Felix Nater

Felix Nater

Felix Nater has over 30 years of investigative, managerial and security experience as a United States Postal Inspector and Postal Police Officer, including eight years of specialized experience in Workplace Violence Interdiction.

“Instead of making procurement technology decisions in a vacuum, members of a procurement committee could convene to review recommendations to assure cross-functional applications in order to maximize its long-term value. “

What do you do in the security Industry?

In a nutshell, I provide strategies and approaches in providing for safe and secure workplaces through my Violence Interdiction Model™ that calls for a integrated and collaborative approach to managing and reducing incidents, situations and conditions that could lead to workplace violence. I consult with the C-Suite and other decision makers to arrive at a customized solution that addresses their unique situations, avoiding the cookie cutter mentality. Dedicated resources are applied in a collective fashion to ease the burden or responsibility and share the commitment. Essentially, the strategy and approaches engage the client in tactics designed to manage the risk through assessments and reduce the threat through increased awareness. Engaging clients in this process assures a demystifying of the security expectations through empowerment and the involvement of their cooperative efforts. Decisions to implement recommendations from the assessments are made collectively since an overall favorable impact on policies is the ultimate objective to create long-term prevention value.

How did you originally get involved in the security industry?

My career in “security” really began in the Active Army; however in actuality maturation of the discipline took place over 29 years with the Postal Service in Postal Security and as a Postal Inspector. By our inherent titles as Postal Security Officers and Postal Inspectors we wore several hats; criminal, security and auditors with responsibility for the overall protection of people, property and the sanctity of the mails. Over those years the broad experiences were many and diversified. As a Postal Security Officer we protected the plants, airmail centers and escorted high valued goods between points of origin and final destination. Later on I supervised Postal Security Operations and conducted Firearms and Defense Tactics training. As a Postal Inspector I investigated threats against employees and to the security of the mail stream, which included armed robbery investigations, security assessments and personnel suitability investigations and issued complex reports

What does Nater Associates do within the security industry?

Within the security industry, Nater Associates has brought a non-traditional approach to the problem of workplace violence by way of understanding its implications on people, property and premises and the bottom-line. Through our presentations we expose the security industry to a mixed bag of strategies, tactics and considerations ranging from approaches to prevention and interdiction strategies, workplace violence incident investigations, threat assessments and litigation and security awareness in an effort to tie in all the expertise in an collective effort. The objective is to design a business philosophy that places security in the boardroom and an integrated part of the policy discussions.

You help your clients to implement workplace violence prevention plans and general security programs. How do you explain the return on investment (ROI)?

Clients are encouraged to implement a unique workplace security policy and program that satisfies their particular situation. Tying workplace violence prevention to other employment polices encourages favorable outcomes. Merely employing a practical approach reduces costly litigation cost through proactive intervention and awareness and investment in the aftermath of an incident or in a mandated alteration to the workplace. Clients who implement some type of security awareness and workplace violence prevention training establish parameters that show they care and thus a business commitment to employee safety and security. Morale then increases, production and efficiency improves and labor grievances decrease, which all foster a supportive working environment. Control of loss workdays and injury compensations claims by victims and witnesses safeguards the bottom line. The public image of a client’s business is also enhanced based on the proactive and preventive measures taken to reduce a threat, contain an incident and to respond appropriately. In cases of mergers and acquisitions the process is looked upon favorably when the external image is positive.

How does the investigative, managerial and security experience you gained as a United States Postal Inspector and as a Postal Police Officer help you to develop security solutions?

My diverse background and assignments have definitely helped me better understand my clients’ needs and unique circumstances. The Postal Service experience offers such a rich and diversified workplace setting and situations unlike in any other workplace environment. Unlike other federal government employment, my service as a Postal Inspector allowed me to participate in an assortment of criminal, civil and security cases and projects. While working as a Postal Inspector, Program Manager and Postal Police Officer, my clients and customers, in addition to the postal community, included the entire constituent of the postal service along with the agencies and organizations. I interacted with senior postal officials, local leaders and union leadership regularly. Over time, clients received the benefit of my vast exposure to all levels of government, corporate America, the criminal justice system, judges, commissioners and local, state and federal officials. My familiarity with the system has afforded me an enviable and untraditional skills set that I use to counsel my clients in their situations. No one situation is approached with a cookie-cutter mentality. I led task force operations around the country, headed media relations for the Universal International Union of Postmasters and negotiated the design and implementation of a language-testing program that saved the Postal Inspectors thousands of dollars in research and development costs. Therefore, my familiarity with the business community and with the art of negotiation and presentation puts me in a unique position to help clients work through their challenges in all settings and most situations.

What methods do you use to assess your clients’ risk of encountering violent incidents or terrorist acts in their business?

As I acquired experience in workplace violence prevention, I developed the strategy and tactics behind my Interdiction Methodology, which includes leadership principles to encourage greater involvement by all employee groups and leaders. The process aggressively integrates clients’ resources in a collaborative environment to identify potential threats and to determine risk abatement measures by marshalling resources. Generally, it begins with a critical vulnerability assessment of their unique workplaces and ends with implementation of recommendations and training of the workforce. The process also calls for the use of Threat Assessment Measures to evaluate the capability of individuals to carry out their threats and defuse potential threats, recommend restructure to the workplace, alter working conditions, train employees and leaders and recommend risk mitigation countermeasures to protect employees from the escalation and spread of threatening behavior. This vitally important feature of the Violence Interdiction Model provides the same level of focus to all stakeholders alike doing business at the worksite.

