can be labor-intensive, especially if you have to manually collect and collate data from multiple tracking systems. Integrated technology solutions help by:

  • Logging your new hire in your software system.
  • Automatically screening new hires.
  • Submitting your payroll data. 
  • Collecting your tax credits. 

As an added bonus, applicant tracking and onboarding solutions can directly embed WOTC into your onboarding process, eliminating the need to send links to employees altogether and automatically screening 100% of your new-hires for eligibility. While these solutions aren’t technically required when claiming tax credits, they can help do the legwork for you, so you can claim your credits faster. Either way, the potential of earned credits you could be missing out on is worth the steps it takes to identify eligible employees and file their information appropriately. 

Remember, it’s important to do your own research, and consult your own legal and tax advisors when necessary, too. For more information on the WOTC tax credit, visit the United States Department of Labor WOTC page. For an estimate on just how much your company could be saving through tax credits like these, test out our calculator tool at teamsoftware.com/wotc-roi-calculator


Jeff Davis, TEAM Software, CALSAGA Network Partner

Understanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and how to apply it to your business could mean significant savings on your labor costs. 

When labor is your top expense, like it is in the contract security industry, anythisng you can do to control those that costs is going to have a positive impact on your bottom line. Even though your labor costs may increase, you can’t just increase prices for your customers when they can easily find another service provider willing to charge less. One way to help offset labor costs is through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program.

WOTC is a U.S. federal tax credit designed to promote the hiring of individuals from certain groups who have faced significant barriers to employment. When an employer hires a qualifying employee who meets WOTC criteria, they can claim a federal tax credit against the employee’s paid wages. According to the Department of Labor, over two million WOTC certifications were issued in 2019.

While it may sound simple, there is a learning curve to understanding all the complexities of the program. Here is a quick overview to help you get started with WOTC.

Which of Your Hires are Eligible?

The first step to understanding WOTC is having a basic understanding of who’s eligible for the program. Under WOTC guidelines outlined by the IRS, qualified groups include:

  • Qualified veterans
  • Ex-felons
  • Qualified long-term unemployment recipients
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients
  • Qualified IV-A recipients
  • Designated Community Residents (DCR)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Referrals
  • Summer Youth Employees
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients
  • Long-term family assistance recipients

Specifically looking at qualified veterans, that includes individuals who meet specific unemployment criteria including but not limited to being unemployed for at least four weeks prior to being hired;, being a service-connected disabled veteran; and being a member of a family who receives assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Potential Savings to Your Security Company

According to the Employment Development Department of California, depending on the target group eligibility of the person hired, wages and the number of hours worked, WOTC allows businesses to claim tax credits up to $9,600 of qualified wages per eligible employee, which can be deducted from taxable income. WOTC is especially beneficial for security contract companies due to the number of veterans who pursue a career in the security industry after they’re done serving in the military. As of 2020, over 1.5 million veterans live in California alone. WOTC is also particularly helpful for companies with high employee turnover and new hire rates. Because you can file a claim for any eligible new hire who works at least 120 hours, employers that are continually bringing on new employees can use WOTC to help offset onboarding and recruiting costs. 

How Do I Set Up WOTC Filing for My Company? 

In order to claim WOTC for eligible employees, you must file certification request applications with the state workforce agencies within 28 calendar days of the new hire’s start date. You can find specific submission instructions on California’s workforce agency website. Navigating the WOTC process, especially if you’ve never filed before, can seem daunting. It’s important to verify all steps of the process are followed correctly and to partner with companies that can simplify the process if you don’t have the ability to do it in-house. And, if you use a security industry-specific ERP as your one source of record, you already have all the information you need in one place.

TEAM Software is dedicated to ensuring our software solutions meet the ever-changing needs of our customers. We’re also continually working to bring you relevant content to help you manage your business better by taking advantage of programs like WOTC. While we’re committed to keeping you informed, it’s important to do your own research, and consult your own legal and tax advisors when necessary, too. For more information on the WOTC tax credit, visit the United States Department of Labor WOTC page.


Chris Anderson, Industry Expert, Thinkcurity, Silvertrac, Network Partner

For a long time, the contract security industry has faced fierce competition. A limited number of large companies dominate the market and hundreds of other security guard businesses battle for what’s left of the contracts. 

2020 is no different. The top 5 security guard companies account for $17.1 billion of the $28 billion contract security market. For every other security company, staying on top of trends is critical for success in the industry. 

Robert Perry’s white paper on the U.S. Contract Security Industry is one of the best resources to follow these trends. One opportunity in the security industry that the paper talks about is contract security companies winning contracts with businesses that currently use in-house security. 

There is an estimated $15 billion in potential revenue from converting in-house security to contract security. But many security guard companies are not moving on this opportunity. 

This article will look at 3 advantages of contract security over in-house security. You can work these advantages into your sales strategy to win more contracts with these businesses. 

  1. Cheaper Security Costs 
  2. More Experience & Training 
  3. Security Technology 

If you want more information on this topic and other trends in the security industry, you can watch the on-demand Thinkcurity Virtual Physical Security Summit. Robert Perry, the Day 1 keynote speaker, reviewed the 2020 white paper as well as how to have long-term success in the contract security industry. 

  1.  Cheaper Security Costs

If you run your own security business, you know that business owners are constantly thinking about their bottom line. One of the biggest advantages for a company to use contract security services, instead of keeping it in-house, is that it is much cheaper. 

In-house security requires a business to cover all kinds of extra costs like recruiting, onboarding, training, insurance, and benefits. Hiring 1 employee costs an employer an average of around $4,000, and healthcare benefits can be as much as 9% of employer costs per employee. 

Contract security is often sold as one flat, hourly guard rate. Not only are you providing the security guard and paying their salary, you also cover all of the associated costs with maintaining the roster, working them into that flat, hourly rate. 

When a company hires security officers in-house, they need to be extra careful when they decide to change their roster size. As a contract security provider, you can easily increase or decrease coverage for a client as needed. 

Lastly, contract security companies can more easily offer additional security services. Take mobile patrols for example. An in-house team would have to invest in the vehicle itself, any extra training or licensing, and other costs. 

As a contract security provider, you either already have mobile patrol teams in place or can more easily subcontract a company that offers mobile patrols. Plus, since you are spreading the cost across your entire business, it keeps the rates lower for a client, making them even more likely to give you the contract. 

More Experience & Training

Highlighting the experience and training your security guards have is one of the best cases you can make to win a contract from a company currently using an in-house team. Of course the first step is making sure that your guards and supervisors are properly trained. 

Thinkcurity is a great resource for general knowledge like training security supervisors to be true leaders. On top of that, training that is backed up with certifications is very helpful. Organizations like CALSAGA and ASIS can provide your officers with certified training that will look great to any potential client. 

When you have experienced officers, you will stand out in the industry and will be in a good position to win contracts – even without being the lowest bid. If you trust the quality of service provided by the officers you employ, you can wow a potential client even further by showing the steps you take to have high accountability and transparency in your operation. 

Experience means more than just the amount of years each one of your security guards has worked in the industry. Your experience as an owner is a huge value add to a company whose focus is not on security services. 

Because of this, if you’re looking to win over in-house contracts, start with businesses that are in industries or require services that you have the most experience in. Your resume as a security service provider in the specific areas they need help with will be a very convincing argument even before you get to talking about your rates. 

Security Technology

Technology is becoming more and more important to the private security industry every year. 

Depending on the size of your security company and what kind of services you offer, there is a wide range of security technology and software solutions you can use to improve operations. 

Regardless of size, every guard company should have some level of security incident reporting software. Small operations need at least a simple software to collect good data from the field and keep track of guards during guard tours. 

Larger security companies probably will require more sophisticated security software. Command center (GSOC) and visitor management features are key to handling larger contracts with more specific needs. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is becoming more popular in security – especially with tools like AI integrations with remote guarding. 

Whatever security technology you have incorporated into your business can give you an advantage when trying to win over an in-house security contract. Already having technology that’s worked into your guard rate is likely to be appealing to a potential client. 


With all of the competition in the private security industry, keeping your eyes open for new opportunities is critical to growth and long-term success for your security company. If you are interested in going after in-house security contracts, these 3 advantages should absolutely be highlighted during the proposal process. 

