executive protective services

News & Press

May 30, 2010

May 2010 Newsletter

May 2010                                                                                  Issue No. 4


How to Protect Your Home, Handle Hostile Employment Terminations and Watch for Unusual Situations

This issue touches on three topics that are important to corporations and also valuable to their employees:

8 Tips for Protecting Your Home When on Vacation – Bill Addis, a former state trooper and team leader at U.S. Security Care, Inc., suggests eight precautions home owners should take before going on vacation.

15 Steps to Reducing the Chance of Work Place Violence When Terminating Employees – Tom Owen, Director of Security at U.S. Security Care, Inc., provides 15 steps to reduce the chances of employment termination turning violent.

10 Circumstances to Watch for to Protect Yourself and Society – Jeff Schwartz, Director of Training at U.S. Security Care, Inc., reminds everyone, after the attempted car bomb in New York earlier this month, what circumstances to look for to protect yourself and those around you.

If you have a security related question of any kind, please do not hesitate to contact us.  If there is a topic you would like to read about in our newsletter, write to us atpiersond@usscinc.com.


Richard Wolfson


U.S. Security Care, Inc.


 8 Tips for Protecting Your Home When on Vacation

The National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association reported in 2008 that there were over two million burglaries a year and 50% of those burglaries, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, occur when people are on vacation.  Bill Addis, a former state trooper and team leader at U.S. Security Care, Inc., suggests the following eight precautions home owners should take before going on vacation.

  1. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your home. Give them an itinerary and your contact information so they can reach you in case of an emergency. Show them where your water main is so in the event of a flood they can turn it off.
  2. Inform the police and your alarm company you are going to be away, so in case of an alarm there would be an immediate response without any calls to the residence.
  3. Have your mail and newspapers stopped so they do not pile up outside your home.
  4. Put your lights on timers, to give the appearance someone is home.
  5. Make sure all doors and windows are locked and secure. Do not leave a spare key around while you are away.
  6. Leave your curtains and blinds in the same position you normally keep them. Hide and secure all important belongings and documents. Do not leave anything in plan view.
  7. Arrange for lawn care, so your residence appears to be taken care of.
  8. Do not discuss your vacation plans and dates with a lot of people or around strangers.



 15 Steps to Reducing the Chance of Work Place Violence When Terminating Employees

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one out of six violent crimes occur at work.  Tom Owen, Director of Security at U.S. Security Care, Inc., provides 15 steps to reduce the chances of an employment termination turning violent.

  1. Assess the risk of violence if the termination is due to an employee’s violent conduct.
  2. It is best to seek the advice and presence of human resource professionals trained and experienced in hostile termination procedures, if the risk of violence is determined high or even moderate.
  3. Perform a safety audit of the room where the termination will occur. Remove any objects that could be used to cause injury such as rulers, staplers, straight edge letter openers, scissors, calculators or glass items.
  4. Terminate an employee in a face-to-face meeting. Never terminate by a letter sent to the employee’s home or allow the employee to hear of his impending termination through the office grapevine.
  5. If you suspect the employee may become confrontational or violent to himself or others, ask either an employee from your Employee Assistance Program or another mental health professional for advice on how to communicate the decision to the employee.
  6. If the individual is believed to be potentially volatile, the presence of a security professional trained and experienced in hostile terminations is highly recommended.
  7. As a last resort, have the mental health professional or someone from company security remain near the conference room or attend the meeting if necessary.
  8. If the employee asks why others are present, respond by saying you hope to avoid any possible hostile confrontation.
  9. Those communicating termination decisions should sit closest to the door and preferably on the other side of a table or desk, which can act as a barrier and allow time to escape the room if necessary.
  10. Use a calm, non-provocative tone during the meeting. Appear supportive and understanding without deviating from the true reasons for the meeting.
  11. Answer all questions regarding the reasons for the termination. Listen closely to what the employee has to say and respond to termination related questions succinctly.
  12. Have all relevant facts on hand. Do not make responses that are not supported by documentation.
  13. Offer terminated employees’ out-placement services, severance packages, paid education and skills-building courses and extended access to employee assistance programs.
  14. Inform the employee of work-related finances and available options including COBRA costs, 401(k) and pension plans and unused vacation.
  15. Allow the employee to leave with as much pride and self-respect as possible. Avoid any conduct that has the potential to unnecessarily humiliate the employee.

“After the termination meeting, have the employee leave the premises as soon as possible because the employee’s continued presence at your company will only hurt morale and create an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous environment.  If the terminated individual makes threats of violence or retribution, note these statements and report this to law enforcement authorities.

“It may also be advisable to retain the services of a reputable and professional security or investigations firm to keep the individual under discrete surveillance for an initial 48 to 72 hours, and periodically over the next few months.”


 10 Circumstances to Watch for To Protect Yourself and Society


Earlier this month, a street vendor on Times Square in New York City had the presence of mind to call the police when he noticed something unusual about a parked car that was emitting smoke from inside the vehicle.  It was that vendor’s presence of mind that saved hundreds and possibly thousands of lives.

Everyone keeps a sharp eye when they perceive the place they are in is dangerous.  Unfortunately, we are lulled into a sense of false security, according to Jeff Schwartz, Director of Training at U.S. Security Care Inc., when we are in places that physically look safe and/or we see a lot of policemen.  Vigilance isn’t just for focusing on potential terrorist threats; it’s also about being aware of robbers, muggers, rapists, hate groups and an assortment of other people with bad intentions. 

Mr. Schwartz provides the following examples of things we should all be looking out for:

  1. Someone says something about Jihad.
  2. Someone says certain politicians should pay with their lives.
  3. Someone says, “Americans need to be taught a lesson”.
  4. A person walks into a store dressed inappropriately for the weather (i.e., wearing a heavy coat in the summer).
  5. Observed vehicles that look out of place.
  6. Observed someone purchasing suspicious items in large quantities.
  7. You are driving on a back road and a car that looks like a police cruiser is signaling for you to pull over, but you aren’t sure.
  8. Someone is sitting at a bus stop and they are reading a newspaper, but they aren’t turning any pages and they are letting bus after bus go by without getting on or collecting someone.
  9. Co-workers who are perpetually angry with their job or their spouse.
  10. Clients who have made threatening phone calls.

Today, there are a lot of bad actors, according to Schwartz, so everyone must be alert and work with the police to enhance everyone’s safety and well being.

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