It Can Happen Here, There, and Anywhere

SuspectA broken nose, eye socket, and a hearty insurance claim to boot…

Of all the places for a security officer to get assaulted, you wouldn’t think a horse racing track would be one of them.

But that kind of thinking (assuming violence can’t happen “here”) inevitably leads to someone getting hurt, right?

Just look at this recent case in New York where an unarmed officer was assaulted and severely injured by an aggressor for no apparent reason. The suspect even stole the security officer’s car following the assault.

It’s a sad thing that I’m not shocked by an incident like this happening. Unfortunately, I (and likely you) read about them all the time. What surprised me, however, is the fact that this officer did not appear to have any defensive tools from what I can tell. According to the website of the racing association that hired the officer, 1.7 million people visited its three race tracks in 2014. That’s roughly the population of Philadelphia or Phoenix streaming through those gates each year. Even though this particular incident occurred outside the gates of the race track, it seems that failing to equip these security officers with some sort of defensive tool for a population of that size falls into the “it won’t happen here” argument.

Have you ever used that same justification for back-burnering the purchase of new equipment for your officers? I know it’s an inflammatory question, but I also know (and have heard) the equally-inflammatory answer. There are other times where budget issues are used to sideline the procurement of equipment for officers, and sometimes we can justify not spending money on equipment because statistics show that the threat potential is low at a given location.

But again, who would think that an officer outside of a horse racing track could end up with a broken nose/eye socket and a stolen car?

If it can happen at a place like that, it can happen anywhere.

Don’t justify shortchanging your security personnel on equipment because you haven’t had an incident occur yet. If you do, you may end up footing the bill for treatment of an officer’s injuries, his/her workman’s comp claims, and any other insurance payouts that may come from turning the other cheek on equipping your officers with the tools they need to defend themselves.

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