The Walt Disney Company: A Case Study in Private Security Trends
- December 25, 2015
- Posted by: Moise Louissaint
- Category: Misc. Security
World stability and security on a national level is a frequent topic on the news, both in the U.S. and across over the globe. But nations and political groups aren’t the only organizations that concern themselves with new threats and public anxiety over security. A major security incident that makes the news doesn’t just put lives in danger; in the wrong place, it can cripple a company’s brand and business for decades, and companies are aware of this.
The companies with the most to lose are those that are the biggest targets for terrorism and other forms of domestic violence. Among others, sports organizations, movie theaters, and theme parks companies all have reason to worry about the possibility of violent criminal activity on their property. Disney is a great example of one such company; nine of the ten most visited theme parks in the world are Disney parks. But these companies also have to deal with the fact that no theater-goer wants a pat down on their way in, and no family goes to Disneyland to show their kid “The Place with the Most Police on Earth.”
Theme parks like Walt Disney World are also a great way to gauge the level of private company response to security threats. The Walt Disney Company is responsible for managing the security of its parks relatively independently of public law enforcement, and also stands to lose the most if the public doesn’t believe their parks are safe. For the latter reason, Disney tends to be transparent about its security practices; though increased security may not be visible at a park, it often is discussed with the press. This makes it easy to gauge the level of response to particular incidents of violence.
A very recent example is from December 2015, when Disney confirmed that in addition to metal detectors at park entrances, it now has randomized secondary screenings, and dogs trained to detect body-worn explosives within parks. Another less conspicuous but just as symbolic step is an increase in the number of uniformed security personnel present on the Disneyland and Walt Disney World properties; while uniformed personnel may not be as effective at preventing threats as those in plain clothing, they certainly do make guests feel more secure. These measures make it clear that Disney, like many other companies, is feeling the effects of the increase in terrorist activity and violent crime rate throughout 2015.
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