Broward County
Crime Commission
 
CELEBRATING 36 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND COMMUNITY


"Evil Triumphs When Good People Stand Idly By"

Public Security:

The Crime Commission is very dedicated to the importance of security for the general public.  Public safety is a growing concern because of the dangers that currently pose to individuals as well as society. At every arena of public life, it is important to implement measures to ensure public security so that health and normal life is always maintained. Some threats are really severe, and after the September 11th attacks, the concern on public safety is now more than ever.

It is to be noted that public safety is not limited to just professionals. It is also provided by medical workers who protect public security by addressing issues related to healthcare and epidemics. It is also offered by police officers, guards, and environmentalists. As a member of the public it is necessary to ensure that all precautions are in place in the event of a warning about an environmental disaster or attack from an external agency. It is further enhanced only when professionals and members of the general public cooperate to ensure that all system for public security are in place and conditions laid down to maintain safety are followed in the right manner.

Below is vital and informative content that discusses public security regarding:  1) Home Security; 2) Business Security; 3) Workplace Violence; Convenient Store Security; 5) House of Worship Security; 6) School Security; 7) Neighborhood Security; and 8) Courthouse Security:

1.    How to Protect Yourself and Your Home:


A.    Put a solid wood door on your bedroom. This creates a
"second-barrier" even if someone were to break into your home while you slept. This would possibly give you few seconds to wake up, get yourself together, and grab your gun. It's also a safe place that you could run to if someone was breaking in a door or entering your house during the day.

B.    Keep the cell phone charged. Also, at night, keep the cell phone charged and in the bedroom with you. A burglar might somehow disable your house phones, making it impossible for you to call for help.

C.    Leave a light on at night in a room. This will give the impression that someone is still up and awake.

D.    Draw the curtains. Don't let people see straight into your house.

E.    Keep bushes around your house low. Or remove them. These are intruder/burglar hidey-holes and can be very attractive to someone wanting to hide. If your house is more open, the neighbors can help keep an eye on things for you. Don't forget to ask them to!

F.    Keep the area outside your house well-lit. Well-lit areas deter would-be intruders who have no shadows to hide themselves in.

G.    Keep doors and windows locked and shut at night.
Even during the day, be aware of which rooms have open windows.  If you can invest in windows that lock while open a small way that is a great option.  For sliding windows and doors, place a strong piece of dowel in the sliding slot to prevent the window sliding back any further. Always keep the front and back entrance doors locked. Keep keys close by, but not in sight range from outside.

H.    Invest in a burglar alarm. They scare away burglars as soon as they enter the house, or better still, there are some that will go off if anybody touches a window, door etc.

2.    Business Crime Prevention Strategies:

A.    Bulletins and investigative reports via email, Smart Phone Application or web site Crime Mapping.

B.    Compiling all of crime reports on a weekly basis for a particular business location.

C.    Creating Business Intelligence Investigating (BII) through predictive policing information for the public so that they can better be prepared to protect themselves.  A proactive approach to policing and security.  

Small Business Crime Prevention Guide:
Strategy Business Watch:

3.    Dealing with Substance Abuse and Illegal Drug Distribution in the Workplace:

Consider setting up a drug-free workplace program for the following reasons:

A.  You value the health and safety of all of your employees.

B.  You are concerned that any employee who may be working under the influence of alcohol or drugs could injure himself or another employee.

C.  You are concerned about the impact of unhealthy lifestyle choices on medical and insurance costs for your business.

D. You believe that alcohol or drug impairment impacts all aspects of an employee’s life negatively. These negative impacts, such as broken families, cannot help but flow over into the workplace and manifest as absenteeism, lower productivity, and damaged relationships.

E.  You believe that the productivity of any worker who is impaired at work is negatively impacted.

F.  For some industries and jobs drug-free workplace programs are mandated.

G.  In some industries, especially when products are easily stolen and sold, substance abusers may account for a large portion of product loss.

H.  Finally, you want to send a powerful message to all employees about behavior that is and is not supported at work. Your non-abusing employees deserve this support.

In 1990, legislation was enacted that created the Florida Drug-Free
Workplace Program.  Click the link below for the full report:  

Employers Guide to a Drug Free Workplace:
Employers Guide to Workplace Substance Abuse:

5.    Violence in the Workplace:

Violence in the workplace is an issue that most small business owners will not have to deal with. However, the reality is that workplace violence is an increasing problem, and employers should be aware of what they can do to prevent it, as well as the various legal responsibilities and restrictions imposed on them.

