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Leumas Security Services LLC in Newport News, Virginia is dedicated to the safety of our clients. Read our blog to find out the many ways you can protect yourself, and to learn more about us.

Deaths, Protests Tell Us To Check Policies & Procedures

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Drive-Thru Testing Continues

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June 2, 2020


“Today I am even more impressed by the professionalism of my team when they face challenging members of the public as they work COVID-19 mobile testing sites,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It’s been too easy for people in security and law enforcement to lose sight of their core responsibility to serve and protect, and now parts of our nation are burning.”


“After watching the disturbing video of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I tried to understand the use of excessive force by former police officer Derek Chauvin whose knee was on the Mr. Floyd’s neck,” says Griffin. “Many of us have seen videos of police officers and security guards with their knees on a suspect’s back, but no officer with proper training should ever use their knee on the neck of any detainee.”


Chauvin was fired, and charged with murder and manslaughter. Protests are still going on across the nation, calling for charges to also be brought against the other three officers in the horrifying video and fundamental changes in policing.


“It takes a village to raise a child, and it also takes a village to protect a child,” Griffin says. “In this moment when historic problems are meeting global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, we must decide how we as the village are going to protect every member of our village.


“Those of us who are security and law enforcement professionals must take this opportunity to check our personality, policies and procedures, and level of training,” he says.


Training is a serious concern in the death of George Floyd, but also the recent police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, another Louisville officer is facing sexual harassment charges. These incidents closely follow national outrage at the Georgia killing of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot while jogging but no charges were brought against the men involved in the case until video of the incident made national news. I could name many other victims of police violence.


“If you’re in security or law enforcement, take a close look at your morals and character. Think about how you really feel about people who are different from you. Be honest. If you tell the truth to no one else, tell it to yourself. If you admit to having thoughts that see other people as ‘less than,’ than you need to look at another type of work.


“Are you often going to work tired and hungry? Change that behavior. Are you feeling burnout? Take a break. If you think you can’t afford time off, ask yourself if you can afford to make a terrible mistake. Ask your supervisor for some support. At Leumas Security Services we are responding to the extra pressure almost everyone is feeling from COVID-19 by changing the schedule of our officers and making sure they have masks and gloves.


“And very important, when was the last time you reviewed your policies and procedures? For security officers, when was the last time you reviewed the procedures for the sites you work? Do you wait until the last-minute to train for recertification? These are all things that you must change. If it’s been more than six months, go back to your policies and procedures.


“Tragedies like those that have made the news recently could have been avoided with proper training, and commitments by security and law enforcement professionals to strong policies and procedures. Those policies should weed out people who discriminate or abuse power in any way, and strongly punish those who wind up making it into uniform. And we can all look at the role we can play in ending any form of personal or structural discrimination and violence,” says Griffin.

COVID-19 Testing

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Drive-Thru Testing

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Drive-Thru Testing in Central VA

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May 26, 2020


As most regions in the United States head into consistently warm weather, millions of Americans have jumped back into their favorite outdoor activities. In many cases that has meant being in crowds, despite the continuing spread of COVID-19.


Health experts have a great deal of advice about ways for the nation to responsibly reopen as we face life with COVID-19, and they all include one thing: testing. Opportunities to get tested are increasing in most areas, and in some cases you do not have to have symptoms.


“I continue to be impressed by members of our team who have been working their shifts with the level of professionalism they had before the pandemic,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Special shout out to those who step up to support drive-thru testing as if it were any other assignment. It puts them on the frontlines of the battle against a global enemy. I’m very proud of them, grateful for them, and impressed by their smooth transition into regularly wearing masks and gloves.”


To find testing in your area, check the website of your local health department. For example, Leumas Security Services is based in Virginia, so members of our team must check the Virginia Department of Health website. Those sites also usually have information about the types of tests available.


You can also check websites of major pharmacy chains, such as Rite-Aid, which may be offering testing in your area.


“Wherever you go for testing, or even to shop, please don’t break the rules,” says Griffin. “Follow the social distancing directions. In some cases, there will also be signs and markings through parking lots and on floors to keep people at least six (6) feet apart. Those same markings may also show the route you must travel.


“If you are directed to keep your window closed, do it. If you must wear a mask to enter a location, wear a mask. Plus, when you follow the rules you don’t have to waste your valuable time and energy dealing with store employees, or security people like Leumas Security Services team members.


“But what’s most important,” Griffin says, “is that these are small actions experts say make a big difference when it comes to maintaining the most valuable thing you have: your health, and the health of people you love.”

Tackling Tough Times

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Tackling tough times

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May 19, 2020


Dr. Robert Schuller’s famous book has been on my mind lately, because it’s been a great reminder to hold on to my dreams as an entrepreneur these days,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


Schuller’s reminder: Tough times never last, but tough people do.


A lot of tough people are struggling with several concerns as they reopen their small businesses that were shut down, or doing much less business, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re doing their best to make sure they, their employees, and their customers stay healthy, as well as their bottom line.


Unfortunately, there are reports that tens of thousands of small businesses have closed, and more may close as we move toward the end of the year. That’s bad for the economy since 65% of all new jobs are at small businesses, and almost half (47.5%) of US employees work for a small business.


“I’ve been in business for more than 20 years, “ Griffin says. “I’ve dealt with a lot, but this is the first time that I’ve dealt with so many issues at the same time. I understand how many small business owners made the heartbreaking decision to close. It’s really tough right now.


“On top of doing the basics of running a business, we had to get personal protective equipment (PPE) for our team members, and had a huge drop in business. We’ve had clients say a payment is coming, and it didn’t. I’ve had many sleepless nights,” he says.


“I’m glad I followed some great advice I got several years ago,” says Griffin. “I cleaned up my personal credit, which helped me establish and grow my business. I made good investments creating multiple streams of income, and I was always very careful about loaning money to people,” he says.


“I’ve also had faith, and remembered that ‘faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26)’. These days that keeps me going. I’m doing my best to effectively run the company while trusting that the vital services we provide will continue to be important. I don’t know what the future holds, but my family is healthy and my faith is grounded,” Griffin says. “I pray for those who face a new fight to rebuild their lives after closing their businesses. I pray for those who worked with them, and their customers. I also pray that all of us find new, creative ways to share our gifts with the world some day soon.


“I’m not crazy, or unrealistic about how tough things are these days. I’m used to fighting. I know I’ve got what it takes to win, even if winning doesn’t look the way I thought it would. How about you? No retreat no surrender!”

Thank You Security Heroes

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Thank you security hero

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May 12, 2020


Orders to stay-at-home or wear masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the US continue to be challenging for many individuals and businesses.


Some of those orders are lifting, but the majority of people are still spending most of their time at home. And this situation may have many of us asking ourselves and our leaders tough questions.


For many security professionals, concerns about how people may act out their frustrations weigh heavily on their minds. The tragic May 1st shooting of a Michigan security guard who was working to enforce an order to wear a mask is an example of why they’re concerned. Three people have been arrested in that case, but it’s not the only situation where there has been violence, or the potential for violence.


“I know a lot of people are afraid, anxious, depressed, and any number of other feelings as the weeks march on,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “This is a very hard and confusing time, even for people who are not struggling to keep their bills paid and family fed.


“However, to all the security professionals out there, I want to remind you of how strong you are,” he says. “It takes someone with a big heart, a sharp mind, and hopeful vision for the future to do what you do to keep others safe. To keep showing up to protect property that others hold dear. To keep carrying yourself as a professional, a thoughtful and caring human being, sometimes in situations where other people may not.


“You’re a hero. That’s true today and every day. I am grateful for you, and I’m sure there are people in whatever community you serve who are, too. Do what you need to do to keep yourself safe and in good spirits, and know that I keep you in my prayers,” says Griffin.

Coronavirus And Crime

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Coronavirus & Crime

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May 5, 2020


“We’ve worked with several businesses in the area of Virginia known as the Historic Triangle, so I’m happy to see reports that some crime rates have dropped in the area due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “With more people staying at home to stop the spread of the virus, there are fewer opportunities for certain types of crimes.”


In fact, there are reports that crime rates are dropping across the nation, and in several other parts of the world. Unfortunately, other crimes are rising. For example, security professionals are closely watching the investigation of a Michigan security guard’s shooting death that may have been related to that state’s requirement to wear a face mask, and as mentioned in our April 7th post the number of domestic violence cases has gone up.


Law enforcement and security professionals are also concerned about burglaries and auto thefts. Why?


“Just because a business is closed, doesn’t mean there’s nothing on the premises someone might find valuable,” says Griffin. “It may be standard furniture or cooking equipment to the business, but someone else may be able to use or sell it. The same is true for your vehicle that may be sitting for long periods of time in a secluded area. As periods of unemployment and isolation increase, so will feelings of desperation for many people.”


There are also a variety of scams on the rise. There are reports of criminals preying on people looking to work from home, as well as ways to steal federal stimulus funds.


“The safety basics for your business and your vehicle haven’t changed,” according to Griffin. “At your place of business, have a security system that includes cameras and/or motion sensors with 24-hour DVR or cloud recording. Have security guards or security patrols, and find ways to work with neighboring businesses to get these in place in ways that are more effective and affordable for everyone.


“For a vehicle, keep doors locked even if it is garaged. Lock the garage, too. Do not keep keys and valuables in the vehicle, or at least keep them out of sight. There's an old saying that still applies here: Better safe than sorry.”

COVID-19 Testing And Reopening

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Leumas Security & Testing

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Leumas Security & Testing-2

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April 28, 2020


“I’m incredibly proud of Leumas Security Services team members who are keeping up their professionalism through this pandemic, especially those who are working to make sure very important COVID-19 testing is going smoothly,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Among them are Jordan Cochran and Douglas James (pictured).”


Why are security professionals needed at testing sites? They help maintain order to keep everyone safe, in ways great and small.


Officer Cochran said, “Unfortunately, there are times when people don’t follow directions. They may forget social distancing guidelines when they have a question or concern. I also saw a lot of people who would roll their window down, ignoring my sign and instructions to keep them up until told to do something different. Sometimes it was scary.”


Leumas Security Services is based in Virginia where, like in other states, COVID-19 testing is critical. It will help state leaders track the spread of the disease, and gauge whether the spread is slowing enough to responsibly reopen. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has a COVID-19 Business Task Force that will help guide his strategy for safely easing state restrictions. The commonwealth has also received a federal grant to help address the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on state residents.


Many other state leaders are doing similar things as they track the progression of the new coronavirus among their residents, and decide how and when to relax social distancing guidelines. States that have already relaxed some guidelines, such as Georgia, are being closely watched to see what impact their moves will have on the spread of the virus.


“No matter when or how our communities reopen, a lot of things will be different,” Griffin says. “I encourage you to stay informed about the spread of the virus in your community, appropriately manage your personal health, and put a lot of thought into ways you will conduct yourself in light of the new normal. For example, follow directions at testing sites and any place where you will come in contact with other people. Personally, I will also continue to hold everyone in prayer.”

Be A Picture-Perfect Professional

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Picture-Perfect Security Pro

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April 21, 2020


Today’s technology is helping many of us deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re using online services for everything from teaching and meetings, to workouts and weddings. Even before this challenging time, it was almost natural for many people to use a phone small enough to fit into a pocket to get photos and video documenting their experiences.


But should we always take advantage of the opportunity to take a quick picture, or video?


“Security professionals must learn how to turn off their picture-taking tendencies when they go on duty,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I spent many years as a Personal Protection Specialist for high-profile individuals. I know what it’s like to be in the room with people your friends may dream about. It can be very exciting.


“My first encounter with a high-profile person was with the late Marion Barry. He was Mayor of Washington, DC, and I was a 23-year old who didn’t follow politics. I had no idea who this tall and distinguished man was who commanded a security detail.


“The next time, I was in New York City at a fundraiser. I wound up sitting on the couch next to this beautiful woman. She was polite and kind. She asked me about my trip to New York, and if I was enjoying my stay. It was Barbra Streisand! She looked nothing like she does on TV. I soon learned that TV puts 10 pounds on you, and some of the most famous celebrities are much smaller and shorter than they appear.


“Over time, I would have encounters with many celebrities, presidents, and kings. These were some of the best times of my life. Most of the time I formed relationships with my elite clients, even living in some of their personal homes and eating dinner with their families. I was happy working behind the scenes, living my dream as a security professional.


“Taking pictures to capture moments shared with these icons wasn’t my priority. However, I understand that things are different in today’s Executive Protection Field, with many Personal Protection Specialists taking pictures with their clients.


“There are times when a client may ask if you would like to take a picture. That can be alright, but it should never be the reverse. And it should be in a safe situation.


“You must be 110% focused on your client’s every need when you are responsible for them, predicting their next move. Taking time for a picture takes away from your level of professionalism in this field, which you want to speak for itself. You want the focus needed to perform at your highest level, and your client deserves nothing less. Work to build the type of relationships that last forever. Asking to take a picture can take away from that.”

Keep Your Relationship Safe From COVID-19

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COVID-19 And Relationships

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April 14, 2020


The Unites States is entering the second month of a National Emergency prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be concerned about your finances not being able to survive another month under orders to stay at home. What about your relationship?


There have already been reports about the pressure the pandemic has put on relationships. Some spouses and intimate partners are struggling after months of spending every hour of every day together.


Divorce rates have reportedly spiked in China after coronavirus quarantines, prompting concerns about the same pattern emerging in the U.S.


Those who are already divorced and share custody of children are encouraged to do their best to comply with custody arrangements, as well as model physically and emotionally healthy behavior. Those who want to keep their relationships together are encouraged to do things like make commitments about what role each will play in the home, respect each partner’s work space, and create opportunities for private time.


“Some people are not going to be able to handle their relationship problems while they’re at home because of the pandemic,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “If the problem grew into disliking the partner or cheating, they’ll get to look at their relationship up close. Many will not like what they see.


“I’ve dealt with a lot of people who manage their affairs or secrets with their cell phone. When they’re stuck at home, it’s easier to get caught. The cheater’s partner can get access to the phone, or will notice strange behavior with certain calls and texts. Most spouses who aren’t doing right don’t leave their phone laying around. They are afraid of their partner going through their phone to check messages, emails, or even their online search history,” he says.


“It’s such a feeling of peace to let your significant other go through your phone, to not be worried,” says Griffin.


He says there are other things you might have to be worried about, such as your reliance on prescription drugs.


“Here is the time when you find out if you can control your use of medication,” Griffin says. “The stress of staying at home, alone or with your partner and kids, can drive you to abuse your medication, alcohol or even food. Do your best to get yourself back on track if you fall off. You’re worth it.”


For Griffin, the bottom line is family.


“I know it can be very hard, but my wife and I developed a game plan. We made a deal about what position each of us would play, and committed to connecting with each other when we need help. I look forward to our relationship, and our family, being stronger when this is over. That won’t happen by chance. We planned that goal, and we work toward it.”

Too Close For Comfort: COVID-19 And Violence

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COVID-19 And Violence

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April 7, 2020


“I’ve seen domestic violence up close, and it’s horrible,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Another one of the terrible things about facing the COVID-19 pandemic is that the best way to fight it is to stay at home. But for too many people, home is not safe.”


Reports are now proving that. The United Nations is urging world leaders to address rising levels of domestic violence as part of their plans to slow the spread of this new strain of coronavirus.


Why? Because research shows that domestic violence increases when families spend more time together. In the United States, some police departments are reporting increases in domestic violence calls that are as high as 20 percent.


Griffin says, “Families or couples that were already struggling didn’t need the added pressure of the health and financial fears they’re facing now. I’ve seen people like this blow up in public, and I had to use my professional training to handle them. At home, most loved ones don’t always have that training. And in cases where they do, that can make matters worse.”


Domestic violence experts suggest that if you are in immediate danger, call 911. They also suggest contacting a local or national hotline for support. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). If someone is still employed for a business that has a Human Resources Department, they may be able to offer support. If possible, reconnect with family members and friends who may be able to offer assistance.


There are also reports that even if children are spared by the virus, they may not be spared the violence at home that may be driven by the isolation.


In Florida there are more reports of child abuse. In Texas and Illinois there are concerns about possible decreases in calls to abuse hotlines or the number of reports, because children at risk may be separated from teachers and others who are most likely to report abuse. Even if there is no abuse, the trauma of this global challenge could have an enormous impact on children.


“I pray that we all find healthy self-care practices as this pandemic stretches into the future,” says Griffin. “Setting schedules for sleep, study, work around the house, and even time for each member of the family to be alone if they need it, can make a big difference. And work on communicating those efforts with as much love as possible. Maybe these practices can help every member of the household get safely through this challenge.


“I know some of this can be especially hard for a lot of men,” he says, “but I’ve learned that there are a lot of ways to show strength. Violently flexing your power over people who can’t defend themselves is never the best one.”

Social Distancing

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Social Distancing

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March 31, 2020


People around the world are being asked to significantly change their behavior because of Covid-19 (coronavirus), and some of those new behaviors may be enforced by security and law enforcement professionals.


One of the major practices to help slow the spread of the pandemic is “social distancing,” keeping at least six feet between you and a person you do not live with (assuming there are no concerns about spreading disease between you and those in your home).


Social distancing is so important that there are public service announcements about it, news stories demonstrating it, lists of ways to understand and live with it, and major corporations showing their logos doing it to help encourage people around the world to do their part.


“More than half of U.S. states have imposed lockdown measures” of some type to slow the spread of the disease, according to the Wall Street Journal. There are reports that some areas are better than others at social distancing.


“Shutdowns can be very hard on people socially, emotionally, and economically,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It’s not just individuals. Whole cities are practically changing their personalities to deal with the pandemic, and so are their police departments.”


Griffin encourages security professionals to make whatever adjustments they need to work under the new conditions.


“I have always stressed the importance of using your mind and your mouth more than your muscles,” he says. “You may be seeing a rise in noncompliance as people feel the pressure of social distancing, and economic troubles. Follow your training and policies to manage these people, and study additional resources that may help.”


See earlier posts from February 18th, March 10th, and March 17th with additional tips for managing yourself and others during this challenging time.

In Memory Of Rev. Joseph Lowery

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Remembering Rev. Lowery

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March 28, 2020


“The nation has lost a true hero," said Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin when he heard of the passing yesterday of The Reverend Joseph E. Lowery.


"Rev. Lowery was a Civil Rights icon I encountered on countless occasions during the years I worked in the political field," remembers Griffin. "Mostly I think about how kind he was."


He continues, "Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, and the many people who grew to love him over his several decades of service to the nation."


Personal Security For Security Pros

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March 24, 2020


“We need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else. Or you could be getting it from someone else, stay at home.”

That’s what U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said March 23rd on NBC as he warned that the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic was going to get worse in the U.S. this week.


Many security and law enforcement professionals will not be at home. They’ll be on duty, keeping their commitment to maintaining the safety of people and property.


“As a security professional you are essential personnel and allowed to work,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Stay in contact with your supervisors regarding any impact on your schedule due to business closings, and ‘shelter in place’ directions by governors in some states.”


Griffin also reminds security professionals to stick with what they have learned.


“Rely on your training, as well as your policies and procedures,” he says. “People are scared and anxious during this pandemic. We must use our verbal skills more than ever, and be clear about when and how to reasonably restrain or detain someone if necessary. Also make sure you understand the use of ‘equal force,’ which guides you to use an equal or lesser level of engagement when you are physically attacked. For example, don’t punch and kick someone who throws a beer on you.”


It’s easier to stick to your professional guidelines if your personal life is in order.


“Take the necessary precautions that are posted on the CDC website and follow them,” Griffin reminds security professionals.


“Financial concerns can hurt your focus, so take the necessary precautions to address them,” says Griffin.


“Call your mortgage company or landlord and ask for a deferment if needed. For your car loan, ask for an extension, or if you can skip a payment through a program whoever financed your loan may be offering. Check with your credit card company about not requiring minimum payments, and extensions on payments of three to six months,” he suggests.


“Take care of your finances now so you can go to work with a clear head,” Griffin says. “The process does take some time on the phone, but you will have peace of mind when you’re done. It is an important way of being personally secure while doing what you do to keep others secure.”

Your Mindset And Their Mental Health

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Your mindset

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March 17, 2020


“As a security professional, the very important role you play keeping people and property safe continues to be valuable during challenging times like these,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


“Like many other people, you may be working fewer hours because of a variety of efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus),” he says. “I understand the anxiety that may cause. Try to take advantage of the personal time you gain to do things that help ease anxiety and help you be ready to get back in action when it’s time: catch up on sleep and family time, eat better, and get some exercise.”


For those of you who are working, Griffin suggests being more mindful of the fact that you may encounter more people with higher levels of anxiety than you may have at any other time in your career.


“Keep your head,” says Griffin. “Do your best to be as clear as possible about the difference between someone who is acting out because they are more troubled than usual about what’s going on in the world today, and someone who may be dealing with an actual mental health issue.”


Griffin says that a person with an actual mental health issue is much more likely to:

1) Talk to themselves out loud, and answer their own questions.

2) Repeat awkward physical movements, such as jerking, aimless movements of the head and neck, or arms and hands.

3) Wear pajamas and bathrobes outdoors during the day, especially when accompanied by any of the behaviors above as well as being unclean and unkempt.

4) Have loud, uncontrollable outbursts.

5) Get triggered into a quick, negative response or action when spoken to.


He suggests dealing with these individuals with:

1) Patience. With the person’s initial behavior, to the best of your ability as the situation dictates, as well as with their reaction. That can help lower the possibility of some unpleasant verbal interaction.

2) Conversation. It may help you buy time and help you assess the situation.

3) Distance. Keep physical space between you and the person while you decide if it will need to result in any assistance from medical or law enforcement officials.

4) Training. Make sure you are aware of your policies and procedures, study controversial situations where security/law enforcement encountered someone with a mental health challenge, as well as good practices in similar situations. Stay focused. When alcohol or drugs are added to the mix, the chances of the person becoming violent increase. Make sure you are trained in ways that help you be prepared.

5) A “thick skin.” Let what someone says to you roll off of you like the old statement, “Water off a duck’s back.” Dealing with the public can often be challenging. People will call you names, not follow directions or instructions, and lose control for a wide variety of reasons.

 

“Being a security professional does require you to be fit, and sometimes requires you to carry a weapon,” Griffin says. “None of that is helpful if your mindset isn’t prepared, especially when dealing with those with mental health issues. The more you’re exposed to the public, the more chances you will have to deal with them. People skills are absolutely necessary. If you’re not a ‘people person,’ maybe you need to work in an environment such as watching a monitor in a control room.”

Stay Focused

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Stay focused

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March 10, 2020


One of the hardest things for anyone to do is stay focused. With attention focused on politics, Covid-19 (the coronavirus) and its effects, natural disasters, and personal challenges, it can feel hard to smile at your loved ones at the end of the day.


Security professionals must do their best to stay focused at all times, and often on more than one thing at a time. No matter where they work, what they have to do, and what their client is doing, staying focused helps them - as well as whoever and whatever they protect - stay safe.


If you are a security professional, Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin understands how hard it can be for you to stay focused. He also understands that you must figure out how to do it anyway.


“I don’t want security professionals to make some of the mistakes I made early in my career,” Griffin says. “In many cases I was blessed by how smoothly things went even though I lost focus, but things could have easily been a lot worse.”


An experience Griffin had in Washington, DC more than two decades ago stands out. “I was backstage waiting on my client when at least 100 Secret Service agents flooded the area and very quickly pushed me towards the back entrance. These guys came with snipers and other resources. Then President Bill Clinton walked in. To say it was intimidating is an understatement!


“My client warmly greeted the President, gave him a hug, and said, ‘Come on Sam.’ But I couldn’t move. There were so many agents I had nowhere to go. I politely said, ‘Excuse me’ to the president as I placed my hand on his back. I actually walked between him and his security team.


“The point of this story is that I lost focus. I should have moved to a location that would have prevented me from being pushed out of position. That moment could have placed my client at risk, even though Secret Service officers were present. They were responsible for the president, not my client.


“From that day forward, I never blinked when I met anyone. I honestly didn’t care who they were. My focus was on the protection and well-being of my client,” says Griffin.


He has since met a wide range of highly-visible people, many of whom were his heroes. Among them were Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, Civil Rights and political leader Ambassador Andrew Young, groundbreaking artists and activists Aretha Franklin and Harry Belafonte. But he had learned his lesson.


“Sometimes I didn’t realize who I had really been with until months later,” he says, “but I still felt honored. I got used to working with celebrities and other public figures, and remain proud of my ability to stay focused and keep them safe.”

Coronavirus Meets Super Tuesday

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Coronavirus & Super Tuesday

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March 3, 2020


For many voters across the United States, it's a wet Super Tuesday, which is best described by Ballotpedia as “the Tuesday in a presidential election year when the largest number of states and territories hold a presidential preference primary or caucus.”


People across the nation are closely watching the race to the White House. They’re also watching how the current administration is handling the novel (new) strain of coronavirus - SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19 - as well as what presidential candidates and other leaders are saying about its spread. Many voters will head to polling places where they will be close to people they don’t know, so they may be concerned.


“Cold and flu season is already challenging for people like security professionals, others who have to work with the public, and anyone who has to be out dealing with significant numbers of people they don’t know,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “This year is much tougher because of this new virus.”


Griffin encourages his team, and all security professionals, to “find news sources that regularly post science-based updates on covid-19, and take advantage of online resources from health professionals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).”


The CDC even has a page on handwashing, the number one weapon in the fight against the spread of coronavirus, other viruses, and germs. Research shows that it is important to wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after you use the bathroom, before you eat, after you blow your nose, and after you cough and sneeze.


Speaking of coughing and sneezing, do that into a tissue that you immediately throw away, or into the bend of your elbow (completely covering your nose and mouth).


Other actions that can help you stay healthy include avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Also clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


If you get sick, stay home. When you’re at home, limit your contact with other people there. If you decide to go to your health care provider, call first and tell them your symptoms. Do the same for anyone you care for, such as children or elders.


As for those masks flying off of store shelves, it’s best to use them if you are sick so you are less likely to spread what you have. Use gloves as appropriate, especially if you are a security person, health care provider, or other professional who has to touch people.


Reports so far say that more than 80 percent of confirmed cases of coronavirus feel like a bad cold or the flu,” says Griffin. “Fight it with the methods listed above, the way we should all be fighting those seasonal illnesses anyway. We wish you good health.”

Don't Wilt In The Weather

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Snow Plow

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February 25, 2020


It does not happen to every guard, but security professionals can face dangers on the job. Recent attacks on security guards have made headlines, especially a deadly attack in a New York library.


However, every guard - and other security professionals - regularly face something that can be a big challenge, potentially dangerous: the weather. If you are, or are working to be, a security professional, make sure you put time into preparing for the weather.


Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin says he enjoyed the recent snow that blanketed the company headquarters in Virginia, and was reminded of his years on the road with clients in all kinds of weather.


“I remember living in New York City with the streets filled with snow, and snow plows weren’t able to keep the streets clear,” Griffin says. “I still had to transport my client to and from venues and recording sessions. Defensive driving training helps with driving in harsh conditions. Get the training if you can.


“On another trip with a client in Chicago, I experienced ‘The Hawk’ in action,” Griffin recalls. “It was so cold that I saw actual waves frozen on Lake Michigan. I was completely floored! Having the correct attire for places where the wind chill can drive the temperature down is critical. Having and using appropriate gloves, long underwear, boots, and a jacket that keep you warm and dry in cold, snowy weather is standard operating procedure to function. Having all the items I named and not having a pair of gloves could simply ruin your day, and stop you in your tracks. You will not be able to be an effective security professional. You could put yourself and others at risk.”


For most of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this has been a warm winter and the days that tend to be the coldest are just about over. So now is a good time to start thinking about how you will handle the often wet transitions into spring and summer, the allergies that may come with them, and the inevitable heat.


“While traveling to Nevada in the summer I witnessed extreme hot weather, 112 degrees in the shade,” Griffin says. “I was in an SUV with dark, tinted windows. The air conditioning was set on 60 degrees, yet I found myself overheating and got a tan inside the vehicle. Wearing light clothing and proper sunscreen is essential in these types of environments. Not doing so limits your ability to to your job.”


Griffin suggests that you regularly check the weather before you head out to work, especially if you are traveling to an area outside of the region where you live and regularly work.

Closing Time

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Closing Time

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February 18, 2020


“A Wisconsin bill considering extending bar hours for the Democratic National Convention, Miami bars considering changes for spring break, and a recent shooting at a Houston area bar, all have me thinking about the increased challenges faced by security professionals when it’s closing time,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


Closing time fights happen more often than we may ever know, but many communities across the country - such as some in South Carolina, Massachusetts, and California - continue debating ways to handle increased crime that often accompanies the period shortly before, during, and after a bar shuts down.


This period can be especially tough for security and law enforcement professionals.


“At closing of any place where alcohol is served, patrons are often at their drunkest point,” says Griffin. “They suddenly have liquid courage, and become superman or superwoman with supernatural strength. And at closing time there are a lot of them forced together at the same time. When Alcohol becomes involved with anyone it impairs their decision making.”


Griffin says, “Security guards must start clearing the club 15-20 minutes before the club closes, lights go up. At least start the clearing procedures. Also have women guards who can help check people when they enter, and check or clear bathrooms throughout the night. Especially at closing time.”


According to Griffin, there should be overall procedures in place that help manage the establishment, and they should start at the front door.


“Patrons must adhere to a dress code, and are generally checked by handheld metal detectors,” he says. “If the place, or the area, has a history of trouble those steps should definitely be in place.


“The establishment is serving cocktails, so I have my ‘security cocktail’ that, when followed as I put it together, has proven to be very effective. The ingredients: Armed officers posted at the front door outside of the club, bouncers and security officers - unarmed and experienced moving through crowds - on the inside working in teams of two, and law enforcement in the parking area.


“An armed guard can easily be overcome by club-goers, and should not be wearing a weapon inside of the establishment. There simply shouldn’t be an armed officer inside unless there is a life or death incident taking place there.


“When a fight breaks out, the bouncer(s) should grab the person(s) of interest and take them outside. The armed officers then decide if the patron should get a ride home (taxi, Uber, Lyft, etc.), or call the person a ride home, or get the police who are close by,” he says. “All of this means the chances of something happening are slim, so people feel safer and more likely to go to the establishment. Plus, the establishment is a better neighbor to community residents.”


Griffin’s experience and respected research suggest that a lot of factors go into closing time problems, including the actions of those running the establishment.


“They don’t want the attention of having anyone hurt or arrested which would give the place a bad name, and if they don’t cut the security budget they don’t have big problems,” says Griffin. “If you are responsible for security where alcohol is served make sure you have good procedures in place, that the procedures won’t escalate whatever bad situation may occur, and everyone is well trained.” 

The Disgruntled Employee

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Disgruntled Employee

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February 11, 2020


“Becoming a business owner was no easy task,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Handling various insurances, taxes, and licenses. Paying for the office, taxes, and payroll. But it is managing the employees that continues to be the most important challenge.”


Griffin runs a security company, but says every manager in any business has to do their best to engage employees.


“The last thing you want or need is a threat from a disgruntled employee,” he says. “Always do your best to be an effective manager, but be prepared. Something, or some combination of things, can upset an employee at any time. And whatever is going on may be completely out of your control.”


Sadly, we’ve all seen reportedly disgruntled employees in the news. They do things like hack a business’s online presence, work to hurt a company’s credibility, and even kill co-workers (or former co-workers).


There can be times when a person may feel that their experience at work contributes to other challenges they face, and they react.


According to Griffin, a few situations that can prompt some employees to react violently, verbally or physically, are:

*Child support paperwork served and ordered to employer.

*Tax garnishments ordered by the state or IRS.

*Missed shifts without required notification, causing a loss of pay.

*Abandonment of shift and still expecting pay.

*Wanting advancement of pay against company policy.

*Disregard of pay schedule.

*Paycheck accidentally missing hours worked (when not the fault of management).


“These are just some of the things that can be especially tough for a person in financial distress, so they might act out and threaten their employer,” says Griffin. “None of it has to be the employer’s or co-worker’s fault, but they become the target.”


In some cases, such as 2019’s deadly shooting at the Municipal Building in Virginia Beach, an attacker’s complicated history was boiled down to the phrase “disgruntled employee.” There were reports that people didn’t see any sign that there were any problems. After the tragedy they looked more closely.


Stay in touch with employees enough so that you, or someone who more closely manages them, is more likely to notice signs that someone is having a tough time,” says Griffin. “Connect with the person earlier when you see a change in attitude, behavior, or comments that might signal that something is going on.”


If you decide that the person is a disgruntled employee, act fast.


“Take appropriate steps, making sure your reactions are in line with your company’s policies and procedures, as well as your beliefs,” Griffin says. “If you’re having a hard time, ask for help as soon as possible. Ask other business owners, human resources professionals, and security experts who have dealt with similar situations.”

Dignitary Protection

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Dignitary Protection

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February 4, 2020


“As glamorous as it can look when you see motorcades and police escorting a VIP, a lot of pre-planning went into that to keep people safe,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


He got the urge to keep people safe as a child with a family background of violence. When he saw The Bodyguard he knew he could do it for a living. There may be other children who have seen Bodyguard, or other TV programs and films that inspire them. But Leumas wants them, and anyone who wants to take their security career to that level, to know how challenging that work can be.


“Early in my career I had a client who was a presidential candidate,” Leumas remembers. “The client received death threats daily. The threats were accessed by state police from each state. They worked with local police, who briefed me. During this period I learned a lot about how these police forces worked together, and with other security professionals, to provide what is called ‘dignitary protection.’”


Most of us are aware of dignitary protection on the federal government level, but police departments on the state and local level also provide dignitary protection with special divisions of their force. Many places that often host and/or employ significant public figures also have these teams, such as universities, or hire them from private companies. Some police forces get training to build, or strengthen, their own personnel from companies such as ours.


“Depending on the threats, a dignitary protection unit would be assigned to my client. They would meet us as soon as our aircraft arrived,” says Griffin.


“We would be escorted off the plane first, deplaning onto the tarmac. The host would greet us, and we would leave in a motorcade of local police officers trained to protect VIPs who received death threats. The motorcade included officers on motorcycles, and we did not stop at traffic lights,” he says.


This became the norm.


“I requested a dignitary protection team in each state we visited,” Griffin recalls. “In one state, they made sure we were the only guests on an entire hotel floor and officers were on duty there around the clock to protect my client. Most of our suites had bullet-proof windows, and at times the sniper team would ask my client to stay away from them.”


If you’re interested in this type of work, Griffin wants you to know that it comes at a cost. Prepare yourself.


“This became my new norm, and at 23 years of age I almost never slept,” he says. “I was always on point, because a mistake could cost my client their life. There were long stretches where I led security, plus handled things from making sure interviews were done to packing bags, to living in the client’s home. A migraine headache became a regular part of my days as I worked 340 days or more each year.”


Griffin says, “If you want to do this work, prepare yourself. Know how long you can comfortably be on your feet, in what types of shoes, and consider those shoes a worthwhile investment. Know how little sleep and water you can get and still remain effective. Know what types of quick, healthy snacks keep your energy level up. When you get a chance to sit down, do it. When you get a chance to eat a full meal, eat it. When you can get a full night’s sleep, go to sleep. If you have a family, develop creative ways to combine rest with family time.”


He continues, “In the security profession, sometimes it’s hard to remember that keeping everyone safe may depend on how well you keep yourself safe and sound.”

R-E-S-P-E-C-T When It Comes To Privacy

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Customer Service

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January 28, 2020


Have you ever been to a doctor’s office, bank, or even had a credit card declined at a restaurant, and the person you dealt with spoke to you loud enough for other people to hear? Did it feel a bit embarrassing?


“There is never a reason to loudly say, ‘Your card was declined,’ or ‘You only have $5 in your savings account and $345 in your checking.’ Of course that may trigger a reaction!” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


“When you’re dealing with the general public, remember times when you felt publicly embarrassed and do better. “The next time something like that happens to you, respectfully let the person know that their raised voice is uncomfortable for you,” he says. “Show them how it’s done.”


Show others how it’s done when you are at work, too. In almost any profession, especially security, your ability to deal respectfully with other people is very important. You don’t have to be maintaining the security of financial or health information to be concerned about the information you have to share and how you share it.


Griffin suggests a few changes in your mindset and behavior that can help.


Use your “Inside Voice.” Many parents will recognize that idea. Speak so that you can be heard and understood, but your voice is at a low volume. Stay focused on the person in front of you. If you believe your information can not be shared in the setting in a way that maintains their privacy, find a way to change the setting to some place that is more appropriate. Make sure both you and the individual are physically safe.

Get a great greeting. Greet everyone with a smile and pleasantries. If you supervise other workers, make sure they do the same thing. Help people feel welcome. Griffin says, “I have been stared down too many times at a bank. That’s no way to greet a customer, especially in a business - like many - where customers have more options every day. Greeting people is not just being nice and respectful. It can be good for business.”

Care for the card. If and/or when you have to handle someone’s identification or credit card, do it in a way that keeps their personal information out of public view. Don’t wave it around. Return it to their hand, or if it’s placed on a counter sit it face-down. Encourage those standing nearby to take a step back, if necessary. Encourage customers to type in a phone number when needed, instead of asking the person to say it out loud in front of others.

Care for the person. A recent experience a Detroit man had in a bank is making headlines because he felt discriminated against. No matter what the procedure or protocol may be, never lose sight of the fact that you are dealing with people. Ask yourself if your way of thinking about others may have an influence on how you treat them. Could the policy and/or procedure you’re following create a negative environment for someone, such as being discriminatory on the basis of race, gender identity, or age? Could your way of thinking about, or practicing, the policy have a discriminatory effect?


“Let today be that new beginning of the rest of your life,” Griffin encourages. “Treat every day as if it’s your last and respect each other. It can make a world of difference.”

Protect Your Success

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Protect Your Success

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January 21, 2020


“As hard as it is to think about, the fact is that once you’ve achieved a certain level of success you can become a target to some people,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Sam Griffin. “Everyone is not going to be happy about your success. Some of the family members, friends, and others who were in your corner - or seemed to be - can change in ways that you might not imagine.”


Griffin warns of those who congratulate you one minute, and in the next minute they have a “Can I”: Can I get a loan? Can I get you to co-sign for my car/house? Can I get a job? Can I get some help? Can you bless me with…?


There are others whose form of “Can I” is taking you to court.


“I have been sued for upholding my company’s Policies & Procedures, or because I said ‘yes’ to a ‘Can I’ question that hurt me down the road,” he says.


Griffin now suggests pausing to consider how to deal with potentially jealous friends, and other ways to help protect your hard-earned success.


*Say NO. “Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself before you find yourself out of money, out of business, in court, or all of those things,” says Griffin. “It may cost you some relationships, but could be the best way to secure your future.”

*Upgrade your security. Install security cameras and/or motion sensors with 24-hour DVR or cloud recording, and consider guards for your family or business. “I’ve had people pretend to be me, and even get into my yard to deliberately have my dog bite them so they could sue me,” says Griffin. “Think of ways you and your business may be most vulnerable, and talk to security professionals about how you can address those areas.”

*Move. “It may come to that,” he says. “Consult legal and real estate professionals about how to have your property in a name other than your own. Relocate to a location where visitors must be announced, or buzzed onto your property. Look for a community with a homeowners association (HOA), and explain your security concerns to make sure your needs can be met.”


Griffin knows this may be painful, and says, “You are not alone. Do your research. Every city and state has a gated, or other, secure community. You can find some place that will fit your needs.”


He adds that, “Even after making adjustments to protect yourself, learn from your situation. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals, but never get too comfortable to say NO.”

Follow The Golden Rule

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The Golden Rule

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January 14, 2020


The Golden Rule is always worth following to the best of your ability, even for security professionals.


“Treating someone the way that you would want to be treated could literally save your life,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “The Golden Rule - treat others the way you’d like them to treat you - has been around for hundreds of years, and is in many belief systems. Why? Because it still works.”


Griffin says bringing The Golden Rule into your work can help you better connect with other people in ways that can help you be more effective.


“In the security profession, so many situations can be handled by talking to people the way you would want someone to talk to you, or someone you love, when there’s a problem,” says Griffin.


“Security personnel may wind up using verbal triggers when they’re trying to calm things down after an altercation,” he says. “Remembering to say ‘please,’ ‘sir,’ ‘ma’am,’ and ‘thank you’ goes a long way and can determine the outcome of any given situation. ‘Sir’ and ‘ma’am’ as southern mannerisms that could help a potentially violent individual think twice about how they respond to you.”


However you speak with someone, especially when tensions are high, do it with respect and authority.


Griffin says you can start by saying simple things like “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” and “Good evening.”


He also says to make sure you don’t follow a respectful greeting by saying or doing any of the following:

*”You better….” A parent or person in leadership uses this when reprimanding a child or someone they supervise. This belittles a person, and can cause a negative reaction.

*Calling someone a boy or girl. This is a verbal grenade. It is an insult to an adult of any race or ethnicity, and has a particularly negative history with African Americans. If you are confronted by a security professional and react by calling them “boy” or “girl,” or another condescending name, it could trigger a swift and negative reaction from them. Once again, remember The Golden Rule. If this would insult and anger you, it would probably do the same to someone else.

*Cursing, or using a racial or other epithet. Security personnel have been known to curse at someone during a confrontation, or address a person using common words negatively referring to someone’s ethnic background or sexual identity. This is always wrong. It is especially important for security personnel to know how to remain professional, control any anger that can arise during a tough situation, and check themselves for any biases that can make their job difficult.


“The security field can put you in contact with a wide variety of people,” Griffin says. “You need to be able to do your job with anyone, anywhere. Know what is hard for you, and do what it takes to make it easier. That ability will help you no matter what you face, on the job or in your personal life.”

Do What You Love

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Do What You Love

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January 7, 2020


“As I start the new year, the new decade, like many people I’m thinking about where I’ve been, and where I want to go next,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


“Did you go to college, or through a training program, and are now working a job just to pay the bills? It doesn’t have to be that way,” Griffin says. “Look for a job that you love and dream about. Or create it. Or find new ways to look at what you do and bring some aspect of your dream into it. You can make it a career.”


“I’ve been blessed to get paid to do what I love,” he says, “Being a security executive was something that I dreamed about for as long as I can remember. I had no problem sleeping three to four hours a night, and then getting up at four o’clock in the morning for a long drive to work.”


Griffin remembers, “Yes, I worked hard, but it wasn’t just a job to me. I lived to protect the persons who hired me to protect their lives. It didn’t matter how long I had to stand at a post, or how many states or countries we had to visit. I visited all 50 states, and several other countries.”


“As I start a new year,” says Griffin, “I realize how long I have been managing the business mostly from behind a desk. As much as I already know, I’m planning to polish up my security skills. Who knows? I might consider one more trip around the world on the front lines of the security profession, especially the executive protection work I did for so long.”


Griffin says, more than anything, he’s grateful for the years he’s spent living his dreams. He wants everyone to do the same.


“This time of year is a great time to dream, and then plan,” Griffin says. “Whatever you do, don’t settle for a job. If you’ve been settling, it’s the perfect time to stop. Doing what you love gives you peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless.”

Have A Successful New Year!

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Happy New Year

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December 31, 2019


This is the time of year when many people take a close look at how they did over the past year, and plan for the coming year based on what they experienced. “Failures” and “successes” are bound to stand out.


Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin suggests that people take a close look at what success really means to them.


“Too many people define success based on the car they drive, house they live in, business ownership, personal wealth, or connections to celebrities and other people they think are wealthy,” says Griffin. “Those things are certainly great, but they are not necessarily the signs of true success.”


“As a business owner for more than 20 years, and having what a lot of people would consider ‘success,’ I can tell you that it comes at a price,” he says. “Many business owners will tell you that their lives can be very stressful. They can’t always spend time with their family and friends, which business owners miss and can make their loved ones angry. They have to put together a good management team which includes an accountant (choose the best accountant for you), and that can be a big challenge. And they have to stay hopeful.”


Griffin says, “Having God in my life gives me hope, the kind of hope that lifts me out of bed in the morning. Without hope, no amount of money can give you peace of mind.”


We wish you a peaceful, successful, and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holiday Season To All!

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Merry Christmas

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December 24, 2019


“It wasn’t that long ago that most holidays and my birthdays were spent away from home working various security jobs, including personal protection for several highly-visible people,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I missed funerals for friends, aunts, even my grandfather. I knew my emotions would make me lose focus, so I turned them off.”


“I stopped traveling like that several years ago,” Griffin says, “but still have to work hard to turn my emotions back on after 15 years on the road. This year put me to the test. The business challenges I was ready for, but when my wife was hospitalized for nearly a month and our daughter was badly burned at school I was devastated.”


“I thank God every day that my wife and daughter are healing,” says Griffin. “I have an even deeper appreciation for family, health, and the importance of spending time with people you love. Give to them, and not just with money. Give love, time, and patience. Give good examples.”


“My mother would give me and my siblings three presents each for Christmas, the way Jesus received gifts from the Three Wise Men,” Griffin remembers. “I have been guilty of excessive spending on gifts in the past, but not this year. I am more focused on supporting those who give to others. And I’m just so grateful for my many blessings, like my wife and daughter.”


“To everyone who is working this holiday season, especially if you are working for our company, Thank You,” Griffin says. “I appreciate your commitment to what you do, and to your dreams. I know it can be tough. For me, faith helped me remember that I never walked alone. Neither do you.”


“Now as I slow down a little for the holidays, I reminisce about the days of yesterday,” he says. “I’ve had a great career that I’m continuing to build, and am blessed with a life many others only dream about. And I’m so grateful.”


“Remember the love, joy, and sacrifice that really give this season its glow,” Griffin says. “Don’t miss them. When you’ve been away from family and friends as much as I have, you realize how much you missed. Whatever your emotional triggers are, do your best to manage them through the rest of this holiday season. When something comes up to fight about while visiting family, find a way to cool things down. Help the kids see that you can handle 'fights' without fighting. Don’t plan to fight. Plan to love.”


Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! 

Remembering Herman Boone

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Coach Herman Boone

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December 19, 2019


Arrangements are still being made to celebrate the life of Herman Boone, the legendary high school football coach portrayed in the hit movie “Remember the Titans.” Boone passed away on December 18th. He was 84.


“After ‘Remember the Titans’ was filmed, Mr. Boone visited Williamsburg, Virginia,” remembers Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I was hired to provide transportation and personal security during his stay.”


As most movie fans know, Mr. Boone was portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington in the film.


Griffin says, “Mr. Boone talked about Denzel Washington staying at his home, and cutting his grass first thing in the morning. He talked about many moments he shared with Washington, as the actor worked to get a feel for how to portray Boone in the movie.”


After retiring from coaching and teaching, Mr. Boone reportedly spent several years speaking with a wide variety of audiences about the power of sports to transform.


“He will truly be missed. His family will be in my prayers,” says Griffin.


“I am so happy and humbled by the fact that the profession I love has made it possible for me to meet so many incredibly inspiring people,” he says.

R&R

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R&R

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December 17, 2019


The holiday season is a great time to get some R&R, rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, many people overdo it. Shopping, parties for business or with family and friends, and racing to get a number of things done in order to make all those parties and other gatherings. Whew!


Make room in your schedule for a few days off. Seek balance.


The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website suggests several things for a variety of people feeling stress this time of year. Their tips include staying hydrated and getting exercise, making a budget and sticking to it, and allowing yourself to feel what you feel if you’re dealing with challenges such as grief.


Those in the security field may feel stress because they are working extra hours, or unusual schedules, or there are schedule changes with short notice. This can be a good time for them, and other people with demanding schedules, to learn how to get some R&R whenever they can.


Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin learned many years ago how to take advantage of a sudden change in a demanding schedule.


“I was planning to attend the NBA Finals with a high-profile client,” says Griffin. “I was excited, but there was a problem. Extra family members and friends of my client flew into town for the game, and we were one ticket short.”


“I wouldn’t have thought in a million years that the head of security would be told to stay behind so the client could entertain friends and family,” Griffin recalls. “I felt used. I’d spent hours getting to the event, and making various preparations. But I quickly separated my feelings from my professional duties, and wished everyone a good time.”


Griffin continues, "My client’s friends had also traveled with personal security staff, so they ended up watching over my client that evening. It was actually a much-needed break in a tough schedule, so I decided to get some well-deserved sleep.”


“There are times during your security career when you will be asked to stay behind, or make some other change that takes you off the schedule,” Griffin says. “Use that time to rest, and eat a hot meal. Those things are even nicer if the schedule change allows you to do them at home.”

Could You Be A Personal Protection Pro?

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Personal Protection

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December 10, 2019


“Security personnel who want to do personal protection must have a great deal of endurance, and mental preparation,” according to Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “If you’re not having a good day, oh well. You have to figure it out. Put all of your personal and mental baggage to the side, and game on.”


Griffin, who was inspired to step up his security game after seeing the movie The Bodyguard, already had several years of experience before an eye-opening test: a parade.


“In the mid-2000s, I was assigned by a record label to protect a national recording artist on a float during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City,” Griffin remembers. “I’d heard about the parade over the years, but working it was an out-of-body experience. Instead of riding on the float, I decided to walk the route with an army of personal security and NYPD’s finest.”


Tens of thousands of people march in the parade every June, while more than three million other cheering fans line 5th Avenue from 44th to 79th streets.


Griffin says, “The parade route felt like a two-hour walk. The float started and stopped as fans cheered for music artists from the record label, and A-List movie stars. Like some other large, party-like events, I saw people using the bathroom in the streets, and some women raising their shirts to the stars and they didn’t have anything on underneath.”


“Situations like these can cause you to stare,” says Griffin. “But staring can make you lose focus. If you lose focus, you might give a fan, or a criminal, the two seconds they need - and that’s all it takes - to breach security and harm your client.”


Griffin says that if you want to move into more challenging security work, like personal protection, you need to face some tough realities.


“In many situations, you must turn off your emotions to do your job correctly,” he says. “If you’re not 110% dedicated to the personal protection field, find another job. In executive and personal protection, you simply don’t have a life outside of your client. Their life is your life. Your client’s family becomes your family. If you have a family, they will become secondary. Can you, and your family members, handle that?”

Remembering The Reverend Clay Evans

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Remembering Rev. Evans

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December 5, 2019


“I was very sad to hear about the passing into Glory of an incredible Man of God, The Reverend Clay Evans,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


Observances of the iconic leader’s life are being held this week at the church he founded in Chicago, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. He will Lie In State there tomorrow at noon, with Final Visitation and the Official 
Celebration of Life taking place on Saturday.


“Several years ago while working in Chicago, I had to accompany a client to a church,” Griffin remembers. “The now-famous song I’ve Got A Testimony was being recorded. I had no idea at the time who Rev. Clay Evans was. As I traveled more, and the song gained traction, I quickly found out.”


Griffin says, “I would eventually wind up visiting Fellowship several times with my client, and Reverend Evans always greeted me with a warm smile. I am so blessed to have had chances to see and feel his greatness close-up, and when he was preaching as well as singing and directing his choir. This great man left a lasting impression on me.”


“My thoughts and prayers are with Reverend Evans’ family, including his church family,” says Griffin. “I can’t be there this weekend, but I am with them in spirit and hold them in prayer.”

Safe Shopping

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Safe sopping

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December 3, 2019


If you’re like many people in the United States, your holiday shopping is off to a very nice start. We hope you’re among those who reports say are feeling good this season, so good that you’ll spend around $1000.


“Before spending your money, spend a little time making sure that you’re safe while shopping,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


Online shopping has increased, but so has the number of online criminals. There are even organized online crime syndicates. Some using “bots” and other technologies to take advantage of retailers as well as shoppers.


To help you stay safe online, Griffin suggests you make sure that:

Whatever device you use for shopping is updated, and has the best available security program.

You only use secure websites. Look for the green lock in the URL address bar, or https.


You research online retailers and their products before buying.


Look closely at your credit card bill. If you don’t recognize a charge, no matter how small, contact the card company or store as soon as possible to make sure your account has not been attacked.


Check out additional online shopping tips here.


Buying gifts in a store is still the way most shopping is done, and the number of people who walk into a store will increase as we get closer to Christmas.


Griffin suggests you stay safe while shopping in stores by:

Shopping with someone else, when possible. It’s easy to get distracted, especially when shopping with children. Another pair of eyes is always helpful.


Staying focused on your mission and your money. Don’t flash your money, leave your wallet or purse hanging open, or allow yourself to be distracted while you are paying for whatever you buy. Keep your keys somewhere they can be easily reached when you get to the door of your car or home. Thieves are paying attention, so don’t allow yourself to look like an easy target.


Protecting your ride. Don’t leave shopping bags, purses, wallets, phones, or anything that may be of value to a thief anywhere in your car where they can easily be seen by a potential thief. Don’t make it easy for them.


Parking in areas that have plenty of light. Darkness can offer cover for those who see an opportunity to commit a crime.


Remembering your safety basics. You may be more tempted to cheat on your diet, but don’t do the same with your standard safety practices. Don’t make it easy for people to see what’s in your purse or wallet, make sure your home is locked at all times, and don’t share too much personal information with people you don’t know.


Check out additional shopping tips here, and here.


“More than anything, remember the reason for the season,” Griffin says. “Find ways to enjoy the holidays without stress and over-spending. Spend more time with family and friends. If you feel like you’ll be alone this holiday season, that doesn’t mean you’ll be lonely. You can plan a trip, prepare a relaxing ‘staycation,’ and volunteer to help others.”


Griffin says a quiet holiday season can also be “a perfect opportunity to discover what really makes you happy, and that may not be available in any store.”

Gratitude

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Grateful

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November 26, 2019


“Pain is a definer of great men of faith,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin, as he considers recent challenges this Thanksgiving week.


“I’ve felt pain like I haven’t felt in a long time, but through everything I can still see and count my blessings,” he says.


In recent weeks, Griffin has faced family health emergencies, unprofessional behavior from some staff members, and missed administrative deadlines.


“It’s incredibly painful to watch people you love struggling,” he says, “but my faith is my foundation. I trust that I will see them restored to full health.”


He adds, “I’m also proud and humbled by the fact that we’ve been able to run this business long enough to know that there will be ups and downs. We’ve been through both, and we’re still here doing what we love to do.”


Statistics show that about half of small businesses fail by the end of their fifth year.


“My faith and common sense always tell me to prepare for bad days, and always have a backup plan.”


Griffin often speaks with other entrepreneurs about his preparations and backup plans. They include having good people on your team, having good personal credit, researching the best loans and other sources of funding for times when business income falls short, plus getting and maintaining appropriate insurance policies.


“It also helps me to remember that no matter what is going wrong, there’s someone who is worse off,” says Griffin. “I was leaving the pharmacy after getting an expensive medicine for one of my loved ones, when I saw a man leaving the food pantry with a bag of groceries. I felt drained, but I said, ‘My brother, come here.’ I said, ‘Keep your head up,’ and handed him the offering I was going to put into our foundation.”


“I felt a little better,” Griffin remembers. “Like the famous Gospel song reminds us, Be Grateful. Me and my house will continue to serve the Lord, and this too shall pass.”


Happy Thanksgiving!

Fear

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Fear

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November 19, 2019


“In the security field there is fear among all officers,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “There is natural fear about things that can happen on the job, and the impact those things can have on the people and businesses involved.”


And with good reason. Security guards often face people who are breaking the rules of a particular place, or doing something that makes them a danger to other people. The guard’s role is to get that person to stop, but there are times when they refuse. These situations can result in a guard being attacked, even at places like supermarkets.


“People who operate security businesses have concerns, too,” Griffin says. “We want our people to be safe. We want wherever, or whoever, our people are responsible for to be protected. Good Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) help."


He says, “Setting a high standard for employees through your SOPS helps dictate whether or not you stay in business. Employees must abide by the SOPS, which protect them as well as the security company.”


According to Griffin, SOPS can help a security company - and especially the professionals working for that company - better handle what he calls “bad fear.”


“Bad Fear is most likely the result of bad training,” Griffin says. “As a guard you are likely not to be sure of yourself if you are not properly trained. Bad fear can make you resort to the use of force with pepper spray, baton, Mace and deadly force.”


Unfortunately, situations where a guard’s training is questioned often make headlines, especially when it is connected to someone’s death.


“Proper unarmed and armed security training, and good old common sense, should always be a guard’s number one priority,” says Griffin. “Don’t be afraid to retake your basic training. This could save your life, and the life of those you’re contracted to protect.”


Griffin also leans heavily upon his faith. One of his favorite scriptures: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).”


“Yes, law enforcement requires some faith,” Griffin says. “I don’t know one officer who doesn’t want to get home to the family after his or her shift. Prayer changes things, and helps reduce on-the-job fear.”

Food Safety

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Thanksgiving

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November 12, 2019


Thanksgiving is a little more than two weeks from today. Many Americans are well-organized as they countdown to the big meal. Others are still looking for great menu ideas and recipes, and plenty of first-time Thanksgiving Dinner hosts are trying to remain calm while soaking up planning tips.


If you are in either of those groups, we want to remind you to handle the food with safety in mind. If your role is to enjoy the food and help with cleanup and storage of leftovers, we’re talking to you, too.


Our biggest concern in this post: food poisoning.


“When I first learned about how many people get food poisoning every year I was stunned,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


According to U.S. government agencies, one in six Americans will get sick from food poisoning this year. Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, “sends 128,000 Americans to the hospital each year—it can also have long-term health consequences.”


Griffin says, “A person’s personal health and safety can be compromised by food poisoning. You can compromise someone else’s health and safety if you aren’t carefully handling food, and those who get food poisoning can lose valuable time at work and school. Changing all of this just takes a little careful planning.”


Food safety experts have several suggestions, almost all of which fall into the FoodSafety.gov steps of clean, separate, cook, and chill.


Clean. This means to wash your hands, as well as cooking utensils and surfaces. The best cleaning practices may have you washing your hands more often than you do now, and for longer periods of time. For example, you should scrub your hands, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. To make sure you get there, hum the old-fashioned “Happy Birthday” song twice.


Separate. Keep certain foods separate, even in the shopping cart. Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce, meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.


Cook. Cook food to the right temperature, and keep foods heated to the right temperature. For special cooking, such as smokers and microwaves, follow specific instructions.


Chill. Refrigerate and freeze food properly. That means perishable foods should be refrigerated within two hours. If you have large amounts of an item in one dish, such as soup or a casserole, separate it into smaller amounts. Try the two-stage cooling method, and invest in a food thermometer.


Thanksgiving is a great time to update your food safety practices, which will serve you for every meal you prepare at home.

Election Day

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Waving Flag

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November 5, 2019


Today is Election Day in Virginia, where Leumas Security Services is based, and three other states.


A lot of attention has been paid to next year’s elections, because of the presidential and congressional contests. There has been a lot in the news recently about various candidates, making sure election systems are secure, and the power of younger voters as well as seniors.


But so-called “off year” elections like today’s are also very important. In many cases, elected officials on the state and local level may have a bigger impact on a person’s daily life.


“As you add voting to your schedule today, remember basic safety practices,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


Griffin suggests you:

Take your time. Add extra time to your travel schedule in order to make it to the polls on time, or to return your absentee ballot to the local registrar’s office. In Virginia, polls close and registrars stop accepting ballots at 7:00 p.m. ET.


Pay closer attention to traffic and pedestrian flow. There may be more people driving or walking in areas you are used to using, and it’s now darker earlier in the evening.


Light things up. If you are walking to your polling place as it gets dark, make sure you wear reflective clothing. You may also consider carrying a flashlight.


Practice civility. There may be people using your polling place who support a person or issue different from those you support. Know in advance how you will politely, but clearly, do what you have to do in ways that keep the peace.

"Fall Back" Into The Dark

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October 29, 2019


Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations are just days away. That means many people will be out in the dark.


Getting around in the dark will be even more challenging beginning this weekend. Most of the planet will “fall back” when Daylight Saving Time ends on November 3rd at 2:00 a.m.


“You’ll be adjusting your clocks, so it may be a good time to adjust some of your thinking about safety at night,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Many of us will be doing some of the same things we’ve been doing with our families or at work, but in a few days we may be doing them in the dark.”


Good lighting is very important. Griffin suggests you check to make sure there is appropriate lighting in and around your home.


