As security consultants we are often asked what should be done after an incident, either a civil claim or even criminal in nature, that better protects the interests of our client’s organizations. Here are some tips to consider.
1) Evidence is key:
From slip and falls to criminal acts, it is essential to ensure any potential evidence is located and placed in a controlled area.
- Be sure to designate a person to look for audio/video footage through the company’s security system.
- Did anyone in the area happen to record the event? It’s critical to consider all possible sources of evidence.
- Don’t think of just looking for video at the time of the event, but rather for several minutes and maybe even hours prior to the actual time of occurrence.
It’s a very common practice in serious law enforcement investigations, such as homicides, to try to control and collect as much information around the victim’s last 24 hours (cell phone, vehicle, residence, computers, place of business, etc.). This makes it possible to see what actions were taken or who had contact with the victim. This is also an excellent practice companies can replicate to protect its collective interests.
2) Start the Risk Management Process Early
Don’t hesitate to include key decision makers/consultants early in this process. Risk managers, security consultants or legal counsel can provide information and best practices at the beginning stages of your event that might mitigate expenditure, resources, or finances down the road. Waiting until Monday to call someone during a weekend event can sometimes turn out to be a costly decision.
3) Debrief the event
Top management owes it to themselves to sit down after the incident and honestly asses whether thet event could have been prevented. If not, be sure to discuss what needs to be done to reduce the company’s exposure to this type of incident in the future. Be honest and open, and if needed, have a third party attend, with experience in prevention and incident management. It’s important to remember that the vast majority of your day-to-day activity revolves around running your business; not investigations, incident command, and risk reduction. For these reasons, there is no harm in looking to others to answer those questions.
Take the lessons learned and compile them into action plans for the entire organization. A good rule is to review those plans on a yearly basis, with training and adjust based upon the current needs of the company.
Michael Mello serves as Elite’s Director of Client Relations & Law Enforcement Liaison. Mello served in law enforcement for 28 years, retiring at the rank of Sergeant from the Huntington Beach Police Department. Mello’s law enforcement roles and responsibilities included 15-years of supervisory and command experience. He also has 20 years of sub-contractor work, both here and overseas, conducting security operations and oversite. To contact Michael please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.