The best approach to handling violence in the workplace is to prevent it. To curtail violence among employees in your business, take the following steps:

A.  Accept the possibility that workplace violence can occur in your workplace.

B.  Review your recruiting and hiring procedures — where permitted, institute criminal background checks and carefully check all references and former employers.

C.  Check external and internal security.

D. Where appropriate, use a screening system.

E.  Determine if more stringent security measures are necessary.

F.  Provide external security to prohibit uncontrolled access by outsiders throughout the company.

G.  Identify those members of your staff (such as yourself) who may be likely targets and establish procedures to control access to them.

H.  Take every known threat seriously. Follow up and investigate completely.

I.  Prohibit the possession of all weapons, either inside the workplace or transported in an employee's vehicle on company property. State laws may affect whether or not weapons can be prohibited and other employer policies concerning violence on company property.

J.  Make sure all employees know how to reach your local police, ambulance, and security company if you have one.

K.  Attempt to develop a workplace environment that fosters trust among existing employees and management.

L.  Establish grievance procedures.

M. If you need to fire an employee, do so with sensitivity, in a way that preserves the employee's dignity.

N.  Establish exit interview procedures that collect company keys, identification, etc., and alert you to any potential problems.

O. Install routine security procedures when employees are fired.

P. Emphasize humane and respectful treatment of all employees and pay particular attention to those who are terminated.

Handbook on Workplace Violence:
OSHA handbook on Workplace Violence:

6.    Workplace Violence Preparation:   

The work place can be targets for theft, unlawful entry, kidnapping, bombings, forcible occupation and sabotage. Effective barriers, both physical and psychological can reduce the likelihood of these threats. The following guidelines will help you analyze your office security profile and suggest measures to reduce your target potential.

Conduct a Crime Prevention Assessment - A complete, professional assessment of your security needs is the first step toward an effective security program.

Since most crimes are directed toward individuals or offices that have little or no security planning in place, take stock of your present measures and possible weak points. A comprehensive crime prevention assessment should ask:

What is your target potential?

What is the prevailing attitude toward security?

Who is responsible for the overall security program?

How are security policies enforced?

When was the current emergency preparedness plan developed (including fire, power failure and disaster)?
 
What resources are available locally and how rapid are the response times for fire, police and ambulance?

What kind of physical security systems and controls are presently used?

Do the available security resources, policies and procedures meet the potential threat?

Take Reasonable Precautions - Once the risk assessment has been completed, follow up with the local law enforcement group to act on the findings. For example, publicize phone numbers and make sure everyone knows whom to contact in case of an emergency.
 
Here are some general suggestions that may increase your security:

Install key-card access systems at main entrances and on other appropriate doors.

Issue access control badges, with recent photographs, to all employees and authorized contractors.

Upgrade perimeter control systems with intercoms and closed circuit monitoring devices.

Keep master and extra keys locked in a security office.

Develop crisis communication among key personnel and security office involving intercoms, telephones, duress alarms or other concealed communications.

Have a back up communication system, like two-way radio, in case of phone failure.

Locate executive offices near the inner core of the building to afford maximum protection and avoid surveillance from the outside.

Arrange office space so unescorted visitors can be easily noticed.

Have staff follow strict access control procedures, don' t allow exceptions.

Keep important papers locked in secure cabinets.

Keep offices neat and orderly to identify strange objects or unauthorized people more easily.

Empty trash receptacles often.

Open packages and large envelopes in executive offices only if the source or sender is positively identified.

Keep closets, service openings, telephone and electrical closets locked at all times. Protect crucial communications equipment and utility areas with an alarm system.

Avoid stairwells and other isolated areas. Try not to ride the elevator alone with a suspicious person.

Don't work late alone or on a routine basis.

Keep publicly accessible restroom doors locked and set up a key control system. If there is a combination lock, only office personnel should open the lock for visitors.
 
Keep an Executive Information File - Your security office should maintain an emergency contact file for immediate access for key personnel containing personal information to be used in case of emergency. This confidential file should contain:

Home address and telephone number
Family members; names, ages, descriptions

School schedules, addresses, phone numbers
 
Close relatives in the area; names, address, phone numbers Medical history and physicians name, address, phone number Local emergency services; ambulance and hospital phone numbers

Any code words or passwords agreed upon.
 
