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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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 24, 2020


“The Leumas Security Services Team and I want to wish you, and everyone you care about, a safe and Happy Thanksgiving” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III. “We want to send a special shout out to all of the security, first responder, health care, and retail professionals who will have to work on Thanksgiving Day and through the weekend.”


Griffin, also the author of the new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot, says, “For me, the bottom line of this holiday is to be grateful. I think that is especially important as we enter the holiday season at the end of the toughest year most people have ever experienced, or will ever experience.


“The historic COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 250,000 lives, and that number is rising. I don’t have to go into the details of the economic wreckage, political upheaval, and racial injustice we have all had to face in some way this year. You probably already know more about these situations than you ever wanted to know.


“What I do want to suggest, and I am doing this myself, is that we dig deep to keep going. That we find something that reminds us of our ability to handle tough times, and we remember that we are worthy of reaching the other side of these challenges.


“This Thanksgiving, I wish you the strength and faith to find moments you can be thankful for, and the grace to share that feeling with someone else,” says Griffin.

Fear

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November 17, 2020


The first definition of fear in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online is: “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.”


There are a lot of reasons to feel fear these days. The COVID-19 pandemic continues spreading, and some areas have imposed new mask mandates in an effort to slow it down. The pandemic is also slowing down the economy, leaving millions of Americans worried about paying their bills and feeding their families. There’s also the national political turmoil, and the everyday challenges an individual may face.


In this week’s video, Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III reminds security professionals that there is “good fear” and “bad fear.” Griffin, who is also author of the new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot, says that bad fear is often the result of bad training. He wrote the book to help security pros keep things in mind that may not have been covered in their training.


“As a security professional, you must not allow yourself to be so afraid that you lose the ability to use your best weapon: your mouth,” Griffin says. “When you have bad fear, you cannot effectively talk to a person who is breaking the rules of whatever location you work.


“In fact, I challenge everyone to think about a situation you are, or may, face where there is some type of disagreement. Come up with some ways you can talk about the situation without fear and anger. Who knows? You might not get exactly what you want, but you might get a little more peace,” says Griffin.

Living With The Unknown

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Plan B

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November 10, 2020


The election is over, but there is a lot we still do not know about how the nation will move forward after this tough political season. We also don’t know how much worse things are going to get with COVID-19 before they get better.


“Life has thrown us all a curveball,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III, “and it’s time to decide if we can step up to the plate and hit it out of the park.


“When dealing with the unknown it’s easy to feel helpless, or even hopeless,” says Griffin, who is also the author of Rent-A-Cop Reboot. “For me, these are times when I lean on my faith. I trust that what is happening is in God’s plan. I am also grateful that God guided me through several situations that taught me the value of having a Plan B.


“Plan B is the backup plan you should start using when your original idea or situation won’t work,” he says. “Plan B is for when things change, sometimes quickly like they did with the pandemic, and you can’t control things the way you used to. Or the way you thought you did. What will you do?”


Griffin says, “Create a Plan B that includes an investment that will pay you even if you are not working. This could be an investment property, or a financial investment such as stocks. Know what your major bills are and save enough to cover those expenses for 6 to 12 months. If you don’t have investments or savings have good credit. You can lean on your good credit if you need to, but this should be a last resort because it increases your debt.


“Money moves like the ones I described can help sustain you during a difficult time,” says Griffin, “and the way COVID-19 cases are increasing it looks like these current difficult days may be with us for a while. With no end date in sight, all of us must have a Plan B that includes flexibility and the willingness to learn new behaviors. Those behaviors include social distancing, wearing a mask, and consistent hand washing to help keep COVID-19 at bay.


“We are all living with the unknown. Getting through it is not easy for most of us, but with faith, hope, and courage we can do what’s necessary to celebrate our success when this is over,” Griffin says.

A Mental Health Day

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Daughter at the Zoo for Halloween

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Guidelines sign

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November 3, 2020


Election Day 2020 is finally here. If you are registered to vote and have not already done so, do you have time today to participate in a practice that millions of Americans hold dear? Are you off, or are you taking what used to be called a “Mental Health Day” in order to make sure you get to weigh in on this important election?


This may be a significant Mental Health Day for many people, but Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III wants you to plan future mental health breaks for yourself and other members of your family.


“The social distancing we have been doing to keep COVID-19 at bay has been very hard, and we have no idea when relief will arrive,” he says. “Wearing a mask, and following additional protocols suggested by Dr. Anthony Fauci and other infectious disease experts, has been stressful. Instead of pushing back, I decided to find new ways to push through.


“My daughter inspired me,” Griffin says, who is also the author of Rent-A-Cop Reboot.


“After two days of virtual learning, my daughter asked if she could get out of the house,” he says. “I did research, and I learned that I could make reservations to visit the local zoo and amusement park. We were required to wear a mask, and we had to follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines such as maintaining social distancing of at least six feet. There were hand sanitizer stations throughout, as well signs reminding visitors of the rules.


“It was such a joy to see the smile on my daughter’s face while she was virtually studying and learning about zoo animals between classes,” says Griffin. “If you are raising a child, consider an outing such as this. It’s a great mental health break for both of you.


“If you’re one of the many Americans struggling to pay your bills because of the pandemic, you may find a trip like this in your area for free or at a reduced rate. It can help relieve some of the stress and exhaustion you may be feeling. There are also virtual zoo trips and museum tours your family may enjoy, especially as we head into winter.


“Dealing with the many problems this pandemic has created is not easy,” Griffin says, “but our family is tough, creative, and faithful enough to make it through to the other side. I believe you and yours can do it, too. Do you?”

Learn From Your Experiences

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Rent-A-Cop Reboot Cover

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October 27, 2020


“In a previous blog post I talked about growing up witnessing the abuse of my mother at the hands of my father,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “As this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month nears its end, I am glad that I made the difficult decision to publicly discuss one of my memories of my parents’ violent marriage. I’ve had many painful experiences, back then and as I built my security career, but the most important thing about experiences is to learn from them.


“My new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot is filled with experiences I’ve had over the years,” Griffin says. “I’ve shared them so that if you’re building a career in security or law enforcement you won’t have to struggle with some of the issues - big and small - that I had to learn on the job.