If you usually walk, exercise, or bike in areas that are poorly lit, consider changing your route or traveling in groups. Also make sure you wear appropriately reflective clothing. If you have children, make similar changes as appropriate in their travels and activities, and suggest similar changes to other family members and friends.


“In most cases, you only need to make small changes,” according to Griffin, “but if you’re not sure, consult a security professional. An hour or two of their time could save you countless hours of suffering.”


Less light also has a big impact on driving. According to the National Safety Council, “While we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. It doesn't matter whether the road is familiar or not, driving at night is always more dangerous.”


It’s simply harder to see at night, and it gets harder as we get older. One way to make driving in the dark safer is to go slowly enough to stop within the distance you can see in your headlights.


Driving, and everything you do, is easier if you’re not too tired. Many people feel as if they get an extra hour of sleep when we “fall back.” However, they’re still thrown off a bit by the time change. To make the transition easier, handle it gradually.


You’ve still got a few days before we return to Standard Time to make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. If you’re not, make changes in your before-bedtime routine. For example, spend less time on the phone or computer screen, lower the lights, and maybe even the temperature of the room where you will sleep. The routine may have to change, at least for several days, for every member of the household.


For additional nighttime safety tips, see our October 8th post about Halloween safety.

Home Eye Safety Month

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protective eyewear

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October 22, 2019


According to the National Day Calendar, there are several observances in the month of October. For example, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Dyslexia Awareness Month, Emotional Wellness Month, Financial Planning Month, LGBT History Month, and, as you might imagine, Halloween Safety Month.


One of the ones that caught the eye of Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin was Home Eye Safety Month.


“We don’t think that much about eye safety, but it can be crucial for a security professional,” Griffin says. “I can’t count the number of times I was able to protect a client, a property, or even myself because of something I saw, and I was able to respond before something bad happened.”


According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, almost half of all serious eye injuries happen at home, but most people don’t wear eye protection.


Planning to rake leaves, prepare a Halloween event with lots of hay, get some home improvement projects completed before it gets too cold, or finally give the basement that deep cleaning it needs before relatives drop by? Make sure you use protective eyewear. Those activities are among the most dangerous, especially if you will be using power tools or chemicals.


Don’t forget lighting. Make sure stairs are well lit, as well as other areas where someone could lose their balance or run into something that may cause an injury.


“Don’t lose time at work because of a preventable injury at home,” says Griffin.


Speaking of work, many of the same practices that protect your eyes at home will help you at work.


According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that “every day about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment. However, safety experts and eye doctors believe the right eye protection can lessen the severity or even prevent 90 percent of these eye injuries.”


The two main reasons people suffer eye injuries at work: They weren’t wearing eye protection, or they wore the wrong kind of protection for the job they were doing.


According to the AOA, you can start by knowing what the eye safety issues may be at work, and eliminate hazards before they happen. And of course, use eye protection. AOA’s tips for handling an eye emergency include flushing the eye with water and not rubbing the eye, depending upon the situation. Check out their detailed help here.


“In security work, hazards may include someone trying to attack you and targeting your eyes,” Griffin says. “That’s another reason to stay focused when you are on duty, and eyes that haven’t been compromised elsewhere can help you do that.”

A Security "Guard" Is A Security "Professional"

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A guard is a professional

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October 15, 2019


“A security guard’s job isn’t more serious because it’s armed, or in a particular location,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “ It’s serious because it’s always serious, and genuine security professionals know that.”


Recent news stories from across the nation highlight how dangerous security guard jobs can be. A guard can be shot in a variety of situations that may have seemed safe just moments before. These can even be deadly. A security guard can be physically attacked, or even hit during a sports or other entertainment event.


“You never know what can happen,” Griffin says, “which is why you’re there, and you have to stay sharp. Stay prepared. That can be true of the top professionals in almost any career.”


Griffin always encourages those who want a security career to do everything they can to be prepared for their important work.


In a July 30th blog post he says being in physical shape is great, but a security professional’s most important skills are “good communication, good observation, professionalism, commitment to safety, knowing how to work well with a variety of people, and the ability to multi-task.”


In a July 2nd post Griffin mentions the importance of getting additional training. He says, “You may be certified as an unarmed security officer, and get further training for armed security work in order to get more assignments, earn more money, or be better positioned for a law enforcement position.”


An entire post on June 18th was devoted to the power and importance of how security professionals speak to people. According to Griffin, “The tone and volume of your voice and your body language don’t lose their importance just because you’re in a security position. In fact, they’re even more important.”


Check out these earlier posts for more ways to enhance your ability to be a top security professional.

Get Ready For A Safe Halloween

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Halloween safety

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October 8, 2019


Halloween can be a fun holiday for people of all ages, but it can also be one of the most dangerous.


Research shows that “children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.”


Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin says, “Some of the best ways to keep kids safe are the easiest. It just takes a little planning by every member of the community.”


For example, parents can start by making sure that a child’s costume fits properly, including the shoes. If there’s a mask, make sure the child can see through the eye holes.


“People of any age who are going to be outside wearing a costume should make sure they can be seen,” Griffin says. “A flashlight, or reflective tape and glow sticks work well. Use them as much as possible.”


Use sidewalks, too. Children who will be walking around their neighborhood should be accompanied by an adult or a much older child, and only go to places that are well lit and will welcome trick-or-treaters.


“Adults who enjoy a Halloween party should make sure they do not have so much fun that they’re tempted to drive drunk or distracted,” says Griffin. “If they think they might do too much partying, they should plan a safe way to get home before they leave.”


Adults who drive to Halloween festivities should also consider safety for their car. Park it in a garage or well-lit area, and remove anything that might tempt Halloween pranksters to turn into vandals. Or worse.


“There’s no way to guarantee that everyone will be 100% safe on Halloween,” says Griffin. “Something could always happen that is out of your control. But there’s a lot you can control. Do those things, and you increase your odds of having a great Halloween.”

School Safety: More Than A Bullet-Proof Backpack

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October 1, 2019


The school year is well underway, and many students are already planning Halloween parties. More than ever, students, schools, and parents are planning with safety in mind.


Sales of bullet-proof backpacks have soared in light of shootings in public spaces as well as schools, increasing “active shooter drills” at schools have sparked controversy, and Sandy Hook Promise released the chilling “Back to School Essentials” public service announcement (PSA).


“Parents have to stay engaged to have peace of mind while their children are in school this year,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


“Some parents sent their children to school with tracking devices, or bullet-proof backpacks,” he says, “but the parents need to make sure they, and their children, know how to use these things. Parents must make the time to watch videos showing how bullet-proof backpacks and tracking devices work.


“Children must be trained,” Griffin emphasizes. “The training has to happen more than once, and include how to cover up in the event of a school shooting.


"It’s also wise for the parents to know about the emergency training at the child’s school, and make sure the trainings work well together. Don’t confuse kids,” he says.


For additional school safety information, see our blogs on July 23rd and July 26th.


“Parents should talk to school leaders whenever they have security concerns,” says Griffin. “It can feel intimidating at times, but it’s about a safe learning environment for children and peace of mind for parents. Ultimately, that’s what everyone wants.”

Is The Customer Always Right?

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September 24, 2019


The idea that “the customer is always right” comes from retail leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is still important to always respect customers, but are they always right?


Years of experience have taught Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin that the short answer to that question is, “No!” Especially when it comes to their security.


“The security professional’s job often includes guiding the client on security matters,” says Griffin. “We keep him, her, and the general public away from harm. We are trained to spot and respond to unsafe situations so our client doesn’t have to. So they can live their lives.”


Griffin says security professionals should be trained, and continue to train throughout their careers. They must know as much as they can about their assigned position or role, as well as the spaces they work in. This includes marked exits and other emergency escape routes.


They must also be more concerned about the client’s safety than their contract. That's the ultimate form of customer service by a security professional.


“I was working personal security for a client during a large public event,” Griffin remembers. “I quickly threw the client into the corner of a room without warning, and jumped on top of the client. Within seconds a stampede of people knocked down the friends and associates who were around us, but we were untouched. Safe.


“My training and love for my work served me well that night, and many nights since,” says Griffin.


“Most clients aren’t trained to think ‘safety first,’ especially personal safety. That’s why there will be times when they try to get security personnel to agree with them and loosen the restrictions, or don’t follow protocol. Don’t do it! That customer is NOT right,” he says.

Politics And Pro Sports Don't Always Mix

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September 17, 2019


It’s an election year in Virginia, and next year’s presidential and congressional races have had tongues wagging for months. Several of those tongues belong to celebrities.


Famous people, including sports figures, have rubbed elbows with political leaders for ages. That’s true all over the world. But fans don’t always approve, and that can be challenging for security professionals.


Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin has found himself between fans and the famous, and warns those who want to do that type of security work that it’s not always as glamorous as it seems.


“Once in the mid-1990’s, my client decided to see a basketball game where Michael Jordan was playing,” Griffin remembers. Jordan is a basketball legend who played for two NBA teams, most notably the Chicago Bulls. He continues to make news as a team owner.


“This particular arena held somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people, and I learned quickly that fans don’t care how famous you are. If you’re blocking their view, they’ve got a problem with you,” he says.


“A particular group of fans shouted for my client to kneel, because they were waiting for the Chicago Bulls to play. I told the fans to calm down. They advised me and our security team to ‘get out of the way.’


“They proceeded to curse at me and my client, and some started to throw food,” says Griffin.


For security personnel needing to secure a political client at a major sporting event, make sure you take care of the fans, too.


“Don’t walk the stadium to shake hands, especially for votes,” Griffin says. “Fans who want to shake hands with your client will approach the client. It’s also important to keep your client on the first row, or in floor seats to make sure they won’t block a fan’s view. They’re paying customers. We need to always respect that.”

Being A Security Pro In Virginia

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September 10, 2019


“We’re meeting some great people who are very interested in entering the security field, and would be great professionals,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Unfortunately, too many of them are delayed because they are not certified. Or, they let their certification expire.”


Getting certified is a critical part of the process for everyone who wants to be a security professional in Virginia.


The process includes getting your fingerprints done, which Griffin suggests you do first. He adds that you should do the prints at a location where you can also get your background check.


When you’re ready for certification, take required core subjects training at a facility certified by the state Department of Criminal Justices Services (DCJS). Starting with training leading to unarmed security officer/courier certification gives you valuable basic training, and allows you to start working.


The basic training, and the experience you can get once you start working as an unarmed officer, are perfect ways to start.


“Working as a certified, unarmed officer helps you learn more detailed information about the business, but also about yourself,” says Griffin, “and your ability to really handle the many things that may be asked of you as a security professional.


“For example, you may discover that being a security officer is not right for you, but some other aspect of the business makes sense,” he says.


You may decide to move toward work as an armed security officer. You could be thinking about this as a way of entering law enforcement. Armed security work is also a way many military and law enforcement professionals transition into civilian careers, second or third careers, active retirement work, or part-time jobs that fit their schedules and skills.


Even if you already have skills with weapons, you must still have DCJS certification.


Armed or unarmed, if you want to make this your profession, you must train.


Griffin says to include basic self-defense and handcuffs training, because “you must know how to protect yourself, as a weapon is your last resort.”


Additional training for armed officers should include firearms range training, and make sure to train with the weapon or weapons that you want to be certified with. If you’re interested in working high-risk sites, you may also want to consider shotgun training.


“Remember,” Griffin warns, “you should only use equal force while working any given job site based on that site’s, and your security company’s, standard operating procedures. Good, regular training helps you remember that, and effectively handle your business.”

Properly Store Your Weapon

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September 3, 2019


School-aged children across the nation are hitting the books today. Many are in schools with updated safety protocols, the result of several mass shootings in recent years. Unfortunately, another horrible shooting is in the news.


“We talk a lot about the rights of owning a weapon, but we must make sure we talk twice as much about the responsibilities,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “One of the most important responsibilities is properly securing the weapon at all times.”


Research has shown that more than half of gun owners don’t properly store their weapon. Additional reports show that gun ownership may not make you safer, as does information mentioned in a recent Time magazine article: “Americans have a higher chance of harming themselves intentionally or loved ones accidentally at home from firearms.”


Homes with guns and children may be more vulnerable than adults in the home believe. It is alarmingly easy to find tragic examples of children hurting or killing themselves, or other kids, while playing with guns.


Properly storing your weapon can make a big difference.


An estimated “31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms might be prevented with the addition of two devices: a child-proof safety lock and a loading indicator.… More than 80 percent of guns used by youth in suicide attempts were kept in the home of the victim, a relative, or a friend.”


There are several great tips for safely securing your weapon, including:

Use a child safety lock. In addition to the lock, store the weapon in a place where the child, or children, are least likely to find it. Think like your child when you make this decision.


Educate your child/children about gun safety. If you have a weapon in the home, have clear rules about it. However, do not plan on your child consistently following the rules. Children are curious. That’s wonderful, but it can also be very dangerous.


Educate yourself. Make sure your knowledge of how to properly operate, lock, and maintain your weapon is up to date.


Make sure all adults agree. Research has shown that all adults in the home don’t always have the same ideas about what is considered safe storage. Discuss it and make sure. If certain practices are agreed on, then every adult in the household must follow the rules. That includes visitors and babysitters.


“In a lot of tragedies involving guns and children, the children are playing without supervision,” says Griffin. “It’s hard to monitor kids 24-7. I suggest that people combine strategies such as adult agreement on safety, age-appropriate training and conversations with the children, and well-planned security measures.”

Security Goes Back-To-School

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August 27, 2019


One week from today, the doors of almost every school in the US will be open again, heading into what everyone hopes is a great start of the 2019-2020 school year.


More security professionals will also be going back-to-school. Many jurisdictions are increasing security in and around schools, and offering a variety of supports for students.


“Unfortunately, we’ve seen in recent years that schools are not always as safe as we’d like them to be,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin, “but many communities are doing everything they can to increase the level of safety at their schools.”


Griffin also says, “It’s a great idea for security professionals who also have a heart for children to pursue opportunities to use their skills to protect children in the place where kids spend most of their time.”


More opportunities for that are presenting themselves, and not just for guards.


In Virginia, where Leumas Security Services is based, state funding is aimed at hiring more counselors, and there is a state-run center for school safety. The center provides a range of resources, and manages the annual school safety survey. In fact, this year’s survey is being conducted now through September 30th.


In Cleveland, Ohio, more crossing guards are reportedly being hired, and are considered an important element of security when children start and end their school day.


Detroit and Montgomery County, Maryland, have been putting out the word that they’re hiring new guards. In Newtown, Connecticut, where one of the nation’s most horrific school shootings occurred, a civilian security force is now in place that has been called a model for the state.


For suggestions about school safety operations parents can look for, see our blog post from July 23rd. Tips on keeping kids safe from bullies are in our July 26th post.


“Families should definitely check out school safety plans, and be able to feel comfortable with them,” says Griffin. “I hope they also feel better knowing that security professionals, school systems, and local leaders are working to get better every year at protecting our most precious asset: our children.”

Tracking Devices For Elders

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August 20, 2019


“I recently overheard a conversation at the barbershop about the barber’s father being missing for two days,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “The father has early dementia, and has a vehicle he can use. Apparently the father started off disappearing for a few hours, and then overnight. It’s very scary not knowing the location of an elderly parent with a health condition.”


