Do you remember when you got your first smartphone?
If you're anything like me, making the transition from a perfectly functional flip phone to a seemingly foreign handheld computer came with a side of apprehension. I had to overcome not only the hurdle of the increased price point of the smartphone, but also the mindset that I didn't "need" a phone that could handle email, web browsing, music storage, app purchases, and a host of other capabilities. At the time, it was difficult to imagine that what I thought was a luxury item could be an actual need.
But now, many years later, I'm probably like a lot of you reading this article. It's hard to imagine life without a smartphone. So much of my (and our) world revolves around being able to access information and communicate with others instantaneously in many different ways. Put simply, what was once a luxury has indeed become a need based on how the world has changed.
But what does the smartphone culture have to do with the security industry?
I found myself thinking recently about the idea of needs versus luxuries in the context of security equipment. Since I work with the enhanced non-lethal Pro V2 device with its de-escalatory, documentation, and OC-based defense capabilities, I was wondering why some security clients are slow to adopt a new tool like this to replace traditional OC canisters. It struck me how the flip phone vs. smartphone example seems to be an appropriate and relatable tie-in.
Just like a flip phone is an old, yet minimally-serviceable communications solution, the same is true for the traditional OC canister. It is a minimally-serviceable security solution and its capabilities are limited to defense only. Many security officers carry it, but a lot of security companies that hire those officers struggle with adapting to new defense technologies. They have to overcome the same things I had to overcome when switching from flip phone to smartphone technology.
Those companies are typically slower to realize that just like the smartphone became a need as the world changed, so too are new needs emerging as the security landscape changes. Solely providing a tool to defend a security officer is no longer adequate. Being able to supplement a defense tool with de-escalatory and documentation capabilities is becoming a critical need, especially when tensions between the public and any sort of authoritative organization are running high.
By failing to overcome some basic concerns and adapt to new security technologies, you may put your company or organization at these four major risks:
1. You risk damaging your brand's reputation by failing to innovate.
2. You increase your company's liability risk by not deploying tools that can
help document incidents as they unfold.
3. You place your security officers at greater personal risk by not bringing
the best equipment to the table.
4. You fail to attract higher-quality talent who may be looking for a
company that provides the tools and officer needs to effectively and
confidently do his/her job.
Consider this: If a traditional OC canister is the flip phone of security equipment and a device like the Pro V2 is the smartphone, your company/organization must choose whether to overcome your concerns and adapt to new security technologies or get left behind as the security world changes.
What will your choice be?