|Date(s):||1989(?) - present|
|Profit/Nonprofit:||nonprofit, unofficial organization|
|Country based in:||USA, SF Bay Area|
|Focus:||Convention security & logistics|
|External Links:||FLARE website|
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FLARE is one of the SF Bay Area's convention security teams. It evolved out of the core group of Security/Conops staff who worked several conventions; they gradually developed protocols that allowed them to deal with problems, train new staff, and prevent repeat fiascos. They developed a distinctive con badge with red lettering on a black background, and on-duty members wear radios/walkee-talkees that connect to a central hub, generally at or near Conops. FLARE is an all-volunteer, unpaid organization, although they have been known to accept bribes of chocolate for small favors.
Members of FLARE are assigned a radio number that stays consistent as long as they're members. These numbers aren't assigned in order; people often take favorite or personally meaningful numbers out of what's available. The master list is maintained by (someone).
FLARE used to promote the weapon-use policy of "You kill it, you eat it." This was eventually switched to "your weapon kills it, you eat it" (encouraging people to peace-bond their weapons) and gradually dropped from official convention policies, as it made the legal staff twitchy. The current weapon policies forbid anything that looks like a real firearm because such things make hotel staff and visiting police officers very very nervous.
There's some crossover membership between FLARE and C.A.T., another SF Bay Area security/logistics team.
The meaning of the initials "F.L.A.R.E." is generally kept secret from non-members. Several variations and explanations have been offered.