The Evolution of Hotel Security

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Twenty-eight years ago, I began my career as a hotel night security guard at the SAS Scandinavia Hotel in Oslo, Norway.  The hotel was part of the SAS International Hotel chain of nearly 25 hotels, all located in Nordic countries, except for one in Kuwait. Today, I work for the company that operates that same hotel, but it is now part of the global Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group with over 1000 hotels in more than 110 countries and territories.

When I started out, our security department was large, professional, well-equipped, and well-trained. We were the in-house emergency response team. We worked closely with local law enforcement on security issues, the fire department gave us in-depth fire safety training and someone from the local ambulance service trained us in advanced first aid. In the first couple of years, I made good money working overtime on investigations and handling incidents. Security was our department’s business, and not a lot of time was spent training other staff how to detect, deter, or prevent issues that could become incidents that needed our response.

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