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Grieve ... And Reboot

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December 29, 2020

Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III reminds us this week that “talking heals” when you are dealing with grief, and too many of us have spent some time grieving this year.

There are reports that COVID-19 “has taken a serious toll on emotional well-being.” Of course it has. The pandemic has claimed more than 335,000 lives in the United States, has prompted limits on gatherings and travel, and has weakened the global economy. The U.S. House of Representatives voted Monday to increase stimulus checks to $2000 for millions of Americans, and the Senate is scheduled to consider the measure today. There are reports that significant government spending will help “reduce the risk of permanent” economic damage.

What can we do to reduce the risk of personal emotional damage? Griffin, who is also the author of Rent-A-Cop Reboot, reminds us to acknowledge our pain. He also encourages us to use what we learn from our grief.

Rent-A-Cop Reboot encourages security professionals to reboot the way they see themselves and their work. Each of us can let our grief inspire us to do the same thing, reboot the way we use our time and our talents,” he says.

Griffin wishes you a safe and Happy New Year, and invites you to show us how you’re going to #Reboot in 2021. Check out Leumas Publishing on social media, especially Instagram and Facebook. Post a tagged photo or video, and you could win a Rent-A-Cop Reboot gift box. A different winner will be randomly selected each week.

“We can get through this,” says Griffin. “We have to just take it one day at a time.”

Happy Holidays!

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December 22, 2020

“People don’t even realize that you’re there securing them,” is part of what Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III says in the video while wishing everyone - especially security professionals - a happy holiday season. “I thank you.”

Griffin, who is also the author of Rent-A-Cop Reboot, reminds security professionals that their work is essential. He believes security guards, and all who are part of the private security and law enforcement industry, should be considered for early access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition to keeping others safe, Griffin wants security professionals to make sure they take care of themselves. This is especially important at a time when the news is filled with reports of another strain of the virus in the United Kingdom, pandemic relief passed by Congress in the US, and ongoingeconomic problems.

“Even with the vaccines rolling out,” Griffin adds, “it will be several months before we can relax our practices of wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing. Stay vigilant.

“Despite a very challenging year, you made it through. Do your best to remain faith-filled and hopeful,” Griffin says. “Happy Holidays!”

Griffin Decides To "Speak On It!"

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December 15, 2020

“You cannot let anyone else determine what your outcome is going to be in your life,” said Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III during his conversation with Speak On It! Podcast host Felicia Hodges (hear the full interview using the link).

Griffin spoke with Hodges about why he wrote his new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot, how he built a private security career, and how the book can help others do the same thing.

About the book’s title, Griffin said, “Security guards are not rent-a-cops. They’re security professionals. In some states they have the same authority” as law enforcement.

He also talked about how “the book is more of a workbook” that the reader can use to help set and reach whatever goals they want to achieve. The book “helps motivate you to stay on track to become a security officer.”

The COVID-19 pandemic also came up during the discussion, and the book itself talks about the impact of the early months of the pandemic on Griffin’s business. However, Griffin hasn't let the pandemic change his true bottom line: helping and motivating people.

“Whenever I do something I want to see what I can do to help others,” Griffin said.

Today's Healthy Decisions

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December 8, 2020

“You may not be as physically fit as you were in the past, but there is a lot you can do to stay healthy,” according to Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III. He encourages you to keep your health in mind in this week’s video.

Griffin’s new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot also addresses the importance of health to those in the security industry. Throughout the book there are reminders about the importance of eating well, sleeping well, and conducting yourself in a variety of ways that can help keep you safe and healthy.

For example, on page 25 security professionals are given advice to dress appropriately with tips that could apply to people in many professions.

“Check the forecast for wherever you are working,” Griffin writes, “and make sure you have clothing that will keep you as comfortable as possible. This includes your footwear. Too often, I worked in shoes that did not give my feet enough support, and suits that were heavier than necessary. That puts a lot of unnecessary strain on your body.”

Finding ways to maintain your health is especially important as we deal with COVID-19. The pandemic has now claimed the lives of more than 283,000 Americans, and more than 1.5 million people around the world.

“Masks, hand washing, and social distancing are great weapons against COVID-19,” Griffin says. “Combine those practices with good eating and sleeping habits, and you’re likely to get a great return on your health investments. That’s a level of success that I hope everyone can reach.”

What Does Success Mean To You?

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December 1, 2020

“Get healthy,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III in this week’s video, because he sees health as important for success. Do you?

Staying healthy is on almost everyone’s mind as COVID-19 cases riseacross America. Many experts are especially concerned after millions of Americans traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday, and they expect the number of cases to keep increasing as we get closer to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“Staying healthy can mean staying, or becoming, successful,” Griffin says, who is also the author of the new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot.

Echoing what he says in the book, Griffin encourages you to make time to look closely at what you are doing to stay healthy and “what success really means to you. Don’t think that success is only about money, cars, and houses. If your days are crawling by and not flying by, even if you have a lot of money you are not successful.

“I know it may seem crazy to talk about success these days, but you may have more motivation and creativity now that things may be tougher than they have ever been,” Griffin encourages. “Make sure you are clear about your dream. If you are not, then get clear, and think about what it will take to reach your dream.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 24, 2020

“The Leumas Security Services Team and I want to wish you, and everyone you care about, a safe and Happy Thanksgiving” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III. “We want to send a special shout out to all of the security, first responder, health care, and retail professionals who will have to work on Thanksgiving Day and through the weekend.”

Griffin, also the author of the new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot, says, “For me, the bottom line of this holiday is to be grateful. I think that is especially important as we enter the holiday season at the end of the toughest year most people have ever experienced, or will ever experience.

“The historic COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 250,000 lives, and that number is rising. I don’t have to go into the details of the economic wreckage, political upheaval, and racial injustice we have all had to face in some way this year. You probably already know more about these situations than you ever wanted to know.

“What I do want to suggest, and I am doing this myself, is that we dig deep to keep going. That we find something that reminds us of our ability to handle tough times, and we remember that we are worthy of reaching the other side of these challenges.

“This Thanksgiving, I wish you the strength and faith to find moments you can be thankful for, and the grace to share that feeling with someone else,” says Griffin.

Fear

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November 17, 2020

The first definition of fear in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online is: “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.”

There are a lot of reasons to feel fear these days. The COVID-19 pandemic continues spreading, and some areas have imposed new mask mandates in an effort to slow it down. The pandemic is also slowing down the economy, leaving millions of Americans worried about paying their bills and feeding their families. There’s also the national political turmoil, and the everyday challenges an individual may face.

In this week’s video, Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III reminds security professionals that there is “good fear” and “bad fear.” Griffin, who is also author of the new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot, says that bad fear is often the result of bad training. He wrote the book to help security pros keep things in mind that may not have been covered in their training.

“As a security professional, you must not allow yourself to be so afraid that you lose the ability to use your best weapon: your mouth,” Griffin says. “When you have bad fear, you cannot effectively talk to a person who is breaking the rules of whatever location you work.

“In fact, I challenge everyone to think about a situation you are, or may, face where there is some type of disagreement. Come up with some ways you can talk about the situation without fear and anger. Who knows? You might not get exactly what you want, but you might get a little more peace,” says Griffin.

Living With The Unknown

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November 10, 2020

The election is over, but there is a lot we still do not know about how the nation will move forward after this tough political season. We also don’t know how much worse things are going to get with COVID-19 before they get better.

“Life has thrown us all a curveball,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III, “and it’s time to decide if we can step up to the plate and hit it out of the park.

“When dealing with the unknown it’s easy to feel helpless, or even hopeless,” says Griffin, who is also the author of Rent-A-Cop Reboot. “For me, these are times when I lean on my faith. I trust that what is happening is in God’s plan. I am also grateful that God guided me through several situations that taught me the value of having a Plan B.

“Plan B is the backup plan you should start using when your original idea or situation won’t work,” he says. “Plan B is for when things change, sometimes quickly like they did with the pandemic, and you can’t control things the way you used to. Or the way you thought you did. What will you do?”

Griffin says, “Create a Plan B that includes an investment that will pay you even if you are not working. This could be an investment property, or a financial investment such as stocks. Know what your major bills are and save enough to cover those expenses for 6 to 12 months. If you don’t have investments or savings have good credit. You can lean on your good credit if you need to, but this should be a last resort because it increases your debt.

“Money moves like the ones I described can help sustain you during a difficult time,” says Griffin, “and the way COVID-19 cases are increasing it looks like these current difficult days may be with us for a while. With no end date in sight, all of us must have a Plan B that includes flexibility and the willingness to learn new behaviors. Those behaviors include social distancing, wearing a mask, and consistent hand washing to help keep COVID-19 at bay.

“We are all living with the unknown. Getting through it is not easy for most of us, but with faith, hope, and courage we can do what’s necessary to celebrate our success when this is over,” Griffin says.

A Mental Health Day

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November 3, 2020

Election Day 2020 is finally here. If you are registered to vote and have not already done so, do you have time today to participate in a practice that millions of Americans hold dear? Are you off, or are you taking what used to be called a “Mental Health Day” in order to make sure you get to weigh in on this important election?

This may be a significant Mental Health Day for many people, but Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin III wants you to plan future mental health breaks for yourself and other members of your family.

“The social distancing we have been doing to keep COVID-19 at bay has been very hard, and we have no idea when relief will arrive,” he says. “Wearing a mask, and following additional protocols suggested by Dr. Anthony Fauci and other infectious disease experts, has been stressful. Instead of pushing back, I decided to find new ways to push through.

“My daughter inspired me,” Griffin says, who is also the author of Rent-A-Cop Reboot.

“After two days of virtual learning, my daughter asked if she could get out of the house,” he says. “I did research, and I learned that I could make reservations to visit the local zoo and amusement park. We were required to wear a mask, and we had to follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines such as maintaining social distancing of at least six feet. There were hand sanitizer stations throughout, as well signs reminding visitors of the rules.

“It was such a joy to see the smile on my daughter’s face while she was virtually studying and learning about zoo animals between classes,” says Griffin. “If you are raising a child, consider an outing such as this. It’s a great mental health break for both of you.

“If you’re one of the many Americans struggling to pay your bills because of the pandemic, you may find a trip like this in your area for free or at a reduced rate. It can help relieve some of the stress and exhaustion you may be feeling. There are also virtual zoo trips and museumtours your family may enjoy, especially as we head into winter.

“Dealing with the many problems this pandemic has created is not easy,” Griffin says, “but our family is tough, creative, and faithful enough to make it through to the other side. I believe you and yours can do it, too. Do you?”

Learn From Your Experiences

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October 27, 2020

“In a previous blog post I talked about growing up witnessing the abuse of my mother at the hands of my father,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “As this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month nears its end, I am glad that I made the difficult decision to publicly discuss one of my memories of my parents’ violent marriage. I’ve had many painful experiences, back then and as I built my security career, but the most important thing about experiences is to learn from them.

“My new book Rent-A-Cop Rebootis filled with experiences I’ve had over the years,” Griffin says. “I’ve shared them so that if you’re building a career in security or law enforcement you won’t have to struggle with some of the issues - big and small - that I had to learn on the job.

“For example, how you dress is not a small issue,” he says. “Check the weather forecast throughout the entire time you will be away from home, and make sure you wear clothes that are the right weight for the conditions. You may need to keep a jacket or extra shoes in your vehicle, or you may need to carry them with you and store them somewhere safe at your work site. This time of year the weather can change quickly. Not being prepared for it can hurt your ability to do the important work that you do.

“You also need to take care of yourself at home. Just because you’re a security professional, that does not mean that you can keep yourself safe in your relationship. Domestic violence can affect you, too.

“If you are living in a violent household, there are hotlines that can help. Take advantage of resources that are out there, including ones that share ways to help the children. Work out a safety plan. COVID-19 may have you trapped in a violent relationship, but it will not be that way forever. And even now you are developing skills that can help you succeed at achieving your dream. If you are the perpetrator of violence against those you say that you love, reach out for help finding new ways to show it.

“You are not alone. You can make it through your darkest moments,” Griffin says. “I do it by continuing to lean on my Christian faith. It helps me turn my pain into gain, and it strengthens me enough to tell the stories about what I went through. Don’t give up!”

Today's Decisions Affect Your Tomorrows

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October 20, 2020

“I say it all the time: Today’s decisions affect your tomorrows,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “That’s not a slogan to me. It’s my real feeling about the way we should live. Take the time to think about the decisions you are making today. They really can affect your tomorrows.

“After almost three decades in the security industry, I have seen almost everything. So many people made decisions to keep drinking or doing drugs instead of getting help. Or they decided they needed to prove a point to someone. Or they needed to do what made them feel good in that moment no matter what else was going on. Too many of those people decided to do something that cost them their careers, their families, their freedom, or worse,” he says.

“Last week, I talked about growing up with a violent father, until my mother courageously left him,” says Griffin, who is also the author of the new book,Rent-A-Cop Reboot. “That experience drove me to want to keep people safe, so it has been my lifelong mission. In keeping with my mission, I want to encourage you to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols.

COVID-19cases are rising again,” he says, “and every responsible public health expert is encouraging us to keep up the safety practices that I hope we all know by now:

  • Wear a mask. If you are a security professional, I also suggest wearing gloves.

  • Stay at least six (6) feet away from people who do not live with you.

  • Wash your hands regularly. Take at least 20 seconds to wash them, and use soap. Use hand sanitizer between hand-washings.

  • Avoid large, close crowds. This is especially true if you are not required to attend.

“Now we’re also finding out that small gatherings with family members and friends are helping to fuel the recent increase in COVID-19 cases,” Griffin says. “That means Halloween, Thanksgiving, and every holiday celebration through the winter will need to be different.

“Like most Americans, I hate that,” he says, “but I would rather decide today about creative ways to get the most out of this holiday season than to spend my tomorrows feeling bad about exposing someone I love to a seriously debilitating, or deadly, disease.”

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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October 13, 2020

Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin has wanted to be a security professional for as long as he can remember, but he almost never talks about why. Until now.

Griffin marks this year’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by speaking on camera, for the first time, about one of his most significant memories of growing up in a violent home. He encourages others to speak up, and he asks all of us to do what we can to support those affected by intimate partner violence.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the domestic violence situation more challenging. There are reports of increased cases of domestic violence, concerns about effectively tracking those at risk, and difficulties providing supports for victims.

If you, or anyone you know, needs support there arehotlines, resource materials, and even a safety plan outline that offer help.

The scars of domestic violence are not always visible, but that does not mean they are not really there. But as Griffin proves, especially with the launch of his new book, you can find ways to move beyond the experience and thrive.

Follow The Guidelines!

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October 12, 2020

So you want to be a security professional? That is more than just the title of a chapter in Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin's new book, Rent-A-Cop Reboot.

“That is a question you must ask yourself before becoming a security officer,” Griffin says, “because you need to know if you have what it takes to follow the local, state, and federal guidelines all officers must follow. That includes rules about being licensed, and when and where you can operate as an armed or unarmed officer.”

That is a major issue following the deadly shooting on October 10th in Denver, Colorado. Security guard Matthew Dolloff was hired to work security for Denver TV station KUSA during a demonstration, but he now stands accused in the shooting death of Lee Keltner. City officials have announced that they are considering charges against Doloff and the company that hired him, Pinkerton Security.

Dolloff had a concealed carry license, which has reportedly been suspended, and television station executives have said they did not hire armed officers. Doloff’s attorney says he fired on the protester in self-defense.