Consider Setting Up Secure Areas in the Building –

You may wish to consider maintaining one or more "secure rooms" on your work premises. This area can serve as a retreat in case of intrusion or other danger. The room should be equipped with:

Steel doors and protected ventilation system

First aid equipment

Phone and backup communication equipment

Fire extinguishers

Bomb blankets and hardened walls

Sand bags

Emergency tool kit

Extra food and clothing

Large flashlight and batteries

Firearms (if permitted under established policy)
 
Post a security guard at the main building entrance or at entrances to specific offices. Officers (or guards) should have a clear view of the controlled area at all times.

Install a metal detector or CCTV (closed-circuit television) camera or other device to monitor people coming in all building entrances.

Issue all employees photo identification cards and assign temporary passes to visitors--who should be required to sign in and out of the building.

Rearrange office furniture and partitions so that front-line employees in daily contact with the public are surrounded by "natural" barriers--desks, countertops, partitions--to separate employees from customers and visitors.
    
Brief employees on steps to take if a threatening or violent incident occurs.

Establish code words to alert coworkers and supervisors that immediate help is needed.

Provide an under-the-counter duress alarm system to signal a supervisor or security officer if a customer becomes threatening or violent.

Establish an area in the office for employees and/or customers to escape to if they are confronted with violent or threatening people.

Physical Security Features in a Customer Service Federal Office

Single public entrance to customer service area.

Reception desk immediately inside public entrance.

Silent, concealed alarms at reception desk and on Federal employee side of service counter.

Barrier between customer waiting and Federal work areas.

Service counter with windows between Federal employees and customers.

Window in supervisor's office from which supervisor can view customer service.
    
Access-control combination locks on access doors

Closed circuit television camera mounted for monitoring customer service activity from a central security office for the building.
How to Prepare for Workplace Violence:
Combating Workplace Violence:
Workplace Violence Prevention Readiness and Response:
       
7.      Convenience Store Security and Safety:

The Crime Commission offers two hour seminars and additional training for small business owners and employees of convenient stores to be effectively prepared of what to do before, during and after an armed robbery.

Why It’s Important
The number of robberies at convenience stores has increased across the country, according to 2006 to 2008 FBI, which is higher now than it was 10 years ago.

Make sure you’re operating a business where your employees and customers feel safe from robbery and violent crimes by implementing a thoughtful security and safety program in your store.

Preventative Measures
Store security begins with store layout and design. Follow the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). The three basic rules in designing your overall safety and security, according to CPTED, are:
Territoriality:  the use of physical features to show ownership over your property. It discourages outsiders by defining private space, and it allows employees to see intruders. This way, you can tell if people are there to shop or to loiter.

Define your territory with:
 Landscaping
 Fences
 Signs
 If graffiti is written on your property, take a picture of it, report it to the police,      and then immediately remove it.
 Keep the store and parking lot clean and free of litter.
Access control: a way to limit the number of people who should not be on the property. The property and store are designed for convenience to customers, but do not make it too convenient for criminals.

■Limit the number of entrances and exits to the store and the parking lot.
■Close off some parking lot entrances and doors at night.
■Consider installing gates, locks or turnstiles, if necessary.
Surveillance: the use of physical features, such as electrical and mechanical devices, to maximize visibility.

■Use effective lighting both on the lot and in the store.
■Remove signs from windows to provide clear lines of visibility to the cashier.
■Move displays that block visibility to the cashier from the outside.
■Be alert to your surroundings and report any problems.
■Train employees to be vigilant for potential threatsNACS Robbery Deterrence & Personal Safety Program
The NACS Robbery Deterrence Training Program includes a training CD and decals that helps retailers develop their store security planning through its five validated security steps:

Employee Training: essential to robbery and violence deterrence. A comprehensive training program, such as the one offered by NACS offers guidance on:

■Robbery deterrence measures
■How to avoid violence during a robbery
■What to do after a robbery
■What to do in other potentially dangerous situations

Cash Control and Signage: Minimize cash available at your store can reduce the risk of robbery. The program will address deterrents such as:

■Using a drop safe
■Posting signs stating that the amount of cash on hand is limited
■Keeping cash in registers low
Lighting: Maintain adequate lighting inside and outside the store. .

