A “standby” may be referred to as a precautionary measure taken by management to permit security to intervene early with a potentially violent person. Prior to any management person giving the potentially violent person any ultimatum, the presence of uniformed security officers should be ensured. This may keep the situation from to escalating.

This form of early intervention is utilized in most mental healthcare settings and is deemed very appropriate when handling potentially violent individuals.

The primary goal of preventing violence whenever possible, must always be remembered. There are times when a person becomes violent regardless of the presence of several security officers standing by in the immediate area and regardless of the skill level of the person verbalizing

with the individual. When management is aware of an individual’s potential for violence and that individual is going to be disciplined or discharged, etc., the security officers should be called early and a “game plan” developed in the event violence occurs.


This plan should include:

  • Who is going to call the police?
  • When should the police be called?
  • When should the security officers move to restrain the individual?
  • Where should the person be taken once restrained?
  • Should handcuffs be utilized?
  • Does anyone have handcuffs?
  • Should the person be physically ejected from the property rather than restrained?