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Have A Successful New Year!

Happy New Year
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December 31, 2019

This is the time of year when many people take a close look at how they did over the past year, and plan for the coming year based on what they experienced. “Failures” and “successes” are bound to stand out.

Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin suggests that people take a close look at what success really means to them.

“Too many people define success based on the car they drive, house they live in, business ownership, personal wealth, or connections to celebrities and other people they think are wealthy,” says Griffin. “Those things are certainly great, but they are not necessarily the signs of true success.”

“As a business owner for more than 20 years, and having what a lot of people would consider ‘success,’ I can tell you that it comes at a price,” he says. “Many business owners will tell you that their lives can be very stressful. They can’t always spend time with their family and friends, which business owners miss and can make their loved ones angry. They have to put together a good management team which includes an accountant (choose the best accountant for you), and that can be a big challenge. And they have to stay hopeful.”

Griffin says, “Having God in my life gives me hope, the kind of hope that lifts me out of bed in the morning. Without hope, no amount of money can give you peace of mind.”

We wish you a peaceful, successful, and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holiday Season To All!

Merry Christmas
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December 24, 2019

“It wasn’t that long ago that most holidays and my birthdays were spent away from home working various security jobs, including personal protection for several highly-visible people,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I missed funerals for friends, aunts, even my grandfather. I knew my emotions would make me lose focus, so I turned them off.”

“I stopped traveling like that several years ago,” Griffin says, “but still have to work hard to turn my emotions back on after 15 years on the road. This year put me to the test. The business challenges I was ready for, but when my wife was hospitalized for nearly a month and our daughter was badly burned at school I was devastated.”

“I thank God every day that my wife and daughter are healing,” says Griffin. “I have an even deeper appreciation for family, health, and the importance of spending time with people you love. Give to them, and not just with money. Give love, time, and patience. Give good examples.”

“My mother would give me and my siblings three presents each for Christmas, the way Jesus received gifts from the Three Wise Men,” Griffin remembers. “I have been guilty of excessive spending on gifts in the past, but not this year. I am more focused on supporting those who give to others. And I’m just so grateful for my many blessings, like my wife and daughter.”

“To everyone who is working this holiday season, especially if you are working for our company, Thank You,” Griffin says. “I appreciate your commitment to what you do, and to your dreams. I know it can be tough. For me, faith helped me remember that I never walked alone. Neither do you.”

“Now as I slow down a little for the holidays, I reminisce about the days of yesterday,” he says. “I’ve had a great career that I’m continuing to build, and am blessed with a life many others only dream about. And I’m so grateful.”

“Remember the love, joy, and sacrifice that really give this season its glow,” Griffin says. “Don’t miss them. When you’ve been away from family and friends as much as I have, you realize how much you missed. Whatever your emotional triggers are, do your best to manage them through the rest of this holiday season. When something comes up to fight about while visiting family, find a way to cool things down. Help the kids see that you can handle 'fights' without fighting. Don’t plan to fight. Plan to love.”

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! 

Remembering Herman Boone

Coach Herman Boone
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December 19, 2019

Arrangements are still being made to celebrate the life of Herman Boone, the legendary high school football coach portrayed in the hit movie “Remember the Titans.” Boone passed away on December 18th. He was 84.

“After ‘Remember the Titans’ was filmed, Mr. Boone visited Williamsburg, Virginia,” remembers Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I was hired to provide transportation and personal security during his stay.”

As most movie fans know, Mr. Boone was portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington in the film.

Griffin says, “Mr. Boone talked about Denzel Washington staying at his home, and cutting his grass first thing in the morning. He talked about many moments he shared with Washington, as the actor worked to get a feel for how to portray Boone in the movie.”

After retiring from coaching and teaching, Mr. Boone reportedly spent several years speaking with a wide variety of audiences about the power of sports to transform.

“He will truly be missed. His family will be in my prayers,” says Griffin.

“I am so happy and humbled by the fact that the profession I love has made it possible for me to meet so many incredibly inspiring people,” he says.

R&R

R&R
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December 17, 2019

The holiday season is a great time to get some R&R, rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, many people overdo it. Shopping, parties for business or with family and friends, and racing to get a number of things done in order to make all those parties and other gatherings. Whew!

Make room in your schedule for a few days off. Seek balance.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website suggests several things for a variety of people feeling stress this time of year. Their tips include staying hydrated and getting exercise, making a budget and sticking to it, and allowing yourself to feel what you feel if you’re dealing with challenges such as grief.

Those in the security field may feel stress because they are working extra hours, or unusual schedules, or there are schedule changes with short notice. This can be a good time for them, and other people with demanding schedules, to learn how to get some R&R whenever they can.

Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin learned many years ago how to take advantage of a sudden change in a demanding schedule.

“I was planning to attend the NBAFinals with a high-profile client,” says Griffin. “I was excited, but there was a problem. Extra family members and friends of my client flew into town for the game, and we were one ticket short.”

“I wouldn’t have thought in a million years that the head of security would be told to stay behind so the client could entertain friends and family,” Griffin recalls. “I felt used. I’d spent hours getting to the event, and making various preparations. But I quickly separated my feelings from my professional duties, and wished everyone a good time.”

Griffin continues, "My client’s friends had also traveled with personal security staff, so they ended up watching over my client that evening. It was actually a much-needed break in a tough schedule, so I decided to get some well-deserved sleep.”

“There are times during your security career when you will be asked to stay behind, or make some other change that takes you off the schedule,” Griffin says. “Use that time to rest, and eat a hot meal. Those things are even nicer if the schedule change allows you to do them at home.”

Could You Be A Personal Protection Pro?

Remembering Rev. Evans
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December 10, 2019

“Security personnel who want to do personal protection must have a great deal of endurance, and mental preparation,” according to Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “If you’re not having a good day, oh well. You have to figure it out. Put all of your personal and mental baggage to the side, and game on.”

Griffin, who was inspired to step up his security game after seeing the movie The Bodyguard, already had several years of experience before an eye-opening test: a parade.

“In the mid-2000s, I was assigned by a record label to protect a national recording artist on a float during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City,” Griffin remembers. “I’d heard about the parade over the years, but working it was an out-of-body experience. Instead of riding on the float, I decided to walk the route with an army of personal security and NYPD’s finest.”

Tens of thousands of people march in the parade every June, while more than three million other cheering fans line 5th Avenue from 44th to 79th streets.

Griffin says, “The parade route felt like a two-hour walk. The float started and stopped as fans cheered for music artists from the record label, and A-List movie stars. Like some other large, party-like events, I saw people using the bathroom in the streets, and some women raising their shirts to the stars and they didn’t have anything on underneath.”

“Situations like these can cause you to stare,” says Griffin. “But staring can make you lose focus. If you lose focus, you might give a fan, or a criminal, the two seconds they need - and that’s all it takes - to breach security and harm your client.”

Griffin says that if you want to move into more challenging security work, like personal protection, you need to face some tough realities.

“In many situations, you must turn off your emotions to do your job correctly,” he says. “If you’re not 110% dedicated to the personal protection field, find another job. In executive and personal protection, you simply don’t have a life outside of your client. Their life is your life. Your client’s family becomes your family. If you have a family, they will become secondary. Can you, and your family members, handle that?”

Remembering The Reverend Clay Evans

Remembering Rev. Evans
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December 5, 2019

“I was very sad to hear about the passing into Glory of an incredible Man of God, The Reverend Clay Evans,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.

Observances of the iconic leader’s life are being held this week at the church he founded in Chicago, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church. He will Lie In State there tomorrow at noon, with Final Visitation and the Official 
Celebration of Life taking place on Saturday.

“Several years ago while working in Chicago, I had to accompany a client to a church,” Griffin remembers. “The now-famous song I’ve Got A Testimony was being recorded. I had no idea at the time who Rev. Clay Evans was. As I traveled more, and the song gained traction, I quickly found out.”

Griffin says, “I would eventually wind up visiting Fellowship several times with my client, and Reverend Evans always greeted me with a warm smile. I am so blessed to have had chances to see and feel his greatness close-up, and when he was preaching as well as singing and directing his choir. This great man left a lasting impression on me.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with Reverend Evans’ family, including his church family,” says Griffin. “I can’t be there this weekend, but I am with them in spirit and hold them in prayer.”

Safe Shopping

Safe sopping
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December 3, 2019

If you’re like many people in the United States, your holiday shopping is off to a very nice start. We hope you’re among those who reports say are feeling good this season, so good that you’ll spend around $1000.

“Before spending your money, spend a little time making sure that you’re safe while shopping,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.

Online shopping has increased, but so has the number of online criminals. There are even organized online crime syndicates. Some using “bots” and other technologies to take advantage of retailers as well as shoppers.

To help you stay safe online, Griffin suggests you make sure that:

Whatever device you use for shopping is updated, and has the best available security program.

You only use secure websites. Look for the green lock in the URL address bar, or https.

You research online retailers and their products before buying.

Look closely at your credit card bill. If you don’t recognize a charge, no matter how small, contact the card company or store as soon as possible to make sure your account has not been attacked.

Check out additional online shopping tips here.

Buying gifts in a store is still the way most shopping is done, and the number of people who walk into a store will increase as we get closer to Christmas.

Griffin suggests you stay safe while shopping in stores by:

Shopping with someone else, when possible. It’s easy to get distracted, especially when shopping with children. Another pair of eyes is always helpful.

Staying focused on your mission and your money. Don’t flash your money, leave your wallet or purse hanging open, or allow yourself to be distracted while you are paying for whatever you buy. Keep your keys somewhere they can be easily reached when you get to the door of your car or home. Thieves are paying attention, so don’t allow yourself to look like an easy target.

Protecting your ride. Don’t leave shopping bags, purses, wallets, phones, or anything that may be of value to a thief anywhere in your car where they can easily be seen by a potential thief. Don’t make it easy for them.

Parking in areas that have plenty of light. Darkness can offer cover for those who see an opportunity to commit a crime.

Remembering your safety basics. You may be more tempted to cheat on your diet, but don’t do the same with your standard safety practices. Don’t make it easy for people to see what’s in your purse or wallet, make sure your home is locked at all times, and don’t share too much personal information with people you don’t know.

Check out additional shopping tips here, and here.

“More than anything, remember the reason for the season,” Griffin says. “Find ways to enjoy the holidays without stress and over-spending. Spend more time with family and friends. If you feel like you’ll be alone this holiday season, that doesn’t mean you’ll be lonely. You can plan a trip, prepare a relaxing ‘staycation,’ and volunteer to help others.”

Griffin says a quiet holiday season can also be “a perfect opportunity to discover what really makes you happy, and that may not be available in any store.”

Gratitude

Grateful
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November 26, 2019

“Pain is a definer of great men of faith,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin, as he considers recent challenges this Thanksgiving week.

“I’ve felt pain like I haven’t felt in a long time, but through everything I can still see and count my blessings,” he says.

In recent weeks, Griffin has faced family health emergencies, unprofessional behavior from some staff members, and missed administrative deadlines.

“It’s incredibly painful to watch people you love struggling,” he says, “but my faith is my foundation. I trust that I will see them restored to full health.”

He adds, “I’m also proud and humbled by the fact that we’ve been able to run this business long enough to know that there will be ups and downs. We’ve been through both, and we’re still here doing what we love to do.”

Statistics show that about half of small businesses fail by the end of their fifth year.

“My faith and common sense always tell me to prepare for bad days, and always have a backup plan.”

Griffin often speaks with other entrepreneurs about his preparations and backup plans. They include having good people on your team, having good personal credit, researching the best loans and other sources of funding for times when business income falls short, plus getting and maintaining appropriate insurance policies.

“It also helps me to remember that no matter what is going wrong, there’s someone who is worse off,” says Griffin. “I was leaving the pharmacy after getting an expensive medicine for one of my loved ones, when I saw a man leaving the food pantry with a bag of groceries. I felt drained, but I said, ‘My brother, come here.’ I said, ‘Keep your head up,’ and handed him the offering I was going to put into our foundation.”

“I felt a little better,” Griffin remembers. “Like the famous Gospel song reminds us, Be Grateful. Me and my house will continue to serve the Lord, and this too shall pass.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fear

Fear
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November 19, 2019

“In the security field there is fear among all officers,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “There is natural fear about things that can happen on the job, and the impact those things can have on the people and businesses involved.”

And with good reason. Security guards often face people who are breaking the rules of a particular place, or doing something that makes them a danger to other people. The guard’s role is to get that person to stop, but there are times when they refuse. These situations can result in a guard being attacked, even at places like supermarkets.

“People who operate security businesses have concerns, too,” Griffin says. “We want our people to be safe. We want wherever, or whoever, our people are responsible for to be protected. Good Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) help."

