Nightclub Security Consultants’ Robert Smith outlines seven security products that no adult nightclub should be without. The article also includes specific recommendations on
companies who provide these products.
Security products—including surveillance cameras, radios, ID scanners and more—will help keep your customers and staff safe and prevent theft. But before you purchase any of these products, club security expert Robert Smith of Nightclub Security Consultants has put together a list of “must-have” security products and services available for floormen, doormen and other security personnel within the adult nightclub industry.
Note: Before purchasing security items for your adult nightclub, especially video surveillance products and metal detectors, please consult your attorney.
essential product #1: Video Surveillance/Closed Circuit TV
When it comes to CCTV, my motto is simple: If you think you have enough cameras, you don’t. Yes, I have had the discussion with the operator who lost a police case because a camera caught an entertainer touching some guest inappropriately. My response is simple: “How many more times has your video shown this entertainer providing the correct type of dances?”
A camera system will catch employees or entertainers breaking the rules—fine. But, won’t you agree that a good, well-installed camera system can also catch guests acting inappropriately? Won’t that same system also catch your staff acting properly and legally? Won’t it catch your door staff turning away that angry or over-intoxicated guest? Won’t the camera show that the guest did have 15 dances instead of the five he only wants to pay for? And, won’t it show the judge or jury that your guard didn’t grab and take the guest to the ground for no reason?
You’re damn right a camera system will do all of that and more. Don’t forget the internal theft problem you have or the locker room thief or the police in the parking lot. Yes, and it will do more than all of these things, if you use it correctly.
My friends, please don’t let your lawyer tell you that cameras will cost you too much money and that they should be turned off or removed. This is just my humble opinion, but let’s see here: no cameras equals no evidence, which might equal more time in court, which obviously means more time for … well, I hope you see where I’m going. Sorry my attorney friends, if I have any left.
Spend the appropriate amount of money on the system too. This is not the place to skimp and cut corners. It’s a pretty bad feeling when you watch some event on your system and you think to yourself, “I should have gotten the color cameras,” or “I knew I should have gotten the low light camera for the private area.” And remember, if you know you need 20 cameras to cover all the areas in your club, then get a 20-camera system. If your security consultant tells you that your venue should have 15 cameras, then get 15 cameras and remember, always leave room in the DVR for expansion.
Finally, the benefit and the money that can be saved by having real documentation of your staff doing the right thing can save you thousands of dollars annually.
essential product #2: Radios/Communication Equipment
Yes, they break and I know your staff misplaces them and of course it’s hard to hear your staff. So what?! Again, as with your CCTV system, the wonderful benefits of having all the staff equipped with good radios and good earpieces far outweigh the downside of no radios.
Radio communication can help at the door, it can bring a manager to the back of the house for an issue and can tell the house mom she needs to come up front to deal with an entertainer. Radios can bring all club staff up to speed and put them on the same page when some unruly table of customers needs to be asked to leave.
Finally, demand that all employees tasked with using radios really use them. Get them in a routine and in the habit so they feel naked without them. Using a radio to call for help or to get a manager must be part of every employee’s routine.
Top pick: Custom Earpiece
The Whisper is Custom Earpiece’s newest high tech solution to many communication challenges ranging from tactical/SWAT to high noise like nightclubs to paintball.
This throat mic provides truly superb performance even when you whisper! The collar style neck insures your mic will not become dislocated even in extremely strenuous environments. The optional finger PTT can be worn around your finger or even put in your pocket for stealthy operations.
The Whisper can be ordered with a coiled tube style earpiece. This provides great comfort and the ability to use custom and semi-custom earmolds. Another option is the comfortable “earhook” style earpiece which we suggest if the unit will have multiple users.
For more information, visit CustomEarpiece.com or see them in the EXPO Tradeshow at Booth # RU25.
essential product #3: ID Scanners/Verification Systems
Identification (ID) scanners and ID verification systems are pieces of equipment that have become very popular in nightclubs and adult clubs within the last 10 years. They can cost anywhere between $400 and $3,000, and they can do more than just scan the IDs and drivers licenses of potential customers and entertainers. They can also record scanned data and generate entry lists for club marketing purposes.
