BARRIERS IN DEPTH
A barrier is an obstacle that defines the limits to an area and prevents penetration by persons, animals, or vehicles. It can be either natural or artificial, and both types can be incorporated into a security operation.
A basic security concept is to surround your target with multiple barriers, a concept known as defense in depth. This allows for a mixture of deterrent and delay barriers. Perimeter barriers should properly warn an intruder to keep out, either with explicit wording or intuitive design, and thus defeat an intrusion without actually being tested. The explicit display of present security and property demarcation eliminates any chance of accidental intrusion.
Barriers that are meant to function after the perimeter is breached operate differently under the assumption that any intruder past that point has willingly and purposefully ignored deterrent measures. At this point, the purpose switched to delaying the intruder. Any physical barrier can be surpassed with enough effort and time, therefore the design logic should not be to prevent the possibility of the barrier being breached, but to make it require so much effort that it is not worth it, or so much time that the intrusion cannot be completed.
In some security operations, once the protection plan is put into place, the status and quality of the operation is not checked until an incident occurs that establishes poor performance by the post’s defenses or the officer’s manning it. Regular evaluations by direct supervision and higher management ensures both that the integrity of [the defense] is maintained, and that the highest quality of officers is recognized, rewarded, and retained.
Assessments should be made both by local management, as well as by independent supervisors with no direct ties to the post to avoid complacency. Features checked should include at the very least the physical state of the post, the condition of any delay barriers and deterrence warnings, as well as the physical appearance of the officer and a check of their response to management’s arrival and their understanding of the post’s orders.
All observations should be documented for filing and evaluation. Being made available to all levels of management and the owners of the property, these reports allow an easy determination as to whether enhanced security measures need to be implemented, or additional training of officers performed.
Identity management is a part of the process of access control. In almost every post that a security officer is stationed, there will be some individuals that are supposed to have access to the property. The means of identifying if an individual is authorized is one of the more important parts of the security operation.
There are several ways to verify that an individual is supposed to have access to a particular area. Badges and ID cards are effective solutions, especially if they are hard to counterfeit. Uniforms with features specific to a department are another common feature that makes it very easy to quickly determine where the wearer should be. When the number of people allowed to enter a property is small, the security officer can be presented with a list to cross check against, or they can be informed in advance when to expect a visit to enable them to turn away all other arrivals.
If the physical access control is implemented with strict enough defenses paired with an identity checking procedure that is proven to be effective, personnel stationed inside can presume that anyone that has made it inside is authorized and can focus on other functions.
REPORTS AND DOCUMENTATION
A security officer creates reports that document the happenings of the shift every time he performs a patrol, responds to an incident, or even while simply standing watch over a property. These are legal documents that serve as evidence for the proper performance of the locale’s operation, protect both the security officer and their client in the event of an incident, and can help prosecute an intruder and help recover any damages from them.
There are many tools at the disposal of a security officer when recording incidents of interest, much more so than there were even a few years ago. Even the phones that are sure to be owned by almost everyone have a multitude of recording abilities that massively improve the officer’s ability to document incidents and reduce liability for the locations they service. A report mentioning a broken lock or evidence of a trespass is much more effective when photo evidence is included.
A property manager or business owner will not be effective reviewing every ordinary happening during an officer’s shift, nor should they have to. In most cases security will operate smoothly and only the most serious incidents will need to be brought to their attention, though all events down to the routine should be documented. What counts as severe enough to pass on upwards is at the discretion of the client who requested the use of security services.
Exploring What Creates A Protected World