Griffin says, “Many security companies hire officers to work various locations as unarmed officers. Was that the situation here? If so, did Dolloff take his weapon to an unarmed site? That is completely against that state’s law.

“Was he afraid? Fear, as I have also said in Rent-A-Cop Reboot, can make a bad situation worse. In this case, fear prompted this guard to utilize his firearm on a protester. Where was his backup? Did the man who maced the guard have a weapon?

“No guard should ever work a large crowd alone. It can become a lose-lose situation. When I have managed security for events with crowds, I have had the local police department and state police nearby, just in case. What was the security plan for this event? Was it professionally carried out?

“Unfortunately, many security companies have incidents like this happen with their officers,” says Griffin. “They typically don’t shoot and kill protesters. In this case, I’m sure they are investigating this guard’s training and certification. He may not have been qualified to watch a building, and certainly not a protest with tensions so high. He may have been lucky over the past year he has reportedly worked, but his luck, tragically, ran out.

“I advise security companies that need staff to cover a large event to subcontract the work out to another company with certified guards who are experienced with crowd control,” Griffin adds. “For security guards, make sure you keep up with your training and certifications. Know the guidelines and procedures of the areas where you work, and read material like my book that helps you consider practices for your success that may not have been covered in your traditional security training."

"Good Morning!"

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October 6, 2020

“Your best weapon is your mouth,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I’ve been saying that for years, and too many security professionals still behave as if their tough posture or stern warning is what encourages people to comply with the rules of the place they’re protecting.”

Griffin talks about being engaging in this video, and in his new book Rent-A-Cop Reboot.

“In the age of COVID-19, anything you can do to help someone feel more comfortable, more welcome, is helpful,” he says, “and anyone who may be thinking about bad behavior may be more likely to think twice if they know you noticed them.”

If you’re thinking about getting into, or working your way up in, the security field check out Rent-A-Cop Reboot. Subscribe to the email list for a free, 2-page look at key issues for security professionals that can help you start thinking about your road to success in the industry.

Rebooting During COVID-19

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September 29, 2020

“A large part of your personal security is your personal health,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “If you are sick, you can’t take care of yourself or provide for the people you love.”

Griffin says that in order to increase your chances of staying healthy this fall no one should ease their COVID-19 precautions, especially security professionals.

“The journey through this pandemic is a marathon and not a sprint that's taking its toll on even the strongest among us,” he says, “so do not become complacent. We must continue to use face masks and social distancing to keep the virus at bay.

“We must know by now that in order to make it through we have to reboot a lot of things,” Griffin says.

“I have a book coming out next month called Rent-A-Cop Reboot,” he says. “While I was writing it with Theresa Caldwell I decided to reboot my personal life and my security company. For the business, that meant fine-tuning and retraining the staff for success through and beyond life withCOVID-19. Our updates include a new timekeeping system, an expanded use of an online interviewing and meeting platform, and an updated set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The new SOPs include wearing a mask and gloves while on duty, and they are in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) requirements of hand-washing and using face coverings.

“In Rent-A-Cop Reboot we give you important tools that will help you be the best security professional possible, but they mean nothing if you don’t have your health. Embrace the health-promoting changes that are needed today,” says Griffin. “Change is good when it comes to being a better you.”

No Indictments In The Shooting Of Breonna Taylor

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September 24, 2020

“I was devastated when Kentucky officials announced that they would not be prosecuting the officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.

“Law enforcement officials need to stop sending the message that police officers and security professionals do not make mistakes, and when they do make mistakes they will rarely face the tough consequences they impose on everyone else,” he says.

“Breonna Taylor was shot in March while police were executing a no-knock warrant at her home,” Griffin says. “That innocent woman winds up dead, and the toughest charge filed in the case is against the officer that put the neighbors in danger. Should the police have known of all occupants in the home before serving such a warrant? I agree with people across the country ranging from law enforcement and legal scholars to demonstrators and quiet community members who are questioning the use of no-knock warrants.

“In Kentucky, state and Louisville officials apologized for the killing of Breonna Taylor with a $12 million settlement with her family, a slap on the wrist to the officers involved, and a business as usual statement from the judicial system.

“Nobody is beyond God’s reach, or above the law,” Griffin says. “The Bible teaches that God is no respecter of persons. We all must pay for our sins, as well as pray and work for salvation. Violence from law enforcement and security professionals, or people angry about the decision in this case - or any other case - will not solve the problems of our society.”

Don't Live Your Life Without Living Your Dream

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September 22, 2020

Many people feel called by their dream, but too few of them do what’s needed to turn the dream into their reality. What about you?

“I dreamed of being a security professional since I was a child,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I didn’t know how tough it would be to do the security work and build it into a business, but I have been blessed with the ability to keep my dream alive while doing what was necessary to make it come true.”

Doing what was necessary included doing research, setting goals, and working hard. Griffin says these actions are especially necessary if your dream includes owning your own business. Small businesses today are dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19, including problems with business interruption insurance claims. Black-owned small businesses are especially hard hit

These issues are on top of the daily decisions needed to operate safely and successfully.

“There have been times when my responsibilities have meant turning down a contract,” Griffin says, “which may sound strange for a business owner. I did not turn down the opportunity because we couldn’t do the job. I did it whenever I felt that the work was too dangerous. My first responsibility is to ensure that my guards are highly trained. My second responsibility is to make sure that our contracts include all levels of security needed to keep everyone safe. If they don’t, I won’t take the contract.

“I remember an experience in the early 2000s when I was asked to provide security for a club that was being built. The club owners were renovating an old building that needed a lot of work, and it was in a neighborhood struggling with crime and other ravages of poverty.

“The first thing I asked the club owner to do was to install a security system. I also stressed the need for metal detectors, hiring off-duty police officers and armed security patrols to monitor the club entrance and parking lot, and keeping unarmed officers mixed in with the crowd when the establishment was open.

“This high level of security was used for each club that my company, Griffin's Executive Protection Agency at the time, protected for a number of years. No lives were lost and no employees were seriously injured, which was the bottom line of my dream: to always do everything within my power to keep people safe. It was rarely easy.

“You are going to face some tough times,” Griffin says. “You may be facing tough times right now, but is your dream worth fighting for? If so, take the time to recover, plan, and work your plan. Don’t live your life without living your dream.”

When You Get Pulled Over

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September 15, 2020

The time may come, if it has not already, when you are driving somewhere and notice police lights following your vehicle. Or maybe you have been the passenger in a vehicle when a member of law enforcement signaled for the driver to leave the flow of traffic, and pull over to the side of the road. How did you handle the situation?

“The way people behave during an interaction with police officers is very important,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Most police officers are highly trained, many with a military background, and work hard to be fair when they encounter the people they have vowed to serve and protect. Unfortunately, there are times when an officer confronts a citizen with perfect behavior and takes that law-abiding citizen’s life.”

The 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile is one such incident, and it has been back in the news recently because Castile’s name was on one of the face masks worn by U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka. If you find yourself sitting on the side of the road waiting for the police officer to walk to your vehicle, there are ways you can respond that can help the whole experience go more smoothly.

Griffin’s tips for encounters with police when you have been pulled over are:

*If it is your vehicle, keep a copy of your vehicle registration, vehicle insurance, and your driver’s license in the driver’s side sun visor.

*Roll down all of the windows before the officer approaches. If it is dark outside, turn on the interior lights. These practices make it easier for everyone to be seen, increasing the likelihood that you and the officer(s) remain safe.

*Place both hands on the steering wheel. The front passenger should place both hands on the dashboard, and other passengers should place their hands on the headrests of the seats in front of them.

*Do not reach for anything in your vehicle unless instructed to do so by the officer(s) making the traffic stop.

