Fun, sun, & security.With media attention focused on crime, hotel security must fight both tourists' perceptions and reality.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA The city of Orlando is a major city in central Florida and is the county seat of Orange County, Florida. According to the 2000 census, the city population was 185,951. A 2006 U.S. , IS THE number one tourist destination A tourist destination is a city, town or other area the economy of which is dependent to a significant extent on the revenues accruing from tourism.
It may contain one or more tourist attractions or visitor attractions and possibly some "tourist traps". in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , with 75,000 hotel rooms and more rental cars than any other metropolitan area. It's an open, hospitable environment with attractions, such as Walt Disney World Noun 1. Walt Disney World - a large amusement park established in 1971 to the southwest of Orlando
Orlando - a city in central Florida; site of Walt Disney World , Sea World, and Universal Studios Florida Universal Studios Florida is a theme park in Orlando, Florida, part of the Universal Orlando Resort. The park, which opened on June 7 1990, lets visitors "Ride the Movies." It offers many shows and rides, along with countless other things for guests to see and do. , as well as large convention facilities that attract more than 13 million visitors per year from all over th world. The state of Florida has received a lot of media attention in the past couple of years due to crimes against tourists. While most of these crimes have occurred in south Florida, it has had a negative impact on the entire state. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Florida Department Florida is a department (departamento) of Uruguay. Population and Demographics
As of the census of 2004, there were 68,181 people and 21,938 households in the department. The average household size was 3.1. For every 100 females, there were 100.4 males. of Law Enforcement (FDLE FDLE Florida Department of Law Enforcement ) Unified Crime Report, of the 13.2 million visitors per year, only 4,761 crimes were perpetrated against tourists in 1992. But perceptions are important, and the perception and reality must be that of a secure environment.
The types of crimes that can be perpetrated against a hotel guest range from burglary of hotel rooms, pickpocketing
Picking pockets is a crime, a form of larceny which involves the stealing of money and valuables from the person of a victim without their noticing the theft at , and distraction thefts to auto theft an assaults. What can be done to provide protection in this environment? The key i a strong working relationship between law enforcement and hotel security professionals, with one common goal: protecting the guest. The establishment must first have a solid security program with appropriate physical security in place, including locks, sales, and parking controls.
Locks. Many Orlando area hotels, including budget motels, are equipped with state-of-the-art electronic locking systems. These locks use cards that can be programmed to expire at check-out time. If a key is lost, the lock can easily b electronically re-keyed by inserting a new key, invalidating any previous keys. This feature helps thwart hotel burglars who travel with key-making equipment. Many of these locks can also be checked to determine who was in the room and at what time. The audit trail facilitates room theft investigations and serves as deterrent to employee theft.
Many hotel and motel burglars attempt entry through sliding glass windows and doors on balconies and patios. Most Orlando area hotels with such openings have installed additional locking devices to thwart this type of entry. Such locks g through the frame in the middle of the doors or on each end of the door frame. They also screw on the tracks of the frame so that the door cannot be lifted off.
Protecting valuables. Room safes with electronic locks are commonly found in Orlando hotels in every price range. Orlando hotel guests, many carrying large quantities of cash and jewelry, appreciate this feature, which is often provide at no charge.
Parking security. Many hotels and resorts in this tourist mecca will screen vehicles at the entrance of parking lots to prevent auto burglars and other criminals from prowling prowl
v. prowled, prowl·ing, prowls
To roam through stealthily, as in search of prey or plunder: prowled the alleys of the city after dark.
v.intr. their property to commit crimes. The officers posted at these areas require all incoming drivers to show their room key prior to entering the lot. The officer can be supplied with a printout of the hotel guests. The officer may also call the reservation desk reservation desk n (US) (in hotel) → recepción f
reservation desk reservation n (US) (in hotel) → réception f to verify any suspicious drivers. This has been successful in preventing theft and violence in parking lots. Hotel guests like this feature, feeling it adds to the exclusivity of the hotel.