He says, “Setting a high standard for employees through your SOPS helps dictate whether or not you stay in business. Employees must abide by the SOPS, which protect them as well as the security company.”

According to Griffin, SOPS can help a security company - and especially the professionals working for that company - better handle what he calls “bad fear.”

“Bad Fear is most likely the result of bad training,” Griffin says. “As a guard you are likely not to be sure of yourself if you are not properly trained. Bad fear can make you resort to the use of force with pepper spray, baton, Mace and deadly force.”

Unfortunately, situations where a guard’s training is questioned often make headlines, especially when it is connected to someone’s death.

“Proper unarmed and armed security training, and good old common sense, should always be a guard’s number one priority,” says Griffin. “Don’t be afraid to retake your basic training. This could save your life, and the life of those you’re contracted to protect.”

Griffin also leans heavily upon his faith. One of his favorite scriptures: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).”

“Yes, law enforcement requires some faith,” Griffin says. “I don’t know one officer who doesn’t want to get home to the family after his or her shift. Prayer changes things, and helps reduce on-the-job fear.”

Food Safety

Thanksgiving
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November 12, 2019

Thanksgiving is a little more than two weeks from today. Many Americans are well-organized as they countdown to the big meal. Others are still looking for great menu ideas and recipes, and plenty of first-time Thanksgiving Dinner hosts are trying to remain calm while soaking up planning tips.

If you are in either of those groups, we want to remind you to handle the food with safety in mind. If your role is to enjoy the food and help with cleanup and storage of leftovers, we’re talking to you, too.

Our biggest concern in this post: food poisoning.

“When I first learned about how many people get food poisoning every year I was stunned,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.

According to U.S. government agencies, one in six Americans will get sick from food poisoning this year. Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, “sends 128,000 Americans to the hospital each year—it can also have long-term health consequences.”

Griffin says, “A person’s personal health and safety can be compromised by food poisoning. You can compromise someone else’s health and safety if you aren’t carefully handling food, and those who get food poisoning can lose valuable time at work and school. Changing all of this just takes a little careful planning.”

Food safety experts have several suggestions, almost all of which fall into the FoodSafety.gov steps of clean, separate, cook, and chill.

Clean. This means to wash your hands, as well as cooking utensils and surfaces. The best cleaning practices may have you washing your hands more often than you do now, and for longer periods of time. For example, you should scrub your hands, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. To make sure you get there, hum the old-fashioned “Happy Birthday” song twice.

Separate. Keep certain foods separate, even in the shopping cart. Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce, meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.

Cook. Cook food to the right temperature, and keep foods heated to the right temperature. For special cooking, such as smokers and microwaves, follow specific instructions.

Chill. Refrigerate and freeze food properly. That means perishable foods should be refrigerated within two hours. If you have large amounts of an item in one dish, such as soup or a casserole, separate it into smaller amounts. Try the two-stage cooling method, and invest in a food thermometer.

Thanksgiving is a great time to update your food safety practices, which will serve you for every meal you prepare at home.

Election Day

Waving Flag
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November 5, 2019

Today is Election Day in Virginia, where Leumas Security Services is based, and three other states.

A lot of attention has been paid to next year’s elections, because of the presidential and congressional contests. There has been a lot in the news recently about various candidates, making sure election systems are secure, and the power of younger voters as well as seniors.

But so-called “off year” elections like today’s are also very important. In many cases, elected officials on the state and local level may have a bigger impact on a person’s daily life.

“As you add voting to your schedule today, remember basic safety practices,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.

Griffin suggests you:

Take your time. Add extra time to your travel schedule in order to make it to the polls on time, or to return your absentee ballot to the local registrar’s office. In Virginia, polls close and registrars stop accepting ballots at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Pay closer attention to traffic and pedestrian flow. There may be more people driving or walking in areas you are used to using, and it’s now darker earlier in the evening.

Light things up. If you are walking to your polling place as it gets dark, make sure you wear reflective clothing. You may also consider carrying a flashlight.

Practice civility. There may be people using your polling place who support a person or issue different from those you support. Know in advance how you will politely, but clearly, do what you have to do in ways that keep the peace.

"Fall Back" Into The Dark

dark street
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October 29, 2019

Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations are just days away. That means many people will be out in the dark.

Getting around in the dark will be even more challenging beginning this weekend. Most of the planet will “fall back” when Daylight Saving Time ends on November 3rd at 2:00 a.m.

“You’ll be adjusting your clocks, so it may be a good time to adjust some of your thinking about safety at night,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Many of us will be doing some of the same things we’ve been doing with our families or at work, but in a few days we may be doing them in the dark.”

Good lighting is very important. Griffin suggests you check to make sure there is appropriate lighting in and around your home.

If you usually walk, exercise, or bike in areas that are poorly lit, consider changing your route or traveling in groups. Also make sure you wear appropriately reflective clothing. If you have children, make similar changes as appropriate in their travels and activities, and suggest similar changes to other family members and friends.

“In most cases, you only need to make small changes,” according to Griffin, “but if you’re not sure, consult a security professional. An hour or two of their time could save you countless hours of suffering.”

Less light also has a big impact on driving. According to the National Safety Council, “While we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. It doesn't matter whether the road is familiar or not, driving at night is always more dangerous.”

It’s simply harder to see at night, and it gets harder as we get older. One way to make driving in the dark safer is to go slowly enough to stop within the distance you can see in your headlights.

Driving, and everything you do, is easier if you’re not too tired. Many people feel as if they get an extra hour of sleep when we “fall back.” However, they’re still thrown off a bit by the time change. To make the transition easier, handle it gradually.

You’ve still got a few days before we return to Standard Time to make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. If you’re not, make changes in your before-bedtime routine. For example, spend less time on the phone or computer screen, lower the lights, and maybe even the temperature of the room where you will sleep. The routine may have to change, at least for several days, for every member of the household.

For additional nighttime safety tips, see our October 8th post about Halloween safety.

Home Eye Safety Month

protective eyewear
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October 22, 2019

According to the National Day Calendar, there are several observances in the month of October. For example, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Dyslexia Awareness Month, Emotional Wellness Month, Financial Planning Month, LGBT History Month, and, as you might imagine, Halloween Safety Month.

One of the ones that caught the eye of Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin was Home Eye Safety Month.

“We don’t think that much about eye safety, but it can be crucial for a security professional,” Griffin says. “I can’t count the number of times I was able to protect a client, a property, or even myself because of something I saw, and I was able to respond before something bad happened.”