“For example, how you dress is not a small issue,” he says. “Check the weather forecast throughout the entire time you will be away from home, and make sure you wear clothes that are the right weight for the conditions. You may need to keep a jacket or extra shoes in your vehicle, or you may need to carry them with you and store them somewhere safe at your work site. This time of year the weather can change quickly. Not being prepared for it can hurt your ability to do the important work that you do.


“You also need to take care of yourself at home. Just because you’re a security professional, that does not mean that you can keep yourself safe in your relationship. Domestic violence can affect you, too.


“If you are living in a violent household, there are hotlines that can help. Take advantage of resources that are out there, including ones that share ways to help the children. Work out a safety plan. COVID-19 may have you trapped in a violent relationship, but it will not be that way forever. And even now you are developing skills that can help you succeed at achieving your dream. If you are the perpetrator of violence against those you say that you love, reach out for help finding new ways to show it.


“You are not alone. You can make it through your darkest moments,” Griffin says. “I do it by continuing to lean on my Christian faith. It helps me turn my pain into gain, and it strengthens me enough to tell the stories about what I went through. Don’t give up!”

Today's Decisions Affect Your Tomorrows

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October 20, 2020


“I say it all the time: Today’s decisions affect your tomorrows,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “That’s not a slogan to me. It’s my real feeling about the way we should live. Take the time to think about the decisions you are making today. They really can affect your tomorrows.


“After almost three decades in the security industry, I have seen almost everything. So many people made decisions to keep drinking or doing drugs instead of getting help. Or they decided they needed to prove a point to someone. Or they needed to do what made them feel good in that moment no matter what else was going on. Too many of those people decided to do something that cost them their careers, their families, their freedom, or worse,” he says.


“Last week, I talked about growing up with a violent father, until my mother courageously left him,” says Griffin, who is also the author of the new book, Rent-A-Cop Reboot. “That experience drove me to want to keep people safe, so it has been my lifelong mission. In keeping with my mission, I want to encourage you to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols.


COVID-19 cases are rising again,” he says, “and every responsible public health expert is encouraging us to keep up the safety practices that I hope we all know by now:

  • Wear a mask. If you are a security professional, I also suggest wearing gloves.
  • Stay at least six (6) feet away from people who do not live with you.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Take at least 20 seconds to wash them, and use soap. Use hand sanitizer between hand-washings.
  • Avoid large, close crowds. This is especially true if you are not required to attend.

“Now we’re also finding out that small gatherings with family members and friends are helping to fuel the recent increase in COVID-19 cases,” Griffin says. “That means Halloween, Thanksgiving, and every holiday celebration through the winter will need to be different.


“Like most Americans, I hate that,” he says, “but I would rather decide today about creative ways to get the most out of this holiday season than to spend my tomorrows feeling bad about exposing someone I love to a seriously debilitating, or deadly, disease.”

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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October 13, 2020


Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin has wanted to be a security professional for as long as he can remember, but he almost never talks about why. Until now.


Griffin marks this year’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by speaking on camera, for the first time, about one of his most significant memories of growing up in a violent home. He encourages others to speak up, and he asks all of us to do what we can to support those affected by intimate partner violence.


The COVID-19 pandemic has made the domestic violence situation more challenging. There are reports of increased cases of domestic violence, concerns about effectively tracking those at risk, and difficulties providing supports for victims.


If you, or anyone you know, needs support there are hotlines, resource materials, and even a safety plan outline that offer help.


The scars of domestic violence are not always visible, but that does not mean they are not really there. But as Griffin proves, especially with the launch of his new book, you can find ways to move beyond the experience and thrive.

Follow The Guidelines!

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October 12, 2020


So you want to be a security professional? That is more than just the title of a chapter in Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin's new book, Rent-A-Cop Reboot.


“That is a question you must ask yourself before becoming a security officer,” Griffin says, “because you need to know if you have what it takes to follow the local, state, and federal guidelines all officers must follow. That includes rules about being licensed, and when and where you can operate as an armed or unarmed officer.”


That is a major issue following the deadly shooting on October 10th in Denver, Colorado. Security guard Matthew Dolloff was hired to work security for Denver TV station KUSA during a demonstration, but he now stands accused in the shooting death of Lee Keltner. City officials have announced that they are considering charges against Doloff and the company that hired him, Pinkerton Security.


Dolloff had a concealed carry license, which has reportedly been suspended, and television station executives have said they did not hire armed officers. Doloff’s attorney says he fired on the protester in self-defense.


Griffin says, “Many security companies hire officers to work various locations as unarmed officers. Was that the situation here? If so, did Dolloff take his weapon to an unarmed site? That is completely against that state’s law.


“Was he afraid? Fear, as I have also said in Rent-A-Cop Reboot, can make a bad situation worse. In this case, fear prompted this guard to utilize his firearm on a protester. Where was his backup? Did the man who maced the guard have a weapon?


“No guard should ever work a large crowd alone. It can become a lose-lose situation. When I have managed security for events with crowds, I have had the local police department and state police nearby, just in case. What was the security plan for this event? Was it professionally carried out?


“Unfortunately, many security companies have incidents like this happen with their officers,” says Griffin. “They typically don’t shoot and kill protesters. In this case, I’m sure they are investigating this guard’s training and certification. He may not have been qualified to watch a building, and certainly not a protest with tensions so high. He may have been lucky over the past year he has reportedly worked, but his luck, tragically, ran out.


“I advise security companies that need staff to cover a large event to subcontract the work out to another company with certified guards who are experienced with crowd control,” Griffin adds. “For security guards, make sure you keep up with your training and certifications. Know the guidelines and procedures of the areas where you work, and read material like my book that helps you consider practices for your success that may not have been covered in your traditional security training."

"Good Morning!"

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October 6, 2020


“Your best weapon is your mouth,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I’ve been saying that for years, and too many security professionals still behave as if their tough posture or stern warning is what encourages people to comply with the rules of the place they’re protecting.”


Griffin talks about being engaging in this video, and in his new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot.


“In the age of COVID-19, anything you can do to help someone feel more comfortable, more welcome, is helpful,” he says, “and anyone who may be thinking about bad behavior may be more likely to think twice if they know you noticed them.”


