You know the old saying, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst?”, we believe that being ready to respond to any emergency, threat, or natural disaster is an important part of running successful businesses. We know it can be difficult to even think about hurricane season with everything else that’s going on in the world, but meteorologists predict that the 2020 hurricane season is going to be tough.
As proud partners of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, we want to bring daily awareness to National Police Week 2020 by recognizing and honoring the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers in our communities. We also want to extend a heartfelt thank you for the continued dedication of law enforcement officers during these troubling times for our country.
At Off Duty Services, we’re always dedicated to doing our part to protect our customers, family members, and communities. During this unprecedented time, we want to remind our clients that our security team is still here to help keep you, your business, and your loved ones safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We know that the stories on the news and what you’re seeing online about COVID-19 sound dire. However, we believe that we can all get through this together.
In the U.S., the right to assemble is a constitutional right, and in fact, peaceful protest and assembly are also protected by several international laws, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Protests and demonstrations have long been an effective way for groups to have their voices heard by those in power. When the protest is taking place outside your home or business, it can be both a hassle and a security risk. Whether you’ve heard about a possible demonstration or you’re dealing with long-term protests, Off Duty Services can make employees and clients feel safe when entering and exiting the building while allowing peaceful protesters to exercise their right to assemble.
On Saturday, November 2nd, 2019, Off Duty Services had the pleasure of hosting a Chili Cook-Off where all proceeds were donated to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). NLEOMF was founded in 1984 with the vision “To inspire all citizens to value law enforcement” and is dedicated to telling the story of these brave men and women while working to make it safer for those who serve.
Off Duty Services is excited to be exhibiting at the upcoming Global Security Exchange (GSX) conference September 7th-12th, 2019 in Chicago, IL. We would like to invite you and your team to stop by our booth and learn more about our services and how we can assist in supplying active off duty law enforcement officers to your locations for a security presence.
Hurricane Barry recently dumped heavy rain and caused dangerous flooding in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, our first hurricane of the 2019 season. “For 2019, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.” Early preparation is vital to stay safe before, during and after a hurricane event, especially with this year’s hurricane prediction.
Hopefully, your business has a well thought out Business Continuity Plan (BCP) that can be engaged in the event of a weather emergency. If your business does not have a well-practiced disaster plan, take action now. We recommend creating an emergency planning team comprised of managers and staff who are well versed in the disaster response plan. They should focus on collaborating to identify possible emergency scenarios and plan the steps and actions to safely respond. While not all-inclusive, below are a few factors to keep in mind during a weather-related disaster:
Every year the United States loses close to 160 law enforcement officers in the line of duty. May 15th was named as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15th falls in is named National Police Week. These dates were proclaimed in 1962 by President Kennedy to pay special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Police Week is honored throughout the country, as well as, with a full week of events taking place in Washington, D.C. The primary organizers of National Police Week include, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary (FOP/FOPA) and Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) .
Consider the existing physical security measures at your bank. Does it employ proactive strategies, or is it reactionary to an event? Is it driven by edicts from regulators? Is it sufficient?
Workplace culture espouses the importance of employee diversity. The same lesson can be applied to supplier diversity. Minority businesses are defined as those operated by African-Americans, Alaskan Natives, American Indians, Asian-Americans, Hispanics or women. Minorities operate more than 8 million businesses in the U.S., and they are the fastest-growing group in the U.S. Demographics. Partnering with a diverse supplier base helps your company reflect and meet the needs of your increasingly diverse clients.
Here are FIVE reasons to establish a diverse supplier base:
Road and highway construction zones are dangerous. Approximately 20,000 highway and street construction workers are injured on the job annually. Most of the cases involve a worker being hit by a moving vehicle, typically a dump truck. Changing roadway conditions and slow-moving traffic can catch inattentive or reckless drivers by surprise, which can lead to injuries and even death.
Law enforcement, at its most effective, relies on relationships. And like any relationship, there’s always room for improvement. As we start the new year, let’s make a concerted effort to get to know our local police and first responders.
When was the last time you reassessed your facility’s security strategy?
Among Washington, D.C.’s most important landmarks, is the new National Law Enforcement Museum that has been recently constructed by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Its immersive mission is to provide a day-in-the-life experience of what it’s like to be a law enforcement officer. The museum’s developers acknowledge a current disconnect between law enforcement and some communities. They hope the museum, through storytelling and interactive displays and exhibits, will help build a bridge between the public and law enforcement.
[Pictured in left photo: Brett Rowley, Vice President & Sherry Rowley, President]
Brett and Sherry Rowley, Co-Founders of Off Duty Services (ODS), attended the opening ceremony on Thursday, October 11th, 2018. In attendance were Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, and and retired Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. The ceremony included a ribbon cutting by the honorary chairman, Clint Eastwood, and concluded with a rendition of “God Bless America” by Boston (MA) Police Officers alongside the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Voices in Motion Choir.
As the final quarter of the year rapidly approaches, businesses in nearly every industry are preparing for the busiest season of the year. From Halloween to New Year’s, in cities and towns across the country, Americans venture out in greater numbers to prepare for the holidays, visit family, dine out, celebrate and travel. But with all the merriment comes the prospect of security incidents, ranging anywhere from theft and violence to traffic accidents and severe weather emergencies.
During Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, increased security at affected sites became a necessity for many companies. An exponential amount of assignments from varying industries created a huge influx of hours for off duty police officers. Under these extreme instances, many of the off duty officers who worked, took time off from their agency so they could be available to assist in the recovery efforts for an extended period of time. As the assignments came to a close, officers tallied their hours worked and submitted their time for pay. The companies who employed these officers have negotiated pay rates and terms prior to engaging the officers. Even so, there were many reports of officers who were not being paid in a timely manner and disputes over not honoring pay rates that were agreed upon.
Image: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
The Off Duty Services (ODS) team works closely with their clients on a regular basis to ensure that their security needs are met. ODS is also there to support our clients in the face of a crisis event or natural disaster. In the month of late August and early September, Hurricane Harvey and Irma both affected the coasts of the U.S. creating State of Emergencies, thus, making it impossible to outsource off duty police from the affected areas. By having a national capability, ODS was able to recruit 100’s of off duty officers outside the affected areas and deploy them quickly where they were needed for extended periods of time.