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, almost half of all serious eye injuries happen at home, but most people don’t wear eye protection.

Planning to rake leaves, prepare a Halloween event with lots of hay, get some home improvement projects completed before it gets too cold, or finally give the basement that deep cleaning it needs before relatives drop by? Make sure you use protective eyewear. Those activities are among the most dangerous, especially if you will be using power tools or chemicals.

Don’t forget lighting. Make sure stairs are well lit, as well as other areas where someone could lose their balance or run into something that may cause an injury.

“Don’t lose time at work because of a preventable injury at home,” says Griffin.

Speaking of work, many of the same practices that protect your eyes at home will help you at work.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that “every day about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment. However, safety experts and eye doctors believe the right eye protection can lessen the severity or even prevent 90 percent of these eye injuries.”

The two main reasons people suffer eye injuries at work: They weren’t wearing eye protection, or they wore the wrong kind of protection for the job they were doing.

According to the AOA, you can start by knowing what the eye safety issues may be at work, and eliminate hazards before they happen. And of course, use eye protection. AOA’s tips for handling an eye emergency include flushing the eye with water and not rubbing the eye, depending upon the situation. Check out their detailed help here.

“In security work, hazards may include someone trying to attack you and targeting your eyes,” Griffin says. “That’s another reason to stay focused when you are on duty, and eyes that haven’t been compromised elsewhere can help you do that.”

A Security "Guard" Is A Security "Professional"

A guard is a professional
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October 15, 2019

“A security guard’s job isn’t more serious because it’s armed, or in a particular location,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “ It’s serious because it’s always serious, and genuine security professionals know that.”

Recent news stories from across the nation highlight how dangerous security guard jobs can be. A guard can be shot in a variety of situations that may have seemed safe just moments before. These can even be deadly. A security guard can be physically attacked, or even hit during a sports or other entertainment event.

“You never know what can happen,” Griffin says, “which is why you’re there, and you have to stay sharp. Stay prepared. That can be true of the top professionals in almost any career.”

Griffin always encourages those who want a security career to do everything they can to be prepared for their important work.

In a July 30th blog post he says being in physical shape is great, but a security professional’s most important skills are “good communication, good observation, professionalism, commitment to safety, knowing how to work well with a variety of people, and the ability to multi-task.”

In a July 2nd post Griffin mentions the importance of getting additional training. He says, “You may be certified as an unarmed security officer, and get further training for armed security work in order to get more assignments, earn more money, or be better positioned for a law enforcement position.”

An entire post on June 18th was devoted to the power and importance of how security professionals speak to people. According to Griffin, “The tone and volume of your voice and your body language don’t lose their importance just because you’re in a security position. In fact, they’re even more important.”

Check out these earlier posts for more ways to enhance your ability to be a top security professional.

Get Ready For A Safe Halloween

Halloween safety
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October 8, 2019

Halloween can be a fun holiday for people of all ages, but it can also be one of the most dangerous.

Research shows that “children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.”

Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin says, “Some of the best ways to keep kids safe are the easiest. It just takes a little planning by every member of the community.”

For example, parents can start by making sure that a child’s costume fits properly, including the shoes. If there’s a mask, make sure the child can see through the eye holes.

“People of any age who are going to be outside wearing a costume should make sure they can be seen,” Griffin says. “A flashlight, or reflective tape and glow sticks work well. Use them as much as possible.”

Use sidewalks, too. Children who will be walking around their neighborhood should be accompanied by an adult or a much older child, and only go to places that are well lit and will welcome trick-or-treaters.

“Adults who enjoy a Halloween party should make sure they do not have so much fun that they’re tempted to drive drunk or distracted,” says Griffin. “If they think they might do too much partying, they should plan a safe way to get home before they leave.”

Adults who drive to Halloween festivities should also consider safety for their car. Park it in a garage or well-lit area, and remove anything that might tempt Halloween pranksters to turn into vandals. Or worse.

“There’s no way to guarantee that everyone will be 100% safe on Halloween,” says Griffin. “Something could always happen that is out of your control. But there’s a lot you can control. Do those things, and you increase your odds of having a great Halloween.”

School Safety: More Than A Bullet-Proof Backpack

school safety backpacks
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October 1, 2019

The school year is well underway, and many students are already planning Halloween parties. More than ever, students, schools, and parents are planning with safety in mind.

Sales of bullet-proof backpacks have soared in light of shootings in public spaces as well as schools, increasing “active shooter drills” at schools have sparked controversy, and Sandy Hook Promise released the chilling “Back to School Essentials” public service announcement (PSA).

“Parents have to stay engaged to have peace of mind while their children are in school this year,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.

“Some parents sent their children to school with tracking devices, or bullet-proof backpacks,” he says, “but the parents need to make sure they, and their children, know how to use these things. Parents must make the time to watch videos showing how bullet-proof backpacks and tracking devices work.

“Children must be trained,” Griffin emphasizes. “The training has to happen more than once, and include how to cover up in the event of a school shooting.

"It’s also wise for the parents to know about the emergency training at the child’s school, and make sure the trainings work well together. Don’t confuse kids,” he says.

For additional school safety information, see our blogs on July 23rd and July 26th.

“Parents should talk to school leaders whenever they have security concerns,” says Griffin. “It can feel intimidating at times, but it’s about a safe learning environment for children and peace of mind for parents. Ultimately, that’s what everyone wants.”

Is The Customer Always Right?

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September 24, 2019

The idea that “the customer is always right” comes from retail leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is still important to always respect customers, but are they always right?

Years of experience have taught Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin that the short answer to that question is, “No!” Especially when it comes to their security.

“The security professional’s job often includes guiding the client on security matters,” says Griffin. “We keep him, her, and the general public away from harm. We are trained to spot and respond to unsafe situations so our client doesn’t have to. So they can live their lives.”

Griffin says security professionals should be trained, and continue to train throughout their careers. They must know as much as they can about their assigned position or role, as well as the spaces they work in. This includes marked exits and other emergency escape routes.

They must also be more concerned about the client’s safety than their contract. That's the ultimate form of customer service by a security professional.

“I was working personal security for a client during a large public event,” Griffin remembers. “I quickly threw the client into the corner of a room without warning, and jumped on top of the client. Within seconds a stampede of people knocked down the friends and associates who were around us, but we were untouched. Safe.