If you’re thinking about getting into, or working your way up in, the security field check out Rent-A-Cop Reboot. Subscribe to the email list for a free, 2-page look at key issues for security professionals that can help you start thinking about your road to success in the industry.

Rebooting During COVID-19

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Rent-A-Cop Reboot Cover

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September 29, 2020


“A large part of your personal security is your personal health,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “If you are sick, you can’t take care of yourself or provide for the people you love.”


Griffin says that in order to increase your chances of staying healthy this fall no one should ease their COVID-19 precautions, especially security professionals.


“The journey through this pandemic is a marathon and not a sprint that's taking its toll on even the strongest among us,” he says, “so do not become complacent. We must continue to use face masks and social distancing to keep the virus at bay.


“We must know by now that in order to make it through we have to reboot a lot of things,” Griffin says.


“I have a book coming out next month called Rent-A-Cop Reboot,” he says. “While I was writing it with Theresa Caldwell I decided to reboot my personal life and my security company. For the business, that meant fine-tuning and retraining the staff for success through and beyond life with COVID-19. Our updates include a new timekeeping system, an expanded use of an online interviewing and meeting platform, and an updated set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The new SOPs include wearing a mask and gloves while on duty, and they are in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) requirements of hand-washing and using face coverings.


“In Rent-A-Cop Reboot we give you important tools that will help you be the best security professional possible, but they mean nothing if you don’t have your health. Embrace the health-promoting changes that are needed today,” says Griffin. “Change is good when it comes to being a better you.”

No Indictments In The Shooting Of Breonna Taylor

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September 24, 2020


“I was devastated when Kentucky officials announced that they would not be prosecuting the officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.


“Law enforcement officials need to stop sending the message that police officers and security professionals do not make mistakes, and when they do make mistakes they will rarely face the tough consequences they impose on everyone else,” he says.


“Breonna Taylor was shot in March while police were executing a no-knock warrant at her home,” Griffin says. “That innocent woman winds up dead, and the toughest charge filed in the case is against the officer that put the neighbors in danger. Should the police have known of all occupants in the home before serving such a warrant? I agree with people across the country ranging from law enforcement and legal scholars to demonstrators and quiet community members who are questioning the use of no-knock warrants.


“In Kentucky, state and Louisville officials apologized for the killing of Breonna Taylor with a $12 million settlement with her family, a slap on the wrist to the officers involved, and a business as usual statement from the judicial system.


“Nobody is beyond God’s reach, or above the law,” Griffin says. “The Bible teaches that God is no respecter of persons. We all must pay for our sins, as well as pray and work for salvation. Violence from law enforcement and security professionals, or people angry about the decision in this case - or any other case - will not solve the problems of our society.”

Don't Live Your Life Without Living Your Dream

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September 22, 2020


Many people feel called by their dream, but too few of them do what’s needed to turn the dream into their reality. What about you?


“I dreamed of being a security professional since I was a child,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I didn’t know how tough it would be to do the security work and build it into a business, but I have been blessed with the ability to keep my dream alive while doing what was necessary to make it come true.”


Doing what was necessary included doing research, setting goals, and working hard. Griffin says these actions are especially necessary if your dream includes owning your own business. Small businesses today are dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19, including problems with business interruption insurance claims. Black-owned small businesses are especially hard hit

These issues are on top of the daily decisions needed to operate safely and successfully.


“There have been times when my responsibilities have meant turning down a contract,” Griffin says, “which may sound strange for a business owner. I did not turn down the opportunity because we couldn’t do the job. I did it whenever I felt that the work was too dangerous. My first responsibility is to ensure that my guards are highly trained. My second responsibility is to make sure that our contracts include all levels of security needed to keep everyone safe. If they don’t, I won’t take the contract.


“I remember an experience in the early 2000s when I was asked to provide security for a club that was being built. The club owners were renovating an old building that needed a lot of work, and it was in a neighborhood struggling with crime and other ravages of poverty.


“The first thing I asked the club owner to do was to install a security system. I also stressed the need for metal detectors, hiring off-duty police officers and armed security patrols to monitor the club entrance and parking lot, and keeping unarmed officers mixed in with the crowd when the establishment was open.


“This high level of security was used for each club that my company, Griffin's Executive Protection Agency at the time, protected for a number of years. No lives were lost and no employees were seriously injured, which was the bottom line of my dream: to always do everything within my power to keep people safe. It was rarely easy.


“You are going to face some tough times,” Griffin says. “You may be facing tough times right now, but is your dream worth fighting for? If so, take the time to recover, plan, and work your plan. Don’t live your life without living your dream.”

When You Get Pulled Over

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September 15, 2020


The time may come, if it has not already, when you are driving somewhere and notice police lights following your vehicle. Or maybe you have been the passenger in a vehicle when a member of law enforcement signaled for the driver to leave the flow of traffic, and pull over to the side of the road. How did you handle the situation?


“The way people behave during an interaction with police officers is very important,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Most police officers are highly trained, many with a military background, and work hard to be fair when they encounter the people they have vowed to serve and protect. Unfortunately, there are times when an officer confronts a citizen with perfect behavior and takes that law-abiding citizen’s life.”


The 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile is one such incident, and it has been back in the news recently because Castile’s name was on one of the face masks worn by U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka. If you find yourself sitting on the side of the road waiting for the police officer to walk to your vehicle, there are ways you can respond that can help the whole experience go more smoothly.


Griffin’s tips for encounters with police when you have been pulled over are:

*If it is your vehicle, keep a copy of your vehicle registration, vehicle insurance, and your driver’s license in the driver’s side sun visor.

*Roll down all of the windows before the officer approaches. If it is dark outside, turn on the interior lights. These practices make it easier for everyone to be seen, increasing the likelihood that you and the officer(s) remain safe.

*Place both hands on the steering wheel. The front passenger should place both hands on the dashboard, and other passengers should place their hands on the headrests of the seats in front of them.

*Do not reach for anything in your vehicle unless instructed to do so by the officer(s) making the traffic stop.

