Not Your Typical Dog Next Door

Not Your Typical Dog Next Door

Canines, the new normal at many retail centers

According to the National Retail Federation, nearly 60% of retail security executives report concerns with the rise in mass violence and active assailants over the last five years. This growing threat presents a risk that endangers consumers, staff and brands. To address these potential threats, retail management are increasingly deploying canine security teams trained to detect firearms.

As highly trafficked, accessible sites, retail centers are particularly vulnerable since they are open to the public sometimes 15 hours a day with no requirements for security sign-ins “at the door.” The deployment of firearm detection canine teams serves as a visible deterrent to prevent and reduce crime at retail sites. These highly trained teams of handlers and dogs are responsible for helping to keep thousands of shoppers, employees and vendors safe by effectively detecting various materials unique to firearms such as ammunition, cleaning solvents, oils, holster materials and other related odors.

For these canines, imprinting begins early to identify scents specific to firearms. A professionally trained firearm detection dog will successfully sniff out separate odors and passively “sit” alerting the security handler of a threat, even if the gun has never been loaded or previously fired in the last six months. Firearm detection canines are also trained in odor tracking so they can identify a firearm on a moving person and follow the scent to the source, even in crowded venues.

A typical day for a firearm detection canine team is busy and active. They patrol a mall or shopping center against the flow of patron traffic, and as shoppers pass, the canine turns its head into the trail of the odor. If an odor unique to firearms is detected, the canine will turn and follow them.

In addition, canines can perform accurately without close contact, intrusive or invasive searches of individuals and are trained to operate in accordance with their handler’s direction.

For indoor settings, canines can effectively screen persons who are up to six to 10 feet away. In outdoor settings, canines will not alert on an odor unless they are actively searching, as directed by the handler. They also are trained to ignore the persistent scent associated with their handler’s firearm and are only rewarded when alerting to a weapon on another person, while actively searching.

Once a canine alerts on someone carrying a firearm, it is instructed to observe, or take an overwatch position, while that person is interviewed by the client.

Canines are acclimated to various weather types and are trained to effectively detect odors in a wide range of inclement weather conditions, such as rain, snow and excessive wind. They are highly-motivated to work and remain undeterred by adverse environments that might otherwise limit technology security solutions. In extreme conditions, handlers closely monitor their canine’s behavior, adjusting the pace of work to provide adequate rest in climate-controlled environments.

As the security and threat landscape evolves, it is important for businesses to continually review and evaluate their security plans and procedures to keep pace with their specific security needs. Adding firearm detection canine teams to an existing security strategy is an effective method to deter criminals and to detect the presence of harmful threats at retail sites.

Firearm detection canines, combined with security professionals, smart cameras and other security technology provide a comprehensive approach to the evolving risks and threats faced by retail centers each day.

About the Author

Glen Kucera is the president of MSA Security, an Allied Universal company.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • Global IT Outage Cause by Faulty Update from Cybersecurity Provider CrowdStrike

    Systems are starting to come back online after a global IT outage on Friday disrupted everything from airline operations to banks and 911 call centers. Read Now

  • Securing the Flow of Operations

    The transportation industry is a complex and dynamic environment where efficient management of physical keys, vehicles and shared devices is critical to ensuring smooth operations, reducing costs and maintaining security. Every day, more transportation facilities are using modern electronic key and asset management systems to better secure, audit and manage the important assets that keep operations running smoothly. Read Now

  • The Recipe for Stadium Security

    The threat landscape of stadium security is fluid. Today’s venues and stadiums have operational security 24/7, hosting sporting events, community events, concerts, conventions and more – each with a unique visitor base and each with unique security risks. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • A8V MIND

    A8V MIND

    Hexagon’s Geosystems presents a portable version of its Accur8vision detection system. A rugged all-in-one solution, the A8V MIND (Mobile Intrusion Detection) is designed to provide flexible protection of critical outdoor infrastructure and objects. Hexagon’s Accur8vision is a volumetric detection system that employs LiDAR technology to safeguard entire areas. Whenever it detects movement in a specified zone, it automatically differentiates a threat from a nonthreat, and immediately notifies security staff if necessary. Person detection is carried out within a radius of 80 meters from this device. Connected remotely via a portable computer device, it enables remote surveillance and does not depend on security staff patrolling the area. 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3

  • Unified VMS

    AxxonSoft introduces version 2.0 of the Axxon One VMS. The new release features integrations with various physical security systems, making Axxon One a unified VMS. Other enhancements include new AI video analytics and intelligent search functions, hardened cybersecurity, usability and performance improvements, and expanded cloud capabilities 3