Visibility: Criminals seek out locations where they can’t be easily noticed by bystanders outside the store, or by employees entering the store. People outside the store, including police, should be able to see into the store, and employees should be able to see their surroundings.

■Keep windows clear of signs and merchandise
■Keep shelving units low so there are no hiding places within the store
■Mirrors can help, too
Escape Routes: Criminals want to blend into the surroundings after committing crimes. Make blending in more difficult by fencing the property and limiting the number of entrances and exits and making exit routes visible to others.

Additional Resources

■Security and crime expert Dr. Rosemary J. Erickson, President of Athena Research, helped NACS develop many of its security resources and has a number of industry-related documents for retailers at athenaresearch.com.
■NACS Robbery Deterrence CD Training Program
■NACS Robbery Deterrence - Height Decals, Other Decals
■No 50’s
■Thank you for paying with the smallest bill possible
■Time lock safe – clerk cannot open
■Make that drop
■Height stickers
■Pay First Then Pump / Pump First Then Pay
■Clerk does not have access to video security camera
■Smile, you are being watched by our video security camera
■PUSH - Cash is kept to a minimum
■PULL –Cash is kept to a minimum
■Emergency numbers
■Corner decal, ID Please
■ID Please! 21 Is The Law

Florida Attorney General’s Convenience Security Business Act:
Center for Disease Control Convenient Store Poster:
National Association of Convenience Stores Convenience Store Security Report:
The Convenience Business Security Act

The Convenience Business Security Act requires that certain security devices and standards be established at all convenience businesses open any time between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The Act, which is contained in sections 812.1701-812.175, Florida Statutes, places enforcement authority within the Office of the Attorney General. Violations of the law may result in civil penalties of up to $5,000.00.


Under the Act, a convenience business is defined as one that:
•    Is primarily engaged in the sale of groceries, or both groceries and gasoline; and
•    Is open for business during any hours between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Excluded from the Act are businesses that:
•    Are solely or primarily in the restaurant business; or
•    Have five or more employees on the premises between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.; or
•    Have more than 10,000 square feet of retail floor space; or
•    Have the owner or a member of the owner’s immediate family (spouse, mother, father, brother, sister or child) working on the premises between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Minimum Security Standards
•    Training in robbery deterrence and safety for each employee, conducted through an approved curriculum
•    Drop safe or cash management device that is secured to the floor or counter or that weighs at least 500 pounds
•    Lighted parking lot
•    Notice at the entrance that the cash register contains $50.00 or less
•    Height markers at the entrance
•    Window sign placement allowing an unobstructed view of the sales transaction area from inside and outside the building
•    Window tinting that allows for physical identification of all persons in the sales transaction area from outside the building
•    A written cash management policy, kept on-site, that limits cash on hand between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
•    A security camera system that is capable of retrieving an identifiable image of an offender, including an annual test photo and a maintenance log showing maintenance every four months
•    A silent alarm
•    Additional security measures, if required (see below)
Additional security measures are required when:
Convenience businesses at which a murder, robbery, sexual battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, kidnapping or false imprisonment has occurred in connection with the operation of the business must have one of the following additional security measures in place between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.:
•    At least two employees on the premises at all times
•    A secured safety enclosure made of transparent polycarbonate
•    A security guard or off duty law enforcement officer on the premises
•    Locked premises with business conducted through an indirect pass-through, trap door or window
The additional security requirements must be in place for a minimum of 24 months after the date of the most recent crime. After 24 months, the convenience business may file a notice of exemption with the Office of the Attorney General.

8.    Neighborhood and Community Watch Reports:
Make it a Permanent Force for Community Betterment:
Neighborhood Watch Manual:

9.    Security Assessments for Schools:
Be Safe and Sound in School:
Bullying in Schools:
Youth Gangs in Schools:
Straight Talk About Gangs for Educators:
School Safety and Security Toolkit:
A Guide to School Vulnerability Assessments:

10.    Security Assessments for Houses of Worship:
Security of Places of Worship:
How to Assess the Security and Safety of Your House of Worship:
Synagogue Security: the Basics:
Guide to Synagogue Security:

11.    Courthouse Security:
Review of the United States Marshals Service Judiciary Security Process:
A Common Sense Approach to Safety and Security in the Courthouse:
Courthouse Safety Training:
Guidelines for Implementing Best Practices in Court Building Security:
Court Security Handbook: