The Security Industry’s Dreaded ‘3 Ds’

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Dull, Dangerous, and Dirty – the three “Ds” characterize the state of the manned guarding industry in the 21st century. Underpaid, overworked, and chronically thrust into stressful and hazardous working conditions, the modern security guard is the epitome of a remarkably inefficient approach to physical security. Unfortunately, this operating model has been adopted and commercialized by the broad security industry, with contract companies competing to staff sites with the most hours per week (HPW), with little regard for the return on security investment received by the client or the safety and well being of the guard.

Much like the horse and buggy of the pre-industrial era, the modern security guard occupies a similar role – being used as mechanical labour to manually perform routine, repetitive tasks. Intrinsic to this dynamic is a highly damaging and unfulfilling transaction – trading human life-hours for production capability and a wage. The basic line of thinking goes: “more guards = better security”. The logistics of such an arrangement scale linearly – to secure more property and assets, organizations must deploy proportionately more security guards, and pay the inevitable increase in billable wage-hours.

The organization must also scale its back-end management linearly too, paying increased operating expenses and overhead for recruitment, scheduling, quality assurance, HR, and management staff to oversee the intricacies associated with deploying human security guards as a service. Every late for duty, no-show, book-out, sleeping on duty, or missed patrol is a potential source of liability, a drain on operational resources, or an incident waiting to happen. At a certain point, there are simply too many guards deployed to manage for a reasonable cost, and the inevitable result is a decrease in management span and quality of service.

An innovative American firm Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD), is making waves with what it calls Autonomous Remote Services (ARS), a concept that can improve the quality of life, working conditions, and pay for security guards worldwide, by automating these “3 D’s” roles. Much like how the invention of the internal combustion engine replaced the horse buggy, ARS-based solutions can replace security guards for the most menial and dangerous of roles – the ones that contribute to high turnover, low morale, and poor working conditions in the security industry.

The advent of the industrial revolution changed the agricultural industry. Farmers were released from tedious duties and required less wage-labour, allowing them to improve crop yields and reinvest their capital into expanding their ventures. RAD believes that the use of ARS solutions is contributing to a similar paradigm shift now underway within the security industry, one where robotic automation takes on duties such as access control, routine security patrols, and property surveillance, while it’s trained, better paid human counterparts leverage their unique abilities to provide rapid response and reason to escalated or critical incidents.

Robots do not sleep, get sick, show up late, ignore post orders, get distracted, require breaks, or take vacations. They cannot be injured and require no healthcare coverage. They excel at fulfilling repetitive, routine duties in a reliable manner – scanning patrol checkpoints, responding to detected nefarious acts, verifying access credentials, keeping a keen eye on the perimeter. Today’s artificial intelligence-powered solutions excel at parsing thousands of instances of data and identifying patterns and inconsistencies in them, tasks which humans are less adept at. These include gun detection, facial recognition, and license plate detection, which any machine will outperform a human at.

On the other hand, the complexity of the human mind lends itself well to tasks requiring critical thinking, abstract interpretation, and discretion. Tasks like apprehending an intruder, providing customer service, performing emergency medical care are well within the scope of a well-paid, highly trained security officer to perform. Shifting the nature of the guard’s role to primarily performing these higher-function tasks will provide the strongest business case for increased billing and pay rates, leading to a fundamental change in how the industry operates and is perceived.

Therefore, the solution may be this straightforward and cost-effective – utilize ARS to automate the most repetitive, mundane tasks, so the remainder of the security industry can upskill into highly professionalized, well-paid roles. Robots and AI are uniquely suited to deterring and detecting intruders via their autonomous responses, patrolling, and analytical capabilities. Human security officers are uniquely suited to defending against intruders via their training, critical thinking, and dexterity. A hybrid solution consisting of small, highly paid, and well-trained security response teams augmented by RAD’s ARS solutions will provide a superior ROI and security outcomes as opposed to mass deployments of security guards.

Emergency Protection Limited, is an authorized dealer of RAD solutions in the UK. For more information, visit us at www.emergencyprotection.co.uk or contact Doug Sear, Director of Sales via sales@emergencyprotection.co.uk