5 Ways to Defuse a Heated (and Potentially Dangerous) Confrontation

Security guards, whether manning an event or maintaining the safety of a public area, must stay in control to keep everyone safe. Understanding how to control a situation is key to avoiding further escalation and safety risks. The first method to maintain control and defend against potential violence is to defuse the situation. Much of the time, security officers can deescalate conflict and neutralize a threat with tactics to calm those involved. 

Whether dealing with a mild in-store disagreement or a group conflict at an event, here are a few tips on how to defuse a potentially dangerous situation.

5 Ways to Defuse a Heated (and Potentially Dangerous) Confrontation

1. Scan for signs of tension

In order to deescalate conflict, security officers must first be aware of what that conflict might look like. Signs may present more obviously, with raised voices or cocked fists that may even draw a surrounding crowd, depending on the venue. Or, you may need to look more closely to identify physical signs of a disturbance. 

For one, facial expression changes as anger rises. Brows furrow, lips tend to form a thin line, nostrils flare and the face also may blush and turn redder as anger builds. You may also spot tension in the body with clenched fists, stiff shoulders and even sweating. All of these physical signs may indicate that a situation is heating up and requires intervention.

2. Establish authority and intention

Once a situation needs an authority figure, it’s important to establish from the start who you are and what you are there to do. Clearly define your role at the event or venue as a security officer and explain that you’re here to help. Remember, the first goal is to calm those involved without having to take any additional measures. Defusing a situation before it becomes a problem is far superior to reacting to violence as it occurs. 

3. Be calm in your voice and demeanor

Nothing tends to make a person more annoyed than telling them to calm down, so it’s better if you can show, not tell. Approach the situation directly, but calmly. Speak with a calm authority. You’re not there to soothe them with a bedtime story, but a cool, direct voice will most likely encourage a more positive response from those you’re dealing with. Once you have their attention, clearly outline the policy of the event or venue. For example, explain that yelling or violence is not permitted and ask that they speak with you one-on-one to resolve the issue.

4. Show them that you’re listening

Active listening is a great tool to help those around you understand that they are being heard. Most of the time, anger can subside when the individual feels that they are being listened to. Physical responses of listening include maintaining eye contact and nodding the head to show that the message is being received. 

Try paraphrasing what they are saying periodically so they know you’ve understood them and ask questions. This will prompt them to respond so you can better understand the situation and engage them in a conversation, letting them know you’re there to help.

5. Define a resolution

Once the parties are calm and collected, you can effectively work through a resolution to make sure things don’t escalate again. The hope is that the tension was caught early enough to allow each party to leave the situation and go about their business, without the risk of anger building again. The resolution may be to involve program organizers or a store manager for further assistance. 

Of course, solving a dispute isn’t always this simple. At times the situation may have already escalated and requires further intervention more than talking through a mild argument. The resolution may be that both parties must be removed from the area, facility or event in order to maintain safety. Regardless of the situation, the resolution and reasoning must be calmly and clearly explained to all parties.

No two conflicts are alike, and different strategies may be needed in order to resolve that specific dispute. Defusing the situation should be the first step before using other tactics that may intensify a potentially dangerous situation further. Security guards are specifically trained to handle potentially dangerous situations while keeping people safe and secure. 

Do you need security guard services?

If you are a business owner, retail store operator or event producer, you probably have dealt with unfortunate situations like those described here. Hiring a reputable security guard company can ensure that your employees, customers, and guests remain safe while patronizing your business or event. Off Duty Officers has teams of highly trained guards with extensive experience in mitigating threats, unruly people and crowds. 

Are you interested in learning more about security solutions from Off Duty Officers?

Contact our security staff today to learn more about our security guards, services and customized solutions. Our security professionals are ready to discuss security recommendations for your specific needs. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

Tips for Workplace Safety While Operating with a Restricted Staff

If you are one of the many businesses that are operating with a skeleton staff during the coronavirus outbreak, you have a lot on your mind. Worries about reopening, making ends meet and how to keep your employees are enormous issues that you have to face. Essential businesses have been working this way for weeks and have learned a great deal about how to keep their businesses and employees safe while working in this new normal.

As states across the country begin to think about what reopening their economies might look like, it is clear that those that do open will need to adjust to the new way of life. Business owners will not only need to consider the state regulations for social distancing and other guidance provided by the government, they will have to figure out ways to secure their properties, employees and customers.

Tips for Workplace Safety While Operating with a Restricted Staff

The coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we shop, learn, socialize and work. Only those essential businesses are operating, with more to open their doors slowly as states consider relaxing some of the stay at home orders that we currently live under. If you have a business that is open or may be reopening in the near future, you must adjust to the new way of doing business. One such change may be the need to operate with fewer staff members.

With so many people unemployed and many buildings left vacant, businesses are a target for thieves and vandals more than ever before. And with fewer staff members, it can be a challenge for businesses to monitor for crime and other suspicious activity properly.