If you decide to get one of these devices, make sure your staff understands its use and its value and, perhaps most importantly, they use it without fail. If they don’t, it could be worse than not having one at all.
Top pick: PatronScan
PatronScan is an ID scanning technology used by nightclubs across North America. PatronScan uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to scan the face of the ID, and detect fake IDs. Detect fake IDs. Catch ID passing. Stop ID sharing. Take a live image of each patron as they enter your venue. If patrons break the rules, then ban them from every venue using PatronScan in North America. Reduce your liability and empower your security to keep your events safe.
Is speed important to your front door? PatronScan can also scan every type of ID in less than three seconds. The easy to use interface will have your door staff managing security with no slow down.
For more information, visit PatronScan.com.
Top pick: IDScan.net’s PA 700
IDScan.net’s newest mobile solution includes the rugged, wireless Android scanner, and combines the latest in mobile scanning hardware with VeriScan software. It is both Wi-Fi and sim card compatible, and contains both a 2D barcode scanner and an RFID reader. The reader also comes with GPS capabilities, making a great fit for visitor management solutions.
Enjoy the same great features of VeriScan on one of the fastest dual-core mobile processors on the market that supports Android’s large ecosystem of apps. Never suffer through slow load and ID processing times again with the PA700.
The PA700 is also built tough. With a standard Gorilla Glass screen rated at 7H hardness, stay scratch and crack free. The scanner is also 1.2M drop certified making it ideal for bar and nightclub industry.
For more information, visit IDscan.net or see them in the EXPO Tradeshow at Booth # RU24.
essential product #4: Flashlight
As a former police officer, I have had the same flashlight for over 17 years. I upgraded the bulb and had the switch repaired twice, but that’s it. All right, I also painted it bright red to deter other cops from stealing it, but that’s another story. My flashlight is a vital tool in my crime-fighting arsenal. This tool is equally important for any bar or club security worker. Believe me, a flashlight can save your life or the life of another.
A guard in the club world that doesn’t have a flashlight is working with a handicap. A flashlight is a valuable tool that should be a mandatory part of every security guard’s equipment package.
essential product #5: Documentation Logbooks
If there is a security-related incident at your club—a patron is thrown out, someone is put into a cab because they are too intoxicated, a fight breaks out and the police are called, etc.—the way in which you document this event may mean the difference between winning or losing a civil lawsuit or court case. The reality is, your staff will not remember all of the important details of an event that occurred in 2008 if they are being deposed or giving testimony in 2010.
Remember, when documenting a security-related event, no detail is insignificant, and every employee who was involved in the event (or was witness to it) should have their comments entered into that logbook. Having the proper type of logbook or report forms can truly save your butt.
essential product #6: Ultraviolet Lights
Ultraviolet lights can catch the hidden hologram embedded in some Internet fake IDs, as well as the holograms embedded in real, state-issued identification. There are small, pocket-sized penlights available, as well as larger lights which can be mounted to a door or wall. All of these styles of ultraviolet lights are fairly inexpensive.
essential product #7: Handcuffs
Handcuffs are a controversial piece of equipment that have a bad and unwarranted reputation attached to them. If your staff is trained to use them correctly and with restraint, handcuffs can safely secure a violent guest or one that you’ve called law enforcement on and are waiting to apprehend. However, if the staff is overzealous and fails to correctly apply them and lock them in place … well, forget any positive good work your crew did.
If your staff is trained to use them correctly and with restraint, handcuffs can safely secure a violent guest or one that you’ve called law enforcement on and are waiting to apprehend.
Robert C. Smith is the President and CEO of Nightclub Security Consultants, Inc. His company has trained over 5,000 hospitality industry employees and worked with over 1,000 bars, clubs, restaurants and other alcohol service venues nationwide. Now retired after 20 years as a San Diego Police Officer, Roberts and his company will have an even louder and far reaching voice on improving the training for guards and the standards for security working in the hospitality industry as a whole. For more information on Nightclub Security Consultants, visit Nightclubsecurity.com, go to www.facebook.com/bouncertraining or follow on Twitter @bouncercoach.