Unexpected encounters with strangers are common and can be uncomfortable or even threatening. Despite their unpredictability, however, there are ways to better expect the unexpected. De-escalation and situational awareness training is an excellent way to educate you on creating positive outcomes from challenging situations. DK Security recently co-hosted such a training event for West Michigan business owners and staff to prepare our community for the unpredictable.
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On May 18th, 2023, the Grand Rapids Chamber opened the Steelcase Conference Center for a safety training event courtesy of DK Security. With West Michigan workplaces impacted by an increase in crime and other encounters, the Chamber and its community partners desired to prepare local teams for commonly faced situations.
DK Vice President of Operations Joe Budnik led a free hour-long “Work Safely: De-Escalation & Situational Awareness Training” seminar for local business owners, their staff, and “downtown ambassador” city employees on the topic of unexpected encounters and how to deal with them. A 22-year veteran of DK Security’s leadership team, Joe is an industry expert on operations and regularly leads safety and defensive tactics courses on behalf of DK Security.
Budnik’s Chamber-hosted training focused on verbal de-escalation tactics and the importance of situational awareness when discussing how to resolve challenging situations. He covered strategies for disengaging from unwanted encounters, empathizing with others, avoiding common triggers, using body language to your advantage, and other useful tips for personal safety.
Coordinating the event was Silent Observer of Kent County, a long-standing partner of the Chamber and DK Security in opposing and reducing crime. Silent Observer works closely with law enforcement agencies daily; the Grand Rapids Police Department was represented at this event.
GRPD Chief Eric Winstrom followed Budnik’s presentation with a departmental update on information regarding public health and safety concerns. “Who to Call / When to Call” outlines resources for addressing illegal activity, those experiencing homelessness, trespassing/loitering, and uncleanliness.
At the end of their respective speaking portions, both Budnik and Chief Winstrom fielded questions from an audience of nearly 100 Grand Rapids area business owners, employees, and residents. They offered additional insights into facing the unpredictable, knowing the right resources, and scenario-based safety walk-throughs.
In addition to being hosted at the Grand Rapids Chamber, this collaborative work safety event was graciously sponsored by Bridge Street Market and made possible through the collaboration of the Chamber, Silent Observer, and GRPD. Their commitment to prioritizing community safety is recognized and greatly appreciated by DK Security, a proud partner of each of these organizations.
May 18th’s “Work Safely: De-Escalation & Situational Awareness Training” was thoroughly successful in providing a free and accessible safety seminar for downtown Grand Rapids community members. Thank you to the Grand Rapids Chamber and Silent Observer for coordinating, to GRPD for offering resources, and to Joe Budnik and Chief Winstrom for your expertise and training.
To those who were unable to attend, we encourage you to keep an eye on the GR Chamber event calendar as well as our social media channels for future training events. If you are interested in exploring personal and public safety training opportunities for your organization, contact us here.