Still want more hands-on advice? Make sure to watch the on-demand Virtual Physical Security Summit and tune-in to Robert Perry’s keynote speech on long-term success in the security industry. 

Chris is the Founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with our clients everyday to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing. Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.


Chris Anderson, Silvertrac Software, CALSAGA Network Partner

Keeping people and property protected is the most important service that private security provides.

In any tense situation where there’s potential for violence, de-escalation needs to be the priority, not just one of many options. To make sure this happens, your entire security operation needs to be on the same page about how to respond to and de-escalate tense situations.

This article will cover some basic strategies your security guards can use to keep tense situations calm and prevent violence or injury.

  1. Escalation Warning Signs
  2. Steps to De-Escalation
  3. What Not to Do in Threatening Situations

Once you start implementing these strategies in your operation, training your officers on them should be the highest priority. Well-trained guards, supervisors, and managers will be able to better execute de-escalation strategies.

Escalation Warning Signs

In the private security industry, there’s a good chance your security guards will be in potentially dangerous situations. That’s why having strong situational awareness is incredibly important.

Here are some of the most common warning signs that a person might escalate a situation in the field:

  • Direct threats
  • Bragging about previous violent encounters
  • Yelling
  • Extensive profanity
  • Violating security guard’s personal space
  • Finger pointing
  • Heavy breathing/flaring nostrils
  • Making fists


These are the most obvious signs that a situation could escalate. But there are less obvious signs that are just as common:

  • Higher tone of voice
  • Laughter at odd/inappropriate times
  • Refusing to make eye contact
  • Tensing body

Making sure that your security guards who work in the field are aware of these warning signs. It will make dealing with dangerous situations that much easier.

7 Steps to De-Escalate Situations

Staying calm in a potentially threatening or dangerous situation is a lot easier said than done. It’s completely normal for security guards to want to fight fire with fire and stand their ground.

But this is only going to make the situation worse. If a guard responds aggressively, the person they’re dealing with will want to respond even more aggressively back.

These 7 steps will help any security operation be better equipped to handle sticky situations and keep everyone safe.

1. Prepare

Having a plan for your security teams to follow in threatening situations has a lot of benefits. Following a plan can minimize mistakes, give officers confidence, and keep them calm. Using past situations to help develop your plans will make them even better

Things to consider in these plans include knowing when to call for backup, when using physical force should be considered, and how to communicate. Once you have a solid plan in place, make sure all security officers are trained well to implement that plan.

2. Understand

Whether a security officer is trying to remove a homeless loiterer, a violent criminal, or an aggressive soccer mom, it’s important to look past the person’s actions. Looking at everyone as people first – even in tense situations – will make them feel like someone actually wants to help them.

If anything an officer says or does comes off as judgmental, the person they are trying to calm down will see the situation as a struggle instead of an attempt to find a solution. If the officer’s goal is to keep everyone calm, escalation is a lot less likely.

3. Listen

The #1 rule for listening is to not interrupt. But it’s more than just letting an angry person rant and yell. People need to feel like they’re actually being heard. Security guards dealing with an angry person should practice active listening.

Maintaining eye contact will keep guards focused and show the person that someone is paying attention to them.

Repeating what they say back to them makes sure the security guard knows what the person is trying to say, not just guessing.

4. Communicate

Communication is not just about the words you say. Studies show that communication is only 7% verbal. The rest comes down to how things are said and body language.

Your security guards need to pay attention to every aspect of how they communicate. Doing things like keeping a calm tone of voice or standing further back will communicate that the security guard is not a threat and wants to help.

When asking questions, giving people plenty of time to respond can make a huge difference. Not only will the security guard be practicing patience and keeping calm, the problem person won’t feel rushed.

5. Collaborate

Even the most aggressive or threatening person is more likely to respond better when they feel like someone is genuinely trying to help them. Again, an officer’s main priority should be peacefully resolving the situation, not using force.

Using phrases like “let’s figure out how we can fix this problem together” shows that the officer is willing to work with the person. Asking questions to better understand why the person is mad in the first place can help the officer come up with the best solution.

Offering solutions to the problem based on what the person has said shows the security officer is actually trying to help or mitigate  the situation.

6. Document

Documenting a problem interaction can make all the difference. If the situation turns violent, having documentation can help later on in potential lawsuits or interactions with law enforcement.

