No need to be a security expert today. Home owners have resources at their fingertips to protect their home and loved ones. Wading through the techno-speak of supposed “home security experts” such as alarm and camera companies, can be daunting. When a homeowner makes the leap, for whatever reason, to upgrade their home security, there are many considerations that go into that final buying decision.
For instance, does a homeowner need both an alarm system and a camera system to truly be safe. Unfortunately there are no guarantees that any piece of physical security hardware will prevent or deter bad things from happening. On the flip side, does a homeowner need an 8 camera system with cloud storage plus a burglar alarm system with redundant detection? Answer: It depends. These decisions are based on budget, need, size of home and grounds, and threats to the family’s safety.
Security expert and consultant Pat Murphy can assist any homeowner with decisions about security. LPT Security Consulting will perform a site assessment of any home to determine any strengths and vulnerabilities that may be present. From that starting point, a customer would be able to understand their options and not be oversold by a company wanting to sell expensive equipment.
The Internet of Things has made it easier than ever to set up a smart home in which you can remotely control your door locks, lawnmowers,lights, thermostats, vacuums, and even pet feeders, using your smartphone and an app. It’s also made it very easy (and relatively affordable) to monitor your home from just about anywhere with a smart security system. Smart security systems are highly customizable and are available as do-it-yourself kits or as full-blown setups that include professional installation and monitoring.
Depending on your needs you can go with a system that you monitor yourself, or pay a subscription fee to have your home monitored 24/7 by professionals who will contact your local fire and police departments when alarms are triggered. Of course, the more coverage you have the more you can expect to pay. Here’s what to look for when deciding how to outfit your home, along with the top systems we’ve tested.
A smart home security system connects to your home Wi-Fi network so you can monitor and control your security devices using your smartphone and an app. Entry-level systems typically include a couple of door and window sensors, a motion detector, and a hub that communicates with these devices using one or more wireless protocols such as Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, or a proprietary mesh network. You can add extra door, motion, and window sensors to provide coverage for your entire house and build a comprehensive system that includes door locks, garage door openers, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens, smoke/CO detectors, water sensors, and more.
The senior management and experts in Loss Prevention and Asset Protection continue to fight the ever-growing problem of Organized Retail Crime (ORC). Organized retail crime has been known in the past a a “fencing operation” but cases like the one cited, are not rare to retailers. These “crews” make a living shoplifting every day from different retailers and move across the country.
Here’s how it works:
The crew shoplifts as much merchandise at one time as they feel is safe to do. We’re not talking about only high end merchandise but goods such as men’s and women’s razors, sudafed-based over the counter analgesics, powered baby formula, batteries and the list is virtually endless.
The crew may have a shopping list given to them by a top level warehouse operation. This is where the stolen merchandise is inspected, sorted, and prepared for shipment to the next higher level. US organized retail crime operations ship a great deal of their merchandise overseas. The bad guys may send the merchandise across the country via US Mail or Fedex and are then paid as little as 10 cents on the dollar.
There is another piece to this operation that may surprise many: dumpster diving. They’re not looking for merchandise, they are looking for clean and like-new shipping boxes. There is a premium for shipping a carton of baby formula in the exact same box it could have come from. On the buyer’s end, the product looks just like it came from the manufacturer.
Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost to organized retail crime annually. The link below is a typical bust of an organized retail crime crew who had targeted Victoria’s Secret.
Retail Loss Prevention and Asset Protection associates and managers need to understand “reasonable force”. The excessive use of force in the civilian security community is frequently the main issue in civil ligation against retail loss prevention personnel, security guards, and bouncers or doormen. While the use of force may be necessary in certain situations that force must be reasonable force. Reasonable force is defined as only the amount of force necessary to overcome the resistance of the detainee. Negligent security cases scrutinize training as to type and documented evidence of understanding the force policy. The term “training” will be subject to interpretation but it could conceivably be anything from a handout to physical restraint training. Verbal instructions provided by management are generally insufficient unless there is a record of that training being given. The best practice for training, regardless of how delivered, is that each attendee document the fact that the topic was covered. This document should be kept in their personnel file.
Closed head trauma and positional asphyxia are the two leading basis for litigation. Closed head trauma occurs when a person usually strikes the back of their head as the result of a fall. Positional asphyxiation occurs when a person’s breathing is restricted because they are being sat upon by a person or, while handcuffed an on their stomach, the person’s own body weight restricts their breathing to the point of unconsciousness and death. (These are not medical opinions but are based on experience in similar cases). These injuries are quite common when an attempt is made to restrain someone to facilitate handcuffing or to hold for police.
As a Security Expert Witness, we can assist both plaintiff and defense attorneys use of force litigation.
We are qualified as an expert in Retail Loss Prevention, Security Guards and Bouncers.
For questions about unnecessary force, please contact our office or visit our Expert Witness page.
Shoplifting is a blight upon retailers. Shoplifting is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in loss to retailers annually. This crime is also firmly entrenched in organized crime that feeds stolen merchandise around the world. The daily risks involved are high stakes.
This information primarily intended for Loss Prevention personnel and store personnel who make apprehensions. The information is anecdotal at best and is intended as awareness to a growing problem. There are no published statistics, even through OSHA, that quantify injuries to store personnel. There is no body of work that accumulates data regarding deaths or serious injury in shoplifter related incidents. These events do happen and with unfortunate frequency.
This summary is ongoing and does not focus on any particular retailer. We do not have any method to determine the accuracy of any content of the articles herein. We have offered no professional opinion regarding of these cases. However, from a Security Expert’s point of view, when a shoplifter dies as a result of an apprehension made by so called “store security”, litigation is sure to follow.
When a store Loss Prevention/Asset Protection associate is murdered, the resounding question is “Why”?
Organizations such as the Loss Prevention Foundation and the Loss Prevention Research Counsel have studied violence in the industry and continue to support awareness and training. I offer the following insights however, this is not meant to be a blanket statement about every retailer nor their employees. Rather it reflects on the fact that despite all efforts, good people make poor decisions. Bad people simply don’t care.
When a Loss Prevention/Asset Protection Associate is murdered:
A culture exists where apprehension count is the barometer of performance. Further, a recovery of merchandise without an apprehension has minimal importance.
Training varies throughout the industry however, documentation of training is absent or incomplete.
The limited use of force, such as redirection only, is disregarded by LP Management. Full contact take-downs and foot chases are still tolerated.
Training for a reasonable use of force is virtually non-existent. This cannot be taught in a class room or through a compliant training partner.
The individual LP/AP associate is simply known to be aggressive and the behavior has never been corrected.
Death by asphyxiation where suspect is restrained in a manner that does not allow them to breathe.
Death by agent/employee attempting to make apprehension of a person in a moving vehicle.
Deadly force by Police and armed contract security guards (death of guards) gives insight into the violent nature of apprehensions.
Police officer deaths: 2.
Wal Mart Greeters: 2.
Not included in this list are deaths attributed to police chases of shoplifters.
Serious injuries far outreach the number of deaths and the use of Tasers and chemical sprays (Mace) is growing in frequency by shoplifters.
2000 – 2017: 84
Top 4 Retailers
Wal-Mart – 30, K-Mart – 7, CVS 5, Rite Aid 4
Our retail loss prevention services offer employee theft investigation training, shoplifting apprehension training, use of force training, shrink initiatives creation, physical security assessments, asset protection, and warehouse security surveys. We also provide security expert witness services for either plaintiff or defense trial attorneys.