Tag Archives: deescalation

When Parkers are Pushed to their Limits

By Cindy Campbell

As a frequent flyer, you learn to roll with flight delays and cancellations—unless, of course, you enjoy unnecessary agitation and high blood pressure. A recent late-night flight out of Los Angeles was cancelled and I had the unanticipated opportunity to witness high drama at the curb. Perhaps you’ve heard: LAX now prohibits TNCs and taxis from picking up passengers curbside, instead shuttling these would-be ride-hailers to a remote location where they can meet up with their drivers. During the first week of this new curb management strategy, media outlets were reporting wait times in excess of 90 minutes for some customers. Needless to say, the new shuttle plan is still being tweaked. Travelers are inconvenienced to be sure, but the somewhat overlooked airport parking and traffic personnel have a thankless job as they deal with a higher than normal number of irate, agitated, belligerent passengers.

It’s no secret that frontline personnel within our industry encounter rude—even aggressive—customers on a regular basis. In fact, many of IPMI’s online and onsite training programs were specifically designed to address these difficult customer situations. What happens when a customer fully crosses the line and threatens—or even physically attacks—our personnel? While no one wants to promote physical confrontation, it’s important that we’re able to protect ourselves with the skill set necessary to escape harm when confronted.

“Out of Danger” is the featured article in the November issue of Parking & Mobility magazine. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read through it. The article highlights the City of Milwaukee and their work with Vistelar, a company known for their deescalation, non-escalation, and physical escape training. Training sessions (like Vistelar’s program) offer our industry additional resources to better address the growing concern for employee safety. Check it out.

Cindy Campbell is IPMI’s senior training and development specialist.

Out of Danger

Parking & Mobility cover, November 2019 issueIt’s a scenario heard too often:Just doing his or her job, a parking enforcement officer is screamed at, threatened, berated, chased down, or, in a worst case, attacked by an irate driver with a weapon. Nobody likes getting a parking citation, but sometimes people get so angry that the situation blows up out of control. And few PEOs are trained to effectively defuse a bad situation, much less defend themselves without making things worse.

Richard Dollhoph, manager of parking enforcement for the City of Milwaukee, Wisc., is a former police lieutenant and knows full well the dangers faced by PEOs–and the limitations of what they knew to do to react. Rather than wait for another bad situation, he reached out to Vistelar, which has partnered with IPMI to offer unique staff training that teaches deescalation and, for that worst-case scenario, physical self defense and escape techniques. Since then, his reports of violence toward parking officers have plummeted and his people are much more confident about doing their jobs and staying safe.

The IPMI partnership and Vistelar training are explained in the November issue of Parking & Mobility magazine, including what’s taught, how it’s taught, and how parking officers can be trained no matter where they are to calm a bad situation before it spirals out of control, and get out should that happen. Read the whole story and get the details here.