Using a guard management software like Silvertrac will allow security guards to record audio, take notes, and take pictures to make sure the entire story gets told.

To keep the situation calm, it’s always best to ask or inform the problem person that they will be recorded. If they start to escalate in response, taking notes and/or making sure backup is nearby are good alternatives.

7. Debrief

Talking about tense situations as a team is super important. Getting feedback from guards in the field can help update and improve de-escalation preparedness in the future.

This is a great time to get more buy-in from your security guards since they will get to play a part in developing strategy.

What Not To Do

Knowing what not to do in potentially threatening situations is also important. Here are a few tips of things to avoid when dealing with an escalating situation.

  • Don’t make false promises. Promises, in general, are probably better to avoid.
  • Don’t interrupt. This is so important it’s in here twice. Interruption is one of the quickest ways to start escalating an already tense situation.
  • Don’t make any type of threat. Again, the goal is to resolve the situation without violence. Threats make that less likely.
  • Don’t show visible frustration. The problem person will respond better to an already calm security officer.
  • Don’t say stereotypical lines like “calm down” or “just breathe.” These phrases can actually cause a negative response and make the situation worse.

One Last Word

These are great tips for trying to keep situations calm and people safe. But we know this won’t prevent every bad situation from getting out of hand.

Violent and tense situations are inevitable in the private security industry. Having a good grasp on every strategy and option will help security teams have the best response in any situation. Knowing how to respond appropriately will keep your security guards safe and your clients happy.


Anne Laguzza, M.A., CEO of The Works Consulting, CALSAGA Network Partner

Play or plan?

How you spend August will set the tone for your business’ future.

Several years ago, I was challenged by a mentor with this very statement. I was skeptical at first. How could a month typically spent by most of the world cramming in last minute vacations impact my business in such a meaningful way? August is in the middle of the third quarter. Not well-known as the month leaders grind on their goals. But, that is the very reason why August is a game-changer.

If you choose to shift up when other business leaders are shifting down, you will gain valuable momentum toward achieving your goals. Especially now when so many leaders are stuck in survival mode, making the choice to strategize and plan for the future instead will set you apart.

Make the most of August by focusing on three essential areas of your business:

  1. Re-evaluate and re-establish core valuesYour core values as a leader guide your actions and inform how you lead your team. When applied appropriately, your values can have a powerful impact and contribute to the greater good of your team, organization and community.

Now is a great time to reassess your core values and gauge whether they’re the correct fit for your team now and into the future. The values you re-establish should raise and set new standards, simplify decision making procedures, and clarify communication and expectations. Values like these will focus your actions and support your team in performing well.


  1. Focus on your differentiator

If a potential client asked you what makes your business different from another, would you be able to answer them? Having a strong answer to this question could be the difference between signing on that client or losing the deal.

The key to formulating a strong differentiator or value proposition is identifying your business’ strengths and how those strengths solve your clients’ problems.

What does your team do well?
What positive feedback have your clients given you in the past?
What benefits do your services provide your clients?

When you’re able to connect your value as the solution to a client’s problem and explain why you’re the preferred service provider, you can successfully differentiate your business from the competition.

Beyond leveraging your differentiator in new business meetings, it’s important that you also articulate what makes your company different to your employees. This will help to clearly set expectations of performance as well as instill a sense of identity. Then, lead by example. You as the leader will need to live out this differentiator.

  1. Re-evaluate hiring practices

The employment market has shifted. Now with many people looking for new jobs, you will need to re-evaluate your hiring practices.

Because of this increase in people looking for work, it is easy to let quantity get confused with quality. The reason quantity gets confused with quality is because people often don’t realize that leaders do not let go of their high performers unless they absolutely have to.

Do not let the illusion of plenty cloud the ability to see the few who will be best suited for your company culture. Stay vigilant in looking for the best quality when hiring for a new position. The values a potential hire demonstrates during the interview process must match the values you have spent time and effort instilling in your company’s culture. Do not accept anything less.

Take time now to properly prepare for the hiring process. The clearer you are on what you need from that position and the skills required the easier it will be to identify the ideal candidate in an overwhelming stack of applications.