*Remain calm, calmly greet the officer who speaks to you, and wait for the officer to tell you why you were pulled over. The officer will ask to see your identification, which you may be required to produce in most states, and possibly identification of others in the vehicle. Check laws in your area about this. However, calm compliance often helps the encounter end in less time, and more peacefully.

“If you travel with a concealed weapon,” Griffin says, “keep a copy of your concealed weapons permit in your driver’s side sun visor along with the copies of the other documents. Make sure you are carrying it as permitted.”

He says to follow the steps above, and “as soon as possible after calmly greeting the officer, make sure you tell him or her about your weapon. Tell them where your documents are located, and follow their instructions regarding what to do next.

“I would strongly advise not having anything in your hands, especially a cell phone,” says Griffin. “However, if you are going to record the encounter, calmly advise the officer that you are doing so while otherwise following directions. I would also suggest having a dash camera in your vehicle that could be set to record at all times, providing the protection wanted by most drivers.”

Compassion

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September 8, 2020

“After seeing the recently-released video of Daniel Prude’s arrest in New York, I imagined myself having some kind of experience that would drive me outdoors in weather cold enough to snow with no clothes on,” Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin says. “My first thought would have been for warmth, and my second thought would have been about why police officers were there.”

Prude’s March 23rd arrest in Rochester resulted in his death seven days later. Prude’s family released video of the arrest last week, which sparked days of protests, suspension of the officers involved in the arrest, calls for the city’s mayor and police chief to resign, and the state attorney general’s decision to investigate.

“The man’s family tried to help him by calling the police, so where was the officers’ compassion?” asks Griffin. “Imagine someone you love face down on wet pavement, needing medical attention, but that need is ignored.

“We don’t have enough mental health resources in most communities, or police trained to handle these types of emergencies, or funding to get us there,” Griffin says. “What we can get more of is compassion. More of that from any one of the seven officers who responded to Mr. Prude’s situation could have saved his life.

“We need more police officers to stop following inhumane practices and lead. We need more police departments to make sure their Standard Operating Procedures include up-to-date mental health best practices, including for themselves, and everyone is trained accordingly. We all need to make sure we know how to interact with law enforcement in ways that make mental health emergencies safer for everyone.

“Compassion and accountability aren’t just things we call for,” says Griffin, “they’re things we can all actually do.”

Questions About Kenosha

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September 1, 2020

“As a security professional who supervises other security professionals, I can’t stop wondering about the deadly shooting during last week’s protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and what we can all learn from it,” says Leumas Security Services founder Samuel Griffin.

On the night of August 25th, 17-year old Kyle Rittenhouse was among a group of reportedly self-described militia members who engaged protesters demonstrating the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake’s shooting is one of several incidents this year that have law enforcement experts and others, like those in the video featured above, looking closely at police training across the nation. Rittenhouse is accused of firing a rifle, killing two people and injuring another. Rittenhouse’s lawyer says the Illinois teen was defending himself.

“I have the obvious concerns about how a White teen walking down the middle of the street with a rifle during a chaotic night can practically be ignored by police from the same department responsible for shooting a Black man in the back days earlier while he was reaching into a van containing his children,” says Griffin.

“However,” Griffin continues, “there are questions to be asked by those committed to providing responsible and effective security for everyone.

“For example, Rittenhouse’s attorney reportedly said the teen didn’t bring the gun across state lines. Then where did it come from? Typically teenagers who carry weapons do so when hunting wild animals.  Did this shooter regularly hunt? If so, I hope he wasn’t doing it with an AR-15-style weapon like the one he used in Kenosha. If it was given to him, who did that without making sure he was properly trained to handle it? No one should be handling a weapon they are not properly trained on. Period. A weapon does not make up for your lack of training and fear. What I call Bad Fear can make an untrained or poorly trained professional shoot their weapon prematurely, so I can’t imagine how an untrained or poorly trained civilian would feel.

“Speaking of training, were members of law enforcement trained to de-escalate situations like the type they faced? What about the militia people who claimed they were there to help maintain order? No self-styled security person should be attempting to handle a hostile, or potentially hostile, environment. That work should be left to highly-trained professionals with years of experience. Untrained people serving as security can sometimes create a less stable environment. Experience working large crowds is mandatory, and having teams of fellow officers trained in crowd control is required to effectively manage the environment.

“When working concerts some years ago, my company would have 30 to 40 unarmed guards in the crowd.  When you are required to engage that close to people you should not be armed.  It is a standard operating procedure for most security companies to have the armed officers working the outer perimeter.  Those armed officers are your last line of defense. They also have pepper spray and other non-lethal ways of defending themselves as well as those in the crowd.

“I also found myself wondering about the coordination between the demonstrators, militia members and local law enforcement. Whatever your feelings about the police, if you are going to have a large gathering they should be informed. Communication can always make a huge difference in building relationships that lead to trust. If there is no trust, you want to at least be able to document your attempts to appropriately interact. There was a report that the police behaved differently the night the militia members showed up. How? If so, did that have any impact on the tragic end of that night?

“You can never really know what someone is thinking, but you can watch their behavior and listen to their words. I wondered how many militia members and police officers that night started the evening with negative feelings about the demonstrators, or some personal point to prove? When you see anyone as less than you, or different from you in a negative way, it can affect how you do your job. When you are more interested in showing power or control, it can affect how you do your job. Whether law enforcement or private security, the bottom line is to serve and protect. The best way to do that is with eyes and a heart that see human beings, not some sort of other. Think deeply about that. If that’s a problem for you, find some other type of work.

“If you really want to keep people safe, give yourself an honest internal check-up. Learn from tragedies like these and too many others,” Griffin says. “Ask yourself if you have what it takes to view others as equal human beings, even if you encounter them on their worst day. I’m definitely not saying you should go easy on anyone who does something wrong. I’m saying to make sure that you have a heart, mind, and training that keep you in the right.”

The Training Question

Training
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August 26, 2020

“As I watch news reports about the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, I find myself asking a question I have asked too often this year,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “How well were those officers trained?”

Jacob Blake was shot on August 23rd during an encounter with police that has now sparked a federally-led civil rights investigation. The shooting sparked days of demonstrations, including the one on August 25th where three people were shot. Two of the victims died, and today a 17-year old from Illinois was arrested in connection with the shooting.

“We continue to need more training of police, and all security professionals, especially in situations like this one where reports say the initial call was about a possible domestic dispute,” Griffin says. “If your department or company doesn’t offer regular training opportunities, create your own. When training is offered, take it, even if it’s not mandatory. Keep your skills sharp.

“Getting to know the community where you work should be part of police training. Knowing people makes a difference. In an environment where people are more familiar with each other, neighbors may even be able to help police de-escalate a particular event.”

“During the early days of my career, I worked in countless club environments where I didn’t know people and many customers were not African-American like me. Talking them down during a heated situation led to many violence-free nights. As an armed officer working the night life, I did not fear the patrons based on my experience and training. My mouth was my weapon of choice. It saved my life, and the lives of others.

“If you are serious about a career in security or law enforcement, make sure you are committed to keeping your skills sharp by training, and being genuinely connected to the people you serve,” Griffin says.

Working Through The Pain

SOPs For Security Guards

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August 18, 2020

Properly handle your paperwork from the very beginning!

Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin always stresses how important that is to security guards who work for him, or any other company.

He also regularly reminds guards that they must know the Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs, of the company they work for and the site they are assigned to secure. Doing something that violates the procedures could cost you. For example, if you don’t complete your shift you leave your location vulnerable and will not get paid.

Griffin tells guards to make it easy on themselves and their supervisors by paying attention to details in any company paperwork.

If your eyes roll just thinking about doing anything with paperwork, maybe it’s because you’re overwhelmed by it at home. Look for resources that help you decide how to manage the paperwork most adults have to live with, as well as tips about ways to keep it organized.

