After Orlando: What Kind of Security Program Do I Need?


By Eddie Sorrells, CPP, PSP, CHS IV

In the early morning hours of Sunday June 12th, events were unfolding in Orlando, FL that would once again shine the national spotlight on the need for increased security in and around what is commonly referred to as “soft targets,” a person or thing that is relatively unprotected or vulnerable, especially to a terrorist attack. Forty nine people lost their lives, and countless others were wounded during a shooting rampage that was carried out by a man who was intent on making a murderous statement on behalf of his beliefs. Just a day earlier, a popular singer was also gunned down in Orlando at an autograph signing after a concert. While the investigations into these tragedies are on-going, the call for immediate action was swift.

These types of incidents typically result in a national outcry for more to be done by our government to protect us, and always prompt more discussion around the issue of intelligence gatherings, gun control, and how we as a nation must fight terrorism more effectively. These are all very important topics that must be examined, but for the business owner who is trying to absorb the potential impact of such events, more practical matters take priority over political debates.

Over the past week, media outlets have asked the following question: “What security measures need to be present to guard against these types of incidents?” Unfortunately there is no short, easy answer that would apply to every situation. I recently spoke with a reporter from a major newspaper who asked the following question: “Mr. Sorrells, please give me an estimate of how much it would cost a business to provide the security necessary to prevent the type of attack we witnessed in Orlando?” While I can’t fault the questioner for asking such an obvious question that is on the minds of many after a horrible tragedy, it is of course one that has no stock answer. The real answer is: It depends.

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