*Remain calm, calmly greet the officer who speaks to you, and wait for the officer to tell you why you were pulled over. The officer will ask to see your identification, which you may be required to produce in most states, and possibly identification of others in the vehicle. Check laws in your area about this. However, calm compliance often helps the encounter end in less time, and more peacefully.


“If you travel with a concealed weapon,” Griffin says, “keep a copy of your concealed weapons permit in your driver’s side sun visor along with the copies of the other documents. Make sure you are carrying it as permitted.”


He says to follow the steps above, and “as soon as possible after calmly greeting the officer, make sure you tell him or her about your weapon. Tell them where your documents are located, and follow their instructions regarding what to do next.


“I would strongly advise not having anything in your hands, especially a cell phone,” says Griffin. “However, if you are going to record the encounter, calmly advise the officer that you are doing so while otherwise following directions. I would also suggest having a dash camera in your vehicle that could be set to record at all times, providing the protection wanted by most drivers.”

Compassion

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September 8, 2020


“After seeing the recently-released video of Daniel Prude’s arrest in New York, I imagined myself having some kind of experience that would drive me outdoors in weather cold enough to snow with no clothes on,” Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin says. “My first thought would have been for warmth, and my second thought would have been about why police officers were there.”


Prude’s March 23rd arrest in Rochester resulted in his death seven days later. Prude’s family released video of the arrest last week, which sparked days of protests, suspension of the officers involved in the arrest, calls for the city’s mayor and police chief to resign, and the state attorney general’s decision to investigate.


“The man’s family tried to help him by calling the police, so where was the officers’ compassion?” asks Griffin. “Imagine someone you love face down on wet pavement, needing medical attention, but that need is ignored.


“We don’t have enough mental health resources in most communities, or police trained to handle these types of emergencies, or funding to get us there,” Griffin says. “What we can get more of is compassion. More of that from any one of the seven officers who responded to Mr. Prude’s situation could have saved his life.


“We need more police officers to stop following inhumane practices and lead. We need more police departments to make sure their Standard Operating Procedures include up-to-date mental health best practices, including for themselves, and everyone is trained accordingly. We all need to make sure we know how to interact with law enforcement in ways that make mental health emergencies safer for everyone.


“Compassion and accountability aren’t just things we call for,” says Griffin, “they’re things we can all actually do.”

Questions About Kenosha

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September 1, 2020


“As a security professional who supervises other security professionals, I can’t stop wondering about the deadly shooting during last week’s protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and what we can all learn from it,” says Leumas Security Services founder Samuel Griffin.


On the night of August 25th, 17-year old Kyle Rittenhouse was among a group of reportedly self-described militia members who engaged protesters demonstrating the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake’s shooting is one of several incidents this year that have law enforcement experts and others, like those in the video featured above, looking closely at police training across the nation. Rittenhouse is accused of firing a rifle, killing two people and injuring another. Rittenhouse’s lawyer says the Illinois teen was defending himself.


“I have the obvious concerns about how a White teen walking down the middle of the street with a rifle during a chaotic night can practically be ignored by police from the same department responsible for shooting a Black man in the back days earlier while he was reaching into a van containing his children,” says Griffin.


“However,” Griffin continues, “there are questions to be asked by those committed to providing responsible and effective security for everyone.


“For example, Rittenhouse’s attorney reportedly said the teen didn’t bring the gun across state lines. Then where did it come from? Typically teenagers who carry weapons do so when hunting wild animals.  Did this shooter regularly hunt? If so, I hope he wasn’t doing it with an AR-15-style weapon like the one he used in Kenosha. If it was given to him, who did that without making sure he was properly trained to handle it? No one should be handling a weapon they are not properly trained on. Period. A weapon does not make up for your lack of training and fear. What I call Bad Fear can make an untrained or poorly trained professional shoot their weapon prematurely, so I can’t imagine how an untrained or poorly trained civilian would feel.


“Speaking of training, were members of law enforcement trained to de-escalate situations like the type they faced? What about the militia people who claimed they were there to help maintain order? No self-styled security person should be attempting to handle a hostile, or potentially hostile, environment. That work should be left to highly-trained professionals with years of experience. Untrained people serving as security can sometimes create a less stable environment. Experience working large crowds is mandatory, and having teams of fellow officers trained in crowd control is required to effectively manage the environment.


“When working concerts some years ago, my company would have 30 to 40 unarmed guards in the crowd.  When you are required to engage that close to people you should not be armed.  It is a standard operating procedure for most security companies to have the armed officers working the outer perimeter.  Those armed officers are your last line of defense. They also have pepper spray and other non-lethal ways of defending themselves as well as those in the crowd.


“I also found myself wondering about the coordination between the demonstrators, militia members and local law enforcement. Whatever your feelings about the police, if you are going to have a large gathering they should be informed. Communication can always make a huge difference in building relationships that lead to trust. If there is no trust, you want to at least be able to document your attempts to appropriately interact. There was a report that the police behaved differently the night the militia members showed up. How? If so, did that have any impact on the tragic end of that night?


“You can never really know what someone is thinking, but you can watch their behavior and listen to their words. I wondered how many militia members and police officers that night started the evening with negative feelings about the demonstrators, or some personal point to prove? When you see anyone as less than you, or different from you in a negative way, it can affect how you do your job. When you are more interested in showing power or control, it can affect how you do your job. Whether law enforcement or private security, the bottom line is to serve and protect. The best way to do that is with eyes and a heart that see human beings, not some sort of other. Think deeply about that. If that’s a problem for you, find some other type of work.


“If you really want to keep people safe, give yourself an honest internal check-up. Learn from tragedies like these and too many others,” Griffin says. “Ask yourself if you have what it takes to view others as equal human beings, even if you encounter them on their worst day. I’m definitely not saying you should go easy on anyone who does something wrong. I’m saying to make sure that you have a heart, mind, and training that keep you in the right.”

The Training Question

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Training

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August 26, 2020


“As I watch news reports about the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, I find myself asking a question I have asked too often this year,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “How well were those officers trained?”


Jacob Blake was shot on August 23rd during an encounter with police that has now sparked a federally-led civil rights investigation. The shooting sparked days of demonstrations, including the one on August 25th where three people were shot. Two of the victims died, and today a 17-year old from Illinois was arrested in connection with the shooting.


