Guard trends to watch in 2022

Feb. 14, 2022
Shifts in work, law enforcement paradigms expected to have a significant impact on physical security teams

The security industry, as the name obviously implies, is focused on crime prevention and deterrence that is instrumental in protecting products, businesses, and people. Right now there is an enormous opportunity for development  in the security industry — with the average projected growth rate for the industry being higher than the national average. As we look at the year ahead, there will be specific aspects of the security industry that will dominate in 2022 and that we as industry leaders need to be aware of and prepared for in order to best serve our clients.

Most imminent and at the center of the national conversation over the past few years — which will continue — has been the use of excessive and unnecessary police force. One of the major shifts in the industry will be to increase de-escalation tactics and training for safety officers and emphasizing this as a first resort. De-escalation training provides security guards with the necessary tools to resolve an emergency without force and it empowers officers to slow down, better assess the situation, and clearly communicate with the perpetrator and to their team. As important, it also helps prevent liability and injuries to security team personnel.

And while having a physical security or human guarding team on site saves time and possibly prevents further escalation of a situation, hybrid security strategies and the use of technology will become increasingly important for physical security teams. The remote work revolution is in full swing, and many companies have decided to implement a hybrid office approach, allowing employees to spend a mix of time on- and off-site. In fact, nine out of 10 organizations across industries will be deploying a hybrid work model in a post-pandemic setting and the security industry is no different.

Hybrid security also helps with crime prevention as well. Utilizing a mix of an on-site safety presence and offsite remote monitoring system acts as a boost to traditional security systems. Technology serves as a force multiplier, and significantly enhances the on-site security officer's situational awareness. This enables security professionals to have eyes virtually everywhere, yet respond or patrol only where necessary, accomplishing more with the existing team.

With that being said, offsite remote monitoring was not always seen as a good choice for security given it was somewhat lagging and not always as effective in deterring crime. However, offsite remote monitoring is making a comeback — it has gotten faster, more affordable and more reliable in recent years. Security firms can connect directly to a company’s CCTV or install a video surveillance system themselves. By monitoring from afar, officers can access better coverage of an area without putting anyone in danger, since the surveillance is done remotely. With surveillance being 24/7, it can prompt security teams at any time of day to take proper action in real time.

And while technology is certainly evolving, investing in people will continue to be a bigger priority. We are in the midst of an enormous labor shortage with nearly 7 million unemployed Americans currently and at the same time, “The Great Resignation” of 2021 will continue as employees quit their jobs at record breaking rates. In September 2021 alone, 4.3 million people quit their jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In order for our industry to attract and retain the best security professionals, firms and companies will need to invest in their people. That means offering first and foremost a liveable and competitive wage, full benefits, best in class free training and a true interest in fostering and investing in your talent for career longevity and success.

As with de-escalation, there will also be a rise in calling for law enforcement alternatives many feel a change is needed and are working towards newer methods. Over the past few years, the conversation around finding alternatives to calling law enforcement has grown and the security industry cannot be left behind. These include calling mental health services, investigative professionals, or employing security guards to deter crime. Contacting the correct professional in an emergency situation can also help police forces maximize their time and services. On average, law enforcement officers spend only 4% of time addressing violent crime. Utilizing security firms to help prevent, deter, and stop violent crime can help police and prevent calls that they are not best suited to handle.

The reality is that like any industry, it is important to be able to change and adjust with the times in order to best serve your clients and employees. At the end of the day, you are being trusted with lives and valuable entities. To be able to do your job effectively and evolve as a security company or specialist, you need to be at the top of your game. Continuous training and investing in talent shouldn't be a trend, but the norm.

About the Author:

David Weingot is the founder and CEO of DMAC Security, an established full-service armed and unarmed security firm built upon over 30 years of law enforcement experience and management. You can connect with David on LinkedIn and DMAC on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook