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Security Guard in Uniform

NYC Local Law 124 DHS Training

NYC Local Law 124 requires that all personnel working in New York City Department of Homeless Services shelters, must complete a 40-hour course. This instruction applies to Shelter Security Management staff, all DHS peace officers, and DHS contracted security guards. This law mandates and ensures staff are regularly trained on DHS foundational topics: trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, cultural sensitivity, mental illness and substance use, understanding violence, crisis intervention, and suicide assessment and prevention; ensure optimum coverage by balanced scheduling of staff; identify staff challenges and coordinate training that aligns with DHS values, leadership competencies, and strategic plans; and create and use methodologies to capture and report on security trends and staff performance.

As Per Dr. Steve Albrecht, Feb 6, 2018, Policies and Training via Total Security Advisor

"Security officers usually encounter homeless people inside or along the perimeter of their posts, including public buildings, like libraries, courthouses, and service or social services centers; hospitals, mental health facilities, and substance abuse treatment clinics; malls and retail stores; and in abandoned buildings or new construction sites. Homeless advocacy groups suggest that about 80 percent of homeless people are mostly docile, nonviolent, and usually cooperative. They are used to being told to “move along,” throughout their day and after contacts with business owners, security officers, and the police. There is a smaller part, the remaining 20 percent, who can be predatory, confrontational, violent, and fight with other homeless people, people passing by, store or government employees, security officers, or even responding police. This percentage of the homeless is also more likely to steal merchandise, panhandle aggressively to the point of a near-strong-arm robbery scenario, or vandalize or damage their surroundings." 


The Mandatory Department of Homeless Shelters Local Law 124 Training will include:

  • Person-centered – An approach tailored to each client. Requires an empathetic, nonjudgmental manner to promote dignity and respect. Being person-centered involves meeting people where they are and solving problems together. It acknowledges the expertise clients have when it comes to their own lived experience.

  • Strengths-based – An approach that values a person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities, while encouraging them to use their experience, resources, and connections. The focus is on hope, opportunity, and what people can do rather than what they can’t.

  • Trauma-informed – An approach that recognizes the prevalence of trauma and emphasizes the importance of creating physical, psychological, and emotional safety for survivors. It focuses on what happened to a person rather than what is wrong with them.

  • De-escalation – A technique used to stabilize a situation by using calm communication. The goal is to reduce tension between parties and find solutions to conflict. 

  • Sound Judgment - Using best judgment (based on supervisory guidance, agency procedures, and training) when gathering information to make deliberate unbiased decisions.

  • Static Patrol – Security personal assigned to a fixed (i.e., stationary) location.

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