“We continue to need more training of police, and all security professionals, especially in situations like this one where reports say the initial call was about a possible domestic dispute,” Griffin says. “If your department or company doesn’t offer regular training opportunities, create your own. When training is offered, take it, even if it’s not mandatory. Keep your skills sharp.


“Getting to know the community where you work should be part of police training. Knowing people makes a difference. In an environment where people are more familiar with each other, neighbors may even be able to help police de-escalate a particular event.”


“During the early days of my career, I worked in countless club environments where I didn’t know people and many customers were not African-American like me. Talking them down during a heated situation led to many violence-free nights. As an armed officer working the night life, I did not fear the patrons based on my experience and training. My mouth was my weapon of choice. It saved my life, and the lives of others.


“If you are serious about a career in security or law enforcement, make sure you are committed to keeping your skills sharp by training, and being genuinely connected to the people you serve,” Griffin says.

Working Through The Pain

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SOPs For Security Guards

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August 18, 2020


Properly handle your paperwork from the very beginning!


Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin always stresses how important that is to security guards who work for him, or any other company.


He also regularly reminds guards that they must know the Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs, of the company they work for and the site they are assigned to secure. Doing something that violates the procedures could cost you. For example, if you don’t complete your shift you leave your location vulnerable and will not get paid.


Griffin tells guards to make it easy on themselves and their supervisors by paying attention to details in any company paperwork.


If your eyes roll just thinking about doing anything with paperwork, maybe it’s because you’re overwhelmed by it at home. Look for resources that help you decide how to manage the paperwork most adults have to live with, as well as tips about ways to keep it organized.

Be Prepared For The Weather

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Weather preparedness

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August 11, 2020


What’s next? This week it’s the derecho whipping across the midwest. Last week Hurricane Isaias powerfully reminded us that we’re in an Atlantic hurricane season that’s kicked off with a record number of named storms. As if COVID-19, economic challenges, and back-to-school concerns aren’t enough.


If you’re a security professional, are you ready? If you work for a company, no matter what guidelines and supplies you get from management nothing will take the place of your own good thinking and personal preparedness. That will always be true.


Even if you’re not in an area where hurricanes or other major weather events are a problem, you will at some point face challenging weather conditions. Many of you may have to spend time walking in the rain, high winds, and/or high temperatures to do your job. And before you know it, winter’s special mix of weather woes will be affecting many of us.


“The Boy Scout motto ‘Be Prepared” also makes good sense for people in the security field,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “You can work plenty of jobs where almost nothing happens, but not being prepared for the weather can mess up your entire shift.”


Griffin suggests you have:

  • More than one source of information. Weather forecasts seem to get more accurate every year, but predictions can still be wrong enough to mess up your plans. Check a variety of weather sources at least twice a day: at the beginning of your day, and before you go to bed. That way you will have as much up-to-date information as possible.
  • The right gear. Just like with weather forecasts, variety is your friend. Have more than one coat or jacket, especially for rain. Look through lists that offer options in price and versatility. Remember that security patches or other identifying information will have to be visible.
  • The right supplies. Check lists of items needed to handle a devastating hurricane or other emergency. If you live with other people and regularly work outside of your home, you may want to have a full emergency preparedness kit at home and in your vehicle. Check expiration dates on all items that carry them, such as food.
  • Travel plans. Speaking of your vehicle, make sure it is well maintained, and you know how to effectively drive it during a variety of weather conditions. Be prepared with more than one route to wherever you most frequently travel, and build in enough time to safely reach your destination. The weather can suddenly turn a 15-minute commute into 45 minutes. This is one of many reasons why you must regularly check the forecast, and make plans based on what you find out.
  • Full power. Make sure you regularly charge your phone and any other important electronic devices, and know where the chargers are. Hurricanes, derechos, and other weather events regularly knock out electricity. If the power goes off, you will want your mobile phone to be as close to fully charged as possible. “Plus,” he says, “during an emergency a charged phone can help you stay on time and in contact with management if you have to work, as well as get the latest information about whatever is going on. And keeping the phone charged is always good practice for every security professional.”


Griffin adds, “I can’t remember being beaten in a fight, but I’ve definitely been taken down by a wool suit in hot weather. That was almost two decades ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Not being prepared for the weather can make you ineffective in ways that can cost you your life, or the life of someone you’re protecting and care about. Being prepared is a sign of professionalism, maturity, and wisdom.”

Face Mask Madness

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Masks

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August 4, 2020


“A few days ago, I had a chance to visit an indoor arcade with my daughter,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “As we were picking out prizes on the way out, I overheard a customer yelling at the manager. He called the manager a bully, and accused the manager of picking on him. I looked closer and realized the man wasn’t wearing a mask, even though there was a ‘Mask Required’ sign on the front door. As the argument intensified, the man told the manager he wasn’t going to leave as requested.


“As my daughter and I made our way back to our vehicle,” Griffin says, “I noticed four local police officers making their way into the parking lot. This is what life has become. A simple request to wear a mask turns into an ‘incident.’”


The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted more than 30 states to put some type of order in place requiring people to wear face masks. Many cities and businesses have their own guidelines, some of which were in place before statewide mandates.


Many school systems are also requiring masks as part of their safe reopening strategies for the new school year. The strategies include quickly identifying and isolating students that test positive for COVID-19, and there are reports that at least two schools have already had to use those plans.


Parents are being encouraged to prepare their children to wear masks at school, especially children younger than 8-years old. Other parents are making plans for homeschooling or tutors and learning groups, even if they are concerned about the ways this could expand existing educational and economic disparities.


“I understand concerns about a child with COVID-19 possibly infecting dozens of other kids, which could quickly become hundreds of people, and then get even worse,” Griffin says. “In November of 2019, my daughter received a 2nd Degree burn during lunch time at school, with little to no explanation as to how it happened. If a normal school year can leave my child with a scar for life, how can a parent be sure of safety measures during a pandemic that can take a life?”


These new regulations and concerns have increased calls for trained security professionals.


Griffin says, “If you’re a security guard, you may wind up working at a variety of locations. Or, you may work at a school, which will feel different from stores you’re used to working. All locations have strict rules of engagement with the people they serve. Make sure you know them.


