NZSA Announces The Covid-19 Guardian Award Winner For Week 5
Keisha has been recognised for her outstanding work in diffusing a potentially dangerous situation in a Northland bank.
Just after the opening of a bank in Kaitaia a customer entered in an agitated state. Keisha spotted that they had a knife hidden on the inside of their arm. Keisha believed the customer was on drugs.
The customer had an issue they wanted the bank to deal with. Keisha calmly encouraged the customer to put the knife away and de-escalated the situation to a point where it was safe enough for a bank worker to address the customer’s issue. Keisha remained with the bank worker while they gave the customer what they needed and then ensured they left the property. Although it could have been justified to call police both Keisha and the bank staff decided it was not necessary.
The Senior Security Operations Manager for the bank was notified, as is the protocol, and contacted FIRST Security to pass on their thanks for Keisha’s quick thinking and actions.
Scott La Franchie, FIRST Security Guard Services’ GM Marketing & Product said of Keisha:
“Keisha Rihari, was working with another security team who has been a true team player by helping out our FIRST Security Guards team and their customers during the COVID 19 lockdown. We are very proud of her actions during this incident by applying her training and experience to de-escalate a dangerous situation and ensuring the staff at the bank felt safe. She is a great staff member, always positive and is an exceptional security officer”
NZSA CEO Gary Morrison said “As we saw with last weeks winner, holding a CoA (Certificate of Approval) licence helps empower guards with de-escalation training, and Keisha’s actions again show why. Sometimes people attending banks and government institutions are in a heightened state of anxiety, and we know from past experience this can result in tragic outcomes for them and those serving their community. Keisha has done a brilliant job to keep the customer calm, preventing the situation from becoming violent, and with a weapon involved, ensuring no harm was made. Her actions seem extraordinary but they are also what we train for. A great job, and perfect outcome.”
The NZSA introduced the Covid-19 Guardian Award as a way for the wider community to recognise and say thanks to security personnel for their efforts. With over 25,000 New Zealanders working in the security industry, nearly double the number of police, private security has always had a critical role in keeping Kiwis and their property safe, especially during times of crisis.
The campaign received well over 100 nominations from all over the country. Judging was very difficult and many deserving guards have missed out, but the NZSA will recognise all nominees during their annual New Zealand Security Awards on August 7 along with the winners.
The New Zealand Security Association (NZSA) is the largest industry representative body for the security industry in New Zealand and represents over 85% of the industry by revenue. Its voluntary members include security providers ranging from large multi-nationals to sole traders and also includes individuals and companies who are not direct providers of security services but have an interest in the industry. The New Zealand Security Association is committed to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct at all times.