Event security professionals are often faced with challenging situations that require them to manage conflicts, prevent violence, and protect the safety of everyone involved. De-escalation training is a vital skill that can help them achieve these goals and reduce the risk of escalation and harm.
De-escalation training is the process of learning how to use verbal and non-verbal communication, body language, empathy, and active listening to calm down a person who is agitated, angry, or aggressive. It also involves recognizing the signs of potential escalation, assessing the level of threat, and choosing the appropriate response strategy.
De-escalation training can benefit event security professionals in many ways, such as:
Enhancing their professionalism and reputation as competent and trustworthy service providers.
Improving their confidence and ability to manage difficult situations effectively and respectfully.
Reducing the likelihood of physical confrontation, injury, or legal liability.
Increasing the satisfaction and safety of event attendees, organizers, and staff.
Promoting a positive and peaceful atmosphere at events.
De-escalation training is not only a valuable skill for event security professionals, but also a moral responsibility. By learning how to de-escalate conflicts, you can prevent unnecessary harm and suffering, and uphold the dignity and rights of all parties involved.
De-escalation training is an essential component of event security that should not be overlooked or underestimated. To illustrate the importance of de-escalation training, let me share a personal anecdote from my own experience. I was working at an event where a large crowd had gathered to watch the annual July 4th Fire Works celebration. During the show, I noticed a group of young men who were pushing and shoving each other in the crowd. I approached them calmly and politely and asked them to stop their behavior and enjoy the fireworks. One of them became very hostile and started swearing at me. He said he was not doing anything wrong and that I had no right to tell him what to do. He then pushed one of his friends towards me.
Fortunately, I had received a refresher de-escalation training before the event, and I knew how to manage this situation. I avoided being struck and moved back slightly. I kept my voice calm and low and maintained eye contact with him. I acknowledged his feelings and apologized for upsetting him. I explained that I was just doing my job and that I wanted him to have an enjoyable time at the fireworks. I also told him that if he continued to be violent, he would have to leave the event. I asked him if he really wanted to miss the show he came to see because of a minor disagreement.
He paused for a moment and looked at me. He seemed to calm down a bit and realized that I was not trying to provoke him or arrest him. He said he was sorry for trying to push his friend into me and that he was just having fun with his friends. He agreed to stop pushing people and behave himself for the rest of the show. He even thanked me for being understanding and professional.
I was relieved that I was able to de-escalate the situation without resorting to force or causing more trouble. I avoided a potential injury for myself and others, and I preserved the positive mood of the event. I also gained some respect from the young man who apologized to me. He might have learned something from this encounter that could help him avoid future conflicts.
This is just one example of how de-escalation training can be effective in event security. It can help us deal with difficult people and situations in a more effective and humane way. It can also help us prevent violence and harm, which is our goal as event security professionals.
Security professionals have a challenging but rewarding job that requires them to have various skills that can help them deal with conflicts, prevent violence, protect safety, provide service, and promote peace. De-escalation training is not only a valuable skill for event security professionals, but also a moral responsibility. By learning how to de-escalate conflicts, you can prevent unnecessary harm and suffering, and uphold the dignity and rights of all parties involved.
About the Author
Joseph “Paul” Manley is the Founder and Principal of Risk Mitigation Technologies, LLC, a Training and Independent Consulting Firm with a focus on violence detection, prevention, response, and recovery. Paul is a retired Massachusetts Police Lieutenant, Adjunct Lecturer, Board-Certified Workplace Violence and Threat Specialist, Security Expert, and Trainer.