“For the most part, a security guard’s role will be to deter violations of the rules. If you must interact with someone, make sure you are strictly following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). In a store or entertainment venue, your role may be to report anyone who is breaking the rules to a manager. In some cases, guards are required to help screen people who walk in by taking the visitor’s temperature.


“Don’t get caught up in the madness,” he says. “Always wear your mask, and gloves if possible, for your personal protection. Wash your hands often, and use sanitizer when you can’t. Maintain social distancing guidelines as often as possible. Know the rules where you work, and your responsibilities. And when any of this gets too hard for you, find a way to take a break. I applaud your strength through this time that is challenging for most of us, and want you to stay strong enough to keep going. We need you.”

Rules Of Engagement For Tense Times

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Wearing a mask

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July 28, 2020


The most controversial aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States appears to be requirements to wear face masks. There have been many reports about resistance to wearing masks, with some showing how political partisanship may play a role in a person’s decision. In fact, there have been many reports of fights, some leading to arrests and worse, sparked by arguments over wearing a mask in public.


The tension is also prompting the need for more security guards, some with a specific focus on mask-wearing. However, the basics of serving as a security professional remain the same. Security professionals must remember that.


“This is a great time for great security professionals to show what they’re made of, because there’s a lot of tension and uncertainty these days which prompts more calls for services that help people feel safe,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Unfortunately, everyone is not up to the task.”


There are some things a security officer cannot control. For example, a seemingly unclear mandate from the organization, business, or government entity that contracts them, or public controversy about them being hired.


But security professionals must realize that they have a lot of control over most situations they face. If they can avoid a violent or deadly confrontation with someone it can make a world of difference to the entire community.


“At one point in my career a drunk customer head-butted me while I was working security at a club,” Griffin remembers. “My first thought was to rock his world with my fist, but my training quickly kicked in. I restrained him with assistance from another officer. We took him to the entrance of the club where he was arrested by the police. He was charged with assault, and banned from the establishment. If I had engaged in a fight, I, and the club, could have been found liable for any injuries sustained during the incident. Experiences like that are why I tell security professionals to keep up their training.”


Griffin also suggests:

  • Practice mental de-escalation, starting with yourself. After 12 hours of working with the public, or almost total isolation, any small thing could could trigger a negative reaction. Do your best to be well rested before your assignment begins. Practice breathing, stretching, meditating or other exercises designed to help you cool your emotions when things get tense.
  • Take your breaks. Building on what is stated above, make sure you take the breaks allotted during your shift. This includes the hour for your meal break.
  • Check your emotions. There are times when your personal feelings, biases, or assumptions may seep into how you are interacting with those you are working to serve. Stay in tune with yourself so that doesn’t happen. If necessary, responsibly handle what is going on inside you to the best of your ability. This may mean getting professional help.
  • Know your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Know and follow your company’s SOPs. If you are assigned to a specific site, know that site’s SOPs. There can be times when your company’s SOPs are completely different from the SOPs of your assigned site. Ask questions to make sure you are clear, especially if there are SOP modifications. For example, generally speaking a security officer does not operate outside of an assigned site. Maintaining the defined boundaries is typically considered acting in good faith of your assigned location.


“I know most of this doesn’t sound like the traditional rules of engagement for a security professional,” Griffin says, “but it all works together inside you. Keep training on your own, including the mental and emotional practices. Do it for yourself. You never know when you’ll need it to kick in, and possibly save your life or career.”

Ready, Reset, Go...?

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Small business challenges

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July 21, 2020


Nobody move. Go! Now stop. Maybe. What?


This pretty much sums up what’s been happening inside the minds of many business leaders across the nation as they deal with the impact of COVID-19, and that’s been especially hard on small businesses.


According to The Motley Fool, “It's estimated that over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed their doors since March. That equates to 2% of small businesses gone, just like that.” A report on a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) paper states, “The number of African-American business owners fell from 1.1 million in February to 640,000 in April, a 41% decline. By comparison, the overall number of small business owners dropped by 35%.” Owners of a variety of small businesses that are still operating or reopening, at least partially, are very concerned about their ability to stay afloat. That lends credibility to reports that “there's now a total of 3.7 million unemployed Americans whose previous jobs are gone for good. And millions more are at risk.”


“It’s very hard right now,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Businesses that want to work with us often can’t afford to pay the real price of our service. If you’re running a business these days, you could easily find yourself very busy, but working for lower rates. For example, we now have to supply our officers with personal protective equipment (PPE). Those costs aren’t factored into existing contracts, or new contracts don’t cover them.”


Research shows that the businesses that survive to the next normal will be the ones that transition into new business models and technologies. No matter what the industry, they will find new and expanded ways to offer their current resources. They will upgrade their technology on everything from their website to their computers and software. Unfortunately, many small businesses didn’t have the resources for those types of investments before the pandemic. That means “solutions will not be easy and will require an economy-wide effort to provide financing, restore demand, and improve small businesses’ capability and resilience.”


“Taking off at a sprint to get a contract could leave you donating to the company that hired you,” says Griffin. “You’ll be working ‘in the red,’ which can kill your business. It may take longer, but you will be out of business just the same.


“Know your bottom line,” Griffin advises. “Know what it costs to provide a quality service with a quality team. Know the costs of your taxes and various types of insurance so you can pay them. Know what you have to charge in order to make a profit. Make time to get information from others, and be quick to listen and slow to speak.


“So you won a contract. Remember that just because you crossed the finish line first, that doesn’t mean you won the race.”

Is It Safe For Children To Go Back To School?

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Safe to open schools?

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July 14, 2020


Are you raising a child who will be in kindergarten through 12th grade this fall? Are you comfortable sending that child back to school?


“We have a young daughter, and I am struggling to imagine her and other children under the age of ten truly practicing social distancing,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “And teens? I thought them being as close to each other as possible was practically part of the definition of being a teenager. I am very concerned about how safe schools will be for our children, teachers, and others who work in schools if we throw the doors open in a way that lets COVID-19 come in, too. With the conflicting messages out there, I’m sure I’m not alone.”


