Nightclub owners and managers are all too often focused on reacting to violent or dangerous situations rather than preventing them. The implementation of proper security precautions and staff awareness training can deter many crimes before they occur, potentially saving lives and preventing unnecessary injuries.
Nightclub & Bar, an online resource for the nightlife industry, recently asked club owners, “What if the discussion was about noticing the potential for an incident and intervening before one even starts?” They teamed up with Mike Adams, a Las Vegas nightclub security expert, to explore his proactive approach to creating a secure venue:
“Anytime you’re working a venue, your key process is situational awareness….Your foundation, the fundamentals of situational awareness, is to develop a baseline and then look for anything outside the normal behaviors of that baseline,” Mike Adams explains.
Groups of friends meeting up for a fun night out behave a certain way. Their mannerisms and their interactions with one another should set your baseline for acceptable behavior. As a doorman or security team member, you’re the club’s first line of defense. Mike suggests looking for the person in line who’s eyeballing one person rather than looking at everyone. In his experience, people who intend to have a good time are checking out who’s around them rather than focusing only on their friends or one person. Of course, someone who seems hostile or makes you uncomfortable with their behavior isn’t guaranteed to cause any problems – Mike is simply advising security team members to be aware of the markers of hostile behavior.
Additionally, if you often work the line and door, you’ll likely learn the regulars and develop a rapport. Developing a relationship with regulars affords you the opportunity to create a baseline for their behavior. Just like a relationship with your friends, you’ll notice when they feel “off” to you: lack of eye contact, looking down, stooped shoulders… Interacting with regulars will help you gain more experience with behavior, making you a more effective security team member. Remember, customer service is a part of modern day security.
When working the inside of a nightclub, you’re in the mix. Understanding your venue, the theme of the night, the demographics your club attracts, and even the subcultures of these demographics is essential. It’s difficult to predict human behavior and create a behavioral baseline if you don’t understand how the venue’s guests should be behaving and interacting with one another. It doesn’t hurt to have at least a superficial understanding of psychology as it relates to the age groups that tend to frequent your venue. Additionally, you’ll need to be able to read body language when working the inside of a packed venue.
None of us needs a degree in psychology to know that ego and aggression are the hallmarks of many males aged 21 to 25. If you work security at a nightclub that attracts this demographic in large numbers, you know what can set off an incident….Stepping on shoes, bumping into someone, knocking a drink out of a hand accidentally… We know what to look for, and why….
A commitment to situational awareness, an understanding of human behavior, and realizing that protection is a form of customer service can help to catch minor problems before they become legal issues.
Read the complete article here.
By law, nightclub owners are required to protect all patrons legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. We applaud nightclub owners and security managers, like Mike Adams, who take a proactive approach to venue security and safety, training their staff to prevent incidents rather than simply reacting to them.
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