Now can be an easy time for leaders to relax, to get hypnotized or caught up in the moment. Instead, do what successful leaders are doing right now and stick to your strict hiring process of only accepting the best.

It may be challenging short term, but it will lead to long term wins when you bring quality people in to reinforce your culture.

As the saying goes, if you want something you’ve never had you’ll have to do something you’ve never done. So several years ago, I made a conscious decision. I made August a platform to launch into the fourth quarter with intention and momentum just as I’m recommending that you do. The end result was a fourth quarter like I’ve never experienced before. I exceeded my goals, expanded my team and moved into a new office space.

Now is not the time to settle, now is the time to succeed. And you can absolutely succeed right now. The secret is simply in doing what you’ve never done before. Spend August investing in your business and reap the success of planning instead of playing.


Anne Laguzza is the CEO of The Works Consulting. As a seasoned business executive with human resources management, leadership development, and performance coaching experience, Anne works with clients from a variety of industries to develop better systems, maximize employee productivity, and enable management to focus on business growth.


Prior to founding The Works Consulting in 2001, Anne served as the Regional Human Resources Director for a Fortune 500 distribution company where she led a merger transition team and was responsible for strategic planning, implementing new policies and procedures, workforce restructuring, compensation structures, and integrating the work cultures for over 600 employees.


In addition, Anne was formerly the Human Resources and Training Director for a start-up entertainment company where she organized and implemented a company-wide change management program that involved new company direction and strategic planning. Prior to her work in the entertainment industry, Anne served as the Regional Training Manager for a nationwide retailer where she developed and launched a multi-state training program for human resources managers as part of a corporate expansion project.


Anne earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Antioch University, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management, and is the Board Chair for Harbor Interfaith Services and a Board Manager for the YMCA, Los Altos. Anne has taught human resources and management courses at Long Beach City College and California State University, Dominguez Hills, and volunteers at non-profit organizations teaching interviewing skills to adults seeking re-entry into the workforce.


Social Media Links:

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/annelaguzza/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheWorksHR/

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/annelaguzza/



Mark Folmer, TrackTik, CALSAGA Network Partner

While the COVID-19 crisis takes an increasingly devastating toll on the most vulnerable in our society, it is also striking the most resilient: our law enforcement officers. In New York City alone, one out of every six police officers is out sick or in quarantine. In early April, there were more than 1,500 individuals, including 2 police chiefs, and the deputy commissioner in charge of counterterrorism, out of 36,000 NYPD officers, infected with the virus. Across the country, police departments in Detroit, Houston, and Los Angeles are facing similar challenges, but none that matches the magnitude experienced by what has become the epicenter of COVID-19.

With private security companies and their teams of security officers being called upon to provide additional security and support to assist law enforcement, the security industry is quickly pivoting from planning and prevention to response. Security guards are now maintaining social distancing and performing other health and safety checks at hospitals, government facilities, and essential businesses. They are also protecting non-essential businesses such as schools, retail stores, and office buildings that have been closed but still require security. Yet despite the fact that these new public-facing roles come with increased exposure and risks to personal and mental health and safety, security officers are still showing up for work every day.


CovidCrime is Real
As law enforcement struggles to keep up with the evolving crisis, and individuals are being asked to isolate at home, some criminals are taking advantage of shuttered businesses and deserted streets, leading many law enforcement agencies to urge businesses and commercial property owners to take proactive measures in preventing their properties from being targeted by a wave of what’s been dubbed “CovidCrime.” So, some closed businesses with storefronts have already started to board up their windows. Other suggested measures include increasing lightning, upgrading entrance locks and security systems, or keeping staff on premise during the daytime hours and hiring private security officers for the overnight hours. To reduce the increased financial burden of extra security, some businesses have started to pool resources, or share services with other tenants in the same building or geographic area. Giving security officers clear and up-to-date instructions is more important than ever considering that in many situations, they may be working alone.


Threat Risk Assessment

As the crisis evolves, it may be time to review your threat risk assessment (TRA). With “CovidCrime” spreading around the world, security companies need to address potential risks. A good TRA identifies exposure by analyzing security weaknesses and taking action to manage the risk and reduce the impact of any threats. The standard process of a comprehensive TRA consists of asset identification, threat analysis, risk assessment, and risk management.

