Today brings an another chapter in the occasional chapter of interviews with interesting people in the HR and employment law areas. William J. Smith, President and CEO of Jennings Smith Investigations, Inc.  takes a few minutes to answer some pressing questions in the security field.

Jennings Smith Investigations, Inc., is a fully licensed Connecticut investigative and security consulting firm which has provided quality investigative, security and forensic services to the corporate, industrial and governmental sectors for the past 25 years. 

Bill and his company have assisted several Fortune 500 companies in the investigation of issues of Workplace Safety and provided expertise to nullify threats of violence directed against senior management and/or facilities. 

His full bio can be accessed here.  My thanks to Bill for his time and responses. 

1) What is the first thing employers should consider when dealing with safety and security issues? 

The most important consideration is that every business with 11 or more employees is required develop a site specific Facility Emergency Action Plan (FEAP) to comply with OSHA Standards (29 CFR 1910.38) and NFPA 1600. These statutes clearly outline Safety, Security, Emergency Management and Business Continuity standards every employer must address to provide operational policies and procedures in the event of an emergency or crisis.

2) You’ve got years of experience in the investigative and security fields. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen?

Without question, the use of technologies in our Investigative units; DNA, Latent Fingerprint collection and identification, Trace evidence examination (hair, fiber, substance), and GPS Surveillance systems to name a few. On the Security side, biometric readers, retina scans, RFID Tracking, Facial Recognition software, covert camera systems are exceptionally effective and cost efficient tools to preclude or prevent loss and protect employees and property.

3) As the economy improves, I suspect that there is going to be more hiring. What are some best practices employers can use in hiring as they relate to your field? 

  • Conduct comprehensive background investigations on prospective employees to include Criminal Conviction history, Motor Vehicle Driving Records History (If driving a Company Vehicle), and Drug Screening.
  • Avoid service providers who provide ‘instant checks’ as they oftentimes use unreliable and outdated data sources. 
  • Check and verify all prior employment history. Our firm provides Live Scan Fingerprinting Services for companies in the Financial, Educational, Transportation and Medical sectors. Once obtained, they are forwarded electrically to the FBI for clearance which typically takes less than 48 hours.

4) Suppose you’re an employer and you suspect an employee of theft, what should an employer do immediately.

First, Contact your Attorney and advise him of the situation. Secure all pertinent information and documents to validate your suspicions and determine the scope of the loss. Do not play "detective", rather heed the advise of your Counsel who will most probably call in a firm such as ours to conduct an investigation. Most importantly, do not directly accuse an employee of theft as it could subject you and your company to litigation.

5) Are there any online resources that you can recommend if people have an interest in this area?

For information regarding OSHA Regulations, you can download a .pdf document at:

The National Fire Protection Association ( NFPA) 1600 can be viewed online or purchased at: