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One of the leading companies in insurance, Lockton Companies, interviewed our CEO, William Cousins about security measures for a cannabis facility. The following is a reproduction of that interview from Lockton’s Cannabis Advisory Newsletter.

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THIS MONTH’S FEATURE: BILL COUSINS, CEO OF WJ COUSINS & ASSOCIATES

With over 35 years of experience in law enforcement and security, Bill Cousins is a subject matter expert in security consulting, risk management and civil litigation suits. His firm, WJ Cousins & Associates LLC, is a trusted advisor for security and risk mitigation matters in the cannabis industry. Visit them at wjcousinsandassociates.com.

Q: The security measures for my cannabis facility have been inspected and approved by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency. Is my facility considered safe?

A: The short answer is no. Just because you meet the minimum physical security requirements with video surveillance, alarms and access control doesn’t mean your facility safe. You need to have a crisis management plan which includes standard operating procedures for security-related incidents. For example, it should contain step-by-step instructions for adverse events such as armed robbery, workplace violence incidents, and sexual harassment, just to name a few. Your employees need to receive training, so they know how to react and handle such incidents. Failure to have these plans and training not only place your employees and customers at risk, but it also places your entire business enterprise at risk.

Q: I keep hearing about “risk.” How do I mitigate my overall business risk?

A: In order to take your enterprise to the next level, you need to appoint a qualified employee to act as your Risk/ Compliance Officer. Then that officer needs to develop
an overall cannabis risk management framework. This framework is used as a formal plan to identify, analyze and influence potential risk opportunities. It should contain the following six components:

• Internal control environment
• Risk assessment
• Control activities
• Information and communication
• Training
• Assurance

[ Click here to download the original PDF for the interview. For more information about Lockton Companies, click here. ].

 

WJ Cousins and Associates founder, William Cousins, has over 35 years in the security industry—22 years of that spent as a US Secret Service agent. He and WJCA can be of service in these kinds of situations. For more information about WJ Cousins and Associates or our services—security policies, procedures, and crisis management plans—contact them or call them at 248.783.7190 to discuss your security needs.

Oxford High School Shooting-WXYZ-William Cousins

Our founder, William J. Cousins, was interviewed about school security after the Oxford High School shooting (in Oxford, Michigan):

OXFORD, MI – WXYZ Detroit – December 1, 2021 – Kim Russell

Could the work of Secret Service agents teach us how to make schools safer?

Could school leaders learn how to better protect students from the work of the Secret Service? WXYZ talked to school security and education leaders about what went right preventing more death, and what went wrong costing lives at Oxford High School.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement agencies around Metro Detroit are investigating a number of “copycat” threats that came after the deadly violence at Oxford High Tuesday. Some schools closed for the day in response.

Protecting children is on everyone’s mind.

“I just hope we are brave enough as a state, as a community, to have conversations that need to happen. These kids, their families, they deserve that,” said Robert McCann, Executive Director of the K-12 Alliance of Michigan.

McCann says Oxford High School had many measures in place to prevent a student from firing on classmates. They had training, plans, and a school resource officer on duty. The sheriff’s office says the shooting only lasted about 5 minutes, because of a quick response preserving lives.

“Every 30 seconds, or whatever it is, there is another casualty,” said Todd Runyan, Regional Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.

Runyan says he believes what happened at Oxford High shows the importance of School Resource Officers in an emergency. He has heard some ask, should there be metal detectors? He warns they can provide a false sense of security. People can smuggle weapons in through windows or emergency exits, for example.

“We still have people that are able to bypass those. Are they a tool that can be used? Absolutely. I am grateful that so far we don’t have them in my community,” said Runyan.

 

“The Secret Service is a leading agency in studying incidents like what just occurred,” said Bill Cousins, CEO W.J. Cousins and Associates.

Cousins owns a company that provides security consultants and risk analysis. He worked with the Secret Service for more than two decades as a supervisory special agent.

“There is every indication this individual left signs he may do something like this,” said Cousins.

Cousins says Secret Service agents are trained to approach people who talk or write about hurting someone and get them help.

“You have to identify people who are hurting,” said Cousins.

He says schools need resources to help people who are hurting to protect students and staff, following the model of the work of the Secret Service.

“We could arrest that individual for what they said, but the best thing is to get them help,” said Cousins.

 

Education advocates agree. Michigan’s counselors each have hundreds more students than are recommended.

The investigation is still underway, discovering what happened leading to the tragedy at Oxford High School.

 

[ Article/Video: https://www.wxyz.com/news/oxford-school-shooting/could-the-work-of-secret-service-agents-teach-us-how-to-make-schools-safer
(Note: William Cousins comments start at 1:25 in the video ) ].

 

WJ Cousins and Associates founder, William Cousins, has over 35 years in the security industry—22 years of that spent as a US Secret Service agent. He and WJCA can be of service in these kinds of situations. Contact them to discuss your security needs.