While many aspects of a traditional TRA still apply, during a pandemic, you may want to consider:

  • Restricting access to and/or monitor entry points
  • Controlling secure areas
  • Reviewing access points
  • Performing random checks for unauthorized access
  • Verifying alarm systems and fire detectors
  • Monitoring entry points via security cameras
  • Implementing measures to prevent unauthorized people from accessing secure areas

To pinpoint what areas or access points need to be monitored and secured, it’s important to rely on accurate historical incident data.


Take Advantage of Technology

With the need and deployment of security guard services growing rapidly right now, there’s no better time to take advantage of the available security technology on the market. Look for technologies that enable your security guard firm or in-house security team to simplify operations, drive transparency, and support accountability. The larger a workforce becomes, it is important to streamline scheduling for a large, diverse, and mobile security workforce to reduce the number of human interactions; however it is too complex to do without the proper tools and the likelihood that you have various staff members now working from home.


Pivoting Your Business Model

If there was ever a time to take a long, hard look at your business model, it’s now. Have you been thinking about diversifying your small- to medium-sized business? Expanding your reach from high-end retail guarding to providing door security at luxury condominiums to guards for gated communities? If the shuttering of high-end retail stores has furloughed your team, what about exploring the myriad of new guard duties presented by the pandemic. With most of the retail industry on pause, guards are now considered essential services outside hospitals, supermarkets, drug stores, hardware stores, and many other locations that were virtually unheard of six weeks ago. Consider the training and equipment needs of these positions to ascertain if your team is capable and equipped to step in and handle any new opportunities that come your way. Chances are, they are.

Right now, there is an increased demand for security guards in sectors like healthcare, grocers, and some hotel properties while there is a decrease in the education, aviation, travel, and hospitality sectors. However, as more businesses start to gradually open up, so will new guarding opportunities. With much talk of a “new normal,” in the early days of opening up the economy, we may likely experience an increased security presence reminiscent of what happened during after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We may be asked to provide more identification upon entering public buildings, our temperatures may be taken prior to entry, and the number of people allowed to enter may be restricted which is where the security industry will be asked to step up just as the private sector has stepped up.

Fanatics, the company that makes the official uniforms for Major League Baseball, is now using the material it uses to make jerseys to make masks and hospital gowns. The first set of jerseys were made with material originally intended to make jerseys for the Phillies and Yankees.

Image Options, a leading Silicon Valley visual communications company has gone from building installations for trade shows and office environments to producing PPE to help healthcare professionals fighting COVID-19. The company recently unveiled a new checkout shield to help protect cashiers at grocery and retail stores.

Nike has also joined in the effort by making face shields from shoe collar padding, clothing cords, and the soles from Nike Air shoes.

L’Oréal, one of the world’s largest beauty producers, announced in mid-March that it will use its manufacturing facilities to make hand sanitizer and hydroalcoholic gel throughout Europe.

The value of security has never been greater than it is right now, but security companies and the industry in general should be prepared for a marathon not a sprint to the finish line. We should be prepared to adjust our business and delivery models, and be nimble and open to pursuing new lines of business as they present themselves in the coming weeks and months. It’s never too late to expand your service offering and make your security teams available for new and unconventional duties. The security industry is quickly emerging as a business enabler––helping existing businesses get safely and securely back to work––by demonstrating that we continue to be operational and responsive in a time of pandemic.

While it may be tempting to focus on the negative aspects of the crisis we are all currently facing, a more positive approach might be to take this opportunity to step back, take stock, and deliver more.

Do you want to know how the security industry is reacting to Covid-19? Fill out this 5 minute survey and we’ll share the insights with you!”

Mark was named to the prestigious IFSEC Global influencers list in 2018 & 2019 for “Security Thought Leadership”. He is also a highly active international security figure, member of ASIS and a Fellow of the UK Security Institute, as well as a world renown data-driven Operations & Security leadership expert. Mark is based in Montreal, Canada with TrackTiK, a dynamic and cutting edge tech company. Mark is also a lecturer and commentator on global security issues.



Anne L. Laguzza, M.A., The Works Consulting, CALSAGA Network Partner

While many are staying “safer at home,” your officers have been deemed essential and continue working to uphold the mission to protect property and environment. As a leader, you may be feeling the strain of operating beyond business as usual. Your officers may be feeling apprehensive about their normal posts.

