In recent weeks, a video has emerged from the pipeline protests in the US where the Dakota Access Pipeline company attacked protesters with dogs as seen in this video.
Providing security support for any protest can be extremely challenging. Emotions often boil over, and actions can quickly escalate when a trigger event occurs. In order to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all involved, a measured approach to security is required. Dogs are never a wise choice when dealing with protests. Many years ago, during a building trades strike in Canada, dogs were used to protect the property from protesters. The result was a PR disaster. The dogs became the protesters’ targets and were attacked and killed.
This unfortunate incident brought national attention for all the wrong reasons.
A security guard’s job is to observe, report, and deter those considering action, not to cause more problems. Video of guards fighting protesters is bad for business. Damage to your brand will be irreversible if such an incident occurs. In many cases, poorly trained guards can quickly escalate situations. Simple words can be the fuel needed to ignite a protest. Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training is vital.
When incidents make front-page news, it is not good for business. The key when dealing with any form of protest is to have a plan. Understanding the dynamics at play and how to manage them is crucial to your success. A balanced approach ensures people and properties are protected.