“My training and love for my work served me well that night, and many nights since,” says Griffin.

“Most clients aren’t trained to think ‘safety first,’ especially personal safety. That’s why there will be times when they try to get security personnel to agree with them and loosen the restrictions, or don’t follow protocol. Don’t do it! That customer is NOT right,” he says.

Politics And Pro Sports Don't Always Mix

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September 17, 2019

It’s an election year in Virginia, and next year’s presidential and congressional races have had tongues wagging for months. Several of those tongues belong to celebrities.

Famous people, including sports figures, have rubbed elbows with political leaders for ages. That’s true all over the world. But fans don’t always approve, and that can be challenging for security professionals.

Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin has found himself between fans and the famous, and warns those who want to do that type of security work that it’s not always as glamorous as it seems.

“Once in the mid-1990’s, my client decided to see a basketball game where Michael Jordan was playing,” Griffin remembers. Jordan is a basketball legend who played for two NBA teams, most notably the Chicago Bulls. He continues to make news as a team owner.

“This particular arena held somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 people, and I learned quickly that fans don’t care how famous you are. If you’re blocking their view, they’ve got a problem with you,” he says.

“A particular group of fans shouted for my client to kneel, because they were waiting for the Chicago Bulls to play. I told the fans to calm down. They advised me and our security team to ‘get out of the way.’

“They proceeded to curse at me and my client, and some started to throw food,” says Griffin.

For security personnel needing to secure a political client at a major sporting event, make sure you take care of the fans, too.

“Don’t walk the stadium to shake hands, especially for votes,” Griffin says. “Fans who want to shake hands with your client will approach the client. It’s also important to keep your client on the first row, or in floor seats to make sure they won’t block a fan’s view. They’re paying customers. We need to always respect that.”

Being A Security Pro In Virginia

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September 10, 2019

“We’re meeting some great people who are very interested in entering the security field, and would be great professionals,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Unfortunately, too many of them are delayed because they are not certified. Or, they let their certification expire.”

Getting certified is a critical part of the process for everyone who wants to be a security professional in Virginia.

The process includes getting your fingerprints done, which Griffin suggests you do first. He adds that you should do the prints at a location where you can also get your background check.

When you’re ready for certification, take required core subjects training at a facility certified by the state Department of Criminal Justices Services (DCJS). Starting with training leading to unarmed security officer/courier certification gives you valuable basic training, and allows you to start working.

The basic training, and the experience you can get once you start working as an unarmed officer, are perfect ways to start.

“Working as a certified, unarmed officer helps you learn more detailed information about the business, but also about yourself,” says Griffin, “and your ability to really handle the many things that may be asked of you as a security professional.

“For example, you may discover that being a security officer is not right for you, but some other aspect of the business makes sense,” he says.

You may decide to move toward work as an armed security officer. You could be thinking about this as a way of entering law enforcement. Armed security work is also a way many military and law enforcement professionals transition into civilian careers, second or third careers, active retirement work, or part-time jobs that fit their schedules and skills.

Even if you already have skills with weapons, you must still have DCJS certification.

Armed or unarmed, if you want to make this your profession, you must train.

Griffin says to include basic self-defense and handcuffs training, because “you must know how to protect yourself, as a weapon is your last resort.”

Additional training for armed officers should include firearms range training, and make sure to train with the weapon or weapons that you want to be certified with. If you’re interested in working high-risk sites, you may also want to consider shotgun training.

“Remember,” Griffin warns, “you should only use equal force while working any given job site based on that site’s, and your security company’s, standard operating procedures. Good, regular training helps you remember that, and effectively handle your business.”

Properly Store Your Weapon

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September 3, 2019

School-aged children across the nation are hitting the books today. Many are in schools with updated safety protocols, the result of several mass shootings in recent years. Unfortunately, another horrible shooting is in the news.

“We talk a lot about the rights of owning a weapon, but we must make sure we talk twice as much about the responsibilities,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “One of the most important responsibilities is properly securing the weapon at all times.”

Research has shown that more than half of gun owners don’t properly store their weapon. Additional reports show that gun ownership may not make you safer, as does information mentioned in a recent Time magazine article: “Americans have a higher chance of harming themselves intentionally or loved ones accidentally at home from firearms.”

Homes with guns and children may be more vulnerable than adults in the home believe. It is alarmingly easy to find tragic examples of children hurting or killingthemselves, or otherkids, while playing with guns.

Properly storing your weapon can make a big difference.

An estimated “31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms might be prevented with the addition of two devices: a child-proof safety lock and a loading indicator.… More than 80 percent of guns used by youth in suicide attempts were kept in the home of the victim, a relative, or a friend.”

There are several great tips for safely securing your weapon, including:

Use a child safety lock. In addition to the lock, store the weapon in a place where the child, or children, are least likely to find it. Think like your child when you make this decision.

Educate your child/children about gun safety. If you have a weapon in the home, have clear rules about it. However, do not plan on your child consistently following the rules. Children are curious. That’s wonderful, but it can also be very dangerous.

Educate yourself. Make sure your knowledge of how to properly operate, lock, and maintain your weapon is up to date.

Make sure all adults agree.Research has shown that all adults in the home don’t always have the same ideas about what is considered safe storage. Discuss it and make sure. If certain practices are agreed on, then every adult in the household must follow the rules. That includes visitors and babysitters.

“In a lot of tragedies involving guns and children, the children are playing without supervision,” says Griffin. “It’s hard to monitor kids 24-7. I suggest that people combine strategies such as adult agreement on safety, age-appropriate training and conversations with the children, and well-planned security measures.”

Security Goes Back-To-School

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August 27, 2019

One week from today, the doors of almost every school in the US will be open again, heading into what everyone hopes is a great start of the 2019-2020 school year.

More security professionals will also be going back-to-school. Many jurisdictions are increasing security in and around schools, and offering a variety of supports for students.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen in recent years that schools are not always as safe as we’d like them to be,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin, “but many communities are doing everything they can to increase the level of safety at their schools.”

Griffin also says, “It’s a great idea for security professionals who also have a heart for children to pursue opportunities to use their skills to protect children in the place where kids spend most of their time.”

More opportunities for that are presenting themselves, and not just for guards.

In Virginia, where Leumas Security Services is based, state funding is aimed at hiring more counselors, and there is a state-run center for school safety. The center provides a range of resources, and manages the annual school safety survey. In fact, this year’s survey is being conducted now through September 30th.