In this challenging time, everyone is impacted both personally and professionally, even leaders. Everything is different. Actively managing your officers is critical to serving your clients but equally as important is supporting your officers as they perform their duties during these unprecedented circumstances.

Follow these five tips to actively manage your officers and support them well:

  1. Communicate Daily

Communication is a critical component of actively managing your officers. When uncertainty is prevalent, regular communication solves issues, often before they arise, and instills confidence in your workforce.

Using technology is key to staying in contact with your officers. Go beyond text messages and have a voice conversation. This extra step is critical to conveying empathy, understanding and taking a moment to value the officer, especially for officers who work solo without seeing anyone in management for weeks or months and can get disconnected quickly.

Your officers are likely to have questions. Have your officer’s duties changed at their post? Are there new health guidelines or safety protocols they must follow? Do they still report to the same person? If they worked with other officers before, will those shifts now be solo?

Communicate any changes in post directions, check in to see how they’re doing and inquire if they have any questions or need additional support.


  1. Convey Appreciation

Conveying your appreciation for these “essential” workers who continue to show up day after day while many people they know are staying “safer at home” is another critical component of actively managing your officers while also supporting them. You can do so much to make your officers feel valued and important with very little effort or cost.

When I worked internally in the industry, my job was to turn around morale and reduce employee complaints among the 600 employees. I was able to do both, just by recognizing the “human” in these officers and treating them with respect with every interaction. The president of our company was very good at getting out in the field and communicating with officers and shaking hands. These interactions made our employees feel valued and important.

Although you cannot shake hands with your officers right now due to social distancing, a phone call or other personalized communication to individual officers from the leader of your company to say thank you for continuing to serve during these unprecedented times will go a long way in ensuring your officers feel valued.


  1. Set Expectations While Understanding

Although the climate in which your officers are working in is unique, the best way to support them is to still set clear expectations while being understanding.

Your officers still need you to continue managing them, communicating expectations and keeping them accountable but with a general understanding that the unusual circumstances may result in your officers doing things that they have never done before because the situation warrants it.

Be open minded – look at the entire situation – and make decisions that are the best for the employee, the company and the client. Being flexible and expressing that you understand will make your officers feel supported when they need it most.


  1. Provide Additional Resources

Everyone processes circumstances differently. Providing additional resources, like an employee assistance program, is an impactful way to support your officers through challenging, extraordinary times.An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments for mental and emotional well-being, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

As a leader, you may be so focused on supporting your teams through these challenging times that you might not realize that you are under a little more pressure than normal yourself.

It’s important for you as a leader to take actions that support your well-being. Debrief with fellow CALSAGA members. Connect with friends and family. Do something you enjoy in your free time. When you prioritize your well-being, you’ll be able to lead your teams well.

Taking time to actively manage your officers while thoughtfully supporting them during these challenging times will ensure that you and your officers serve your clients well now and come out stronger when this is all over.

Thank you for all you and your officers do for our communities!

Anne Laguzza is the President of The Works Consulting. As a seasoned business executive with human resources management, leadership development, and performance coaching experience, Anne works with clients from a variety of industries to develop better systems, maximize employee productivity, and enable management to focus on business growth.

Prior to founding The Works Consulting in 2001, Anne served as the Regional Human Resources Director for a Fortune 500 distribution company where she led a merger transition team and was responsible for strategic planning, implementing new policies and procedures, workforce restructuring, compensation structures, and integrating the work cultures for over 600 employees.

In addition, Anne was formerly the Human Resources and Training Director for a start-up entertainment company where she organized and implemented a company-wide change management program that involved new company direction and strategic planning. Prior to her work in the entertainment industry, Anne served as the Regional Training Manager for a nationwide retailer where she developed and launched a multi-state training program for human resources managers as part of a corporate expansion project.

Anne earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Antioch University, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management, and is a board member for Harbor Interfaith Services and an advisory board member for Arthritis National Research Foundation. Anne has taught human resources and management courses at Long Beach City College and California State University, Dominguez Hills, and volunteers at non-profit organizations teaching interviewing skills to adults seeking re-entry into the workforce.


