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You’ve probably heard us say it dozens of times: we’re not a just door and window company — we’re a security company that provides security services by making really incredible doors and windows.
Sure, we can make you a gorgeous, completely custom bedroom, fire, or front entry door, but no matter what we make for you or what coverings you choose, each and every one of them will be a high security door. We believe that your home should be a place where you can fully relax, and in order to do that, you have to believe that you are completely safe.
That being said, we also feel it’s critical for your family to plan in the event of an emergency. While we’re unshakably confident in the quality of our doors and windows, sometimes there are disasters beyond our control (or yours). And in those cases, everyone needs to know where to go, what to do, and how to survive.
For all of those circumstances and more, we’re very proud to partner with LionHeart International Services Group. We’ll get into the details of how it all works and how we integrate his team into our process with clients. But first, let’s talk about Tim.
Tim Miller is the President and Founder of LionHeart. Once you understand his background, it will be easy to see why he felt compelled to form a company that provides comprehensive security services.
Miller started off his professional life in the military. He spent 25 years in the Marines — five years on active duty and then the last 20 years in the Reserves assigned to counterintelligence. When he was deployed on his required Reserve assignments, he worked in Force Protection — a division responsible for keeping Marines safe no matter where they are, or what situation they’re in.
Quite literally, Miller was the disaster planner. He and his Force Protection team would look at a location and determine the most likely ways in which enemies could attack the troops. They’d study intelligence reports to see what information could give them insight as to possible plans of attack, identify vulnerable spots, and then do everything they could to keep their Marines safe.
While he was serving in the Reserves, he was also a police officer. Eventually, he had the honor of serving as a Secret Service Agent for just over five years, coordinating all aspects of security for the President, Vice President, and multiple heads of state during his tenure working in the White House.
After the events of September 11, 2001, he moved into the newly formed Department of Homeland Security, where he worked in the terrorism division. And for his final seven years at Homeland, he served as the Director of Training.
Before he retired, he began to look into violence (particularly, shootings) in houses of worship, as these instances were becoming increasingly common. You may remember that after 9/11, several mosques were attacked, and since then, we’ve seen attacks on synagogues and churches.
Miller has continued to do this type of work in “retirement” with LionHeart, and frequently works with religious institutions to figure out how to keep their parishioners safe.
Miller describes places of worship as “soft targets” — meaning that no one would ever suspect to see violence in such a peaceful place. “As a trainer, I understood the need to prepare people — to help them learn how to respond in that type of situation, or how to protect themselves in an environment that is typically very friendly, warm, loving, accommodating,” Miller says.
So how do you do that?
Miller and his colleagues began by putting together “baseline training,” which involves the same types of procedures he used in the Marines and the Secret Service: a physical security assessment, an executive protection plan, and a threat analysis.
How many exits are there, and where are they?
How big is the space?
What’s the layout?
How many people are expected to be there?
How are we going to get people to safety?
How can we buy time?
How likely is it that someone will target this person/place/institution?
These are all important questions Miller and his team address in every new location with every client, whether it’s a private citizen, a business, or a place of worship. This is where he starts with our clients as well.
Depending on what our clients’ security needs and concerns are, we’ll bring Tim and his team into the discussion so he can make his assessment as well. He’ll ask all of these questions, do a site evaluation, and help you plan for every type of emergency.
The LionHeart team will also interface with existing security personnel, who are likely to know the ins and outs of the clients’ lives and be able to point out flaws in the system, or concerns that will be particularly important to the client. They’re not looking to usurp any existing precautions or plans, but rather fully integrate technology, doors, windows, and emergency planning.
At its core, what LionHeart does for its clients is prepare them, and in that regard, Miller stresses the difference between law enforcement and security. “Law enforcement responds to something that’s happening — they try to mitigate it. They’re reactive. But security is about preventing something from happening. It’s proactive.”
He tells a story about what a “good” day in the Secret Service was like: “Air Force One leaving.” It sounds like a joke about getting your boss off your back, but it’s not. If Air Force One successfully takes off and moves on to the next location, “that tells you the President had a good day, did everything he was supposed to do, and everything went well.” And for Miller, this is still the goal.
“That’s what we want for everybody that we serve at LionHeart. We want to make sure that we can stop things from happening, not wait for it to happen and try to clean up the mess. We like to equip and empower our clients to own their own security — especially women.”
When Miller and his team meet with a new client, their first order of business is to do a comprehensive security and personal protection assessment. They want to know what the client is already doing to protect themselves and their families, and what their major security concerns are.
Have they already been personally threatened or survived violent incidents?
Are they consistently in the public eye?
If there is an intruder in the house, where should they go?
What’s the most likely way someone will break into their house?
Do they have a safe room?
However, Miller’s team isn’t only concerned about physical security and protection. When they say a “comprehensive” assessment, they mean it. As Miller puts it: “You wouldn’t go to battle with just one part of the plan.” They’re also looking for possible accidents and external forces entirely out of their control — families need to plan for all of it.
What kind of extreme weather conditions might they encounter at home? (i.e. hurricanes, tornados)
What happens in the event of a fire?
Every situation, every family, every home is different, and therefore, the recommendations LionHeart gives to each client are different.
Not every family needs every possible security feature. Some of them need a safe room to go to in the event of an emergency. Others need to know what they can do if a hurricane or tornado is in their area. And really, all of them need to know what to do in the event of a fire.
Something LionHeart assesses with nearly all of their clients is something they call “human performance.” Miller describes it as “how your mind and body will respond in a crisis” no matter the circumstances. You’re probably familiar with the fight-or-flight response, but there’s also a third reaction: you could freeze.
“We know definitively that training affects which category you’ll fall into,” Miller says. Perhaps your instincts tell you to run, but maybe that’s not always the best idea. He brings up the case of a tornado — if there’s a tornado coming and your first instinct is to run, that might not work out for you (can you really outrun a tornado?). But if you have a suitable shelter, you should be going there instead of running.
In the case of an active shooter, if your instinct is to freeze, you’re far less likely to survive. You’re a sitting duck.
But if you have personal protection training in either of these situations, it will kick in. You’ll seek shelter in the event of a tornado. You’ll run (or perhaps hide, depending on the circumstances) in an active shooter situation.
Miller says that the vast majority — he’d estimate 90% — of the skills we need in a crisis are “mental skills.” And therefore, training is your best option.
Something all of LionHeart’s corporate clients go through these days is active shooter training. Miller says it’s true that in today’s world, businesses do need to do that type of training. Employees need a coordinated plan in order to manage the chaos and save as many lives as possible.
Miller brings up access control limitations — not every employee needs to be able to go everywhere, and you certainly don’t want just anyone to be able to walk in off the street and into your office. Businesses also need security alarms and cameras and panic buttons. One of the questions he asks when doing a corporate assessment is whether or not they have a room that can be made into a safe room (or perhaps they already have a safe room).
But none of that technology matters if the employees don’t know what to do in the event of an emergency. “Emergency planning is huge — not just for active violence, which is really a very small part of what we do — but more importantly, for the common things like fire, weather, even domestic issues, and all kinds of other things,” Miller says.
“And then you also need continuity of operations planning. What do you do if a tornado strikes your building? Where do you go? How do you keep the business up and running? What do you do about threats that the company is getting? Or executives are getting? Many companies need help with processing those types of threats.”
Miller and his team then look at each situation, each person involved, and complete the same assessment and evaluation we’ve already described: physical security assessment, executive protection, and threat analysis.
If the company is big enough, or the executives are high profile enough, they might require personal physical protection (like bodyguards). This is also a time that they’d assess their personal residences because, as Miller says, “it’s so simple to get people’s home addresses.”
Some executives believe that everything at home is fine — that they aren’t really being threatened, but are glad to have the consultation. Others want everything: cameras, alarms, security doors and windows, panic rooms, etc. Again, every situation, every family, and every home is different. Much like what we do at FBS, everything LionHeart does is completely custom to each client.
It’s also crucial that corporations are learning how to properly protect their data. It seems like there’s a new data breach every month or so (at least). Hackers will always try to get past firewalls and every possible security measure you put in place, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the best data security possible — not just for customer data, but for trade secrets and valuable company intel.
For example, if Apple is going to launch a new iPhone in September, they’ll want to keep as much of that design under wraps as humanly possible. There are always rumors, but Apple will want that keynote address to be impactful. As such, they’ll protect those sketches, mockups, and plans with anything and everything they can.
This is something LionHeart recommends to all their corporate clients. You really can’t be too safe with your data.
Miller says that every organization in the country needs all of these elements incorporated into a comprehensive security plan.
To help provide the best personal and corporate security services possible, he’s put together a team of former FBI and Secret Service Agents, military personnel, and state and local law enforcement officers. You can read about a few of them on their website, such as former FBI agent Mark Lundgren, war correspondent Chuck Holton, and former Secret Service Agent Miles Brey. Additionally, there are quite a few more who come in as needed — all of whom are uniquely qualified to teach people how to own their own security.
“I’ve gone from protecting Presidents to protecting people — and that’s what we’re about,” Miller says. “We don’t operate in fear. We operate in wisdom and preparation. We’re not going to go into a training to scare everybody to death — we’re going to go in and equip them so they can protect themselves and others in a crisis.”
Miller and the rest of his team at LionHeart understand that there are many pieces of the puzzle in keeping people safe — security doors, security windows, Ballisticrete, alarms and cameras, and of course a clear plan. All of those things are fine on their own (although some are more effective than others), but together, they make a comprehensive security plan.
Together, they can provide the most important thing you need in the event of an active shooter or home invasion situation — and that’s time.
“If we have time, the police can come. If we have time, clients can get to a safe room. If we have time, perhaps they can prepare their own defense. But none of that happens if we don’t have a clear plan so everyone knows what to do and they can do it quickly.” Once the police arrive, they’ll handle everything. But until they get there, you need to be prepared.
Miller is adamant that what will save your life in the event of an emergency is planning and the preparation. He’s literally made a career out of it. He says that he’s already protected the number-one-A-list celebrity — the President — so he’s sure he can handle whatever people throw at him.
The last piece of advice Miller has for everyone — absolutely everyone — is to keep your phone on you. He acknowledges that women have more difficulty in this arena (given the lack of pockets), but that it’s critical for people to be able to communicate with emergency dispatchers. He points out that even a smartwatch is a good backup plan.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with Miller and the rest of his LionHeart team. We believe that their philosophy of preparedness and owning your own security is the final piece of the security puzzle that will keep our clients even safer.
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