Be Prepared For The Weather

Weather preparedness
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August 11, 2020

What’s next? This week it’s the derecho whipping across the midwest. Last week Hurricane Isaias powerfully reminded us that we’re in an Atlantic hurricane season that’s kicked off with a record number of named storms. As if COVID-19, economic challenges, and back-to-school concerns aren’t enough.

If you’re a security professional, are you ready? If you work for a company, no matter what guidelines and supplies you get from management nothing will take the place of your own good thinking and personal preparedness. That will always be true.

Even if you’re not in an area where hurricanes or other major weather events are a problem, you will at some point face challenging weather conditions. Many of you may have to spend time walking in the rain, high winds, and/or high temperatures to do your job. And before you know it, winter’s special mix of weather woes will be affecting many of us.

“The Boy Scout motto ‘Be Prepared” also makes good sense for people in the security field,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “You can work plenty of jobs where almost nothing happens, but not being prepared for the weather can mess up your entire shift.”

Griffin suggests you have:

  • More than one source of information. Weather forecasts seem to get more accurate every year, but predictions can still be wrong enough to mess up your plans. Check a variety of weather sources at least twice a day: at the beginning of your day, and before you go to bed. That way you will have as much up-to-date information as possible.

  • The right gear. Just like with weather forecasts, variety is your friend. Have more than one coat or jacket, especially for rain. Look through lists that offer options in price and versatility. Remember that security patches or other identifying information will have to be visible.

  • The right supplies. Check lists of items needed to handle a devastating hurricane or other emergency. If you live with other people and regularly work outside of your home, you may want to have a full emergency preparedness kit at home and in your vehicle. Check expiration dates on all items that carry them, such as food.

  • Travel plans. Speaking of your vehicle, make sure it is well maintained, and you know how to effectively drive it during a variety of weather conditions. Be prepared with more than one route to wherever you most frequently travel, and build in enough time to safely reach your destination. The weather can suddenly turn a 15-minute commute into 45 minutes. This is one of many reasons why you must regularly check the forecast, and make plans based on what you find out.

  • Full power. Make sure you regularly charge your phone and any other important electronic devices, and know where the chargers are. Hurricanes, derechos, and other weather events regularly knock out electricity. If the power goes off, you will want your mobile phone to be as close to fully charged as possible. “Plus,” he says, “during an emergency a charged phone can help you stay on time and in contact with management if you have to work, as well as get the latest information about whatever is going on. And keeping the phone charged is always good practice for every security professional.”

Griffin adds, “I can’t remember being beaten in a fight, but I’ve definitely been taken down by a wool suit in hot weather. That was almost two decades ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Not being prepared for the weather can make you ineffective in ways that can cost you your life, or the life of someone you’re protecting and care about. Being prepared is a sign of professionalism, maturity, and wisdom.”

Face Mask Madness

Masks
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August 4, 2020

“A few days ago, I had a chance to visit an indoor arcade with my daughter,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “As we were picking out prizes on the way out, I overheard a customer yelling at the manager. He called the manager a bully, and accused the manager of picking on him. I looked closer and realized the man wasn’t wearing a mask, even though there was a ‘Mask Required’ sign on the front door. As the argument intensified, the man told the manager he wasn’t going to leave as requested.

“As my daughter and I made our way back to our vehicle,” Griffin says, “I noticed four local police officers making their way into the parking lot. This is what life has become. A simple request to wear a mask turns into an ‘incident.’”

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted more than 30 states to put some type of order in place requiring people to wear face masks. Many cities and businesses have their own guidelines, some of which were in place before statewide mandates.

Many school systems are also requiring masks as part of their safe reopeningstrategies for the new school year. The strategies include quickly identifying and isolating students that test positive for COVID-19, and there are reports that at least two schools have already had to use those plans.

Parents are being encouraged to prepare their children to wear masks at school, especially children younger than 8-years old. Other parents are making plans for homeschooling or tutors and learning groups, even if they are concerned about the ways this could expand existing educational and economic disparities.

“I understand concerns about a child with COVID-19 possibly infecting dozens of other kids, which could quickly become hundreds of people, and then get even worse,” Griffin says. “In November of 2019, my daughter received a 2nd Degree burn during lunch time at school, with little to no explanation as to how it happened. If a normal school year can leave my child with a scar for life, how can a parent be sure of safety measures during a pandemic that can take a life?”

These new regulations and concerns have increased calls for trained security professionals.

Griffin says, “If you’re a security guard, you may wind up working at a variety of locations. Or, you may work at a school, which will feel different from stores you’re used to working. All locations have strict rules of engagement with the people they serve. Make sure you know them.

“For the most part, a security guard’s role will be to deter violations of the rules. If you must interact with someone, make sure you are strictly following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). In a store or entertainment venue, your role may be to report anyone who is breaking the rules to a manager. In some cases, guards are required to help screen people who walk in by taking the visitor’s temperature.

“Don’t get caught up in the madness,” he says. “Always wear your mask, and gloves if possible, for your personal protection. Wash your hands often, and use sanitizer when you can’t. Maintain social distancing guidelines as often as possible. Know the rules where you work, and your responsibilities. And when any of this gets too hard for you, find a way to take a break. I applaud your strength through this time that is challenging for most of us, and want you to stay strong enough to keep going. We need you.”

Rules Of Engagement For Tense Times

Wearing a mask
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July 28, 2020

The most controversial aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States appears to be requirements to wear face masks. There have been many reports about resistance to wearing masks, with some showing how political partisanship may play a role in a person’s decision. In fact, there have been many reports of fights, some leading to arrests and worse, sparked by arguments over wearing a mask in public.

The tension is also prompting the need for more security guards, some with a specific focus on mask-wearing. However, the basics of serving as a security professional remain the same. Security professionals must remember that.

“This is a great time for great security professionals to show what they’re made of, because there’s a lot of tension and uncertainty these days which prompts more calls for services that help people feel safe,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Unfortunately, everyone is not up to the task.”

There are some things a security officer cannot control. For example, a seemingly unclear mandate from the organization, business, or government entity that contracts them, or public controversy about them being hired.

But security professionals must realize that they have a lot of control over most situations they face. If they can avoid a violent or deadly confrontation with someone it can make a world of difference to the entire community.

“At one point in my career a drunk customer head-butted me while I was working security at a club,” Griffin remembers. “My first thought was to rock his world with my fist, but my training quickly kicked in. I restrained him with assistance from another officer. We took him to the entrance of the club where he was arrested by the police. He was charged with assault, and banned from the establishment. If I had engaged in a fight, I, and the club, could have been found liable for any injuries sustained during the incident. Experiences like that are why I tell security professionals to keep up their training.”

Griffin also suggests:

  • Practice mental de-escalation, starting with yourself. After 12 hours of working with the public, or almost total isolation, any small thing could could trigger a negative reaction. Do your best to be well rested before your assignment begins. Practice breathing, stretching, meditating or other exercises designed to help you cool your emotions when things get tense.

  • Take your breaks. Building on what is stated above, make sure you take the breaks allotted during your shift. This includes the hour for your meal break.

  • Check your emotions. There are times when your personal feelings, biases, or assumptions may seep into how you are interacting with those you are working to serve. Stay in tune with yourself so that doesn’t happen. If necessary, responsibly handle what is going on inside you to the best of your ability. This may mean getting professional help.

  • Know your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Know and follow your company’s SOPs. If you are assigned to a specific site, know that site’s SOPs. There can be times when your company’s SOPs are completely different from the SOPs of your assigned site. Ask questions to make sure you are clear, especially if there are SOP modifications. For example, generally speaking a security officer does not operate outside of an assigned site. Maintaining the defined boundaries is typically considered acting in good faith of your assigned location.

“I know most of this doesn’t sound like the traditional rules of engagement for a security professional,” Griffin says, “but it all works together inside you. Keep training on your own, including the mental and emotional practices. Do it for yourself. You never know when you’ll need it to kick in, and possibly save your life or career.”

Ready, Reset, Go...?

Small business challenges
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July 21, 2020

Nobody move. Go! Now stop. Maybe. What?

This pretty much sums up what’s been happening inside the minds of many business leaders across the nation as they deal with the impact of COVID-19, and that’s been especially hard on small businesses.

According to The Motley Fool, “It's estimated that over 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed their doors since March. That equates to 2% of small businesses gone, just like that.” A report on a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) paper states, “The number of African-American business owners fell from 1.1 million in February to 640,000 in April, a 41% decline. By comparison, the overall number of small business owners dropped by 35%.” Owners of a variety of small businesses that are still operating or reopening, at least partially, are very concerned about their ability to stay afloat. That lends credibility to reports that “there's now a total of 3.7 million unemployed Americans whose previous jobs are gone for good. And millions more are at risk.”

“It’s very hard right now,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Businesses that want to work with us often can’t afford to pay the real price of our service. If you’re running a business these days, you could easily find yourself very busy, but working for lower rates. For example, we now have to supply our officers with personal protective equipment (PPE). Those costs aren’t factored into existing contracts, or new contracts don’t cover them.”

Research shows that the businesses that survive to the next normal will be the ones that transition into new business models and technologies. No matter what the industry, they will find new and expanded ways to offer their current resources. They will upgrade their technology on everything from their website to their computers and software. Unfortunately, many small businesses didn’t have the resources for those types of investments before the pandemic. That means “solutions will not be easy and will require an economy-wide effort to provide financing, restore demand, and improve small businesses’ capability and resilience.”

“Taking off at a sprint to get a contract could leave you donating to the company that hired you,” says Griffin. “You’ll be working ‘in the red,’ which can kill your business. It may take longer, but you will be out of business just the same.

“Know your bottom line,” Griffin advises. “Know what it costs to provide a quality service with a quality team. Know the costs of your taxes and various types of insurance so you can pay them. Know what you have to charge in order to make a profit. Make time to get information from others, and be quick to listen and slow to speak.

“So you won a contract. Remember that just because you crossed the finish line first, that doesn’t mean you won the race.”

Is It Safe For Children To Go Back To School?

Safe to open schools?
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July 14, 2020

Are you raising a child who will be in kindergarten through 12th grade this fall? Are you comfortable sending that child back to school?

“We have a young daughter, and I am struggling to imagine her and other children under the age of ten truly practicing social distancing,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “And teens? I thought them being as close to each other as possible was practically part of the definition of being a teenager. I am very concerned about how safe schools will be for our children, teachers, and others who work in schools if we throw the doors open in a way that lets COVID-19 come in, too. With the conflicting messages out there, I’m sure I’m not alone.”

There are several reasons for children to be in school, including the fact that they will be taught by education professionals. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports reopening schools because, “Evidence so far suggests that children and adolescents are less likely to have symptoms or severe disease from infection. They also appear less likely to become infected or spread the virus.” The AAP also notes that schools are where most children learn social and emotional skills, have access to mental and physical health services, special needs students more readily receive supports they need to thrive, and many students receive nutritious meals they may not have at home.

However, the AAP says safety protocols are a must to reopen schools. Those include regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, masks are worn by all adults and older students, physical distancing, teachers rotate when classes change instead of students, and plans to go viral if the virus surges. A variety of other experts agree.

Unfortunately, there is evidence the virus is already surging. More than half of the states are seeing increases in the number of COVID-19 cases, with significant jumps in Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Research suggests that with shelter-in-place orders (SIPOs, some states call them stay-at-home orders) “as many as 250,000–370,000 deaths possibly averted by May 15 in the 42 states plus the District of Columbia with statewide SIPOs.”

Griffin says, “No matter what the situation is, safety decisions are very personal decisions. You think about what ‘safe’ means to you. You think about how to have that for yourself, your family, or your business in a way that lets you feel some level of peace. When you decide what that is, you do it. At least I hope you do.

“Deciding what’s best for your child as this school year starts is no different,” he says. “I pray that you and your family will have whatever you need for a safe and successful school year. I pray that those making decisions about reopening schools do so based on respected research, and imagining their own child will be in each classroom. And I pray that our nation commits to doing whatever it takes to move through this pandemic in a way that makes future Americans proud.”

Grace

Grace-Hilda Mae Jones Cookout
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July 7, 2020

“As we got the go karts ready for kids attending the second Annual Hilda Mae Jones Foundation 4th of July Cookout, my mind raced toward the blessings that made it possible for our business to support this year’s event,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It’s nothing but grace. God’s grace.”

Griffin says that as a man of faith it is important for him to keep sharing the blessings he receives, even now as he tackles challenges created by COVID-19. The pandemic is an historic weight putting pressure on entrepreneurs around the world.

“Right now daily operations are tough,” he says. “Contracts with some of our largest, national companies have been halted as COVID-19 cases rise in several states. Several companies are reassigning their own employees to security roles to keep them working, while others are signing contracts with whoever gives them the lowest price.

“I understand the need for a business to spend wisely,” says Griffin. “I hope for all of our sakes that no one regrets cutting costs on security during a time when people feel historic levels of fear, uncertainty, and anger. That’s why we also offer consulting to companies that cannot afford our full guard services, but need to give their people more than the basic information.”

Griffin encourages entrepreneurs to rethink how they do business, and create other income sources to get through the pandemic.

“As a parent, husband, and employer, I must do my best to keep us operational,” he says. “I am taking my own advice by looking at ways to expand the many services we offer. I’m also finding ways of firing up my creativity to come up with new business ideas, like taking breaks during long periods of time looking at computer screens and paperwork.

“I also remind myself that there are companies thriving during this pandemic. Many of them continue to require quality security companies like ours. I am grateful for the loyalty of the companies that have continued doing business with us during this pandemic. Some of them have allowed us to be of service for several years.

“It’s pure grace to me,” Griffin says, “and we don’t have to race anybody anywhere, win anything, or be ‘special’ to get it. But it’s important to recognize grace when you receive it, and be grateful. And when you can, pass it on.”

Partner Paradise

Married Partner Paradise
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June 30, 2020

Almost one out of every five small businesses in the United States are family-owned, and small businesses - businesses with fewer than 500 employees - own the nation’s economy. And out of those businesses, 1.2 million are run by a husband and wife.

“Running the company with my wife gives me the best of both worlds, work and family,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “My wife, Imani, helped ground me. She told me, ‘You think too much,’ and motivated me to start doing. So I did what I needed to do and got the business growing. And she has been right with me every step of the way for more than 12 years.”

There can be special Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considerations for couples running a business, as well as the challenges you can easily imagine popping up when couples spend so much time together. Many couples successfully handle their partnership, and encourage those who want to make it work to try things like setting boundaries between work and family time. As well as time apart.

“It helps to remember that there will be tough times, but nothing worth keeping is easy to get. My wife wasn’t,” Griffin laughs.

“I was protecting a client in New York City, standing near a restaurant’s bar, when Imani walked in with another man,” he remembers. “They were listening to music, and I thought she was beautiful. I had a good relationship with my client, a woman, who encouraged me to speak to Imani. I asked her about the music they were listening to, her father’s music, and after a few more strategic visits to the restaurant, I was able to run into Imani again and get her phone number. During our first real conversation she said I was interesting, but arrogant. She was right.

“A while later I was in a serious car accident while on a trip in Virginia,” Griffin says. “It was a miracle that I survived, and it humbled me. I was able to open my heart to Imani, and she opened hers to me. Together we struggled to get our security business off the ground, some days gathering change to eat. That was bad, but when Imani got pregnant and then we lost our first child, it felt so much worse.