Follow these tips to keep your business safe and secure during these challenging times.

Remove valuables from view.

In uncertain times, people can do desperate things. Theft, looting and vandalism are not uncommon during crises. Don’t make your business a bigger target by showcasing your valuable equipment or merchandise in your front window. Thieves will know right away what they can score if they hit your store, making you a more attractive target.

Instead, move anything of value out of the store or at least out of view. While this might be a hassle in the short-term, it has the potential to save you time and money in the long-term.

Assess your current security systems.

If you have security systems in place, when was the last time you checked to ensure they were in working order? So many businesses have panic buttons, surveillance cameras and alarm systems that have been inoperable for years. Unfortunately, it only becomes an issue after a crime takes place.

Better protect your business and employees by checking your current systems. Get everything functional and up-to-date. Additional measures may include updating your internal and external lighting, posting alarm system signage and changing window and door locks.  

Train your employees.

One of your best assets when it comes to protecting your business is your employees. Not only does proper training ensure that you and your staff are on the same page, but it will instill confidence in them in the face of a threat. Identify new security protocols to address the current situation and post them for employees to see. Work with your employees to create systems - often, your employees are more aware of potential security threats than owners.

Hire security guards.

If you really want to secure your business, security guards are one of the most effective means of protection. More than cameras and alarm systems, a physical security presence on a property acts as a significant deterrent to criminals. It sends a message to would-be thieves that you take the security of your business seriously.

Commercial security guards can manage access to your building, perform mobile patrols and quickly respond to a threat. At Off Duty Officers, we can meet your needs during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing experienced, reliable and highly trained guards on a temporary basis, or whenever you need them.

Do you need temporary security guards to protect your business?

Call Off Duty Officers today to learn more about our unarmed, temporary security guard services. We proudly serve businesses throughout the United States and can deploy top-quality guards to your location quickly and professionally. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

What is VIP Security, and Do You Need It?

Private security is a broader career sector than most people are aware. Security guards might work in retail establishments, thwarting would-be shoplifters; patrol industrial complexes to manage access and protect company property; or, they might even serve in the exclusive cadre of VIP security.

What is VIP Security, and Do You Need It? 

Holistic security

Images of suits and sunglasses, limo-riding, gun-toting special agent types might come to mind when you think of VIP security. You wouldn't be completely wrong. Sometimes these can be aspects of the job. However, VIP security is a field requiring many skills. Planning and reviewing are as crucial to the job, if not more so, than providing physical security to VIPs.

VIP and personal security takes a holistic approach to guarding their clients. They're not only concerned with the personal security of the VIP, but the well-being of their family and property as well. If it is important to the client, it is a potential security risk and deserves protection as well.

Risk profiling for homes and venues

A central concept for effective VIP security is risk profiling. Security professionals study their client's homes, offices, venues they may need to visit and even the routes between all of these locations, proactively looking for security threats.

Homes need to be reviewed to make sure there is ample infrastructure to meet security needs as well as personnel, which provide the actual eyes and ears for home security. The same is usually the case for where the client works. This may also include having to make appearances at venues periodically.

Venues present a higher risk as they are largely outside the control of a VIP's security team and require coordination with the venue's own security to secure the safety of their client. At the same time, none of this matters if a client doesn't make it safely to the venue and back again. Depending on the danger the VIP faces, security may plan routes to and from any necessary destinations as well as make contingency plans, including alternate routes should an emergency arise.

Planning skills

This brings us to one of the core components of effective VIP security: planning. Car crashes and near escapes may make for great movies, but VIP security's first job is to make sure that this never happens. Planning both how the day will unfold as well as what to do if something goes awry is at the heart of a good security detail. A VIP may be just going about their day as usual, but a good security professional looks at the day more like an orchestrated play being performed, and they are the stage manager.

Good communication

As we mentioned, VIP and personal security is often forced to work in venues and places they don't have control over. From trade conventions to airports, VIP security operates in an environment where it is understood they are not the final arbiters regarding overall security. Particularly where there is a federal or local law enforcement presence, VIP security has to find the balance that affords maximum protection for their client while not running afoul of other public security systems already in place. Often it will be left to VIP security personnel to negotiate with these other groups to determine how they can do their jobs most effectively.

Tools of the trade

VIP security typically has more tools at hand than other security professionals to do their jobs. However, those tools are only as useful as the person wielding them. In that vein, VIP security professionals typically receive extensive training and certification in different aspects of their job. They may be expected to be firearms experts or have particular hand to hand skills to directly protect their clients. For clients on the move, they may have experience driving an armored vehicle or be a Certified Emergency Vehicle Operator (EVOC) - specially trained to drive in dangerous environments.

Protecting both body and image

One specific aspect of VIP and personal security is what they are trained to guard against. In particular, a client's image may be every bit as important as their body. Well, not really. Bad publicity is far more survivable than actually being attacked. But image is vital for some VIPs to continue earning a living. As such, VIP security guards are trained to protect the reputation of the client just as seriously. This may mean blocking paparazzi or keeping over-eager fans or angry detractors at bay. Security is expected to be a gatekeeper for anything that might go wrong that could damage the client's personal image.

