Advantages of Domestic and International Law Enforcement Liaison

By Marc Glasser Managing Director, RM LLC | October 07, 2012

General Personal Relationships and Liaison

In general, it is basic human behavior to want to help a friend or an acquaintance more than someone we do not know or with whom we have limited interpersonal contact. Having a person go the “extra mile” or even inch, is one of the benefits of an established personal relationship. Advantages of domestic and international law enforcement liaison are similar to advantages afforded to valuable personal relationships in general. Additionally, it is important to emphasize that, in general, personal “face-to-face” contact is more effective in promoting liaison, cooperation and the exchange of information than contact solely established and maintained through social Internet networking (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn). While it is important to acknowledge that social Internet networking is a most valuable tool, face-to-face contact, facilitated by Internet contact or not, is generally superior for promoting effective interpersonal relationships; hence, liaison. However, it is important to understand that there may be factors that preclude face-to-face contact, such as geographical distance or financial constraints, where technology can facilitate contact that would otherwise not occur. In these cases, establishing contact facilitated by technology is more valuable than no contact at all. Further, in this global economy, it is also likely that relationships established through technology can, in the short or long-term, culminate in face-to-face meetings.

The final “general” point is that often the more that those in contact have in common (e.g., professional background, experiences, and other common traits) the more rapidly the interpersonal relationship is built and communication will be more efficient. Efficiency in terms of the information exchanged means that the information need not be “translated” for those unfamiliar with “industry” concepts, terms or other industry specifics. This is not to say, those with fewer common traits or experiences, should not establish external industry or discipline contacts, it is to emphasize that those assigned to liaison duties should be the ones with traits or experiences most in common with those with whom they are establishing contact. Even in cases where little or no “established common ground” exists between those initiating relationships, this is by no means a reason not to pursue establishing the relationship. It may simply require a bit more effort. However, the effort involved is well worth the return as is highlighted throughout this article.

This article does not imply that law enforcement officials do not want to, or cannot make, a conscious effort to help those with whom they have had no or limited contact. This article asserts that having a positive interpersonal relationship, with most anyone, including law enforcement personnel, will facilitate a climate where the exchange of information will more readily occur – specifically relating to this article - facilitating the exchange of information between and among hotel and law enforcement professionals. Higher frequency and quality of the information exchanged will benefit all those involved. Not only will it be valuable for the hotel to receive law enforcement information, it will also be very beneficial to the law enforcement agency involved.

Law Enforcement Liaison

Specific advantages of effective domestic and international law enforcement liaison include the availability of a vast array of information, including intelligence, assessments and resources. Information and analysis received from law enforcement contacts can save lives, protect property and help to safeguard a hotel’s reputation. Threat information received from law enforcement sources facilitates proactive, threat reducing or mitigating, hotel security protective measures. These protective measures are based on risk management. Appropriate risk management based activities are efficient as limited resources are allocated to protective measures having the highest return on investment by dedicating resources to actions that would most likely reduce or mitigate the threat. Threat reduction includes threat elimination. Threat mitigation includes measures that would reduce the threat impact were it to occur. The aforementioned can significantly positively impact a hotel’s “bottom line” with effective law enforcement liaison or most negatively without appropriate law enforcement liaison.

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.