“We chose to establish a solid, spiritual foundation for ourselves. We got married, and settled into building our security business in a way that allowed it to blossom. I stopped thinking too much about myself and my wallet, and started doing what I felt led to do by faith. Those days were rough, but they helped prepare us for what’s going on now.

“We couldn’t have imagined COVID-19, its impact on the economy, and what seem to be fights on all fronts for the very soul of our nation. I am so grateful that I’m going through this with Imani, my strong life and business partner. Our daughter, Bella, and I are truly blessed,” says Griffin. 

Summer Madness

Summer Madness-Vacation
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June 23, 2020

It’s officially summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Even with the ongoing presence of COVID-19, people want to enjoy what many of them view as the season with the best weather of the year.

“This is a very stressful time, so people need some relief,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “For security professionals, many have been on duty since the pandemic hit. They’re exhausted. Since more businesses are opening, those who have been working may be able to take a break, while others who could use the hours may get opportunities to fill in.”

However, anyone taking a vacation still needs to take precautions they may not have thought of last year.

“If you’re taking a road trip, you have to make sure you get the maintenance checks that prepare your vehicle for the road,” Griffin says, “but there are additional considerations these days. For example, there are more cleanliness guidelines to keep in mind when getting food, gas, or using the bathroom at a rest stop.”

Check out this very helpful information from NBC’s “Today” show about a variety of ways to enjoy a “safecation” this summer.

Don’t get so excited about hitting the road that you forget to keep your home safe. Griffin reminds you to:

*Make sure every door and window is locked when you leave, even if you leave during the day. Most burglaries that occur when the victim isn’t home take place during the day.

*Don’t leave spare keys in places that others can easily find. It’s the next best thing to leaving a door or window unlocked.

*If you have an alarm system, use it. The best system is only as good as your commitment to using it, along with your good sense. If your system operates with an app on your phone, make sure you regularly monitor it.

*Have insurance. Make sure your property and valuables are covered under homeowners, renters and/or hazard insurance.

*Make sure everyone traveling with you is clear about the ground rules before you leave home, and that includes the children. Depending upon the length of your trip, the ages of the people traveling with you, and the number of people you may come in contact with, plan to review the rules as needed. For example, if you’re on a four-day trip, you may only need to review the rules once. If you are regularly reminding one particular person about the rules, it may be fine to privately discuss the situation with that one person.

“You want the ‘summer madness’ of your trip to be as smooth as the old song,” Griffin says. “The best vacation is a fun experience making memories with your loved ones. And when it’s over, you safely return to a home that is exactly the way you left it.”

Breathe

Breathe App
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June 16, 2020

Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing right now, we invite you to take 30 seconds to draw your attention to your breath. Allow yourself to feel life literally flowing into and out of you. There’s a lot going on in the world right now. Even if you feel “OK,” stress may be having an impact on you.

Here are a couple of definitions of stress:

*A physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.

*A state resulting from a stress.

“I have an app on my watch that reminds me to breathe,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “I caught myself recently reading through contracts for possible business, while worrying about the continuing impact of COVID-19 on everything from the way we work to racism. And then I got the reminder to breathe.

“As I tapped the breathe button, I looked up and saw my daughter running around the house playing with an imaginary friend. She then went to video games as my wife worked to keep things clean while preparing a meal. Is this now our norm? I decided to stop focusing so much on work, and detox my daughter from gaming,” Griffin says.

“This pandemic isn’t going to turn my home upside down,” he says. “I get a lot out of taking time every day to hug my wife and daughter, and tell them I love them. We enjoy having dinner together, and working together to keep our home clean and safe. How about you?”

The American Institute of Stress reports that “Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body—it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.”

There are a variety of apps that focus on your breathing to help you relax and reduce anxiety, and some even do it without your having to pay (free).

“I know that today’s stressful stuff does not have to be in your home. If you feel like you’ve been knocked flat on your back, take time to breathe. That can help you sit up, stand up, dust yourself off, and move forward one step at a time,” says Griffin.

“If you are living with people these days, make time to eat together. In my house, we also pray together. Don’t let whatever goes on, now or in the future, make you forget the most important thing: family.”

For The Children

Officer Jessie Rashid
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June 9, 2020

“I like the fact that my daughter not only has me to look up to, but security professionals like Jessie Rashid,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “She, and other children, deserve to see Black men doing what most of us do every day without much notice: taking care of our families, handling our business, and contributing to the overall welfare of our communities and the nation. It can cost us physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually, but most of us find a way to keep going.

“These days I often find myself thinking about my grandparents and other ancestors, especially the men, who dealt with overt expressions of racism that I can only imagine. I know that together, and as a community, they made it. They saw relatives and friends killed, suffered degradations because of institutional racism, and they still made it. We can, too, but we have to find ways to address racism in our time,” he says.

Griffin knows adults are talking about racism today in ways many haven’t done in years, if ever. But he says these conversations need to be held with children, too.

This past Saturday’s CNN/Sesame Street “Standing Up to Racism” town hall for children and families is still available online, and there are many online resources if you need tips on how to have these and other potentially challenging conversations with kids.

There are also a variety of tools to help get through the many issues we’re facing these days. They range from books and videos about diversity, to masks for kids who are learning to wear them as part of our next normal in the age of COVID-19.

“I have faith that we will get through this,” Griffin says, “which also means having faith in my God-given good sense. That helps me make decisions for my family and business today, with a trusting eye toward the future. It’s very hard, and sometimes scary. But when I laugh with and hug my daughter, I’m happy to hold the future in my hands.”

#BlackLivesMatter

Dad & Daughter Hands
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June 6, 2020

“As a Black man, father, and businessman, it is absolutely clear to me that #BlackLivesMatter,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It is terrible that more protests are needed to make this point. Thank God most of them have been peaceful.

“The heightened tensions sparked by the on-camera murder of George Floyd have me doubling my habits designed to keep my family safe,” Griffin says. “The extra steps I take to keep us safe include always driving within the speed limit, and keeping up with the registration and maintenance of my vehicles. In the last week or so, I stopped going out after dark unless it’s absolutely necessary. And I’m a security professional. It’s much harder for people who are not.

“Like too many Black men, my driving habits were fine-tuned after run-ins with the police.

“Once while speeding in North Carolina, I was stopped by state police. I’d let my concealed carry permit lapse, but I didn’t have the weapon with me. The police didn’t believe me, so they took me out of the vehicle and requested backup. I was asked to come to the rear of my vehicle while another officer, hand near their weapon, closely watched me. The officer searching my vehicle was clearly disappointed about not finding anything in my vehicle, and let me go after a very tense ordeal.

“Things went more smoothly on another occasion while traveling by car through Georgia. I was working with a national recording artist, and always brought my licensed weapon and the permit to carry it. After being stopped several times, Georgia police began to know I was legally armed. I always told my artist, and anyone traveling with me, to roll down their windows so the police had complete view of all my passengers. I placed my hands on the steering wheel, and kept my license and registration in my sun visor. I asked my front passenger to place his or her hands on the dash board until the police directed us otherwise. On one of the stops, a state police officer actually told me that unless I was going to shoot him to put my hands down.

“Those are just two of may situations that helped me learn that when dealing with the police you should calmly answer their questions with confidence. Unfortunately, for too many Black men and women that has not been enough to keep them safe.

“That’s why Leumas Security Services supports #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations, and we pray for a change in how police treat People of Color,” says Griffin.

Deaths, Protests Tell Us To Check Policies & Procedures

Pro during protests
Drive-Thru Testing Continues
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June 2, 2020

“Today I am even more impressed by the professionalism of my team when they face challenging members of the public as they work COVID-19 mobile testing sites,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “It’s been too easy for people in security and law enforcement to lose sight of their core responsibility to serve and protect, and now parts of our nation are burning.”

