Building bridges between law enforcement and workplace security

February 03, 2023

In 2022, the National Safety Council found that respondents of its Workforce Trends Indicator Survey who felt unsafe at work had an increased likelihood of experiencing depression and anxiety than those who felt safe. As facility managers work to maintain safe workplace environments, ESFM Vice President of Security Solutions Russ Collett is leveraging relationships to foster collaboration and innovation between local law enforcement and onsite team.

Russ Collett

Russ Collett, ESFM Vice President of Security Solutions

“In security, relationships are simply a best practice,” he said. “During an emergency is not the time to exchange business cards.” Collett has over three decades of security experience, including 25 years with the United States Secret Service.

Facilitating meetings strengthens the relationship between security personnel and area police, stimulating a proactive approach to optimize security policies and procedures, and increase visibility of security for building occupants, bringing peace of mind to the employees who work in our clients’ facilities every day.

ESFM helped support a client’s return-to-office in Chicago, connecting the onsite security team with Chicago Police Department officers. This led to a town hall and briefing where a Chicago PD Business Liaison Officer and Sergeant shared resources such as community organizations, neighborhood watch programs, public transportation tracking apps and ways to stay informed on emergency alerts and to report incidents.

During the site visit with Chicago PD, the security team and officers identified action items to continue enhancing operations, including off-hour site walk-throughs with SWAT and the fire department, as well as security table top exercises and public town halls for the buildings’ employees.

In addition to relationship-building and tailoring security solutions that are the right fit for unique client locations, Collett is active in professional organizations such as ASIS International, the United States Secret Service Association and the Illinois Security Professionals Association, for which he serves on the Board of Directors, and encourages the security teams he oversees to also stay active in similar organizations. Not only does this help forge more professional relationships, but it also provides a forum for discovering best-in-class solutions, new innovations and emerging trends so that ESFM continues to bring value to their clients.

“We want our local law enforcement to know that they are appreciated,” Collett said. “By building these bridges between client locations and the PD we increase the security presence and help employees feel safe. And by partnering with professional organizations we ensure that our teams remain on the cutting-edge, reinforcing a proactive security culture.”