I am qualified to say this; U.S. nightclubs are unsafe.
For the past 15 years my SERAPH team and I have provided Risk Management development and Security Management training for the top Nightclub / Live venue companies in the country.
Live Nation – House of Blues Corporation, Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center, SBE Entertainment Group and Lucky Strike Entertainment to name a few.
The killings in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub are a disgrace. Not because of the failure to identify Omar Mateen as a threat by federal officials and his employer, but because of the gross negligence of the security personnel at the club.
Failure at every turn!
- There was no exterior security walk to identify potential threats. Remember Mateen walks from the parking lot into the nightclub with a 3 foot rifle, ammo and pistol.
- The first 911 call comes from a patron not a security person. It was 34 minutes until a Pulse manager calls 911.
- No lock down of the doors to protect the patrons from entry by Mateen.
So why are U.S. nightclubs unsafe? The simple answer is apathy. Most nightclub owners do not care about safety or security. I have been told not once but many times by owners that they don’t care about safety.
So what don’t you know about your favorite nightclub?
- Most security people at nightclubs are untrained college jocks or wannabe MMA fighters. In our experience they do not stop anything rather they hit on patrons girlfriends and pick fights. Remember a ‘Bouncer’ is a thug. The very name means aggression not prevention.
- Some nightclubs hire local security guards. Security guard companies are some of the sleaziest businesses in the U.S. Guards are poorly paid and the training they receive is not to protect you the club patron but to protect their company from lawsuits.
- Most nightclubs in the U.S. have never had a security audit. They have no idea what their weaknesses are.
- Most nightclubs are not compliant with the Active Shooter Preparedness protocols of Homeland Security.
- Most nightclubs have no female security personnel. Why is that important? Restrooms are dangerous places and need to be monitored for nefarious behavior. How will you do that without a female security person?
The bottom line in all of this…your safety is your responsibility. With few expectations the venue you patronize will not protect you.