“After watching the disturbing video of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, I tried to understand the use of excessive force by former police officer Derek Chauvin whose knee was on the Mr. Floyd’s neck,” says Griffin. “Many of us have seen videos of police officers and security guards with their knees on a suspect’s back, but no officer with proper training should ever use their knee on the neck of any detainee.”

Chauvin was fired, and charged with murder and manslaughter. Protests are still going on across the nation, calling for charges to also be brought against the other three officers in the horrifying video and fundamental changes in policing.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and it also takes a village to protect a child,” Griffin says. “In this moment when historic problems are meeting global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, we must decide how we as the village are going to protect every member of our village.

“Those of us who are security and law enforcement professionals must take this opportunity to check our personality, policies and procedures, and level of training,” he says.

Training is a serious concern in the death of George Floyd, but also the recent police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, another Louisville officer is facing sexual harassment charges. These incidents closely follow national outrage at the Georgia killing of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot while jogging but no charges were brought against the men involved in the case until video of the incident made national news. I could name many other victims of police violence.

“If you’re in security or law enforcement, take a close look at your morals and character. Think about how you really feel about people who are different from you. Be honest. If you tell the truth to no one else, tell it to yourself. If you admit to having thoughts that see other people as ‘less than,’ than you need to look at another type of work.

“Are you often going to work tired and hungry? Change that behavior. Are you feeling burnout? Take a break. If you think you can’t afford time off, ask yourself if you can afford to make a terrible mistake. Ask your supervisor for some support. At Leumas Security Services we are responding to the extra pressure almost everyone is feeling from COVID-19 by changing the schedule of our officers and making sure they have masks and gloves.

“And very important, when was the last time you reviewed your policies and procedures? For security officers, when was the last time you reviewed the procedures for the sites you work? Do you wait until the last-minute to train for recertification? These are all things that you must change. If it’s been more than six months, go back to your policies and procedures.

“Tragedies like those that have made the news recently could have been avoided with proper training, and commitments by security and law enforcement professionals to strong policies and procedures. Those policies should weed out people who discriminate or abuse power in any way, and strongly punish those who wind up making it into uniform. And we can all look at the role we can play in ending any form of personal or structural discrimination and violence,” says Griffin.

COVID-19 Testing

Drive-Thru Testing
Drive-Thru Testing in Central VA
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May 26, 2020

As most regions in the United States head into consistently warm weather, millions of Americans have jumped back into their favorite outdoor activities. In many cases that has meant being in crowds, despite the continuing spread of COVID-19.

Health experts have a great deal of advice about ways for the nation to responsibly reopen as we face life with COVID-19, and they all include one thing: testing. Opportunities to get tested are increasing in most areas, and in some cases you do not have to have symptoms.

“I continue to be impressed by members of our team who have been working their shifts with the level of professionalism they had before the pandemic,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “Special shout out to those who step up to support drive-thru testing as if it were any other assignment. It puts them on the frontlines of the battle against a global enemy. I’m very proud of them, grateful for them, and impressed by their smooth transition into regularly wearing masks and gloves.”

To find testing in your area, check the website of your local health department. For example, Leumas Security Services is based in Virginia, so members of our team must check the Virginia Department of Health website. Those sites also usually have information about the types of tests available.

You can also check websites of major pharmacy chains, such as Rite-Aid, which may be offering testing in your area.

“Wherever you go for testing, or even to shop, please don’t break the rules,” says Griffin. “Follow the social distancing directions. In some cases, there will also be signs and markings through parking lots and on floors to keep people at least six (6) feet apart. Those same markings may also show the route you must travel.

“If you are directed to keep your window closed, do it. If you must wear a mask to enter a location, wear a mask. Plus, when you follow the rules you don’t have to waste your valuable time and energy dealing with store employees, or security people like Leumas Security Services team members.

“But what’s most important,” Griffin says, “is that these are small actions experts say make a big difference when it comes to maintaining the most valuable thing you have: your health, and the health of people you love.”

Tackling Tough Times

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May 19, 2020

Dr. Robert Schuller’s famous book has been on my mind lately, because it’s been a great reminder to hold on to my dreams as an entrepreneur these days,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin.

Schuller’s reminder: Tough times never last, but tough people do.

A lot of tough people are struggling with several concerns as they reopen their small businesses that were shut down, or doing much less business, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re doing their best to make sure they, their employees, and their customers stay healthy, as well as their bottom line.

Unfortunately, there are reports that tens of thousands of small businesses have closed, and more may close as we move toward the end of the year. That’s bad for the economy since 65% of all new jobs are at small businesses, and almost half (47.5%) of US employees work for a small business.

“I’ve been in business for more than 20 years, “ Griffin says. “I’ve dealt with a lot, but this is the first time that I’ve dealt with so many issues at the same time. I understand how many small business owners made the heartbreaking decision to close. It’s really tough right now.

“On top of doing the basics of running a business, we had to get personal protective equipment (PPE) for our team members, and had a huge drop in business. We’ve had clients say a payment is coming, and it didn’t. I’ve had many sleepless nights,” he says.

“I’m glad I followed some great advice I got several years ago,” says Griffin. “I cleaned up my personal credit, which helped me establish and grow my business. I made good investments creating multiple streams of income, and I was always very careful about loaning money to people,” he says.

“I’ve also had faith, and remembered that ‘faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26)’. These days that keeps me going. I’m doing my best to effectively run the company while trusting that the vital services we provide will continue to be important. I don’t know what the future holds, but my family is healthy and my faith is grounded,” Griffin says. “I pray for those who face a new fight to rebuild their lives after closing their businesses. I pray for those who worked with them, and their customers. I also pray that all of us find new, creative ways to share our gifts with the world some day soon.

“I’m not crazy, or unrealistic about how tough things are these days. I’m used to fighting. I know I’ve got what it takes to win, even if winning doesn’t look the way I thought it would. How about you? No retreat no surrender!”

Thank You Security Heroes

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May 12, 2020

Orders to stay-at-home or wear masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the US continue to be challenging for many individuals and businesses.

Some of those orders are lifting, but the majority of people are still spending most of their time at home. And this situation may have many of us asking ourselves and our leaders tough questions.

For many security professionals, concerns about how people may act out their frustrations weigh heavily on their minds. The tragic May 1st shooting of a Michigan security guard who was working to enforce an order to wear a mask is an example of why they’re concerned. Three people have been arrested in that case, but it’s not the only situation where there has been violence, or the potential for violence.

“I know a lot of people are afraid, anxious, depressed, and any number of other feelings as the weeks march on,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “This is a very hard and confusing time, even for people who are not struggling to keep their bills paid and family fed.

“However, to all the security professionals out there, I want to remind you of how strong you are,” he says. “It takes someone with a big heart, a sharp mind, and hopeful vision for the future to do what you do to keep others safe. To keep showing up to protect property that others hold dear. To keep carrying yourself as a professional, a thoughtful and caring human being, sometimes in situations where other people may not.

“You’re a hero. That’s true today and every day. I am grateful for you, and I’m sure there are people in whatever community you serve who are, too. Do what you need to do to keep yourself safe and in good spirits, and know that I keep you in my prayers,” says Griffin.

Coronavirus And Crime

Coronavirus & Crime
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May 5, 2020

“We’ve worked with several businesses in the area of Virginia known as the Historic Triangle, so I’m happy to see reports that some crime rates have dropped in the area due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic,” says Leumas Security Services Founder Samuel Griffin. “With more people staying at home to stop the spread of the virus, there are fewer opportunities for certain types of crimes.”

In fact, there are reports that crime rates are dropping across the nation, and in several other parts of the world. Unfortunately, other crimes are rising. For example, security professionals are closely watching the investigation of a Michigan security guard’s shooting death that may have been related to that state’s requirement to wear a face mask, and as mentioned in our April 7th post the number of domestic violence cases has gone up.