Mark Folmer, TrackTik, CALSAGA Network Partner

In the aftermath of a string of attacks targeting various communities around the United States, many state officials are calling for more protection. In New York state, for example, the governor has announced increased patrols by the state police in communities to counter what he calls “domestic terrorism.” Several state lawmakers across the United States have also asked the National Guard to visibly patrol and protect communities.

In Long Beach, California police will increase visibility and perform additional patrols and have asked the public to alert police if they see anything suspicious. Los Angeles officials have also modified how they respond to world conflicts and terrorist acts as tactics change. Post-9/11, authorities focused on protecting large-scale targets like high-rises, famous landmarks, and airports. They are now looking more at “soft targets” after several attacks targeting crowds of people celebrating in their communities and pedestrians have occurred. Security is also being beefed up at the Los Angeles port and LAX.

Community Involvement

But it’s not just physical security that officials are changing. Some communities are creating neighbourhood safety coalitions, or neighborhood watch programs, which will allow communities to work together to catch signs of crime and violence and report them before anything happens.

“If you see something, say something™?” which became the unofficial slogan of post-9/11 America, is a national campaign that raises public awareness of the indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, as well as the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement. In the wake of the recent communal attacks, public awareness matters now more than ever.

A few ways you can help keep your community safe: pay attention to your surroundings, get to know the neighbors, use timers on lights inside your home, install motion-sensors on lights outside your home, and never post your vacation dates on social media. As you spend time in and around the community, if you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, say something. By being alert and reporting suspicious activity to your local law enforcement or security officials, you can protect your family, your neighbors, and your community.

Public safety and security is everyone’s responsibility though. If you see suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement or a person of authority:

  • Who did you see?
  • What did you see?
  • When did you see it?
  • Where did it occur?
  • Why is it suspicious?

The Role of Security Companies

Security companies can also play an integral role in keeping your community and property secure and safe. Many security companies, often working in collaboration with local police, offer home protection programs designed to deter and respond to criminal activity, safeguard homes and properties, and encourage residents to collectively protect their communities.

When hiring a security company, here are a few qualities that you should look for:

Reputable Industry Provider

It’s important to find a reputable and trustworthy service, regardless of the size of the company. Look for a security company that provides excellent customer service, has a solid reputation with positive reviews, and values client feedback. A quick Google search could reveal a company’s reputation through Linkedin and Facebook reviews.

Trained and Certified Guards

Ask your prospective security company about the qualifications of their staff. It’s important that the security company provides guards that are well-trained and vigilant. Extensive training and discipline can set a top security guard apart from the rest. Be sure to check for certificates and licenses to know how much training the security guard has. If the guards are authorized to carry firearms, additional qualifications and carry permits may be required. Trained security guards know how to respond to crime and how to address any criminal activity like theft or vandalism.

Innovative Technology

Is the company up-to-date with the latest innovations in security technology? Most security companies promise that their guards are always on-time, stay alert, and respond appropriately when an incident occurs. But that promise should be backed up by what should be standard in the security industry–a security solution that verifies check-in/check-out, documents patrols and duties, . You should make sure the company has the ability to track guard activity with GPS tracking which provides a dynamic, real-time map of the location of guards at all times.


With police departments under increasing pressure to protect communities, despite reduced budgets and staff, many security organizations believe that the future of community security lies in improved public-private partnerships. Right now, police departments around the country spend more time dealing with noise complaints and rescuing cats from trees than solving crimes and enforcing law. So it just makes good sense to use private security officers to support state, county, and municipal policies agencies where they can make an impact on the safety and security of our communities.

Securing our communities shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of any one organization though. It should be a partnership between the citizens of the community working together with police agencies and security companies. Protecting our communities is not just about preventing crime. It’s also for the well-being of all the families in the community thanks to private security’s contribution to safety.


Mark was named to the prestigious IFSEC Global influencers list in 2018 & 2019 for “Security Thought Leadership”. He is also a highly active international security figure, member of ASIS and a Fellow of the UK Security Institute, as well as a world renown data-driven Operations & Security leadership expert. Mark is based in Montreal, Canada with TrackTiK, a dynamic and cutting edge tech company. Mark is also a lecturer and commentator on global security issues.