Real VIP security

As you can see, VIP security isn't quite what Hollywood would have us believe it to be. If they're moving between high-speed chases, shootouts and adrenaline-fueled cliffhangers, they won't stay employed long. Real VIP security is about avoiding these incidents altogether. A boring day is a good day for a security professional.

Do you think you may require VIP and personal security services? Are you responsible for the security of an executive? Contact Off Duty Officers to learn more about our VIP, personal and executive security solutions. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

How To Know If You Need Temporary Security Guard Services

At Off Duty Officers, we understand that not every business or individual needs security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are many circumstances, especially as we continue to endure the COVID-19 outbreak, that you may find it more beneficial and cost-effective to hire temporary security guards for your protection. Clients across the country have opted for short-term security guards when hiring for public and private events, construction or renovation jobs or even during the holiday shopping rush.

Temporary security guards are not only professionally trained and experienced enough to handle a variety of situations, they are often much more affordable than permanent guards. Many businesses choose to hire short-term guards to protect their valuable assets while still staying within their budgets.

Do you think you may benefit from hiring temporary security guards for your business?

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether temporary guards or permanent guards will best suit your needs. You can always contact Off Duty Officers to speak with one of our security specialists who will help you evaluate your needs and suggest the best security solutions for you.

You can also ask yourself the following questions to get a better idea if short-term guards can help:

  • Has your business or workplace experienced a recent workplace violence incident, theft, vandalism or other suspicious behavior?
  • Are you experiencing unique circumstances that will increase traffic to your business or property?
  • Are you operating a large event that will host large numbers of guests, VIPs or valuable assets or merchandise?
  • Are you unable to provide the necessary security you need with your current staff?

If you answered yes to the above questions, temporary security guards might be the right solution for you. To further evaluate whether short-term guards are the best fit, let’s explore some of the more common situations in which businesses hire short-term security guards.

When to Hire Short-Term Security Guards

COVID-19 Outbreak Response

Globally, we are experiencing a unique situation with the COVID-19 outbreak. Because of social distancing and stay-at-home orders throughout the United States, businesses large and small have experienced closures, layoffs and temporary reductions in business.

Because of this hopefully short term disruption to regular life, retail establishments, restaurants and many other businesses have left their properties vacant. Short-term security guards can be hired at an affordable rate to protect your property, and if you’re operating with a skeleton staff, your employees. Other businesses, such as hospitals, are experiencing significant increases in traffic. Additional security officers can help manage access to the hospital and handle unruly behavior if necessary.

Private and Public Events

Event producers have a lot on their plates. Many moving parts must be juggled to pull off a successful event. Unfortunately, security is often put on the back burner.

If you are hosting an event, from a small private function such as a wedding to a large public event such as a music festival, political rally or concert, temporary security guards from a professional company will know exactly what to do to keep your business and guests safe. From checking credentials and tickets to patrolling for suspicious behavior, short-term guards have the skills to manage potential security threats so you and your guests can enjoy your event.

Construction Projects

While it may not seem like it, construction projects are temporary. Many construction site managers choose to hire temporary security guards to secure their sites both during work hours and after hours. Construction sites are home to valuable equipment including tools, construction materials and machinery. They are often targets for thieves who want to make a quick buck. Hiring temporary security guards can protect the property by performing mobile patrols at irregular intervals, securing entrances and reporting criminal behavior to law enforcement.

The Benefits of Temporary Security Guards

If you’ve decided that temporary security guards are the right option for you, you might be wondering what the benefits are for your business. Clients who have worked with Off Duty Officers for their short-term security guard needs have cited the convenience, affordability and professionalism of hiring temporary regards.


When you decide you need a qualified security officer, one can be deployed to your business right away. With one phone call, you can have an experienced guard who understands your needs and is ready to work. You don’t have to call around, interview candidates or worry that you made the wrong choice. With Off Duty Officers, we make it easy to hire competent, reliable and professional security personnel.


Temporary security officers are typically less expensive than hiring a permanent security guard. Many businesses have small budgets for security but still require professional protection for short periods of time during the year. Temporary, short-term security guards are often the best option for businesses who want security support without breaking the bank.


One of the primary benefits of hiring a security guard through a reputable company is that you can feel confident that the guards who show up at your door are professionals. Not only have they been extensively vetted and trained, they are held accountable for their performance. Guards that work for professional security companies like Off Duty Officers have made security their careers, and so they take their positions very seriously.

Hire Temporary Security Guards for Your Business

Are you in the market for temporary security guard services for your business? Don’t hesitate to contact Off Duty Officers to learn more about our temporary, short-term security guard solutions.  For over 25 years, we have been providing comprehensive security solutions for businesses across the nation. We are proud of our reputation for providing professional and reliable security guards that are unmatched in the industry. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.