In incidents involving non-employees who harassed or assaulted postal employees, we collaborate our law enforcement resources with local police departments, visited with community groups and give security awareness briefings to teach employees, unions and civilian organizations how to reduce the potential of exposure. It was not unusual to conduct corporate level and other government agency presentations on workplace violence and mailroom security or other customer-focused safety and security topics. Counter-robbery measures are not designed to catch the perpetrator by placing employees in harm’s way. Rather, these measures help to educate employees on the non-threatening steps they should take to avoid antagonizing a robber and mitigating risk. This methodology calls for detection and apprehension based on counter-robbery measures. Likewise, such measures are in line with protective tactics one can take in the corporate world to minimize risks.

How can security programs and workplace violence prevention plans impact safety, health and environmental (SH&E) practices within companies?

Properly designed, implemented and managed security programs and policies are instruments that are proactive and preventive by design foster safe and secure workplaces. While their immediate value appears intangible, the value is both measurable and tangible in terms of cost avoidance when introduced as part of a security awareness program integrating with other supporting programs. If security programs are properly managed, coordinated, exercised then, management, employees and programs are constantly evaluated against the program’s or policy’s ability to do what it intended. Employees who abide within the expected boundaries reduce their chances of adverse risk and diminish the threat of criminal and violent exposure because of their familiarity with the threat and with the contributing behaviors. They are now more familiar with the contributing factors, and they can take proactive measures to avoid incidents, or they can recommend alternatives that would reduce or mitigate the threat. Such awareness reduces injuries and empowers the leadership and employee as part of the solution. The workplace becomes a safer environment when employees are pleased instead of confrontational and understand their responsibilities in reporting at risk internal and external situations. This leads a productive and efficient workforce with fewer days off avoiding confrontations or situations, reduced injury compensation claims and a decrease in grievances. In addition, the procurement of security technology can bring a larger ROI if its capabilities are measured against a cross-functional application. Instead of making procurement technology decisions in a vacuum, members of a procurement committee could convene to review recommendations to assure cross-functional applications in order to maximize its long-term value. Now we purchase CCTV for more than security applications, the facility directors can verify work assignments, false slip and fall reports can be uncovered and remote access can allow management to examine operations.

How do you see the economy affecting the security industry?

Decisions made now will have a lasting positive or adverse affect on those involved and their associated businesses. Whether one is an independent provider of professional security consulting services or the employer and deliverer of security products and services the distinction of bad decisions and choices will have the same consequences. Security in these times requires a skillful understanding of how best to maximize the client relationship to insure retention of that client in post financial economic recovery. Regardless of the conditions affecting the marketplace, security is no less vulnerable than any other business function. Smart choices in the selection and engagement of security professionals can produce positive results by understanding the business implications of poor decisions now and the lingering affect in the post economic downturn.

What do you see as the security industry’s biggest challenge?

Managing the enthusiasm to sell for the purpose of meeting an industry emphasis when reality if beginning to shift away from the perceptions of hysteria and over-reaction are real potent but unspoken challenges I see in the horizon. Today, following the September 11, 2001 ramp up of the national security focus to protect the infrastructure, personnel, property and premises have caused decisions makers to review the prudence of such measures and tactics against the need to continue or modify the investment. Thinking smarter by capitalizing on existing decisions and investments by seeking longer benefit to deployed applications hence long-range ROI will be the industries biggest challenge as pushback begins to creep in the decision process. In an effort to employ the brightest and most capable individuals on the security team, businesses alienated internal relationships by the hiring security directors with exorbitant salaries and deployed costly technology that may or may not have the intended benefits or are now obsolete and not budget to support it.

What do you believe is the largest growth area within the security market?

The largest growth area in the security industry has too be the enhanced capability of Closed Circuit TV, remote access and access controls. If I could influence my clients, I would endeavor to verify those capabilities from a variety of cross-functional applications and immediate ROI. Taking the use of CCTV in business today, a thoughtful procurement project could have pleasing results for all; the facility manager, physical security, human resources, medical services and logistics to name a few. The remote access can enhance management capabilities through the use of laptops and remote access software.

Has physical security changed (devices, posture or storage) as a result of the War on terror?

The value of enhanced physical security has changed the way businesses control personnel movement, protect defined areas, monitor situations and assess and manage supply chains. Technology is this area is a technological advancement, enhancements and deployments will yield long-term benefits for businesses for years to come. Even when improvements are necessary the investment by comparison to the initial procurement will be a cost savings far exceeding its original procurement costs

What changes do you see regarding workplace violence over the coming years?

Until we begin to consider the real implications of workplace violence as it affects the business factors of performance, production, efficiency, morale, health, image and external perceptions, clients will continue to purchase training as the solution that focuses on the basics. I see a need for change that elevate its focus from the top town in truly inculcating the effort as a corporate response to integrating the resources as a solution based management oriented initiative. Merely waiting around hoping to prove the theory of prevention and the lack of justifiable ROI rather than being prepared has been the long strategy simply because of the immeasurable ROI for the proactive commitment.

What is next for Felix Nater and Nater Associates, Ltd?

This year we will bring on a certified assessor to help round out the deliverables. From a business perspective, we would like to round out our capabilities to attract greater appeal by delivering more services I feel will enhance our market visibility on a more global scale. I’ve turned down global opportunities due to limited resources and fear of taking on too much. I believe we can achieve this by increasing staff in safety; physical security, crisis management, business continuity and crisis communications. I want to deliver a suite of services any client can call his or her consummate one-stop consulting services provider from a small consultant who thinks big but acts small. The goal is to make the value of an integrated approach to workplace security management more apparent to minimize turbulence. We believe attitudes and behaviors attribute to workplace security and safety. New employee orientations coupled with properly trained leaders can add tremendous resources during difficult times cost effectively.

Felix P. Nater,CSC
Nater Associates, Ltd.
New York & North Carolina
Office: 1-877valu101
Cell: 516-946-8416

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