ED Publications

ED November 2019

ED Publications | ED Magazine

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ED Magazine November 2019 27 ExoticDancer.com "We touch people all the time and it isn't assault—escorting someone out of the club, for example," Smith said. "Can you legally use force? Yes. You can use force as a last resort." Having given this talk before, Smith recalls a chief of police who said they didn't want their bouncers/guards to know about citizen's detention and arrest for fear of excessive force. "If they make a lawful detention and citizen's arrest, what are you complaining about?" said Smith. "What's your fear, owners and managers? When your people use force, you're worried about that lawsuit." Having your team break up a fight through detention versus excessive force is how to avoid, or at least minimize, legal ramifications. Smith pointed to a row of people in the audience as an example of how communication is key. "You hire these people so you can be away," Smith said. "Did Bucks [Cabaret] close down, did Spearmint Rhino close, while you guys are at EXPO? No, you hire people you can trust and you hope they make the right decisions. And just like children, they're going to make mistakes and you discipline them and you train them up, you teach them. This is an important topic because you're not getting sued for a bad ID, you're not getting sued for a bad Mojito, you're not getting sued for a rude cover girl. You're getting sued for some level of force being used. You have to trust your team, tell them what you want." What is the difference between "reasonable" vs. "allowable"? "If you've taken my class, some of you will know this answer," Smith said into the microphone. "If I ask you, what's 'reasonable,' what is it?" As some definitions floated around the crowd, Smith quieted everyone by declaring "reasonable" shouldn't be used. "I want you to have a simple and easy-to-understand definition of allowable force," Smith said. "And this is it: Containing the person with only enough force needed to stop the incident." Smith also addressed how imperative it is to have a team address a scenario where there is potential for force versus a solo employee, but not solely for the numerical advantage. "If an employee (acts alone) and loses control, it's more likely they'll use excessive force," says Smith. "By acting alone, they're more likely to use excessive force. If you go in alone, you're more likely to have to protect yourself. It's why cops go after a homeless guy with a tree branch with six officers, a dog and helicopter. If it's one officer and the guy swings at me, he might be shot dead. But with a ton of reinforcements, the matter can be de-escalated." Smith rounded out the use of force seminar by reminding the audience of the answer to the question, "How much force is needed?" His answer: "Only what you need to stop and defend yourself." "Once you go past the apex of defending yourself, of only using what you need, what happens when you go past that? You become the aggressor, and you're now the suspect," said Smith. "You can't even claim self defense because you went past that key point, you're no longer defending yourself—you're holding him down, you're holding him up against the wall, you're opening the door with his head, and you can't do those things. "Notice my definition: only the force you need to stop the issue," Smith added. "Did you use only what your team needed to stop that threat? You've gotta be honest with yourself. You can't go further just because you want to, folks. It's too easy to get angry, to take things personally and go that extra step beyond 'only the force needed to stop the issue.' Folks, courts will look at what you did and they'll say that you either did use the amount of force that was necessary, or that you went beyond the force that was necessary. They'll see the difference, they'll know the difference." For more information, please visit nightclubsecurity.com. "IF AN EMPLOYEE (ACTS ALONE) AND LOSES CONTROL, IT'S MORE LIKELY THEY'LL USE EXCESSIVE FORCE. IF YOU GO IN ALONE, YOU'RE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE TO PROTECT YOURSELF. IT'S WHY COPS GO AFTER A HOMELESS GUY WITH A TREE BRANCH WITH SIX OFFICERS, A DOG AND HELICOPTER. IF IT'S ONE OFFICER AND THE GUY SWINGS AT ME, HE MIGHT BE SHOT DEAD. BUT WITH A TON OF REINFORCEMENTS, THE MATTER CAN BE DE-ESCALATED." - ROBERT SMITH

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