When on a patrol or in the normal course of their daily duties, a security officer will observe a large amount of information. When properly documented and passed on, this provides an incomparable account of what is happening at a location and the activities of the security operation. And though too much information is always preferable to not enough, if the guard reported every irrelevant event or inconsequential item that was encountered, it would be impossible to find important information within the mass of data entries.
Many events give no doubt in the need to be reported; unsecured doors and entrances, broken windows, or hazards such as broken pipes which will lead to property damage are examples of obvious issues that demand to be tended to. Many notable incidents may seem much less straightforward; while an officer guarding an empty area would find any person on-site suspicious, someone guarding a trafficked area would need to keep an eye out for more subtle clues such someone in a coat on a hot day, one who takes pictures or recordings in unusual or restricted areas, or exhibits a suspicious amount of interest in security procedures.
Lastly, when observing and reporting a security officer must always remember the difference between a fact and a conclusion. Facts are to be documented and stated exactly as they happened and only based on what the officer experiences. Any judgments or conclusions made by the officer based on these facts, such as a person’s intent or effect of property damage should be kept to themselves.