New technology fills a gap for security officers

Security professionals need more effective tools that enable them to safely do their jobs

In setting up his guard force and establishing protection service agreements, Norris recognized a need to empower his guards by giving them the best situational and tactical perspectives and training for risk mitigation. As a company owner, I want our guards to put their best foot forward and I can’t ask them to do that without the proper tools,” says Norris.  He knows that a well-equipped and well-trained staff will make better decisions on the job.

Offering protection to residential clients, Norris was sensitive about issuing firearms to guards in family homes but he needed a solution to mitigate risk during home response, so he began to search for risk appropriate alternatives to empower his staff.

Initially, he armed his staff with batons, but was uncomfortable with the potential liability his company could face following the use of an impact weapon. Norris also considered using a popular model of contact stun devices, but the $1,500 price tag on a camera-equipped conducted electrical weapon (CEW) was not cost-effective and was considered too aggressive for the risk mitigation process.

Enhanced Technology

At a meeting of the Arizona Private Security Professionals Association, Norris saw a demo of a locally produced Enhanced Non-Lethal (ENL) device. The ENL- in this case a G8 Pro V2 manufactured by Guardian 8 - was a lightweight, duty-belt device designed to give guards a single tool that provides multiple layers of defense, a command center communication link and automatic incident recording capability.

After the meeting, Norris could not tell if his colleagues at the meeting understood the impact of the technology they had witnessed, but he saw an immediate fit for ENLs in his organization. “To combine all those features into one unit; I was happy to see someone was thinking on the level that I was,” he says. The sub-$300 price tag also fit the economic needs of his growing company.  

Tailored to the private security market, ENLs enable users to interact and communicate with potential threats while also alerting and communicating with authorities and their own central command center. As a situational awareness and response technology solution, guards can access push-to-talk connectivity with support personnel, capturing audio and still images automatically every time the unit is armed.

With a combination of low-impact tools, ENLs provide a layered defense (as an alternative to force) from up to 50 feet away, establishing overlapping protection zones with increasing levels of non-lethal response. These layered defense levels include:

  • Level 1 Laser spotter, camera and auto-record functionality can be used to try to modify a subject’s behavior. 
  • Level 2 – The ENL can send a pre-recorded message via the user’s mobile phone and enable push-to-talk capabilities. An alerting siren and strobe light can also be used to call attention to the incident and disorient the subject. 
  • Level 3 – Users can activate OC pepper spray to affect aggressive subjects from up to 10 feet away.

Breaking from Tradition - ENL in Action

Initially, Norris purchased five G8 Pro V2 units for his staff, implementing them with guards immediately. He knew he was adopting a pioneering technology, but felt confident with his decision. “Other companies look at technology purchases as an expense, but I see the ENL device as an insurance policy on my guys’ health and well-being, ensuring they have the ability to address issues as they see fit,” says Norris.

He found the adoption of ENLs was different from traditional tools in the security realm.  Norris adds, “To get used to it, we had to break away from tradition. The old guard is used to the baton. As we move forward, we’ve got to look at risk mitigation.”

The device raises the confidence level of guards at King Asset Protection, and provides an advantage for evidentiary retention. “A lot of the time, what prevents guards from stepping up and doing the right thing is that it could be their word against someone else’s. Recording and capturing audio and video empowers my guards to make great decisions,” says Norris, who views the ENL as a force multiplier. “As a small company, it allowed me to take 15 guys and make it feel like we had 115 guys. Because of the communication and auto-record functionality, our security was far ahead of everyone else’s.”