Guarding the Gates: Calming, Control and De-escalation of Mentally Ill, Emotionally Disturbed and Aggressive Individuals – A Comprehensive Guidebook for Security Guards



Individuals suffering from psychiatric or substance use disorders sometimes display any one of a number of frightening behaviors: verbal outbursts, physical threats and even violence. Security guards must frequently deal with such individuals in locations as varied as hospital emergency rooms, shopping malls, places of business and isolated warehouses in the middle of the night. In this comprehensive guidebook, Ellis Amdur and William Cooper offer security guards a comprehensive set of strategies to keep themselves, those they are protecting and the general public safe, while functioning at the highest level of professionalism. The first sections of this book define the role of the security guard in the de-escalation of emotionally-disturbed individuals, whatever the cause of their upset. This includes development of a safety mindset, as well as tactical planning. In the second major section, they focus on us: how to hone our intuition and how we can develop a state of integrity and powerful calm, the ideal state of mind to function in crisis situations. They then move on to the heart of the book discussing specific behaviors ranging from confusion and obsessive concerns to psychosis, mania and acute disorganization. In one very important chapter, they discuss interactions with opportunistic and manipulative individuals, people who present a danger to the psychological and physical well-being of anyone whom they come in contact. They then discuss how to de-escalate aggressive and chaotic individuals once a crisis begins. Amdur and Cooper elucidate the various motivations that drive aggression and further delineate the different types of aggression that result. De-escalation tactics are specific – one learns how to immediately recognize what mode of aggression the person is displaying, and then, one can quickly and effectively implement the de-sescalation tactics that are best suited to deal with the aggression one is facing.

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About the Author

Ellis Amdur balances two careers, that as a crisis intervention specialist, through his company, Edgework and as a 50+ year practitioner of traditional Japanese martial arts. His writing meets right in the middle. Through his company, Edgework Books, he has self-published ten books on the verbal de-escalation of aggression and calming of agitated mentally ill people, one each for those in the social services personnel, for hospitals, for families, for police officers, for firefighters and EMTs, for parole/probation officers, for 911 call-takers, for security guards, correctional officers in a jail setting and for worksite safety (HR, threat assessment professionals, etc), some co-written.
In addition, he has published Shapeshifting: Effective Scenario Training for Hostage Negotiation Teams, co-written with Fmr. Sgt. Lis Eddy. He has also released a video and instructional book on verbal de-escalation for the armed citizen, through the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA).
Amdur has also published Body and Soul: Toward a Radical Intersubjectivity in Psychotherapy, a combination of a lyrical description of how phenomenology and dialogal philosophy can be applied to psychotherapy, followed by two heart-wrenching accounts showing how these abstract principles are embodied in the real world.
He has written and published three books on martial arts, the iconoclastic Dueling with Osensei: Old School, a work on classical martial traditions and most recently, Hidden in Plain Sight, on esoteric knowledge within various Japanese martial traditions. All three of these books, in revised, expanded editions are published by Freelance Academy Press.
Along with authors Neal Stephenson, Charles Mann & Mark Teppo and artists Robert Sammelin and Dean Kotz, Ellis has released the Jet City Comics graphic novel, the Cimmaronin.
His first novel, The Girl with the Face of the Moon is published on Amazon KDP, with an illustrated print version pending. He is currently working on his second novel.
His books are considered unique in that he uses his own experiences, often hair-raising or outrageous, as illustrations of the principles about which he writes, but it is also backed by solid research, and boots-on-the-ground experience.

Bill Cooper is a retired Chief of Police and Senior Manager of Corporate Security Operations, Workplace Violence Intervention, Executive Protection, Policy and Awareness Development. He has investigated a wide variety of cas- es, both in the public and private sectors, and has managed Security Officers and Security Guards in a variety of facilities and locations.
Bill holds an M.B.A. and second Masters Degree in Public Administration.
He is a frequently sought professional speaker and has lectured and taught
multiple courses across the United States. He is a graduate of the FBI National
Academy and the Washington State Law Enforcement Executive Command College. He is the author of five books and the co-author or contributing author of three others.

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