Client’s Challenge: An Argument Turns Fatal
It erupted in a matter of seconds after sundown. In the lobby of a marquis hotel packed with guests, an argument erupted. Shots were fired, hitting one man. Parents pulled their children to safety as security guards struggled to manage the panic and get emergency medical help for the victim.
In the days that followed, the complex’s owner and operator reached out to Hillard Heintze for help: “We believed our security and safety capabilities are quite effective. Maybe they were, and maybe not. What can we be doing better?”
Our Solution: Assessing Security Across All Facilities
Given the urban complex’s multi-acre footprint and multiple facilities – as well as the largely unrestricted access provided to the public day and night – a major security assessment was in order. Hillard Heintze’s Security Risk Management practice initiated a sweeping review.
Access control and CCTV systems were vetted, panic alarms inspected, incident prevention and response policies examined, and invaluable one-on-one interviews held with many personnel, from the complex’s executive leadership to the security guards who had been posted in the facility on that fateful night. From a security perspective, no stone was left unturned.
Impact on the Client: A New Focus on Critical Issues
The assessment uncovered valuable information. Findings addressed topics such as further integration of security technologies, placement of security camera feeds, monitoring practices, security guard coverage and positioning, and real-time communication among security personnel across the complex’s many buildings.
Critical issues were addressed immediately. Other opportunities for improvement were scheduled for the near future so they could be properly budgeted. Week by week, this client is tightening its security and reducing risks across its operations.
Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective
“Could this client have prevented this tragedy? Probably not. But it viewed the event as an opportunity to improve how it protects members of the public and its own customers and staff.
It’s not easy. Managing safety and security across many co-located buildings is hard enough. But the open access to the public creates more complexity than most organizations or stand-alone facilities with clearly defined and more easily controlled perimeters have to address.”