Date: May 12, 2016
Consider this realistic situation: It’s after-hours and your facility is closed. Security remains round-the-clock as a precaution. Suddenly, an unmarked car slams to a stop outside the building. Two men in police uniforms ring the bell demanding attention. They inform the security officers that they need to enter immediately. It might be to respond to an alarm condition. It might be that they ‘’need’’ to use a landline in an emergency. It might be another plausible reason.
Security officers or other non-security employees are usually intimidated by “law enforcement” in uniform or in plain clothes flashing a badge and demanding assistance with an attitude.
For cause only. To let these “officers” in could be a major breach of security. Many organizations learned with the robbery at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990 that just because two authority figures were wearing what appeared to be legitimate police uniforms did not make the men police. They were art robbers. The case remains the most costly robbery in US history. The value of the 13 paintings the duo removed exceeds $500M. The heist has not been solved, even now.
The Gardner heist is not the only crime in which offenders have passed successfully as police. If police have not been called or if no reasonable basis exists for letting surprise authority visitors enter, they should not be given admission. No exception! The dir. of security or a surrogate must be contacted to evaluate the situation before the door is opened. Let the would-be visitors wait outside. Such a firm policy protects security personnel as well as what’s inside that robbers might really be after.
We advise testing this policy periodically to make sure security personnel comply with it.
This article was originally published by SECURITY LETTER™. April, 2016. New York, NY, Vol. XLVI, No. 4, Part I. Reprinted by permission of SECURITY LETTER™.