Employee screening. As in any other industry, hotels must protect themselves against crimes from within--those perpetrated by hotel employees. Effective preemployment screening minimizes this threat. FDLE and local sheriffs' offices have done much to facilitate preemployment criminal record checks of hospitalit industry job applicants. FDLE can process criminal histories for employers via diskette The official name for the floppy disk. See floppy disk.
diskette - floppy disk , saving data entry time and resulting in quicker turnaround time (1) In batch processing, the time it takes to receive finished reports after submission of documents or files for processing. In an online environment, turnaround time is the same as response time. than conventional written requests. Local law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). can process local record checks via fax, with same day service for as little as $2. Law enforcement agencies strongly encourage hotels and attractions to screen all applicants and often support this procedure with round-the-clock staffing of their records offices.
Until recently, all Florida rental cars bore license plates that began with a Y or Z, readily identifying the occupants as tourists. After several criminals admitted to preying on people driving these vehicles, car rental companies effectively lobbied to eliminate the use of the specialized plates. The rental car agency stickers were also removed from these vehicles.
Interagency cooperation. A tourist policing unit, comprised of officers from th Orlando Police Department The Orlando Police Department (OPD) is a municipal police agency responsible for law enforcement within the city limits of Orlando, Florida. OPD currently employs over 900 sworn officers and civilian employees. (OPD OPD
Tape symbol showing either the first transaction of the day in a security after a delayed opening or the opening transaction in a security whose price has experienced a large rise or fall from the previous day's closing price. ) and the Orange County Sheriff's Department Orange County Sheriff's Department could refer to several sheriff's offices in the United States including:
Many of the officers have conducted cross-training with the Orange County Fire Rescue Department's Life Safety Education Bureau. They take a three-day course that includes fire behavior and evacuation techniques. These officers are often the first on the scene of a hotel fire because they patrol the property. With the proper training, they can begin evacuation procedures immediately, if necessary. This department of the Orange County Fire Rescue Department also has officers assigned to the hotels in Orange County, doing inspections and trainin in fire prevention and evacuation. They are always ready to assist area hotels with whatever concerns they may have.
The tourist policing unit networks regularly with similar units from other tourist destinations around the country, sharing information on crime trends an intelligence on criminal groups that may prey specifically on hotels and their guests. The Orlando and Orange County unit, one of the first of its kind in the nation, plays a vital role in keeping the resort areas safe. It sponsors seminars for employees of tourism-related businesses. These classes cover specific crime prevention topics such as pickpocketing, distraction thefts, aut theft, and shoplifting Ask a Lawyer
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caught shoplifting at sears 12/05/05, first time, 20yearsold, have no criminal record. .
The Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI MBI Management Buy-In
MBI Moody Bible Institute
MBI Mathematical Biosciences Institute
MBI Modular Building Institute
MBI Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
MBI Molecular Biology Institute
MBI Maslach Burnout Inventory (psychometrics) ), another multiagency unit, focuses on vice crimes in central Florida
Central Florida is the central region of the United States state of Florida, on the East Coast. . Comprised of officers from several central Florida police and sheriffs' departments, it works closely with other agencies and hotels to combat prostitution and other vice crimes. Hotel securit officers often report suspected vice activity to this agency for further investigation.
Another group dedicated to protecting Orlando's hotel guests is the OPD's Civil Bike Patrol, which is made up of concerned citizens--including hotel and attraction employees--who patrol the tourist corridors. Equipment for this grou is provided by donations and public law enforcement. The OPD also operates a Citizens Police Academy, giving many hotel and attraction managers a firsthand look at how OPD combats crime in the Orlando area. Both groups have operated fo approximately two years at no cost to participating hotels.
At the center of efforts to secure this tourist mecca is the Central Florida Hotel/Motel Security Association (CFH-MSA). This organization, formed more than twelve years ago, is comprised of hotel security directors, representatives of many tourist-oriented businesses, and every area law enforcement agency Noun 1. law enforcement agency - an agency responsible for insuring obedience to the laws
FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation - a federal law enforcement agency that is the principal investigative arm of the Department of Justice . Participants meet monthly to share intelligence and stay a step ahead of the criminals who prey on their guests.
The association has implemented a crime-alert fax system that immediately communicates information on suspected criminal activity to all the hotels, them parks, and law enforcement agencies in the area. The system has been effective, yielding numerous arrests when alert hotel employees responded to information received via the fax alert system.
