Security Risk and Organizational Resilience Series
Updated: Oct 10
This series of posts starting on Sep 21st , will explore the role of security management in the larger organizational resilience. It is a critical goal to achieve a higher level of resilience to recover and resume activities following disruptive events, no matter their nature.
This Post-01- Municipal Security and Public protests in the current era
Public protests have always been part of City life in particular in democratic countries. Social tensions exacerbated by seemingly irreconcilable views, have resulted in potentially extreme situations. A perfect example was that, yesterday Wednesday Sep 20th large protests, announced days prior, took place in Canada, in various geographical areas but essentially within cities. Counter protesters organized marches where they intended to confront the other side. In a tense situation such as this, law enforcement's role is quite delicate and is usually aimed at keeping the peace in the public square.
What is then, the role of municipal security professionals? They are usually tasked to protect the institutional assets and that would include staff in the first instance. What i find quite challenging is how these professional are going to share the information about what is about to occur or is occurring?
It would be quite risky to just repeat what the media issues as they are not neutral and have declared and undeclared editorial lines. Professionals should not take sides but stick to their role as security managers mitigating whatever circumstances present themselves.
Due the increased potential for violence witnessed in a number of protests, security teams would be ready with a plan including escalation and de-escalation modes. It would be an emergency planning process gauging the threats levels and assigning the required resources. As in any planning exercise the situation may get out of hand for a number of reasons , which in that case should be dealt with through a back up plan. That could be in place as part of the organizational resilience management, designed to minimize undesirable outcomes.
Resilience would require enhanced coordination and even "integration" of security with emergency and business continuity ( or continuity of operations).
This model could be the way forward once organizational resilience becomes the ultimate goal of institutions' risk management. It is not without its challenges as security is not as regulated a function as emergency and law enforcement. Therefore the roles would have to be carefully ascribed.
In future posts, i will continue exploring what i would prefer to call the "Security Risk Continuum " in particular for municipal and educational institutions, derived from what the Dutch Shell Corporation called the "bow tie risk model" in the 70s.