At Shergroup we love Walt Disney World. Our CEO and her husband honeymooned in Florida over 30 years ago and fell in love with this part of the United States. Shergroup set its US corporate office in Celebration which reflects the ties we have with Florida through the CEO and her family.
It’s not just that our CEO loves Disney, but she has always admired the Walt Disney World company for its immaculate parks, and its customer service. In fact, it has been a privilege to be one of several external vendors recognized by Walt Disney World to provide security for their customers when needed. Shergroup Security takes a pride in looking after school trips and teams of corporate executives who are visiting Walt Disney World.
In a way creating a safe environment for the 85 million people who visit Orlando’s attractions each year is one of the toughest assignments for security. Security in this part of the world has to be exceptional, but it also has to be discreet, professional and melt into the background. Tourists want to be safe but they don’t want to be reminded everyday that there is a potential risk to their safety. The fact that Orlando and Central Florida, and indeed the entire State of Florida, is driven by tourism as a major part of the economy means the need for all these attributes in a security vendor. Good quality security is vital and permeates all aspects of security planning in this part of the world as Florida continues to grow in population and commerce.
If you live in Florida, or you have visited Walt Disney World in the last couple of years, you will have seen how Disney has perfected the art of security into its operations by making even the visible security personnel on staff, look cool. Behind the scenes we know from our insight that Disney have invested millions of dollars to keep their guests and cast members safe.
Whilst the rest of us don’t have the budget of Disney, we can look at how we can emulate aspects of their security plan, without great expense, in our own organisation. We certainly look to do that in Shergroup – which is why our corporate color of purple is such a great alternative to the usual black, navy or beige!
So, let’s start with the visible security teams. The officers wear a professional uniform with a Disney badge but the best part is their security cap. Its straight out of Top Cat. For those of you of a certain age you may remember Officer Dibble! Whilst security officers are not cartoon characters there’s something endearing and nostalgic about this particular cap. The consistency of uniform standard is typical Disney, not a cap, or shirt out of place. Shoes polished, officers polite and helpful even as you go through the airport style scanners. Orange County deputies (police officers) mix with the security teams at the front gates and throughout on alert should more serious risks arise.
Scanning guests in their thousands becomes a norm as you enter Walt Disney World. Annual passholders will probably leave a bag at home so they can go through the NO BAG line saving time and trouble. Every guest is bag searched, buggies/strollers are checked, and even on the hottest of days people line up quietly to get this vital aspect of their visit done and out of the way.
So, if Disney can bag check thousands of people in an hour going through its gates – what is your standard for bag check and do you need one? As many of our community will know, Disney has invested in body scanning technology which allows guests to walk through the front entrances to all the Parks and to designated entrances at Disney Springs. If a person or anything they are carrying registers a higher risk they are discreetly pulled to one side to undergo a deeper person and bag/stroller check.
Sadly as we also know certain events in Florida in the last 10 years have shown how people have entered venues and caused fatalities because no bag check was in place. Disney has mastered the art of searching thousands of people an hour through its approach to scanning and checking its guests in a polite and professional manner. These simple but effective security measures are needed more and more in crowded places and certainly in theme parks.
Security cameras in Disney are present, and no doubt in the underground labyrinth or somewhere else in its 44 acres at Walt Disney World, crowds and individuals are being monitored. Face recognition software is probably used to detect anyone with a dubious background or acting suspiciously. So, here’s another question, if you have cameras how do you monitor your site or premises? What are you monitoring and why? If you don’t have cameras/CCTV do you need this type of security measure? Where would you place cameras? Do they need to be obvious or discreet? And with cameras in place how will you carry out the monitoring?
Finally, there are invisible or almost invisible sides to the way Disney delivers its security and we are proud to say we have totally embraced one of these ideas. Body Odor Detection Dogs follow a patented process for training the nostrils of a canine to sniff out in the human plume, nasties such as explosives or narcotics. Whilst this solution is not required for many organizations, you can see the dogs on patrol in and around Disney Parks, hotels and Disney Springs.
When you are planning security, or providing security, you can’t get much better as a standard, than they Disney experience. You might not like Micky, but you have to acknowledge the combination of personnel, process, tech and customer service that Disney have built to safeguard their operation. If you are looking for a security company that believes that security is about risk management and customer service, then in our own small way, Shergroup is following Disney. With our purple uniform, significant heritage, love of tech, and insistence on superb customer service we have everything you need for a great customer experience. The only thing we’re missing is the Officer Dibble cap!