Auto burglaries, in particular, have decreased with the advent of this program. One example of how the fax alerts have helped concerned a rash of break-ins to Ford Arrowstar minivans. While only a vague description of the vehicle transporting the culprits was available, a clear description of the suspected criminals was faxed to all network participants. The culprits were spotted and videotaped driving in Sea World's parking lot. Sea World security alerted the authorities and an arrest was made.
Member hotels can also be provided with crime statistics for their area by member law enforcement agencies. The CFHMSA, along with area law enforcement agencies and tourism-related associations, conducted the Tourism Safety and Security Conference in Orlando in December 1993. Lodging security professionals general managers, insurance professionals, law enforcement officials, tourist policing personnel, academics, and convention center employees from around the country attended. The response was so favorable that the conference will be offered on an annual basis.
The CFHMSA also presents a monthly security awareness Security awareness is the knowledge and attitude members of an organization possess regarding the protection of the physical and, especially, information assets of that organization. award to an employee of a area hotel or attraction for his or her contribution to the prevention of a crime or the apprehension of a criminal. Along with a plaque, the employee also receives a monetary reward underwritten by a member theme park.
The national Hotel/Motel Security Association recently adopted recommended security and safety standards. While many area properties have already instituted most of the procedures and systems advocated, it is helpful for security professionals to have an industry benchmark as a guide. The standards include a variety of recommendations for increased lodging and guest security, such as requiting criminal background checks on new employee applicants and providing guests with twenty-four-hour access to an on-premise guest contact staff member, as well as the PBX (Private Branch eXchange) An inhouse telephone switching system that interconnects telephone extensions to each other as well as to the outside telephone network (PSTN). operator.
Getting the word out about criminal behavior means reaching beyond the security community. Several of the area's health-care providers also belong to CFHMSA because their employees go to hotel rooms to treat guests. One such health-care practitioner using information gained from this relationship recently spotted a criminal when going through a hotel's lobby, reported it, and was given the awareness reward that month.
Many area hotels also furnish guests with the American Hotel/Motel Association' flyer, "Guest Safety Tips." Some are customized with the hotel logo or trademark, or they may highlight additional safety features that the hotel provides. The tips suggest that travelers be more aware of their environs in general, avoid displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry, and use the main entrance of the hotel when returning late at night.
Local intelligence networks. Within the greater Orlando area, there are several smaller intelligence networks for specific geographic areas, such as the Orange Blossom Trail O. B. T. is a major highway that runs north-south through the Orlando, Florida area.
The northern terminus occurs at the the Orange / Lake County line near Mt. Dora, Florida, though the road continues to the North as US-441. area and the Lake Buena Vista area, which includes all of the Disney area hotels. Hotel security directors and law enforcement officers from these areas meet bi-weekly to exchange regional crime information. Some have formed radio networks in their immediate area where security officers can communicate with each other and law enforcement immediately in the event of a problem.
The Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau has also created a lin between the hospitality industry and the emergency management community for coordinated response in the event of a hurricane or other disaster. Each member hotel has a designated emergency response coordinator and an alternate who stands ready to exchange information with the bureau to assist in providing shelter for evacuees Resident or transient persons who have been ordered or authorized to move by competent authorities, and whose movement and accommodation are planned, organized and controlled by such authorities. from coastal areas. Information such as the availability o rooms is faxed immediately to the bureau. Evacuees can then be directed to shelter quickly, minimizing confusion and road congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. .
The convention and visitor's bureau has recently introduced Tourist Employees Against Crime (TEAC TEAC Tetraethylammonium Chloride
TEAC Theological Education for the Anglican Communion
TEAC Technology Education Association of California
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TEAC Timber Export Advisory Committee
TEAC Training & Education Advisory Committee ), a program developed to educate all tourist industry employees in crime prevention. Posters and payroll stuffers are used to inform employees about the different types of crimes that can occur on their property and what they can do to prevent it.
With this type of multifaceted approach to hotel security in place on a day-to-day basis, Orlando area hotels are well prepared for VIP visits, major events such as the World Cup Soccer games, and the many major golf tournaments hosted in Orlando year-round. Orlando's network of security and law enforcement professionals plays a vital role in making the area the world's number one vacation destination.
Warren T. Channell, CPP cpp - C preprocessor. , is safety and security manager of the Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Florida. He is a member of ASIS 1. ASIS - Application Software Installation Server.
2. (language) ASIS - Ada Semantic Interface Specification. .