In Cleveland, Ohio, more crossing guards are reportedly being hired, and are considered an important element of security when children start and end their school day.

Detroit and Montgomery County, Maryland, have been putting out the word that they’re hiring new guards. In Newtown, Connecticut, where one of the nation’s most horrific school shootings occurred, a civilian security force is now in place that has been called a model for the state.

For suggestions about school safety operations parents can look for, see our blog post from July 23rd. Tips on keeping kids safe from bullies are in our July 26th post.

“Families should definitely check out school safety plans, and be able to feel comfortable with them,” says Griffin. “I hope they also feel better knowing that security professionals, school systems, and local leaders are working to get better every year at protecting our most precious asset: our children.”

Tracking Devices For Elders

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August 20, 2019

“I recently overheard a conversation at the barbershop about the barber’s father being missing for two days,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “The father has early dementia, and has a vehicle he can use. Apparently the father started off disappearing for a few hours, and then overnight. It’s very scary not knowing the location of an elderly parent with a health condition.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “around 50 million people have dementia, with nearly 60% living in low- and middle-income countries. Every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases.”

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, and may contribute to 60-80% of dementia cases.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s can be devastating to people who have these conditions as well as those around them. The WHO reports that the global societal cost is estimated to be about $818 billion.

“No amount of money can capture the emotional toll this can take, but technology can be a big help,” says Griffin. “A tracking device can help you ensure your elders are safe.”

In an earlier post we mentioned tracking devices that can be used with your children. They can be used with seniors, too.

“With most tracking devices the person can have their freedom, and you have some peace of mind knowing where your loved one is 24/7,” Griffin says.

“With so many high-tech devices on the market, you can be completely covered. For example, a device can be placed in your vehicle to track its location and speed. Jewelry is a great way to have a tracking device that can also double as a panic button.

“Many tracking devices have apps that connect them to your smartphone, or they can be incorporated into your home security system,” says Griffin. “Do some research, and then do yourself and your loved one the favor of getting the device that works best for both of you.”

Note: Links to products are for informational purposes only. We do not endorse, or benefit from, any product linked to in this post.

"Kindness Rocks!"

WISC's 2019 Family Festival
WISC Family Festival 2019
WISC 2019 Family Festival
Kids got to meet animals, too.
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August 13, 2019

What an honor to join our neighbors at the Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex (WISC) for this year’s Family Festival! The 2019 theme: Kindness Rocks.

“I don’t know if there are more challenges today, more ways to hear about them, or both, but all of us need to take every opportunity to come together,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “The WISC Family Festival was a great event, and the theme was perfect.

“It sounds simple, but when you disagree with someone about something it can be hard to be kind. To see them as a member of your community. Events like these are fun reminders that we are all valuable members of the human family,” Griffin says.

“Security professionals often work during events like WISC’s annual Family Festival,” he says, “but they should also make time to attend just for fun.

“Hanging out with family, friends, and neighbors at significant public events helps you relax. It also gives you an opportunity to build relationships with community members, and practice connecting with people in a less stressful environment. Many challenging security and law enforcement encounters are effectively defused by professionals who have great ‘people skills.’

“When it comes to your professional skills, these types of events help you build and strengthen things like your ability to observe behavior and physical attributes (like hair color and clothing), quickly make decisions, and even get used to new shoes you may have to walk in for extended periods of time,” Griffin says.

When The Worst Happens

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August 6, 2019

Our last post encouraged you to be focused, not fearful. However, the rapidly rising number of mass shootings, and tragic deaths and injuries they cause, make that hard for everyone.

“We keep the affected families, and the entire nation, in our thoughts and prayers,” Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin says.

“I feel blessed to be part of an industry that exists to offer more than thoughts and prayers. We help people stay safe,” he says. “We also pray for the brave security and law enforcement professionals who have responded quickly to too many horrible situations like these.”

Griffin reminds people that security teams like ours can provide services, as well as training. However, you can also start right now.

Check out several great resources that give you checklists about the Run-Hide-Fight way of protecting yourself during an active shooter situation. Many of the videos show indoor office settings, but the information is valuable no matter where you are. There are also suggestions about signs someone may be troubled in ways that might lead to dangerous behavior.

Griffin adds a few suggestions.

“Notice that people in the training videos are encouraged to respond and look quickly when they suspect there is an active shooter, and then run” he says. “That reminds us to take note of the exits wherever you are, or the fastest way to leave the place. Sometimes the best exit is near the shooter. Is there a better option? If you have to leave quickly, could you do it? Could everyone with you get away quickly? Know the exits. If at all possible, practice leaving quickly. For women who wear high heels, can you run in them? If not, be able to get out of them quickly and leave them behind.

“When hiding, it is extremely difficult to calm yourself down,” Griffin says. “Practice calming your breathing. Try jogging or jumping jacks, and then practice catching your breath. Wherever you are, look around for places where you could hide, or something you could hide behind, if necessary. Wherever you work, worship, workout, or any place you regularly attend, know the exits and potential hiding places.

“Fighting is the scariest, and hardest, for most people,” Griffin says. “Notice things around you that could be used as a weapon. In some cases, you may want to safely practice. For example, swinging a bat or skillet, or lifting a chair. Have spray cleaners, or even hairspray close by? Use them to blind the attacker.

“Most importantly, whether you run, hide or fight, remember that you are fighting for your life. Encourage those around you to think the same way, so you are less likely to have to pull or leave them.

“Don’t be a hero. Only do what you can to save your life, and be prepared to interact with law enforcement and security professionals when they get there,” Griffin says.

“And don’t lose hope. This summer we’ve been celebrating the nation’s ability to put a man on the moon. And as people often say, if we can put a man on the moon, we can find ways to limit this type of violence.”

Be Focused Not Fearful

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August 2, 2019

People in Gilroy, California, and across the nation, are still trying to figure out why a 19-year old shooter attacked a community festival on July 28th. Three people were killed, including a 6-year old boy, and more than a dozen others were injured.

The tragedy rekindled the concerns of many people who wonder if it’s safe to attend public events at all these days.

“You can’t be guaranteed 100% safety anywhere, including in your own home,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “What you want to do is give yourself, and those you care about, the best opportunity to be safe. To do that you must be focused, not fearful.”

Griffin suggests that when you plan to attend public events, know these 5 things:

Your rules. Make sure you have some, and everyone with you knows them. This includes time limits, and basic safety rules that the children are aware of. For example, children should know not to wander away from the group unless they get specific instructions to do so, and they must follow those instructions.

Your team. Who is with you? Make sure you have a cell/mobile number for everyone (and the phones are charged). Attending with children? Make sure they have a few rules specifically about them, such as to stay still if they get lost, and to ask a mother with a child or a security person for help. Take a picture of the child/children just before you leave home.

Your surroundings. Take a minute to get an idea of where the entrance and exit are as compared to the event’s main activities. Take notice of any emergency exits. When possible, avoid extended amounts of time in the middle of a crowd. Work your way to the outer edges. Stay away from isolated, poorly lit, and off-limits areas. Enjoy yourself, but don’t get so wrapped up in whatever activities you’re doing that you lose track of time and any other people or property you may be responsible for. Prepare the children with you to do the same.

Event security personnel. Notice what the security team is wearing, and where they are located (including if there is a security, information, or first aid area). There are often police officers and security guards patrolling large public events. Knowing this information will come in handy if there is an emergency.

Your emergency plan. If the worst happens, you want to get through it as quickly and safely as possible. Make sure you wear clothing that allows you to move quickly. Have an emergency plan you regularly use that has basics, such as a meeting place in case you are separated from your group, as well as a couple of actions for the specific event. If a child gets lost, look in the area where you last saw the child. Consider what might attract the child away from you, or the place where they were last seen. Call the police if the child is not found in 10 minutes.

See our post from March of this year for safety tips associated with large, indoor events.

Security Can Be A Career For People Of All Abilities

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July 30, 2019

What is security? It’s a feeling of safety, freedom from fear. A security guard is a person who helps you feel that safety in a particular place, and makes sure things in that place are also safe.

More importantly to us at Leumas Security Services, security is a state of mind.

“Since security is really a state of mind, a variety of people can work in the security business,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “That includes people with so-called disabilities. If that’s you, I encourage you to consider applying for security positions.”

People with different levels of ability are often encouraged to work from home, or do work that is mostly stationary. Fortunately, technology has made it possible to work from home in more responsible and rewarding careers, such as web design, e-commerce, and information technology jobs. Technology also makes it more possible to earn a living with artistic pursuits such as jewelry-making.

“There are many positions in a security company,” Griffin says, “and most locations have wheelchair access and elevators, if that’s your concern. Let your ability help you focus on what you could do with a security company, including working as a guard.”

A great security guard has several skills. The most important ones are good communication, good observation, professionalism, commitment to safety, knowing how to work well with a variety of people, and the ability to multi-task.

Yes, a certain amount of physical ability is required, but that mostly depends upon the specific security job. For example, a person in a wheelchair can manage a security check-in desk, as well as many patrol areas. A person with hearing challenges can handle many of the administrative and team management needs of a security firm, and monitor video cameras with visual alarms.

“Don’t let your level of physical ability determine your future,” Griffin says. “You never know if you will hit the ball unless you swing.”

Remembering "Sweet Pea" Whitaker

Boxing Great Whitaker
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July 28, 2019

“I am still keeping the family of Sweet Pea Whitaker in my prayers, as I think about the impact he had on my life,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.

Boxing great Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker died July 14th, after being struck by a vehicle on a street in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

“It’s easy to remember him as the incredible boxer he was,” Griffin says, “but I’m a member of the community who knew that he was so much more.

“In the late 1990’s I was building my business, starting out as Griffin’s Executive Protection Agency,” Griffin remembers. “Sweet Pea Whitaker regularly visited a local nightclub my guards were assigned to secure. Not only was he a pleasure to meet, but he tipped my employees. He never had to do that. He just did.

“Having a celebrity like Whitaker interact with my early employees was a great shot of energy that let me know my dreams of successfully running my business could come true,” Griffin says.

Back-To-School, Back-To-Bullying?

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July 26, 2019

Your outgoing 13-year old suddenly becomes quiet and doesn’t want to do things she usually loves. Your friend’s 4-year old really enjoyed camp on Friday, but it’s Monday and he refuses to get out of the car when he gets there. Your brother can’t figure out why his 16-year old son they call the “human vacuum cleaner” at dinner is skipping meals, and your neighbor said she’s worried about her 9-year old’s nightmares.

These could be signs that the youngsters are victims of bullying.

Bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”

A “perceived power imbalance” could be something like a bigger student pushing a student who is weaker, or appears to be. It could also be a popular child using social media to spread embarrassing and/or negative information about a less popular student.

Being bullied, being a bully, and even witnessing bullying, can have a lasting negative impact on the emotional well-being of a young person.

That’s especially bad news because a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute article stated that “between 21 and 49 percent of youth adolescents report being bullied in the past year,” and more than 70% of youth are bystanders to bullying.

That sounds like a huge reason to hate the start of a new school year. While you are planning, your child could be worrying. But there is a lot that you, your child, school administrators, and teachers can do.

If you suspect that your child is, or has been, bullied, research suggests you:

Keep the lines of communication open. Most kids don’t report being bullied, so spend time creating an environment where your child feels that you will listen to the child’s concerns. If you suspect bullying, create opportunities to lovingly bring up the subject in ways that are appropriate for your child. When your child opens up about the situation, do not immediately jump in with courses of action. Listen.

Be on your child’s side. Believe your child, and do not dismiss your child’s concerns about whatever happened or is happening. Clearly state that you are on your child’s side. If appropriate, you and your child can discuss the best way to handle the situation. However, you make the final decision. Set ground rules. For example, if you use the child’s suggested approach for a set amount of time and the bullying continues or intensifies, you will then switch to the adult’s approach.

Know the policy. Find the appropriate policy at the school, workplace, or other organization, where your child was bullied. You may have to get it from the school, or other place where the bullying is taking place.

Contact responsible adults at the site of the bullying. The child can be bullied at school, camp, work, or even a community organization where they are a volunteer. If the child is being cyber-bullied, the child may have met the bully at one of the places they frequent, such as the ones listed here. Contact the teacher, counselor, supervisor, manager, or another appropriate leader you can schedule an in-person, phone, or online meeting with in order to discuss the matter.

Have a Plan B. If the situation cannot be resolved with the help of leadership at the place where the child is being bullied, and possibly the family of the bully, take the matter up the chain of command. For example, in a school system you may have to walk into the school superintendent’s office. You may have to approach outside authorities, such as private counselors, appropriate community leaders, and law enforcement officials. Some parents take their child out of the school where the child was being bullied.

