Tall Timbers Field Day, Aberfeldy Plantation
October 29, 2007
Thank you (Bill-Lane, Peter) I promise to be brief, but I have a few important points for Plantation Owners & Managers that may be helpful in a Post 9-11 World.
The FBI publishes a Uniform Crime Report. The UCR categorizes two types of crime… Violent Crime (crimes against people) & Property Crime (crimes against things)… The UCR is further broken down to crimes in urban vs. rural areas… and is divided by geographic regions.
During the next few minutes, I'm going to ask everyone 5 questions but you only have to answer the last one... I'll answer the first 4 and you see if you were right.
Is crime in Georgia and Florida increasing more rapidly in the urban areas or in the rural areas?
Most of you probably said Cities, right?
WRONG! According to the UCR--- reports over a recent 6 year period:
In the cities, violent crime increased 33.8%
In Rural areas Violent Crime increased 58.1%
During the same 6 years:
In the Urban area… Property Crimes increased 19.3%
Rural… Property crime increased 34.7%
In my research, I found a study out of Clemson University on "Rural Crime Facts." This study made a very interesting statement that I quote.
"Rural crime and violence is a serious and complicated problem that demands a specialized approach...."
Think about that statement for a moment as it relates to Security on Plantations.
"Rural crime and violence is a serious and complicated problem that demands a specialized approach..."
Now for question number: 2
How many of you have ever been stopped by the law for speeding?
You don't have to answer, but odds are that most have.
Odds are better than even that when you got stopped you didn't know the Trooper or Deputy was there until it was too late. He was hiding behind a tree or billboard.
My next question to you is this.
In the future, when you drove that same road, did your foot ease off the gas pedal as you approached that tree or Billboard? You don't have to answer that either.
What that Officer did that day was to create a DETERRENCE!
He caused you to act, or not act, in a certain manner because of a distasteful consequence you had previously experienced there.
When Plantation Security first began 27 years ago, there was NO DETERRENCE in the Plantation Community for criminals.
Plantations were considered "soft targets" for burglars, poachers, quail trappers, road hunters, timber thieves and other trespassers.
Perception is reality and Plantation Security has, over the years, "hardened" the defenses on our clients' Plantations by creating the deterrence that keeps trespassers away.
I brought a supply of handouts today entitled "METHODS FOR DETERRING UNLAWFUL ENTRY ONTO YOUR PLANTATION AND OTHER HELPFUL SECURITY TIPS". I hope all owners and Managers will to take one of these today, read it and learn how to better make your property a "harder target".
People like yourselves have asked me over the years, "What do you do?"
One of the best ways to answer that is to begin by telling you what we don't do.
We are not Policeman or Game wardens… We don't check licenses , count birds or look for bait. That is not our job. The States and Federal Government hire people to do that.
We don’t patrol through the interior of your property all-day and disturb you or your guests. Trespass problems begin on perimeters and there is where we do you the most good. If a trespasser gets by us, you or your employees will know it and call us to deal with the problem.
We don't look over anyone's shoulder… We don’t get involved in Plantation business and we don't talk about anything that happens on our clients’ property.
Our loyalty is to our clients!
I told you what we don't do, this is what we do, do!
27 years ago, Plantation Security was created for one purpose.
That purpose was to provide another tool, another resource for Managers and Owners to control their property.
Managers have Foresters to manage and harvest the timber… farmers to plant and harvest the crops, veterinarians to treat the dogs, horses and mules.
Managers have had a host of "other specialists" at their disposal, but they were historically expected to personally "control access" and be in charge of security.
Remember the Clemson University study?
Rural Crime...is a serious and complicated problem that demands a specialized approach..."
With PSI, the Manager is still "in charge” of security. The difference is that now he has a "Specialist" to handle this dangerous and distasteful job for him.
Plantation Security is a contractor and we have our own Liability Insurance.
If our Officer mishandles a trespasser, infringes on someone's Constitutional rights or hurts someone, it's Plantation Security who is liable for those actions, not the Plantation Manager or the deep pockets of the Owner like it used to be.
When our Managers hear a shot or get a report of a trespasser, they no longer drop everything to check it out. They dial our 24-hour hotline and they know our Officer will handle the problem and report his findings to the Manager.
When the manager wants a prospective employee "checked out", he calls us to do a confidential background check.
Our job is to deal with discourteous neighbors who build deer stands on the property line overlooking our clients’ property.
Our job is to ensure the safety of guests thru traffic control and orderly parking for large gatherings hosted by our clients.
Our job is to relieve the Manager of the dangerous and distasteful task of dealing with trespassers and other unfriendlys.
Our Managers don't have trespass problems on their Plantations. When there is a report of a trespasser… that becomes our problem. The Manager goes about his duties and we deal with the problem… then we report back to the Manager.
The Manager is always in charge. We are his tools to get the job done!
He tells us ahead of time how he wants it done and that’s how we do it.
Sometimes minor trespass situations are handled by a written Warning system. When appropriate, I send an Official Warning to the trespasser and a copy goes to the County Sheriff. The Manager gets a blind copy.
If a serious trespass situation occurs that requires criminal prosecution, Plantation Security initiates the prosecution and testifies in court. The Manager and other Plantation employees can continue with their duties and avoid court, unless they are a witness.
In the eyes of the outlaws, we are the enemy, not the Owner or Manager. If the outlaws want to retaliate, let them take it out on us.
We are not in a popularity contest with the bad guys… our role is to serve as a buffer between them and the Owners and Managers.
Next Question...How did we get where we are today?
27 hunting seasons ago the Plantations were "wide open" PSI had a real challenge. We had to prove to the world that we were the "real deal".
During the early 80's we got our first bloodhound and handler.
Captain Al McDearmid (who now works here at Aberfeldy) retired from the Sheriffs Office where he had been in charge of that K-9 program.
During that first hunting season, with the help of Al and our first bloodhound (Poacher) we made 29 poaching and trespassing arrests on our clients Plantations and we had a 100% conviction rate.
Word spread like wildfire among the outlaws.
During those years, marijuana was the favorite cash crop of trespassers and the heavy brush of summer made plantations their favorite planting sites. When our aircraft and Officers began locating their stashes, the illicit farmers began to seek "softer target" growing areas.
In the early years, we made hundreds of arrests for trespassing, night hunting, road hunting, quail trapping and a multitude of other illegal acts as outsiders challenged our stamina and determination to protect our clients and their properties.
We eventually established a "no nonsense" reputation among the outlaws and, for the most part, they now steer clear of our clients Plantations.
I have a favorite saying, it goes like this.... "We don't stop poaching and trespassing... we move poachers and trespassers from our Clients property". Sadly, some of you may have inherited them?
I began by asking you a question and I'll conclude by asking another.
How many of you think Plantation Security probably costs too much?
You don't have to answer that because most of you have no idea what our services cost. You just figure it must be too much.
The reality is that our clients tell us that we save them money when compared to previously tried methods and, we are far more effective. It costs the average client owner more for a tank of fuel for their automobile every day than for our services.
My final question is, "In view of the fact that Rural Crime demands a specialized approach...How can any Plantation afford not to have Plantation Security?
Please answer this one and then, I’ll be happy to answer any Questions.