Hotel Security by Robert J. Harris
Founder/CEO, Harris Security Consultant Inc.
My name is Robert J. Harris. I am the CEO/Founder of Harris Security Consultant Inc. I run a security consultant company here in New York City. “My City” is one of the big tourist places to be at this time. My company is working on a solution to help hotels and motels to become safer. I want my friends to be safe in my city, therefore, for some time I have been checking out some of the hotels and motels in my city just to see how safe they really are. Sometimes I would check-in as a guest and other times I would just walk in and walk around the hotel. During my investigation of one hotel, I walked around and no one stopped me. I watched people check in. I walked the hallways. I went on the elevator to the top floors. What did I discover? No security! No cameras! When the fun was over, I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the house detective or the person who oversees security. The front desk person made a call. I waited 20 minutes and then my ‘boys in blue’ showed up. To make a long story short, I showed the ‘boys in blue’ my business card and said I was there to checkout security setup so my company can come up with a solution that can help safeguard my tourist friends at hotels. They understood and there was no problem.
I decided to check out 3 more hotels to investigate their on-site security. Hotel #1 – their security was bad! The cameras were out and no house detective on-site. I asked if there was a backup system since there were no cameras or security and found out there was none. Hotel #2 - I walked to the front desk because it seemed to be the only place to go. Why? If you want help on a security matter why go to the front desk? I think if you are a robber you are looking for where security is located, right? If you want water or a wake up call you see the front desk, for security you look for a house detective. I hope. For my investigation at Hotel #3, I went looking for the house detective. I saw three to four house detectives walking around watching the guests and me. I watched for 3 hours before I was asked if I was a guest in the hotel. It is an understatement to say they were a little slow because they walked around the hotel checking cameras and key cards and I was sitting there watching the house detectives.
Hotels need help with their security systems and management in a tremendous way. This is where a security consultant company like mine can come in to assist hotels on how they can become a safer place. Hotels use designers to design the space and they should also use security consultants to help them design security systems and security plans to help safeguard their visitors. When it comes to hotel security, it is up in the air because the manager runs the show and there is usually minimal expense made on security or how to setup a security system. They will usually use a security installer who will sell you a system, install it and be done. Each hotel is different in layout, size and the amount of guests its serves. So a security consultant can take that into consideration when designing a system for that hotel in addition to setting up a working blueprint for all the house detectives to follow written by a security consultant. Hotel security cannot be ‘one size fits all”, a security consultant can help design a system that works best for that particular hotel.
In general, security (or as I like to call them house detectives) in a hotel or motel should make the guests feel safe. On a side note, I think hotel security should be called House Detectives. I like this term because it reminds me of the good ole days back in the 20s and 30s when security in a hotel was called the house detective, it’s a classier title. House detectives should be in public view. When guests checkout, the key cards should be invalid. Monitoring systems should be in public view with cameras on each floor and in the elevators. All of these should be in place for the hotel or motel guests to see and feel secure.
Here is proof of how easy it is to get into a hotel. I found these cards lying around. With these key cards you could reprogram them and they could become master key cards that will leave the place up for grabs.
In my business people are first when it comes to being safe -- whether at home, on the road, or at hotels.