In the previous blog, I spoke of lessons from a doctor. Truth be told he was not someone I greatly respected. That said, you can learn something good from everyone. That take away, “every time you touch a patient the patient gets better” has lived with me to this day. It’s the “do no harm” persona that each professional security guard must employ.
I previously mentioned that pepper spray is a wonderful tool because it has a good potential to stop threats and poses nearly zero actual risk for injury. Perhaps that’s why I don’t carry a baton.
Years ago, I worked for a county sheriff. In those days, carrying a baton was not just normal. They were issued. It was a component of the uniform. Deputies would alter the “impact weapon” component and explore its various meanings. Some carried flat saps, asps, black jacks or the beautiful coco bolo.
As a wood working fan, I fell in love with the hobby in high school. So, naturally I am a sucker for craftsmanship and beautiful wood. Perhaps it’s a connection nature and the beauty that often surrounds us. For those of you who many not know, Cocobolo is a gorgeous exotic hardwood frequently used in guitars, desks, chess pieces and more.
One deputy showed up to work one day with a cocobolo baton. He ordered the “big one.” It was a 28” woodworking beauty that resembled a table leg. It was a monster. Being a young and very impressionable deputy, I couldn’t hit “buy now” fast enough. I thought that I was doing myself a favor by ordering the 26.” After all, it was shorter, lighter and easier to carry. When it arrived, I couldn’t wait to carry it.
Then the complaints came in.
I failed to recognize the impact that the baton would have. It hit home significantly and negatively on my ability to interact with others. I was called a bully and intimidating. My ignorance led me to a place where it was more difficult to do the very thing I set out to do, build relationships. It took some time for me to sort out why the very expensive tree trunk on my thigh was causing so many problems. In fact, the problem wasn’t hanging from my hip. It was buried in my head.
Somehow I thought that it would act as a deterrent. I foolishly concluded that a visual display of this “force option” would help keep things civil. How juvenile.
I don’t carry an impact weapon now. What is the purpose of an impact weapon? Hit stuff. I have no interest in hitting someone or something. When a strike is done, a strike of any kind, legitimate injury is likely. I am not in the business of injury. I am in the business of relationships.
There are options available to the security guard to deal with violent attackers that don’t include impact weapons. Do no harm. Put down the impact weapon. Build relationships and do not pour the mortar of tension, discomfort and conflict. Put down the baton and pick up “the gentle art”, jiu-jitsu.