COVID-19 was a large disruption to many businesses’ day-to-day efforts and routines. The virus not only impacted public health on a global scale, but it also left approximately 18.1 million citizens temporarily unemployed by April 2020, a 10.3% increase in the unemployment rate from 2019. By September, however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate had declined to 7.9%, with approximately 12.6 million unemployed.
Each industry has responded differently, either amplifying security efforts or scaling back to reflect and accommodate for new safety needs. The security industry has grown and risen to meet new, unprecedented challenges. Universities and shopping centers employed officers to enforce social distancing guidelines, and monitor visitors. The security industry has also seen a greater demand in healthcare, grocers and hotels.
Despite many hotels closing temporarily or permanently due to decreased travel, some hotels have ramped up their security measures to monitor visitors and help with check-ins. Malls and retailers have needed the help of security officers, to fill roles such as monitoring how many customers enter and exit the facility, taking temperatures before entry and escorting guests who are not complying with social distancing or mask guidelines.
At healthcare facilities, security officers have helped enforce temporary lockdown protocols, restricting entrance to specific doors while also disseminating information to visitors. Occasionally, they serve as a temporary comfort for those who are unable to visit their loved ones in hospitals due to COVID-19 protocols. Officers are adopting different roles depending on where they are needed and in what capacity their talents are required.
Officers have also faced the threat of how to keep themselves safe from the virus so they can continue to protect others. Businesses and facilities have introduced new measures to limit their security officers’ exposure to the virus. Officers have increased cleanliness in work stations, equipped themselves with personal protective equipment, adhered to strict symptom monitoring and subjected themselves to COVID-19 testing in order to operate on a clients’ premises.
Security officers have also dealt with a rising amount of unruly visitors. The overall climate during the pandemic is one of agitation and frustration, which causes more occurrences of violence. Stress stemming from a lack of normalcy and frustration with the world has caused more members of the public to lash out at security guards. This behavior requires a composed, strategic response from a security officer in order to diffuse the situation effectively.
In an article by Security Magazine, CEO of Paladin Security Group, Ashley Cooper, likened the effects of the coronavirus pandemic to that of the 1987 stock market crash. “COVID-19 is the most challenging situation the security industry has faced in my career,” he said. “I believe that the security industry will weather the storm, as long as its leaders respond and ‘deploy correctly.’”
No matter what challenges may arise in your industry, Eagle Systems is dedicated to providing your business or healthcare facility with highly-trained, fully equipped and adaptable security officers. Our officers are here for your protection and will go above and beyond to meet your security needs. If you are interested in hiring in-person security officers, contact us today at 1-877-766-4610.