There are several reasons for children to be in school, including the fact that they will be taught by education professionals. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports reopening schools because, “Evidence so far suggests that children and adolescents are less likely to have symptoms or severe disease from infection. They also appear less likely to become infected or spread the virus.” The AAP also notes that schools are where most children learn social and emotional skills, have access to mental and physical health services, special needs students more readily receive supports they need to thrive, and many students receive nutritious meals they may not have at home.


However, the AAP says safety protocols are a must to reopen schools. Those include regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, masks are worn by all adults and older students, physical distancing, teachers rotate when classes change instead of students, and plans to go viral if the virus surges. A variety of other experts agree.


Unfortunately, there is evidence the virus is already surging. More than half of the states are seeing increases in the number of COVID-19 cases, with significant jumps in Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Research suggests that with shelter-in-place orders (SIPOs, some states call them stay-at-home orders) “as many as 250,000–370,000 deaths possibly averted by May 15 in the 42 states plus the District of Columbia with statewide SIPOs.”


Griffin says, “No matter what the situation is, safety decisions are very personal decisions. You think about what ‘safe’ means to you. You think about how to have that for yourself, your family, or your business in a way that lets you feel some level of peace. When you decide what that is, you do it. At least I hope you do.


“Deciding what’s best for your child as this school year starts is no different,” he says. “I pray that you and your family will have whatever you need for a safe and successful school year. I pray that those making decisions about reopening schools do so based on respected research, and imagining their own child will be in each classroom. And I pray that our nation commits to doing whatever it takes to move through this pandemic in a way that makes future Americans proud.”

Grace

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Grace-Hilda Mae Jones Cookout

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July 7, 2020


“As we got the go karts ready for kids attending the second Annual Hilda Mae Jones Foundation 4th of July Cookout, my mind raced toward the blessings that made it possible for our business to support this year’s event,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It’s nothing but grace. God’s grace.”


Griffin says that as a man of faith it is important for him to keep sharing the blessings he receives, even now as he tackles challenges created by COVID-19. The pandemic is an historic weight putting pressure on entrepreneurs around the world.


“Right now daily operations are tough,” he says. “Contracts with some of our largest, national companies have been halted as COVID-19 cases rise in several states. Several companies are reassigning their own employees to security roles to keep them working, while others are signing contracts with whoever gives them the lowest price.


“I understand the need for a business to spend wisely,” says Griffin. “I hope for all of our sakes that no one regrets cutting costs on security during a time when people feel historic levels of fear, uncertainty, and anger. That’s why we also offer consulting to companies that cannot afford our full guard services, but need to give their people more than the basic information.”


Griffin encourages entrepreneurs to rethink how they do business, and create other income sources to get through the pandemic.


“As a parent, husband, and employer, I must do my best to keep us operational,” he says. “I am taking my own advice by looking at ways to expand the many services we offer. I’m also finding ways of firing up my creativity to come up with new business ideas, like taking breaks during long periods of time looking at computer screens and paperwork.


“I also remind myself that there are companies thriving during this pandemic. Many of them continue to require quality security companies like ours. I am grateful for the loyalty of the companies that have continued doing business with us during this pandemic. Some of them have allowed us to be of service for several years.


“It’s pure grace to me,” Griffin says, “and we don’t have to race anybody anywhere, win anything, or be ‘special’ to get it. But it’s important to recognize grace when you receive it, and be grateful. And when you can, pass it on.”

Partner Paradise

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Married Partner Paradise

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June 30, 2020


Almost one out of every five small businesses in the United States are family-owned, and small businesses - businesses with fewer than 500 employees - own the nation’s economy. And out of those businesses, 1.2 million are run by a husband and wife.


“Running the company with my wife gives me the best of both worlds, work and family,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “My wife, Imani, helped ground me. She told me, ‘You think too much,’ and motivated me to start doing. So I did what I needed to do and got the business growing. And she has been right with me every step of the way for more than 12 years.”


There can be special Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considerations for couples running a business, as well as the challenges you can easily imagine popping up when couples spend so much time together. Many couples successfully handle their partnership, and encourage those who want to make it work to try things like setting boundaries between work and family time. As well as time apart.


“It helps to remember that there will be tough times, but nothing worth keeping is easy to get. My wife wasn’t,” Griffin laughs.


“I was protecting a client in New York City, standing near a restaurant’s bar, when Imani walked in with another man,” he remembers. “They were listening to music, and I thought she was beautiful. I had a good relationship with my client, a woman, who encouraged me to speak to Imani. I asked her about the music they were listening to, her father’s music, and after a few more strategic visits to the restaurant, I was able to run into Imani again and get her phone number. During our first real conversation she said I was interesting, but arrogant. She was right.


“A while later I was in a serious car accident while on a trip in Virginia,” Griffin says. “It was a miracle that I survived, and it humbled me. I was able to open my heart to Imani, and she opened hers to me. Together we struggled to get our security business off the ground, some days gathering change to eat. That was bad, but when Imani got pregnant and then we lost our first child, it felt so much worse.


“We chose to establish a solid, spiritual foundation for ourselves. We got married, and settled into building our security business in a way that allowed it to blossom. I stopped thinking too much about myself and my wallet, and started doing what I felt led to do by faith. Those days were rough, but they helped prepare us for what’s going on now.


“We couldn’t have imagined COVID-19, its impact on the economy, and what seem to be fights on all fronts for the very soul of our nation. I am so grateful that I’m going through this with Imani, my strong life and business partner. Our daughter, Bella, and I are truly blessed,” says Griffin. 

Summer Madness

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Summer Madness-Vacation

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June 23, 2020


It’s officially summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Even with the ongoing presence of COVID-19, people want to enjoy what many of them view as the season with the best weather of the year.


“This is a very stressful time, so people need some relief,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “For security professionals, many have been on duty since the pandemic hit. They’re exhausted. Since more businesses are opening, those who have been working may be able to take a break, while others who could use the hours may get opportunities to fill in.”


However, anyone taking a vacation still needs to take precautions they may not have thought of last year.


“If you’re taking a road trip, you have to make sure you get the maintenance checks that prepare your vehicle for the road,” Griffin says, “but there are additional considerations these days. For example, there are more cleanliness guidelines to keep in mind when getting food, gas, or using the bathroom at a rest stop.”