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “around 50 million people have dementia, with nearly 60% living in low- and middle-income countries. Every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases.”


Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, and may contribute to 60-80% of dementia cases.


Dementia and Alzheimer’s can be devastating to people who have these conditions as well as those around them. The WHO reports that the global societal cost is estimated to be about $818 billion.


“No amount of money can capture the emotional toll this can take, but technology can be a big help,” says Griffin. “A tracking device can help you ensure your elders are safe.”


In an earlier post we mentioned tracking devices that can be used with your children. They can be used with seniors, too.

“With most tracking devices the person can have their freedom, and you have some peace of mind knowing where your loved one is 24/7,” Griffin says.


“With so many high-tech devices on the market, you can be completely covered. For example, a device can be placed in your vehicle to track its location and speed. Jewelry is a great way to have a tracking device that can also double as a panic button.


“Many tracking devices have apps that connect them to your smartphone, or they can be incorporated into your home security system,” says Griffin. “Do some research, and then do yourself and your loved one the favor of getting the device that works best for both of you.”


Note: Links to products are for informational purposes only. We do not endorse, or benefit from, any product linked to in this post.

"Kindness Rocks!"

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WISC's 2019 Family Festival
WISC Family Festival 2019
WISC 2019 Family Festival
Kids got to meet animals, too.


August 13, 2019


What an honor to join our neighbors at the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex (WISC) for this year’s Family Festival! The 2019 theme: Kindness Rocks.


“I don’t know if there are more challenges today, more ways to hear about them, or both, but all of us need to take every opportunity to come together,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “The WISC Family Festival was a great event, and the theme was perfect.


“It sounds simple, but when you disagree with someone about something it can be hard to be kind. To see them as a member of your community. Events like these are fun reminders that we are all valuable members of the human family,” Griffin says.


“Security professionals often work during events like WISC’s annual Family Festival,” he says, “but they should also make time to attend just for fun.


“Hanging out with family, friends, and neighbors at significant public events helps you relax. It also gives you an opportunity to build relationships with community members, and practice connecting with people in a less stressful environment. Many challenging security and law enforcement encounters are effectively defused by professionals who have great ‘people skills.’


“When it comes to your professional skills, these types of events help you build and strengthen things like your ability to observe behavior and physical attributes (like hair color and clothing), quickly make decisions, and even get used to new shoes you may have to walk in for extended periods of time,” Griffin says.

When The Worst Happens

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August 6, 2019


Our last post encouraged you to be focused, not fearful. However, the rapidly rising number of mass shootings, and tragic deaths and injuries they cause, make that hard for everyone.


“We keep the affected families, and the entire nation, in our thoughts and prayers,” Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin says.


“I feel blessed to be part of an industry that exists to offer more than thoughts and prayers. We help people stay safe,” he says. “We also pray for the brave security and law enforcement professionals who have responded quickly to too many horrible situations like these.”


Griffin reminds people that security teams like ours can provide services, as well as training. However, you can also start right now.


Check out several great resources that give you checklists about the Run-Hide-Fight way of protecting yourself during an active shooter situation. Many of the videos show indoor office settings, but the information is valuable no matter where you are. There are also suggestions about signs someone may be troubled in ways that might lead to dangerous behavior.


Griffin adds a few suggestions.


“Notice that people in the training videos are encouraged to respond and look quickly when they suspect there is an active shooter, and then run” he says. “That reminds us to take note of the exits wherever you are, or the fastest way to leave the place. Sometimes the best exit is near the shooter. Is there a better option? If you have to leave quickly, could you do it? Could everyone with you get away quickly? Know the exits. If at all possible, practice leaving quickly. For women who wear high heels, can you run in them? If not, be able to get out of them quickly and leave them behind.


“When hiding, it is extremely difficult to calm yourself down,” Griffin says. “Practice calming your breathing. Try jogging or jumping jacks, and then practice catching your breath. Wherever you are, look around for places where you could hide, or something you could hide behind, if necessary. Wherever you work, worship, workout, or any place you regularly attend, know the exits and potential hiding places.


“Fighting is the scariest, and hardest, for most people,” Griffin says. “Notice things around you that could be used as a weapon. In some cases, you may want to safely practice. For example, swinging a bat or skillet, or lifting a chair. Have spray cleaners, or even hairspray close by? Use them to blind the attacker.


“Most importantly, whether you run, hide or fight, remember that you are fighting for your life. Encourage those around you to think the same way, so you are less likely to have to pull or leave them.


“Don’t be a hero. Only do what you can to save your life, and be prepared to interact with law enforcement and security professionals when they get there,” Griffin says.


“And don’t lose hope. This summer we’ve been celebrating the nation’s ability to put a man on the moon. And as people often say, if we can put a man on the moon, we can find ways to limit this type of violence.”

Be Focused Not Fearful

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August 2, 2019


People in Gilroy, California, and across the nation, are still trying to figure out why a 19-year old shooter attacked a community festival on July 28th. Three people were killed, including a 6-year old boy, and more than a dozen others were injured.


The tragedy rekindled the concerns of many people who wonder if it’s safe to attend public events at all these days.


“You can’t be guaranteed 100% safety anywhere, including in your own home,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “What you want to do is give yourself, and those you care about, the best opportunity to be safe. To do that you must be focused, not fearful.”


Griffin suggests that when you plan to attend public events, know these 5 things:

Your rules. Make sure you have some, and everyone with you knows them. This includes time limits, and basic safety rules that the children are aware of. For example, children should know not to wander away from the group unless they get specific instructions to do so, and they must follow those instructions.


Your team. Who is with you? Make sure you have a cell/mobile number for everyone (and the phones are charged). Attending with children? Make sure they have a few rules specifically about them, such as to stay still if they get lost, and to ask a mother with a child or a security person for help. Take a picture of the child/children just before you leave home.


Your surroundings. Take a minute to get an idea of where the entrance and exit are as compared to the event’s main activities. Take notice of any emergency exits. When possible, avoid extended amounts of time in the middle of a crowd. Work your way to the outer edges. Stay away from isolated, poorly lit, and off-limits areas. Enjoy yourself, but don’t get so wrapped up in whatever activities you’re doing that you lose track of time and any other people or property you may be responsible for. Prepare the children with you to do the same.


Event security personnel. Notice what the security team is wearing, and where they are located (including if there is a security, information, or first aid area). There are often police officers and security guards patrolling large public events. Knowing this information will come in handy if there is an emergency.


Your emergency plan. If the worst happens, you want to get through it as quickly and safely as possible. Make sure you wear clothing that allows you to move quickly. Have an emergency plan you regularly use that has basics, such as a meeting place in case you are separated from your group, as well as a couple of actions for the specific event. If a child gets lost, look in the area where you last saw the child. Consider what might attract the child away from you, or the place where they were last seen. Call the police if the child is not found in 10 minutes.


See our post from March of this year for safety tips associated with large, indoor events.

Security Can Be A Career For People Of All Abilities

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Wheelchair ability

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July 30, 2019


What is security? It’s a feeling of safety, freedom from fear. A security guard is a person who helps you feel that safety in a particular place, and makes sure things in that place are also safe.


More importantly to us at Leumas Security Services, security is a state of mind.


“Since security is really a state of mind, a variety of people can work in the security business,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “That includes people with so-called disabilities. If that’s you, I encourage you to consider applying for security positions.”


People with different levels of ability are often encouraged to work from home, or do work that is mostly stationary. Fortunately, technology has made it possible to work from home in more responsible and rewarding careers, such as web design, e-commerce, and information technology jobs. Technology also makes it more possible to earn a living with artistic pursuits such as jewelry-making.


“There are many positions in a security company,” Griffin says, “and most locations have wheelchair access and elevators, if that’s your concern. Let your ability help you focus on what you could do with a security company, including working as a guard.”


A great security guard has several skills. The most important ones are good communication, good observation, professionalism, commitment to safety, knowing how to work well with a variety of people, and the ability to multi-task.


Yes, a certain amount of physical ability is required, but that mostly depends upon the specific security job. For example, a person in a wheelchair can manage a security check-in desk, as well as many patrol areas. A person with hearing challenges can handle many of the administrative and team management needs of a security firm, and monitor video cameras with visual alarms.


“Don’t let your level of physical ability determine your future,” Griffin says. “You never know if you will hit the ball unless you swing.”

Remembering "Sweet Pea" Whitaker

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Boxing Great Whitaker

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July 28, 2019


“I am still keeping the family of Sweet Pea Whitaker in my prayers, as I think about the impact he had on my life,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


Boxing great Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker died July 14th, after being struck by a vehicle on a street in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


“It’s easy to remember him as the incredible boxer he was,” Griffin says, “but I’m a member of the community who knew that he was so much more.


“In the late 1990’s I was building my business, starting out as Griffin’s Executive Protection Agency,” Griffin remembers. “Sweet Pea Whitaker regularly visited a local nightclub my guards were assigned to secure. Not only was he a pleasure to meet, but he tipped my employees. He never had to do that. He just did.


“Having a celebrity like Whitaker interact with my early employees was a great shot of energy that let me know my dreams of successfully running my business could come true,” Griffin says.

Back-To-School, Back-To-Bullying?

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Back-to-school bullies

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July 26, 2019


Your outgoing 13-year old suddenly becomes quiet and doesn’t want to do things she usually loves. Your friend’s 4-year old really enjoyed camp on Friday, but it’s Monday and he refuses to get out of the car when he gets there. Your brother can’t figure out why his 16-year old son they call the “human vacuum cleaner” at dinner is skipping meals, and your neighbor said she’s worried about her 9-year old’s nightmares.


These could be signs that the youngsters are victims of bullying.


Bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”


A “perceived power imbalance” could be something like a bigger student pushing a student who is weaker, or appears to be. It could also be a popular child using social media to spread embarrassing and/or negative information about a less popular student.

Being bullied, being a bully, and even witnessing bullying, can have a lasting negative impact on the emotional well-being of a young person.


That’s especially bad news because a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute article stated that “between 21 and 49 percent of youth adolescents report being bullied in the past year,” and more than 70% of youth are bystanders to bullying.


That sounds like a huge reason to hate the start of a new school year. While you are planning, your child could be worrying. But there is a lot that you, your child, school administrators, and teachers can do.


If you suspect that your child is, or has been, bullied, research suggests you:

Keep the lines of communication open. Most kids don’t report being bullied, so spend time creating an environment where your child feels that you will listen to the child’s concerns. If you suspect bullying, create opportunities to lovingly bring up the subject in ways that are appropriate for your child. When your child opens up about the situation, do not immediately jump in with courses of action. Listen.


Be on your child’s side. Believe your child, and do not dismiss your child’s concerns about whatever happened or is happening. Clearly state that you are on your child’s side. If appropriate, you and your child can discuss the best way to handle the situation. However, you make the final decision. Set ground rules. For example, if you use the child’s suggested approach for a set amount of time and the bullying continues or intensifies, you will then switch to the adult’s approach.


Know the policy. Find the appropriate policy at the school, workplace, or other organization, where your child was bullied. You may have to get it from the school, or other place where the bullying is taking place.


Contact responsible adults at the site of the bullying. The child can be bullied at school, camp, work, or even a community organization where they are a volunteer. If the child is being cyber-bullied, the child may have met the bully at one of the places they frequent, such as the ones listed here. Contact the teacher, counselor, supervisor, manager, or another appropriate leader you can schedule an in-person, phone, or online meeting with in order to discuss the matter.


Have a Plan B. If the situation cannot be resolved with the help of leadership at the place where the child is being bullied, and possibly the family of the bully, take the matter up the chain of command. For example, in a school system you may have to walk into the school superintendent’s office. You may have to approach outside authorities, such as private counselors, appropriate community leaders, and law enforcement officials. Some parents take their child out of the school where the child was being bullied.

Back-To-School Safety

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Back-to-school safety

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July 23, 2019


Every child should be able to learn in a safe environment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and any school’s learning environment can be shattered in seconds.


“If you have school-aged children, you’re probably already in back-to-school mode,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “We had a recent blog post about planning, and want to dig even deeper into what we think about all the time: safety.”


And with good reason. All types of emergencies can happen that can shake an entire school community. It helps to know that there is a plan in place to handle them, especially events such as shootings and fires.


Shootings have occurred in schools throughout the nation’s history, and there have been 11 deadly mass shootings since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. As for fires, there are thousands of them each year. Both can be traumatizing for students, and everyone connected to the school.


There are many questions parents should ask to make sure their child’s school is a safe space, and that the school’s safety protocols include all students.


Many schools are constantly working to make sure their safety policies and procedures are effective. We urge you to find out what those procedures are at your child’s school, and give administrators there the benefit of your concern, commitment, and expertise.


We also suggest you pay close attention to the school’s:


Building and physical plant safety measures. Be sure the structure is secure, is well maintained (clean, structurally sound, has appropriate lighting, etc.), and has an active emergency notification system. How does that system engage parents? If certain information is needed from parents or caregivers, make sure you give it to the school, and keep it up to date.


Building access procedure. There must be a clear system for letting people in and out of the building. This system should prescreen visitors, and surprise visits by anyone other than a child’s parent/caregiver should be avoided.


School grounds. How does the school decide the appropriate number of teachers/staff that supervise children at any given time? What is that number? Does that include during recess, or other out-of-class time activities on school property? Children should not be allowed to leave school grounds without prior, appropriate authorization. What are the security measures for school dismissal (end of the day when children leave school grounds)?


Resource (security) officer. We suggest schools have a full-time resource officer. In some communities this is a police officer. This can also be a security officer who works directly for the school system, or a private security company. Check the officer’s training, especially training that is relevant for work with the school’s students.


Evacuation and lockdown/shelter-in-place drills. When and how are they handled? What are the goals? How do you define a successful drill? Do these consider students of all abilities? What is the process for updating the drills, and what are updates based on? Is there a section, or are there sections, of the school where students, teachers, and other school personnel can be completely sealed away from a dangerous intruder?

Make Sure Your Child Has An ID Card

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Child should have ID

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July 19, 2019


“All children 15 years of age or younger should have some form of state identification,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It’s not required to travel, but there are several good reasons to have one.”


Griffin says, “Children often get lost at amusement parks and playgrounds during this time of year. The first few hours after a child goes missing are critical, and an ID card can help save valuable time.”


Check your state motor vehicles agency for information about getting a child’s ID. In Virginia, for example, identification cards are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. According to the website, “The child’s photograph is stored in DMV’s database. If the child becomes missing, DMV can retrieve the image from the database and transmit it to law enforcement anywhere in the U. S.”


As you might imagine, there’s also an app for child ID cards. An FBI app to be exact. The FBI’s Child ID App “allows users to store up-to-date images and physical descriptions—like height, weight, birthmarks, etc.—that could help responders in the event of an emergency. The information is stored only on your device—not with your mobile provider or the FBI.”


Don’t forget to safely store copies of the child’s ID, or app information, and keep them up to date.


Many people invest in tracking devices for their child. It is also important to be aware of national resources and organizations that can help you cope in case the worst happens. Check for local options, too.


Of course, the best strategy is to do everything in your power to make sure your child does not become one of the thousands of children who go missing every year in the US. Some make headlines, but most don't.


