It's Party Time ... Sort Of
Millions of people across the U.S. are getting out to enjoy the first full summer since vaccines seem to have COVID-19 against the ropes. But stay careful. The pandemic has still claimed more than 601,000 lives in the U.S., and counting.
If you do decide to go out, especially to a bar or club, don’t let your hair down so much that you wind up in a situation that requires security to react.
If you are a security professional, I want you to be extra careful working a club these days. A recent incident in a D.C. club shows you why, and inspired me to record this week's video (above). I don’t want to comment on how anyone not working for me does their job, but I do want to remind guards that professional is a valuable part of the phrase security professional. If you are dragging a woman down the stairs by her hair, a lot of things have gone wrong for someone who considers themselves a security professional.
When the woman was dragged down the stairs, reports state that it was a case of mistaken identity. That is more common than you may realize. I can’t count how times someone thought they had on a fresh, new outfit only to find at least one other person at the club wearing it. I’ve seen people go home because too many people were wearing the same thing they were. If you have to put your hands on someone, make sure it’s the right person.
Don’t drink on the job! You may be surprised by the number of times you are offered a free drink. You need to stay ready to handle the people out partying who have had too much to drink, or whatever.
You will see people act out of character. Some will be nice drinkers and others are mean drunks. When you need to get someone out, try talking them out first. I always say, and I repeated it in my book Rent-A-Cop Reboot, that your mouth is your best weapon. But only when you’re in your sober mind. Yes, there are times when talking someone out turns into taking them out. Taking a patron out of the club with a second guard is always your best move, because alcohol or whatever other drug they used may give the individual extraordinary strength. In most cases I’ve seen, the individual can’t feel any pain when you are breaking up a fight or defending your life.
This brings me back to one of my favorite subjects: training. Working in a club, or a club-like environment, can be tricky. It takes more than a strong body and what you know from working retail security.
Your club training should include mandatory time with a partner who is a seasoned club security officer. They may not wear a full uniform, but they are trained to be able to handle situations where they have to be hands-on with a member of the public. Well-trained club security professionals know how to handle the fast-paced, sometimes aggressive environment they may face. They are not only good at hand-to-hand combat and dealing with crowds, but they also know when and how to talk someone down.
The best club security professionals are always on their A game. They’re focused on making sure patrons are having a safe, good time. If you can’t do that, you can’t do the work. If you have a problem at home, don’t take it out on someone with “liquid courage” that gives them a Superman-like attitude.
The police are rarely called when alcohol is involved, unless a fight breaks out. Most clubs want to deal with the matter internally with things like banning an individual from the establishment. Your professionalism will make the difference in how everyone’s night turns out, so remember to treat others the way you would want to be treated. Always!