The added costs of implementing security after an incident vs proactively securing a site

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

In July 2022, Starbucks closed 16 stores in Seattle; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; and Portland, Oregon after a series of incidents made it unsafe to continue to operate them. Store security got out of control following the 2018 announcement of a new Starbucks’s policy making store restrooms available to the public. 

Their motive in opening the restrooms was good. The franchise wanted all to feel welcome at any Starbucks store. But the bathroom plan, born out of public pressure, lacked a proactive security element. Expecting employees to keep up with the extra traffic and keep customers safe wasn’t realistic. 

Having officers on site likely would have prevented otherwise profitable stores from closing.

Safety and security are the very basic and fundamental criteria to an enterprise succeeding. It goes without saying, no one wants to work, shop, dine or otherwise visit a place where their safety is at risk. 

The cost of waiting

Store closings are an extreme example, to be sure. But all too often, businesses call in security after an incident, only to discover the damage is done. At that point, it is infinitely harder to regain the trust of employees, patrons, customers and investors than it would have been to proactively invest in maintaining it. 

In today’s connected world, a mishandled security issue can easily spiral into a crisis that is captured on video and circulated widely, creating an even longer shelf life and more exposure for the issue. Depending on how big the story gets, the air time afforded by social networks and 24/7 news networks could cause significant long-term damage to the reputation and health of a business. 

Beyond the broad business impacts, from a more practical standpoint

  • It’s not easy to get officers or other security resources in place on a dime, should the business face threats. The larger the organization, the more extensive the red tape. 
  • You pay a premium when calling security forces into action at the last minute, once an issue is already unfolding. 
  • You benefit from having a regular roster of officers for security who are familiar with your operations, facilities, customers, and culture, which impacts how best to respond to situations.

Police officers are highly trained and well-versed in local and state laws. They’re well equipped not only to recognize a threat but also know the legal parameters of response in order to respond efficiently and effectively, preventing an issue from gaining traction and devastating your bottom line or future ability to operate.

For all of these reasons, it is crucial to take a proactive approach to security and stay ahead of issues before they become costly and create a long-term threat to the business. The Summit Off Duty Services team can stand up officers for security on short notice but, for all the reasons listed here, we highly recommend having a plan before you have a problem. We welcome the opportunity to talk about how to effectively and affordably develop and maintain a proactive security posture.