The biggest difference between how security is conducted in Israel versus most of the U.S. (and other countries) is a mindset of actively seeking engagement and the fact that law enforcement, military and private security officers all work based on the same threat-based methodology.  The notion of engagement isn’t only about responding to an event but also about being engaged against potential threat with the goal of deterring it.  Security personnel should not be hanging around waiting for something to happen but rather, actively hunting for threat indicators.

It is expected that even a security officer makes assessments and decisions in the field, on the fly.  They are expected to act autonomously.  There is no request for authorization.  There is no hierarchy that requires the officer to work up a chain of command.  The officer is in command.

This freedom allows them to engage versus being constrained by a policy of observe and report.  When something is going down, trained not to pause but to pounce, security officers run at full speed towards the problem.

Engagement is not just tactical.  It can be walking up to someone who seems out of place to engage them in a brief conversation, the goal of which is to determine whether or not the person is ok or, up to no good.

In the U.S. and elsewhere, training for law enforcement and military is very, very different than that of the typical private security officer.  Yet, security officers are by virtue of their position on the front lines and they are first on the scene when something happens.  More importantly, because they are posted to a given location and presumably know it well, they are in a position to be aware, proactive and actually deter threat from unfolding into a criminal or terrorist event.  Untrained and passive, they are a wasted resource.

Investment in security training for a guard who will be patrolling the Mall or manning the front gate drops is a management decision.  Every company has its own priorities and bottom line to consider.  But if your goal in the private sector is to provide customers and employees with real security, then training would surely be the most critical element.  It’s through training and drills that security professionals learn to hunt not hesitate.

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