Retired Marlton police officer offers tips for handling social distance aggression

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's a war over personal safety at a time when thousands of people are still fighting for their lives against COVID-19.

In this new world of social distance, many people are ready to go to bat over their personal space

"People aren't used to this kind of society, so they're not use to waiting in line or going down the aisles a certain way," said Austin Pendergast, of South Philadelphia.

"A lot of people are out of a job and sometimes when you're without an income, you have to act out," Joe Sippel said.

The hostility is the new focus for Corey Jones, a retired Marlton police officer.

He owns Safetyman Security Consulting, which trains businesses in de-escalating hostile situations.

"One thing I like business to do is be very forward in their advertising of what's expected of the customer. So, big signage all over the place saying, 'You must be 6 feet apart. You are on video for our protection,'" Jones said.

He says customers also need to play it safe.

"Make sure you have your mask or your face covering, that you're standing 6 feet away to protect yourself and to protect others," Jones said.

Some businesses are considering hiring social distancing bouncers.

"For instance, like a pizza place that has so many people coming in...if there's a bouncer help people coming in and out that helps," said Pendergast, who is a bouncer at Woody's Bar.

"Sometimes people can't follow orders on their own and they need someone to push them in the right direction. A lot of times when people see a bouncer or someone of authority they'll keep it calm," Sippel said.
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