2014 Facilities & Event Management SuperBook

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Venue Security Last fall, Scottsdale, AZ-based Guardian 8 rolled out its G8 Pro V2, an innovative, multifunction handheld security unit. Weighing just under nine ounces, the non-lethal device integrates an alerting siren, LED strobe light, laser spotter, camera, microphone, emergency notification and a pepper spray with a 10-ft. range. “We are starting to get traction in a number of different industries, but some early adopters have been hospital campuses and sporting venues,” notes Guardian 8 COO Paul Hughes. The Shreveport Convention Center and some casinos in Las Vegas have the unit deployed currently. Platinum Event Services, which handles security for the Dallas Cowboys, is among the organizations that have been trained on the device by Guardian 8. The Pro V2 allows security personnel to select from three levels of response keyed to the activation of certain features, as appropriate to the perceived degree of threat or the gravity of the incident. Level 1 arms the unit, activating the laser spotter, digital camera, incident auto record and an audible notification. Level 2, a partial trigger pull, activates the alerting siren, strobe light and command center communication link functions. Level 3, the full trigger pull, deploys the unit’s pepper spray. All Level 1 and Level 2 features remain active during a Level 3 response. “We wanted to build something specific to the needs of the security industry, as opposed to law enforcement,” Hughes explains. “Our idea was to address three key areas that we saw time and again in incident video that we were evaluating in the R&D phase. First, we wanted to create a protective bubble, if you will, around the security 20

staff so they could either protect themselves or intervene in criminal activity without having to go hands on with the perpetrator. Second, we wanted to help them do a better job of telling others what happened in their reporting process. That’s why we included the video and audio capabilities onboard the unit. The key question is, was my staff acting reasonably? The only way you can answer that is if you see from the staff’s perspective what they saw and what they were reacting to. Third, we wanted to enhance the look and appearance of the security staff so we can de-escalate a situation simply by the way the security team is outfitted. So the design of the unit has some aggressive style points. We want it to be seen on the duty belt so people will change or check their own behavior. They see the security staff has an ability to protect themselves.” According to Hughes, the most significant features of the unit from clients’ perspectives are its Bluetooth communication module and highdefinition camera. Not only are incidents in the vicinity captured by the camera, but the armed device also records every switch activation and trigger pull by the user. The detailed event log “keeps both sides of the incident or altercation honest,” says Hughes. “From the standpoint of litigation, if somebody wants to sue the team, the venue or the operator, the key thing is that we have all that digital evidence onboard the unit.” He adds that Guardian 8 can provide a six- to eight-hour instructor-training course for venue personnel who will then train their own staff, as well as a two-hour course at the venue for the frontline users. —GS Facilities & Event Management 2014 superbook

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