To help keep your child safe, or any child in your care, make sure you research safety tips. Great strategies include making time to know any of the child’s care providers (including camp staff where possible), know where the child is and who the child is with, talk to your child about safety, and teach the child that it is alright to speak up when they do not feel safe.


Remember that children are much more likely to report feeling scared and sad to an adult they can trust. Spend time getting to know your child, so the child will come to you when they need to feel safe.


Note: Links to products are for informational purposes only. We do not endorse, or benefit from, any product linked to in this post.

Structure Your Business For Safety

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Starting a business

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July 16, 2019


Thinking about starting your own business, or taking a step forward in the small business you already operate? Excellent! We want to remind you that the way your business is structured can help keep you safe.


We don’t mean physical safety, which we usually discuss here. We mean financial safety.


Yours would likely be a small business, like most businesses in the United States. The way the business is structured can help protect your personal assets in case your business faces a lawsuit brought by an individual or another company.


Common business structures include a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, and a corporation. There are various types of corporations.


A sole proprietorship is where a single individual owns and operates the business. This person bears all of the rewards as well as the risks.


A Limited Liability Company (LLC) can have a tax identification number, is a separate entity from the owner, and the owner is not personally liable for some debts if the business in most situations.


A corporation is a separate legal entity that is operated by a board of directors. “After incorporation, stock is issued to the company's shareholders in exchange for the cash or other assets they transfer to it in return for that stock. Once a year, the shareholders elect the board of directors, who meet to discuss and guide corporate affairs anywhere from once a month to once a year.”


To decide which business structure will work best for you, it is important to consider factors such as your growth plan, financial needs, and whether the nature of your work is likely to expose you to being sued by customers or creditors.


Making the right decision from the beginning is a great way to protect your business. Spend time learning from others, such as renowned entrepreneur Daymond John, and people in your desired industry. If you really believe in what you want to achieve, you can find a way to get there.

Back-To-School Planning

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Back-to-school planning

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July 12, 2019


The Leumas Security Services team trusts you, and the people you care about, are having an enjoyable and safe summer.


To make sure the school year starts that way - safe and fun - for any young people in your life, we encourage you to add back-to-school planning into your schedule.


Planning ahead can help you make the most of special opportunities. For example, the Virginia Sales Tax Holiday begins three weeks from today. Other states have similar periods. This is a great time to get back-to-school supplies and clothing, as well as emergency preparedness gear and energy-saving products.


Planning also makes it easier for you and the students to ease back into the challenges often faced during the first several weeks of the school year.


Here are a few suggestions:

Be ready to meet the requirements. From immunizations and registration forms, to special supplies and clothing, make sure you know what the child’s school says each student must have in order to attend. Even if the child is attending the same school, some requirements may have changed. For example, bus stops may be in new locations, and some schools are encouraging see-through backpacks.


Make sure special concerns get special care. Build in time to make sure any required paperwork and meetings are completed on time if your child has special situations. These include food allergies, is considered special needs with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or has a mental health or learning challenge.


Practice school safety with summer safety. Add walking in areas similar to the one near your child’s school, a public or private bus trip, or your teen driving to your remaining summer outings. Model and practice appropriate safety procedures for whatever form of transportation you use. This includes making eye contact with drivers before crossing the street, wearing properly fitted bike helmets, and obeying the speed limit while driving. Whether walking, biking, or driving, stay focused!


Connect with the concerns. The start of a new school year can be very stressful to a child for a variety of reasons. Create opportunities to discuss the coming school year with your child, and make sure you listen carefully. Let the child know that you have taken in the information, and will work with the child to handle the concern.


Find the fun. Create ways to celebrate the start of the school year, like a special breakfast or dinner. Point out that the higher grade, and maybe height, are great signs of growing up. Add fun activities to bedtime, and spend at least four weeks using them to help gradually move the child’s bedtime to what it will need to be during the school year.

Living The Legacy

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Living the Legacy
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July 9, 2019


“She was my heart,” Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin says of Hilda Mae Jones. “I promised I would take care of her, so this is a way I’m still doing that.”


“This” is Leumas Security Services’ sponsorship of the first Hilda Mae Jones Foundation 4th of July Cookout. The foundation awards scholarships, provides supplies for incarcerated individuals, and offers a range of supports to people who need a hand up while working to help themselves.


Griffin says the foundation’s focus is on “the least of these.” He says, “So many people need some help until their government assistance kicks in. The foundation bridges that gap, helping to instill hope in those who would otherwise give up.”


The organization continues the work of Sister Jones, as she was affectionately called by her beloved Church of God family. She devoted countless hours to the historic church founded by Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, and its service to the world. The cookout was held at the church's renowned James City County Bible and Agricultural Training School.


No matter what she experienced, Sister Jones was a lifelong model of love and perseverance.


“She was my grandmother, and the first person I ever protected,” says Griffin.


“I’ve told a lot of people about when I was little I carried a BB gun to protect a woman in my family while she walked to the grocery store,” Griffin remembers. “My grandmother was that woman. Nothing compared to how good I felt thinking that I was keeping her safe. It set the stage for everything I have done in life.


“She was also wise, like Elder Michaux, in their example of how you can build your life - including your business - in a way that expresses your spiritual life,” Griffin says.


Since its inception in 2013, within days of Sister Jones’ passing, the Hilda Mae Jones Foundation has operated on donations from businesses, and the tithes of family members.


“The cookout is an opportunity to thank those who have donated, and celebrate the community’s ability to stay connected and strong through the generations,” Griffin says. “It makes sense to start now, and in this place. Four-hundred years ago this year, the first Africans stepped on America’s shores as slaves. They were right near this land.”

Bugs!

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Bug bites

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July 5, 2019


For many people, summer means beaches, barbecues, and bug bites. More of us get outside in the warmer weather and do what feels natural. Many bugs do the same thing.


How do you keep the number of outdoor fun activities up, while safely keeping the number of bug bites down? Health and insect experts have some suggestions.


Avoid certain places. Stay away from stagnant water, which can be a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitos. If summer storms create instant ponds, quickly drain them.


Avoid certain behaviors. As much fun as walking barefoot in the grass can be, or wearing perfume, these are activities that can make you more attractive to biting insects. Some research has even shown that drinking beer can be one of several things that make you more attractive to mosquitos.


Travel wisely. If you’re going overseas, make sure you will not be traveling to an area where you may be exposed to insect-borne viruses. Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.


Consider insect repellents. Many people are served well by what they lovingly call “bug spray.” However, all sprays are not good for all people, especially children. Carefully research insect repellents, as well as possible alternatives that you may find helpful.


Check with local experts. Don’t forget to ask a variety of experts in your area who may be able to offer specific suggestions. Health care professionals, agricultural and gardening experts, and those familiar with local insect activity are valuable resources.

Security "Professional" From The Start

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New Security Guard

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July 2, 2019


It’s your first day as a security guard. Congratulations! Welcome to the world of security professionals.


Whether this is a job you’re doing temporarily, or starting out on what you hope is a long and distinguished career as a security/law enforcement professional, we want to encourage you to make the most of it.


“Making sure people are safe has been my number one focus for as long as I can remember,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It doesn’t have to be that way for you. But conducting yourself as a professional in whatever you do, wherever you do it, will always serve you well.”


After decades of experience as a security professional and entrepreneur, Griffin knows that professionalism can start on Day 1. He says a security guard gets off to a strong start by:


*Completing the basic training. In some situations a guard can start working before some of the training has been completed. However, if this is your case, make sure you schedule time to complete the training as soon as possible. That can be training required by an authority such as DCJS in Virginia, as well as for your specific company.


*Knowing SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). The company you work for has SOPs. The specific site where you are assigned will also have its own SOPs, or general operating procedures. Make sure you know them all well, and follow them. If you have concerns about instances where following SOPs may be challenging, do not hesitate to ask questions and get clear answers. Griffin says, “SOPs will guide you through your first few days of work because they explain the company’s do’s and don’ts of site work. SOPs also allow you to enhance your recent unarmed/armed classroom training.”


*Showing up on time. This is one of the biggest reasons why people in a wide variety of industries lose their jobs. Many business owners, site supervisors, and workforce experts will tell you that people who regularly show up on time get opportunities other workers don’t. According to a Career Trend article: “Consistently arriving to work on time demonstrates commitment and consideration for the people you work with, and the company that employs you. The benefits of being punctual include your ability to build positive and productive working relationships with your supervisor and peers. It also means you gain desirable traits that employers value and that you can perform your assigned job tasks within the allotted time.”


*Effectively handling administrative tasks. Make sure you sign in, or log in, as instructed. Make sure that any required reports, such as incident reports, are handled in a timely fashion, and are completed as required. Again, make sure these things are done as required by SOPs. Often when there are discrepancies about pay amounts and dates, it turns out that the guard was not clear about pay information outlined in the SOPs, did not sign in or out properly, did not file required paperwork appropriately, or some combination of these issues.


*Completing additional training. Additional training helps you stay sharp, as well as advance in your career. For example, you may be certified as an unarmed security officer, and get further training for armed security work in order to get more assignments, earn more money, or be better positioned for a law enforcement position.


“Starting out in the security field can feel overwhelming at times, because you know you are responsible for someone’s property, their life, or your own life could be at risk,” Griffin says. “If you feel that way that’s good. It means you’re serious about your responsibility.


“The best way to get through moments of being overwhelmed is to remember that you’ve got what it takes to do the job, and be wise enough to know what you don’t know. Ask questions. Ask your security supervisors. Check your SOPs. Ask more experienced members of the security team you’re working with,” Griffin says.

Kids And Cars

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Family car

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June 28, 2019


This is the time of year when millions of people across the U.S. will pack everyone into the car and set off on vacation. Unfortunately, too many situations where kids are in, or around, cars in the summer aren’t nearly as funny as the famous summer vacation road trip movie.


According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “deaths of children younger than 13 in motor vehicle crashes have declined since 1975, but crashes still cause 1 of every 4 unintentional injury deaths.”


Children are also tragically killed or injured when they are hit by a vehicle in a driveway or parking lot. In fact, toddlers are often victims of “frontovers,” where a driver can’t see the child in front of the car. Every car has a front blind spot.


Keep kids safe this summer, and all year long, when they are in, or around, your vehicle. Experts suggest several strategies, including:


Put kids in their place. Children 13 and under should always ride in the back seat. They should be in the appropriate seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches and heavier than weight recommendations for their car seat or booster seat, which usually happens between 8 and 12 years of age.


Use the right seat. Speaking of car seats and booster seats, make sure you are using the right one for your child’s age, height, and weight. Make sure it is properly secured in your vehicle before every trip.


Keep your eyes on them. Children, especially younger ones, are very much “in the moment.” They might follow someone outside to say goodbye, run out from between cars in a parking lot, or any number of quick, unplanned movements. Give them age-appropriate lessons about being safe around cars, but don’t count on them remembering at all times.


Secure items in your vehicle. People who travel with children often have several items on hand to make the trip more enjoyable, which may even include a pet. Plus luggage that can include gear for special activities. Make sure everything is secured, or stored, in ways that keep them from flying if you should happen to slam on the brakes or are in an accident.


Take your time when checking your vehicle before you leave. An extra few minutes considering these reminders could save you a lot of heartache.


Have a great, and safe, summer road trip!


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A Clean Start

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A clean start

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June 25, 2019


A recent poll made news by revealing that half of Americans used a swimming pool instead of taking a shower.


We hope security professionals take a real shower or bath before they go to work!


“Security work can often include a significant amount of walking, dressing in hot suits or uniforms, and then rushing from one location to another,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “You can get sweaty, so good hygiene is important.


Griffin suggests security pros start their first shift of the day, or first in a series of shifts, with a good shower or bath.


Dermatologists and other hygiene experts suggest the best ways to shower, as well as ways to get the most out of basic shower time.


There are also suggested ways to care for your skin while showering, such as shorter shower time and with cooler water, as well as ways to pay more attention to parts of the body you may be neglecting (like your belly button).


“Yes, there will be times when you are sweaty, but have to get to your next site,” says Griffin, “but that doesn’t mean your professionalism has to be overshadowed by your strong scent.”


Take time to research the many available products that can help you make the most of a quick stop in a nearby restroom.


Griffin suggests having backup work clothes available, such as a clean shirt and whatever else helps you feel your best. Uniforms may benefit by being cleaned using these tips for cleaning workout clothes, but start with the manufacturer’s care instructions. It is important for the uniform to be fresh and clean at the beginning of your work period.


“It may be a little hard to believe,” Griffin says, “but when you start your shift totally sharp and clean, it contributes to your professional presence.”


Note: Links to products are for informational purposes only. We do not endorse, or benefit from, any product linked to in this post.

Safeguard Your Small Business

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Woman business owner presents

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June 21, 2019


Are you making a living running your own business? Whether you call yourself an entrepreneur, solo-preneur, small business owner, freelancer, consultant, or any other title, you and your business are very dependent upon each other.


There’s a lot to think about. We hope safety is on their minds. Why? If something happens to you, it happens to your business. If something happens to your business, it happens to you.


“I’ve met entrepreneurs who have their specific service or expertise covered, have insurance, online security, and great partners or employees,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin, “but they didn’t think about physical security until something happened. They cut corners to save a little time or money, but it cost them much more in the long run.”


Griffin suggests you:

*Trust your instincts. When you do not feel safe with certain customers, clients, or partners, have a process in place to handle the situation. Be ready with things you can say or do to professionally but clearly handle likely scenarios, and someone you can immediately report the encounter to.

*Safely transport money. When you have to make a deposit or withdrawal at a financial institution, make sure you have a secure system for transporting the funds. While working, or on personal time, do not “flash” cash or credit cards.

*Have a safe space. Make sure any area you frequent does not pose a physical hazard (falling, tripping, having furniture or equipment fall on you, etc.).

*Mind your electronics. Make sure you are not overloading the electrical system in your workspace, especially when using extension cords.

*Get a security system. This includes an alarm system, security cameras, and a thoughtfully placed panic button that connects to local police. Consider including the ability to “buzz” people in, if appropriate, as well as the ability to see the person before you hit the buzzer.

*Check your security system. If you already have a system, check it regularly to make sure it is working properly. You want to know it will be ready if you need it.

*Connect locally. Connect with other entrepreneurs in your area to find ways to pool resources to make sure you are all more secure. For example, it may be more affordable and sensible to hire a security company and/or security systems for the area where you are all located.

*Connect more broadly. Connect with the local Small Business Administration office, SCORE, Freelancers Union, your local Chamber of Commerce, or other organizations that offer a wide variety of valuable supports to small business owners.

*Have fire extinguishers, and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure they are operational by changing batteries, checking expiration dates, or whatever protocol is specified by the manufacturer.


There are also earlier posts on this page with personal safety tips for you and your family. As the old saying goes, “better safe than sorry.”


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A Security Pro's Best Weapon: Words.

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A security pro's best weapon: words.

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June 18, 2019


“A security professional’s biggest weapon is his or her mouth,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “You can often defuse a situation verbally.”


How police officers talked to, and drew their weapons on, a family in Phoenix, Arizona prompted a meeting of community members, police, and city officials scheduled for tonight in the city. No one was killed during the incident.


“I never want to second-guess how someone handles their security role,” says Griffin, “However, this is an opportunity to stress the power of appropriately talking to people in security situations. The tone and volume of your voice and your body language don’t lose their importance just because you’re in a security position. In fact, they’re even more important.”


