Local News

'What can we do:' Businesses wonder if armed guards are the answer to security concerns

Posted November 8, 2018 9:52 p.m. EST
Updated November 8, 2018 10:31 p.m. EST

— With deadly mass shootings frequently making headlines, some are wondering if there are better ways to keep public places safe, but a security expert says there is a lot to consider before deciding to use an armed guard in a place of business.

Derek Borror worked in Navy intelligence and currently works for TigerSwan, a global risk management firm. He’s trained to see beyond what looks innocuous, so he understands the angst surrounding security.

“We get a lot of folks that come directly up to us. The small businesses here understanding what happened, again [asking] that same question, ‘What can we do,’” Borror said.

A recent shooting at a Tallahassee yoga studio left two people dead and several injured. A deadly shooting Wednesday night at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif. has some wondering if small places of leisure and other small businesses remain safe, or if armed security should become the norm.

“I think it’s probably not appropriate to immediately go to think that the greatest extreme is the best solution,” Borror said.

Borror encourages those who might be thinking about arming someone in their place of business to ask thoughtful questions.

“Really, what are you concerned about that would require you to immediately go to ‘I think we need someone with a gun here to protect us,’” he said.

Borror said there is a vast array of factors that must be considered before making the decision to use armed security.

“It’s a holistic approach of is this really a requirement for that, is it appropriate and are there alternatives that maybe are better welcome and easier for their clients to be around and feel comfortable with,” he said.

Some local businesses said that, in spite of recent news, having an armed guard is not likely something they would consider. Borror said a popular alternative is active threat training.