Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024 - 72

SSI BUSINESS OPERATIONS: END USER PREFERENCES
'The person I'm
convincing I need
$5 million is wired
to wonder who did
it before and did it
work.'
- Jonathan Westall,
MLK Community
Healthcare
Investing in Security Technology
Our panelists sometimes struggle to get
their bosses to invest in security technology
until after the fact. This is common
across many industries and for many
businesses, which tend to be reactive
rather than proactive.
" It's not important until it's important, "
says Garcia. " Active shooter wasn't a thing.
Now it's a thing. When we, as visionaries,
look to the future and say, 'this is going
to be an issue,' many times it falls on deaf
ears, not because safety isn't a concern,
but I think that imagination is lacking. "
" Look at Sept. 11. Look at some of
these other issues that have taken place.
Most people in my world aren't willing
to look at it until it starts happening and
becomes a cascading effect. Then, it's an
easy sell, but, in the beginning, it really
isn't, so we're constantly having to play
catch-up on specific kinds of issues and
events, " he continues.
State officials are reconsidering the
idea of not allowing license plate readers
on campuses after learning the local
parking commissioners are generating
revenue from it, says Garcia.
" A lot of what we do when it comes to
selling to our administrators, to our state
officials and our government bodies, we
need to show them that there are specific
needs and we can prove it, " he says.
Garcia continues, " We don't make them
any money. We cost them money. What
I've tried to convince them is, on the
other end of it, if we have an event, and
we were aware of it, there's a huge liability.
This could have a lingering effect. "
About 20 years ago shortly after the
school shooting at Columbine High
School, the Nevada System for Education
outlawed SWAT teams on the campuses
overseen by Garcia and his team.
" It had only happened one time at that
time, " he says. " Then it happened again
and again and again, then it came to our
doorstep [on Oct. 1, 2017, when Stephen
Paddock killed 59 people and injured 500
others at a music festival from his room at
the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino]. "
" Then guess what happened? We get
all this tactical gear - stuff we were originally
told we didn't need because we're
campus cops. Now, we're as well trained
and well equipped as any municipal
agency I can think of, " Garcia continues.
The Columbine shooting " really
changed how we respond - and how we
don't respond, quite frankly - to that
kind of situation, " he says. " Now, if you
don't have these tools, if you don't have
this type of training, you're not going
to be able to respond and everybody
understands that. It's an accepted value in
today's world. "
Security directors have, to some
degree, to be fortune tellers, says Westall.
" There always has to be a cost basis, "
he says. " It's very hard to manage based
on something that hasn't happened.
We average 26 incidents of workplace
violence a day at the hospital where I
work, so in my budgeting discussions,
72 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | April 2024
that's a very fortunate topic. Using those
real-world incidents and having that data
can help when you're talking to people,
who make emotional decisions. "
Some decisions about implementing
new security technology come from
" executives who read something in the
news and say we need to react to this or
ask how we're reacting to it, " says West.
" A lot of what we do is try to compile
these different drivers and try to stay
ahead of it, " he says. " That means keeping
an eye out three, four, five years and
bubbling that information up in digestible
formats so our property leadership and
our company leadership can see those
trends and start to figure out rather than
react to them. "
MLK Community Healthcare rethought
its objection to weapons detection
systems and metal detectors in the lobby
of its new hospital after patients and guns
were regularly bringing guns into their
rooms, says Westall.
" We had to change the community's
outlook on the hospital [after the original
facility was shut down for substandard
care in 2008], " he says. " We didn't want it
to feel like a prison. We didn't want uniformed
security guards. We didn't want to
look like law enforcement. "
" About three months later, as we
kept finding guns on nursing floors,
that all changed. Thank God, nothing
happened. We had a nurse changing
a bedpan when a gun fell out of the
guy's waistband, and then his girlfriend
wanted to fight the nurse because it's
his gun, " Westall continues.
" Sometimes, those things are going to
fall on deaf ears. Then, we started finding
stuff. Then, it became a real discussion, "
he says. " You don't want to be the guy
who says, 'I told you so,' but you back it
up with data. "
Keeping Up with
Security Technology
A lot has changed since Garcia started his
security career more than 40 years ago.
" Today's cop cars look like a fighter
pilot's cockpit, " he says. " I'll get in our
cars, and I don't even know where all
the stuff is. The idea of technological
THE PHOTO GROUP

Commercial Integrator + Security Sales April 2024

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