Avoiding the Security DogpileBy Richard W. Munchkin, CDC Gaming ReportsOctober 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm It is a nightmare for any casino operator. Security goes to evict someone on the property. Maybe the patron has been drinking, gets belligerent., and refuses to leave. Security grabs him, he pushes back, and the next thing you know there is a dogpile on the casino floor. Furniture gets overturned, and patrons watch aghast. Even if no one is hurt the casino faces a potential lawsuit, and the optics to your customers is horrible.“It’s all about training” says Darrell Clifton, Executive Director of Security for Silver Legacy, Eldorado, and Circus Circus Reno, and the featured speaker at Monday’s G2E seminar, “Avoiding the Security Dogpile.” Clifton, who authored Hospitality Security: Managing Security in Today’s Hotel, Lodging, Entertainment, and Tourism Environment, says that when faced with a person who needs to be evicted you have five options: 1. Avoid contact – A patron is perhaps drunk and disorderly. This is someone you normally would trespass from the property, but now he is headed for the door of his own volition. It might be better to just let the person walk, and avoid any confrontation.2. Trespass – This is the best tool in the security arsenal. Each state has their own laws regarding what must be said when trespassing someone. You can trespass for any reason, (other than race, religion, etc) but no reason has to be given to the patron. Clifton says this is the best option in most cases.3. Call police – Clifton stressed that security guards are not police, and not responsible for doing the job of the police. In some cases where a law has been broken, just let the police handle it.4. Compliant arrest – In some cases where a law has been broken, you want to hold the patron until the police arrive.5. Last resort – forceThe most important thing is that security professional train extensively for these types of situations. He pointed out that police officers receive months of training before going out on the streets, and then go out with a training officer. Security needs to train more than just a couple hours when first hired. He mentioned that he will sometimes arrest a patron that, in other cases, he may just trespass, but he will do it for the training of his security team.Clifton mentioned that many casinos, when looking to hire security, will hire former corrections officers. He said he would rather hire someone who has been behind a customer service desk at Target than a corrections officer. In high stress situations a person’s instinct will be to do what they have done in the past. Who will be more likely to defuse a situation without incident: a prison guard, or someone with customer service experience? Remember, “a security takedown makes for great theater, but it disrupts the operation, costs money, and can cause injury.” Some companies have instituted a “hands off” policy to avoid just these types of episodes. Whatever your policy may be, repeated training is the key to implementing it effectively without incident.