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.

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Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.