Town Commander urges businesses to create safety and security plans

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 0 Comments

Town Commander urges businesses to create safety and security plans


Local business owners should create a safe and security plan for their employees to respond to emergencies such as a burglary and armed robbery or a disgruntled person intent on harming people with gun violence. 

Miami Lakes Police Commander Major Javier Ruiz said drafting such a plan is crucial to react to critical incidents until the police and fire rescue arrive on the scene.

As the guest speaker for the Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce monthly membership meeting last week at Shula’s Hotel, Ruiz said he would recommend the Run, Hide or Fight concept, which is frequently used by most businesses in South Florida.

“The first key element is to run,” he said. “If something is wrong, identify where’s the best place to exit your business.”

Ruiz said employees should evacuate the building and run to a safe location and call the police.

He said some employees may freeze during an emergency and encourages their colleagues to grab them and run out of the building and meet up with the others.

“Grab who you can and run,” he said. “Get yourself to a safe location first and then dial 911.”

The Hide concept is another safe and secure procedure.

Ruiz said if there’s a possible threat outside a business, employees should first lock and block before hiding in a safe place, then call the police. 

“Where you hide is important,” he said.

Ruiz said employees may not have any other alternatives than to use the Fight concept.

“You may have to act with aggression,” he said. 

In his 22 years as a police officer, Ruiz said he has had the opportunity of working on the administrative side of law enforcement, working with business owners to develop crime prevention plans.

He said some businesses installed security surveillance cameras to spot suspicious people hanging around their companies and call the police to investigate to determine their motives.

But some would-be robbers can avoid the security systems and the Run, Hide or Fight idea may have to be used to keep employees safe from harm.   

Ruiz said the concept is like a fire drill and business owners should get feedback from their staff members while crafting out the plan.

“Once completed, they should practice and make sure employees understand their roles,” he said. 

In response to the Stoneman Douglas High shooting massacre, Ruiz said police resource officers were placed at Miami Lakes K-8 Center and Bob Graham Education Center to protect students and teachers from gun violence.

He said the town is using its own police officers for the remainder of the school year until the Miami-Dade County Schools police use their officers starting the next school year. 


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