As in many other cities, Phoenix police are looking at the ways they deal with the public. Communities of color and poor communities across the nation have long said they are unfairly targeted, and treated less humanely. Many police officers view things differently.


“So much goes back to training,” Griffin says. “First, make sure you weed out people who are just on power trips. Those who are on the force must be required to keep their skills sharp, and not just their ability to shoot.


“If you keep going to your weapon when dealing with people, that means you don’t have the proper training,” says Griffin. “That’s an easy fix.


“It must be said that even under the best of circumstances, and first responders do everything right, things can still go horribly wrong.


“Our hearts break for those who feel victimized by security professionals, as well as for security professionals or first responders of any type who lose their lives or health while serving the community. It does happen,” says Griffin. “I’d like these incidents, and every situation where a security professional needs more than forceful words, to be rare.”

Flag Day

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Flag Day 2019

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June 14, 2019


On this day in 1777, according to history.com, the Second Continental Congress “passed a resolution stating that ‘the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,’ and that ‘the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.’”


On July 4, 1960, the flag we salute today was raised for the first time by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Flag etiquette, rules and guidelines include specific times and ways to display the flag, not allowing it to touch the ground (or anything beneath it), and destroying it in a dignified manner.


To honor their service to the nation, a flag drapes the coffin of deceased veterans and is presented to their next of kin after the service. The flag can also be used in this way for other patriotic Americans, but there is a cost.


A light-hearted celebration of the flag is scheduled for today in Washington. Famed magician David Copperfield plans to mark this Flag Day by restoring a star to the Smithsonian’s Star-Spangled Banner. That flag flew over Baltimore’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became our national anthem.

The Human Element

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The human element in security

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June 11, 2019


Security guards are often in the news. There are times when a security person’s actions are questioned for being too much, or too little. When a guard is a crime victim, or considered a hero who thinks they were just doing their job. Sometimes paying a price for doing that job.


There are also advancements in technology that have had security experts talking for months about robots replacing human security officers. They, and other technologies, can work very well together. But could tech totally replace a sharp man or woman on a walkie-talkie?


“I can’t imagine that ever happening,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “As long as there are humans, they will want other humans to be at least part of whatever it is that helps them feel secure. I agree with the people who say things like human empathy, the ability to quickly adjust to a situation, and human experience can’t easily be replaced.


“Well trained security guards know how to position themselves, patrol an area, report activity, and respond to incidents in ways that deter, contain or effectively resolve most incidents,” Griffin says.


For example, there is evidence that in 2016, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was the scene of a deadly mass shooting because security was too tight at the shooter’s original destination.


“The best security professionals have a combination of things that make them very hard to replace,” says Griffin. “Their skills stay sharp, they have good instincts about people and situations, they take care of their health, and they have a willingness to serve.


“We don’t hear about the countless problems security professionals face every day,” Griffin says. “That’s exactly the way most security professionals want it to be. That means they took care of them.”

Hydrate!

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Hydrate!

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June 7, 2019


You hear it all the time from weather forecasters - especially in the summer - fitness instructors, and maybe even friends and family.


Hydrate, hydration, dehydration. They are all about having enough water in your body. To hydrate and hydration are about replacing water in the body. Dehydrated and dehydration are about not having enough water, and symptoms can include headache and a sweet tooth.


It may not look like it, but our bodies are mostly made up of water. Every cell of your body needs water to function properly. Water helps you maintain your body temperature, remove waste, and keep your joints lubricated.


What does hydration have to do with safety? Being well hydrated is one of the simplest and easiest things you can do to stay healthy, and being physically healthy can help you stay safe.


In earlier posts we’ve talked about warm weather activities like sports, boating, and camping. People who are dehydrated can have medical emergencies that may put their lives at risk, and possibly the lives of others.


What if you have to move quickly to avoid danger, fight off an attacker, or warn others? What if you have to help someone else? Even if you are physically fit, your ability to effectively function can be severely limited if you are not well hydrated.


Speaking of fitness, athletes are especially encouraged to watch their fluid intake. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that individualized hydration plans help athletes improve their performance and recovery time.


Not a big water fan? Let your meals help you out. Add more fluids with hydration-friendly foods like oatmeal, milk, and salad. Check out this list of water-rich foods. Many are fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of ripeness right now, making them even tastier.


You can also cut down on alcohol and caffeine, which contribute to dehydration.


Drinking appropriate amounts of water every day may seem like a little thing, but it’s a big deal for your health.

Bring Your Whole Self To Your Work

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Bring your whole self to your work

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June 4, 2019


“I always count on my faith,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin, “and sometimes it’s funny how even the smallest things have been big miracles in my security work.


“During a hot summer several years ago, I travelled to Miami, Florida with my client,” Griffin remembers. “We had meetings with a variety of community leaders across the state, plus the Vice President of the United States while he was in the area.”


Griffin says there was a significant security presence throughout the trip, and he even called on a seasoned colleague based in New York City for assistance.


“While preparing to leave for the meeting with the Vice President, my client decided to change his socks to ones of a different color. The client checked the luggage but could not find them, and I had not packed them.


“I was nervous, but took a breath and reached into the same suitcase pocket my client had checked. I pulled out a pair of socks, and did it again, and again. Every time was a different color. We were both in awe,” Griffin recalls with a laugh. “We went to the meeting in good spirits.


“That night, just as other nights when a client’s life had been threatened, or there’d been a security problem that was safely resolved, I dropped to my knees and prayed,” says Griffin.


“It’s important to bring your whole self to your work, whatever your work is,” Griffin says. “Bring your faith. Lean on it, but don’t use it to judge or discriminate against others. Use your faith to connect, to build bridges. Also use your instincts, and your good sense.


“I believe that if you always combine faith, instincts, and intelligence with good training you can succeed.”

Our Hearts Are With Our Virginia Beach Neighbors

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Deadly Virginia Beach shooting

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June 1, 2019


“Our hearts and prayers are with the families that lost loved ones, and for the rapid recovery of those who were injured, in yesterday’s horrible shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Building,” said Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


“Virginia Beach is a beautiful place filled with people we have had the great pleasure of working with for many, many years,” Griffin said. “We pray that as we learn more about what happened, we will have opportunities to celebrate the lives of those lost too soon as well as the strength of the entire community.”

Get Serious About Playground Safety

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Get serious about playground safety

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May 31, 2019


As kids spend more time enjoying playgrounds, taking advantage of the higher temperatures and extra daylight hours, make sure they don’t spend more time getting hurt.


“Each year, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment,” according to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).


In some cases, children lose their lives in playground equipment accidents at school, or because of problems with clothing. Kids may even use equipment inappropriately, not realizing how dangerous that can be.


According to CPSC researchers and other experts, many of these painful situations can be avoided. Playgrounds can be made safer with:


Supervision. Adults who can clearly keep their eyes on children in their care, especially the youngest ones, can help them use equipment properly. Adults can also help children avoid a variety of potentially dangerous situations.


Rules About Behavior. Kids should know that they have to share and take turns on playground equipment. They should make sure the coast is clear before jumping, swinging, and sliding. They should also use equipment designed for their age, and use it properly for the safest experience. For example, it might seem like a good idea to go head-first down a sliding board pretending to be a flying superhero, but that is not the safest way to go.


Proper Clothing. Make sure kids wear shoes at all times. Clothes should not have drawstrings, or very loose parts that can get caught on equipment. This includes jewelry. Remove bike helmets while using playground equipment.


Proper Ground Surfaces. According to the National Safety Council, playground surfaces should be made up of “12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.” They should not have anything sticking up through them, including sharp parts of the equipment.


Well-Maintained Equipment. Make sure playground authorities properly install and maintain the equipment. Whoever supervises the child(ren) should also make sure pieces are not too broken, loose, wet, or hot to be used safely.

Don't Trust. Train!

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Security pros must get good training

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May 28, 2019


“When I first started out I took a class and trusted the instructor, only to find out later that I was misinformed about something,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It never happened again.”


Griffin encourages anyone interested in the security field to take the trainings required by the state where they will work as an armed or unarmed security professional. In Virginia, for example, the authority is the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).


Federal officers are hired by the federal government, and require extensive training and background checks.


“Some guards are training incorrectly,” Griffin says. “But how would they know? Ask questions. Read the rules and regulations. The instructor’s opinions don’t matter. It’s about the law.”


There are almost always news reports where a security officer’s training is questioned. An NBA star is asked for identification, a guard is attacked at a restaurant in one part of the country, and elsewhere a guard is involved in a fatal shooting.


“No matter what happens, whether you are an armed or unarmed security professional, you want to be able to count on your training. You want to know that you did everything you could for the best outcome, and do it in a way that is supported by the law,” Griffin says.


When it comes to carrying a concealed weapon - done by some security professionals as well as private citizens - Griffin has additional advice.


“Being licensed to carry a concealed weapon doesn’t mean that you can carry your weapon anywhere you like,” he says. “Knowing the law in your state, and in specific settings, is critical. Some states even allow private citizens to carry a weapon unconcealed, but not every location in that state.


“Once you conceal your weapon, you should have a concealed weapons permit,” Griffin says, “but watch for posted signs on private property. Also know laws not allowing you to carry your weapon into federal buildings, some movie theaters, restaurants, and across some state lines.”


Griffin also reminds every owner of a firearm, whether a security professional or private citizen, to “know how to use, maintain, and store it responsibly.”

Warm Weather and Crime

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Warm weather and crime

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May 24, 2019


For many people in the United States, Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. They look forward to vacation, outdoor shows and festivals, or just hanging out in the extra hours of sunshine.


However, many people believe summer’s higher temperatures bring higher crime rates. Well, the weather does have an impact on crime rates, and it doesn’t.


A study published in GeoHealth reported that weather’s affect on crime might depend on where you live. It showed that warmer temperatures were likely to be connected to higher crime rates during the winter in areas that have stronger winters. Heat was less likely to spark aggression than it was to bring together crime’s three major ingredients: “a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a guardian to prevent a violation of the law.”


Researchers and others say the weather-crime connection is worth continuing to dig into, especially since the nation’s murder rate started climbing again.


The New York Times reported that the murder rate rose in 2015 and 2016, after falling for 25 years. The paper called for considering a variety of factors that could have contributed to the increase in gun violence in particular during that period, such as the weather. The Times report stated that temperatures were higher on average in those two years than they were in 2014, when the murder rate reached a modern low. The report detailed the Times’ close look at 10 cities, and states, "Shootings generally increased in nine of the 10 cities as temperatures rose.”


The Times also reported, “Why the rise in shootings during warmer weather? Mostly because people are outside more.”


Whether you’re inside or outside in warm weather, the drop in safety-minded behavior warm weather can bring is a challenge. Change that by taking steps to avoid being what the GeoHealth report called “a suitable target.”


Be a hard target. Walk with assertiveness and confidence when going to work or school, or running errands.


Stick with basic safety tips. Walking or running alone early in the morning or late at night, leaving your car unlocked, and displaying your cash can all make you a potential target for a criminal. It may be challenging to stick with these old-fashioned tips, but they still work.


Look out for parent traps. When parents are out alone with children, their focus is on the children. Makes sense, but it can also make them targets. That’s especially true for moms traveling alone. Make sure you follow Parents magazine tips like protecting your purse, especially at the food court. Don’t wear headphones, don’t feel pressured to talk to strangers, and be prepared to leave any area when you feel unsafe.


Get older and wiser. Criminals often view seniors as easy targets, but they don’t have to be. Senior safety tips include keeping door and window locks working and in use even if you are at home, don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know, don’t give out personal and financial information to someone who calls you on the phone, and have any regular money you receive (like a Social Security or pension check) directly deposited into your bank account.

Vehicles and VIPs

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Safe vehicles can mean safe VIPs

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May 21, 2019


If you are - or wind up being - a security professional who works with a VIP, especially a celebrity at the height of their career, you may take a lot of trips in a limousine or some other luxury vehicle. These vehicles attract fans and others to the celebrity you are protecting. In many cases, that’s fine.


However, there are times when the celebrity would like to run errands, or relax for an evening, without attracting attention. This may mean using another vehicle, and that vehicle could even be yours.


Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin has been there.


Griffin was working security for an event in the Richmond, Virginia area several years ago, when one of the celebrity guests needed a break. He and the celebrity’s assistant came up with the idea of an evening at the movies.


“Instead of having the celebrity driven in the stretch limousine, we rode in my personal vehicle,” Griffin says. “We were escorted through the back door of the movie theater, and seated quietly in the back row where we watched the featured film.


“When it was over, we rushed the celebrity out the theater’s rear entrance and into my car,” Griffin remembers, “because crowds would certainly have rushed my client. As exciting as it can be to be seen with a well-known celebrity, security professionals should remain as invisible as possible.”


Griffin says it felt good to be able to keep his celebrity client safe while throwing in the special trip. It turns out that the client felt good, too.


“As a result of having a quiet and restful weekend, the client sent me a gift that I have kept to this day.”


That entire experience could have been much more challenging had Griffin not kept his car in shape, which means more than washed and waxed.


Even if you don’t have one of this year’s safest cars, most cars can be safer if they are well maintained. Don’t skip basic car care, such as regular oil changes, replacing fluids, and rotating your tires.


“Having a plain but reliable secondary vehicle during a visit of a famous person or well-known executive, which could be your personal car, can help keep the attention off your client,” says Griffin. “It is also safer for you and your family to ride in, and helps you get to work on time.”

Stalking Victims

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Safety tips for stalking victims

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May 17, 2019


In our most recent post, we talked about security pros responding to stalkers. However, if you or someone you know is being stalked, you need some safety tools of your own.


Security professionals are encouraged to listen when victims report their concerns about being stalked, and take those concerns seriously. Victims are also encouraged to listen. To themselves.


Research shows that stalking is more common than you may think, and it can take a terrible toll on the victim's life. However, the person being stalked does not have to remain a victim. There are several safety strategies that can help.


There may be the tendency to downplay whatever behavior is making you uncomfortable. Don’t! Tell family, friends and co-workers about the situation. If there are security professionals where you work, near your home, or wherever you regularly participate in a community activity, let them know so they can help you be on the lookout for the stalker.


It may also be wise for you to consult security and mental health professionals, as well as a crisis hotline or victim services agency. All of this lets others know what’s going on. If they know, they can help you sort through your feelings, and they may be able to help you create an appropriate action plan.


A good action plan includes not communicating with the stalker, and keeping any evidence of the stalking (such as voicemails and texts). It is also important to change regular routines such as travel between work or school and home. If you feel it’s necessary, don’t hesitate to contact the police and get a court order telling the stalker to stay away from you.


According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, “most victims were commonly stalked by someone of the opposite sex, an intimate partner, or someone else they knew. Stalking tactics can include unwanted phone calls, voice messages and text messages; being approached; or being watched, followed or tracked by the perpetrator. About 68% of female and 70% of male victims experienced threats of physical harm during their lifetime.”


If you are feeling afraid, anxious, unsafe, and changing how you live your life because of someone else’s behavior towards you - even if that someone was once very close to you - you need help. Reaching out for that help is not weak. It is a strong and smart way to take care of yourself.

Stalking and Security Pros