Topic: Security Central /
Preparing for hostage situations?
While there is no 'silver bullet' to prepare for the possibility of a hostage situation, the answer is and always has been basically two fold. First there is the question of vigilance. With all security oriented activities, the constancy of vigilance in relationship to performance of duties and observation of events and potential ramifications are key. It is of course difficult to maintain alert vigilance on a day to day basis year in and year out. However every effort must be made to motivate staff and maintain as high a level of alertness as can be constantly over time. That implies a need for constanct 'reminder trainings.' Second (and related to the first as well), a strict adherence to security procedures must be made 'part of the culture.' Distractions related to 'kidding around' and deviation from duty requirements must be addressed consistently from the academy onward. Managers must be careful to assess 'added duties' on a routine basis to ensure that grandiose new ideas and activities do not overshadow basic security procedures and set the stage for hostage events (as well as assaults, escapes, etc.) to occur. Too often small disagreements and issues are allowed to interfere with the cooperative efforts of staff to work as at team and ensure that proper security remains the priority consideration. Tough guy attitudes do not substitute for vigilance and well executed security procedures. This should be a constant focus of leadership at the corrections facility level. It is simple, basic and unfortunately difficult to maintain as a focus over time. But it is also the most effective means to prepare for potential 'hostage events' in a prevention oriented manner.