Back-To-School Safety

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July 23, 2019

Every child should be able to learn in a safe environment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and any school’s learning environment can be shattered in seconds.

“If you have school-aged children, you’re probably already in back-to-school mode,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “We had a recent blog post about planning, and want to dig even deeper into what we think about all the time: safety.”

And with good reason. All types of emergencies can happen that can shake an entire school community. It helps to know that there is a plan in place to handle them, especially events such as shootings and fires.

Shootings have occurred in schools throughout the nation’s history, and there have been 11 deadly mass shootings since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. As for fires, there are thousands of them each year. Both can be traumatizing for students, and everyone connected to the school.

There are many questions parents should ask to make sure their child’s school is a safe space, and that the school’s safety protocols include all students.

Many schools are constantly working to make sure their safety policies and procedures are effective. We urge you to find out what those procedures are at your child’s school, and give administrators there the benefit of your concern, commitment, and expertise.

We also suggest you pay close attention to the school’s:

Building and physical plant safety measures. Be sure the structure is secure, is well maintained (clean, structurally sound, has appropriate lighting, etc.), and has an active emergency notification system. How does that system engage parents? If certain information is needed from parents or caregivers, make sure you give it to the school, and keep it up to date.

Building access procedure. There must be a clear system for letting people in and out of the building. This system should prescreen visitors, and surprise visits by anyone other than a child’s parent/caregiver should be avoided.

School grounds. How does the school decide the appropriate number of teachers/staff that supervise children at any given time? What is that number? Does that include during recess, or other out-of-class time activities on school property? Children should not be allowed to leave school grounds without prior, appropriate authorization. What are the security measures for school dismissal (end of the day when children leave school grounds)?

Resource (security) officer. We suggest schools have a full-time resource officer. In some communities this is a police officer. This can also be a security officer who works directly for the school system, or a private security company. Check the officer’s training, especially training that is relevant for work with the school’s students.

Evacuation and lockdown/shelter-in-place drills. When and how are they handled? What are the goals? How do you define a successful drill? Do these consider students of all abilities? What is the process for updating the drills, and what are updates based on? Is there a section, or are there sections, of the school where students, teachers, and other school personnel can be completely sealed away from a dangerous intruder?

Make Sure Your Child Has An ID Card

Child should have ID
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July 19, 2019

“All children 15 years of age or younger should have some form of state identification,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It’s not required to travel, but there are several good reasons to have one.”

Griffin says, “Children often get lost at amusement parks and playgrounds during this time of year. The first few hours after a child goes missing are critical, and an ID card can help save valuable time.”

Check your state motor vehicles agency for information about getting a child’s ID. In Virginia, for example, identification cards are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. According to the website, “The child’s photograph is stored in DMV’s database. If the child becomes missing, DMV can retrieve the image from the database and transmit it to law enforcement anywhere in the U. S.”

As you might imagine, there’s also an app for child ID cards. An FBI app to be exact. The FBI’s Child ID App “allows users to store up-to-date images and physical descriptions—like height, weight, birthmarks, etc.—that could help responders in the event of an emergency. The information is stored only on your device—not with your mobile provider or the FBI.”

Don’t forget to safely store copies of the child’s ID, or app information, and keep them up to date.

Many people invest in tracking devices for their child. It is also important to be aware of national resources and organizations that can help you cope in case the worst happens. Check for local options, too.

Of course, the best strategy is to do everything in your power to make sure your child does not become one of the thousands of children who go missing every year in the US. Some make headlines, but most don't.

To help keep your child safe, or any child in your care, make sure you researchsafety tips. Great strategies include making time to know any of the child’s care providers (including camp staff where possible), know where the child is and who the child is with, talk to your child about safety, and teach the child that it is alright to speak up when they do not feel safe.

Remember that children are much more likely to report feeling scared and sad to an adult they can trust. Spend time getting to know your child, so the child will come to you when they need to feel safe.

Note: Links to products are for informational purposes only. We do not endorse, or benefit from, any product linked to in this post.

Structure Your Business For Safety

Starting a business
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July 16, 2019

Thinking about starting your own business, or taking a step forward in the small business you already operate? Excellent! We want to remind you that the way your business is structured can help keep you safe.

We don’t mean physical safety, which we usually discuss here. We mean financial safety.

Yours would likely be a small business, like most businesses in the United States. The way the business is structured can help protect your personal assets in case your business faces a lawsuit brought by an individual or another company.

Common business structures include a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, and a corporation. There are various types of corporations.

A sole proprietorship is where a single individual owns and operates the business. This person bears all of the rewards as well as the risks.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) can have a tax identification number, is a separate entity from the owner, and the owner is not personally liable for some debts if the business in most situations.

A corporation is a separate legal entity that is operated by a board of directors. “After incorporation, stock is issued to the company's shareholders in exchange for the cash or other assets they transfer to it in return for that stock. Once a year, the shareholders elect the board of directors, who meet to discuss and guide corporate affairs anywhere from once a month to once a year.”

To decide which business structure will work best for you, it is important to consider factors such as your growth plan, financial needs, and whether the nature of your work is likely to expose you to being sued by customers or creditors.

Making the right decision from the beginning is a great way to protect your business. Spend time learning from others, such as renowned entrepreneur Daymond John, and people in your desired industry. If you really believe in what you want to achieve, you can find a way to get there.

Back-To-School Planning

Back-to-school planning
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July 12, 2019

The Leumas Security Services team trusts you, and the people you care about, are having an enjoyable and safe summer.

To make sure the school year starts that way - safe and fun - for any young people in your life, we encourage you to add back-to-school planning into your schedule.

Planning ahead can help you make the most of special opportunities. For example, the Virginia Sales Tax Holiday begins three weeks from today. Other states have similar periods. This is a great time to get back-to-school supplies and clothing, as well as emergency preparedness gear and energy-saving products.

Planning also makes it easier for you and the students to ease back into the challenges often faced during the first several weeks of the school year.

Here are a few suggestions:

Be ready to meet the requirements. From immunizations and registration forms, to special supplies and clothing, make sure you know what the child’s school says each student must have in order to attend. Even if the child is attending the same school, some requirements may have changed. For example, bus stops may be in new locations, and some schools are encouraging see-through backpacks.

Make sure special concerns get special care. Build in time to make sure any required paperwork and meetings are completed on time if your child has special situations. These include food allergies, is considered special needs with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or has a mental health or learning challenge.