Check out this very helpful information from NBC’s “Today” show about a variety of ways to enjoy a “safecation” this summer.


Don’t get so excited about hitting the road that you forget to keep your home safe. Griffin reminds you to:

*Make sure every door and window is locked when you leave, even if you leave during the day. Most burglaries that occur when the victim isn’t home take place during the day.

*Don’t leave spare keys in places that others can easily find. It’s the next best thing to leaving a door or window unlocked.

*If you have an alarm system, use it. The best system is only as good as your commitment to using it, along with your good sense. If your system operates with an app on your phone, make sure you regularly monitor it.

*Have insurance. Make sure your property and valuables are covered under homeowners, renters and/or hazard insurance.

*Make sure everyone traveling with you is clear about the ground rules before you leave home, and that includes the children. Depending upon the length of your trip, the ages of the people traveling with you, and the number of people you may come in contact with, plan to review the rules as needed. For example, if you’re on a four-day trip, you may only need to review the rules once. If you are regularly reminding one particular person about the rules, it may be fine to privately discuss the situation with that one person.


“You want the ‘summer madness’ of your trip to be as smooth as the old song,” Griffin says. “The best vacation is a fun experience making memories with your loved ones. And when it’s over, you safely return to a home that is exactly the way you left it.”

Breathe

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Breathe App

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June 16, 2020


Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing right now, we invite you to take 30 seconds to draw your attention to your breath. Allow yourself to feel life literally flowing into and out of you. There’s a lot going on in the world right now. Even if you feel “OK,” stress may be having an impact on you.


Here are a couple of definitions of stress:

*A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.

*A state resulting from a stress.


“I have an app on my watch that reminds me to breathe,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I caught myself recently reading through contracts for possible business, while worrying about the continuing impact of COVID-19 on everything from the way we work to racism. And then I got the reminder to breathe.


“As I tapped the breathe button, I looked up and saw my daughter running around the house playing with an imaginary friend. She then went to video games as my wife worked to keep things clean while preparing a meal. Is this now our norm? I decided to stop focusing so much on work, and detox my daughter from gaming,” Griffin says.


“This pandemic isn’t going to turn my home upside down,” he says. “I get a lot out of taking time every day to hug my wife and daughter, and tell them I love them. We enjoy having dinner together, and working together to keep our home clean and safe. How about you?”


The American Institute of Stress reports that “Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.”


There are a variety of apps that focus on your breathing to help you relax and reduce anxiety, and some even do it without your having to pay (free).


“I know that today’s stressful stuff does not have to be in your home. If you feel like you’ve been knocked flat on your back, take time to breathe. That can help you sit up, stand up, dust yourself off, and move forward one step at a time,” says Griffin.


“If you are living with people these days, make time to eat together. In my house, we also pray together. Don’t let whatever goes on, now or in the future, make you forget the most important thing: family.”

For The Children

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Officer Jessie Rashid

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June 9, 2020


“I like the fact that my daughter not only has me to look up to, but security professionals like Jessie Rashid,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “She, and other children, deserve to see Black men doing what most of us do every day without much notice: taking care of our families, handling our business, and contributing to the overall welfare of our communities and the nation. It can cost us physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually, but most of us find a way to keep going.


“These days I often find myself thinking about my grandparents and other ancestors, especially the men, who dealt with overt expressions of racism that I can only imagine. I know that together, and as a community, they made it. They saw relatives and friends killed, suffered degradations because of institutional racism, and they still made it. We can, too, but we have to find ways to address racism in our time,” he says.


Griffin knows adults are talking about racism today in ways many haven’t done in years, if ever. But he says these conversations need to be held with children, too.


This past Saturday’s CNN/Sesame Street “Standing Up to Racism” town hall for children and families is still available online, and there are many online resources if you need tips on how to have these and other potentially challenging conversations with kids.


There are also a variety of tools to help get through the many issues we’re facing these days. They range from books and videos about diversity, to masks for kids who are learning to wear them as part of our next normal in the age of COVID-19.


“I have faith that we will get through this,” Griffin says, “which also means having faith in my God-given good sense. That helps me make decisions for my family and business today, with a trusting eye toward the future. It’s very hard, and sometimes scary. But when I laugh with and hug my daughter, I’m happy to hold the future in my hands.”

#BlackLivesMatter

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June 6, 2020


“As a Black man, father, and businessman, it is absolutely clear to me that #BlackLivesMatter,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It is terrible that more protests are needed to make this point. Thank God most of them have been peaceful.


“The heightened tensions sparked by the on-camera murder of George Floyd have me doubling my habits designed to keep my family safe,” Griffin says. “The extra steps I take to keep us safe include always driving within the speed limit, and keeping up with the registration and maintenance of my vehicles. In the last week or so, I stopped going out after dark unless it’s absolutely necessary. And I’m a security professional. It’s much harder for people who are not.


“Like too many Black men, my driving habits were fine-tuned after run-ins with the police.


“Once while speeding in North Carolina, I was stopped by state police. I’d let my concealed carry permit lapse, but I didn’t have the weapon with me. The police didn’t believe me, so they took me out of the vehicle and requested backup. I was asked to come to the rear of my vehicle while another officer, hand near their weapon, closely watched me. The officer searching my vehicle was clearly disappointed about not finding anything in my vehicle, and let me go after a very tense ordeal.


“Things went more smoothly on another occasion while traveling by car through Georgia. I was working with a national recording artist, and always brought my licensed weapon and the permit to carry it. After being stopped several times, Georgia police began to know I was legally armed. I always told my artist, and anyone traveling with me, to roll down their windows so the police had complete view of all my passengers. I placed my hands on the steering wheel, and kept my license and registration in my sun visor. I asked my front passenger to place his or her hands on the dash board until the police directed us otherwise. On one of the stops, a state police officer actually told me that unless I was going to shoot him to put my hands down.


“Those are just two of may situations that helped me learn that when dealing with the police you should calmly answer their questions with confidence. Unfortunately, for too many Black men and women that has not been enough to keep them safe.


“That’s why Leumas Security Services supports #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations, and we pray for a change in how police treat People of Color,” says Griffin.

Deaths, Protests Tell Us To Check Policies & Procedures

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Pro during protests

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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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dark street

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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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