When a security officer is on patrol through the property they are securing, they are performing a carefully planned and orchestrated maneuver that is designed to both find any evidence of unwanted access by unauthorized personnel, and to announce the security presence to prevent intrusion from occurring. The route and means of the patrol maximize both effects, with the security professionals and property owners determining the best way to do so.
Every round accomplishes several tasks. Searching for examples of intrusion are the most obvious, such as checking entrances and exits for signs of tampering, finding suspicious objects like a briefcase that should not be there, or identifying people not allowed access to the area. Often other purposes are served too, such as discovering malfunctioning machinery or a water leak that could cause massive property damage, or helping guests and residents in a concierge like service.
In some cases, the duties a security officer is required to perform will prevent him from being able to leave his post to perform rounds. This can be made up for with additional personnel with this sole function. A camera system can mimic some of the functions of a patrol, however there are still benefits to having a visible officer patrolling along the vulnerable areas. Cameras may deter a well-planned intrusion, but even when extra effort is made to bring attention to their presence they might not be noticeable enough to prevent a spontaneous trespass from a simple vandal, which can sometimes be a more costly breach. Friendly security personnel showing active prevention have a morale effect on other personnel that machines cannot have.
One of the most common images that comes to mind regarding security at an event or large crowd gathering is a bag check. Bag checks are an essential element of the security plan for many facilities, especially among special event venues with a large spectator gathering. Along with access control and the use of metal detectors they can almost completely eliminate the chance of a weapon or illegal substance being brought into the facility. As always when dealing with other people, especially those who may not be part of their organization, the bag searcher needs to have a focus on customer service.
While overall safety is always the main consideration, every effort should be made to keep the experience of being checked as unobtrusive as possible. Visitors should be made aware of where the search will take place, and what items are not allowed both by signs and on the way and by verbal announcements. When fully informed a customer will not view the search as a negative experience as long as it is felt that entry time is not significantly handicapped because of it. Concessions such as a separate line for entrants with no bag further reduce potential aggravation.
When searching your own employees, additional effort must be made to maintain trust between parties. Privacy policies must be made clear, and employees should know in advance what personal areas such as desks or lockers may be subject to a search. The bag search should take place entirely in view of the owner, after making it clear that permission for the search has been given, with no comments on the personal belongings inside.
Exploring What Creates A Protected World