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.
How does a security company keep its officers accountable? In many cases the security officer is left completely alone on the property with no immediate supervision; that the location is otherwise unoccupied being the main reason for the officer’s deployment. In such circumstances, when an individual believes there is no accountability, the temptation to slack on job duties, or worse, is at it’s highest. How does a security company prevent that from happening?
The simple answer is to make sure that there is accountability, and that the officer knows it. There are many ways to do this, including having management make random and regular inspections at the times when the officer would least expect to be bothered. The officer’s daily reports should be reviewed at this time, among others, as they provide the best indication of a guard’s performance.
In addition, many sites install systems such as a wand that records the times when guards do rounds, or force the guard’s route to run through an area covered by cameras. The process of ensuring the officer’s accountability begins long before the officer sets foot on an assignment. The interview and training processes should wean out individuals that cannot perform the job duties.
The management team at Capital Asset Protection Inc. Wishes you a happy, healthy and fulfilling New Year.
A large portion of what a security officer does on shift is based on sound, universal security principles that can apply to almost any security operation. However, just as no two businesses are the same, the requirements of their security details can vastly differ. In some cases, the primary function of almost all contracted security personnel, maintaining a visible presence to deter unwanted intruders, may not even be a consideration.
It is imperative that the individual officers fully understand the details of the post that they are stationed at. One of the biggest benefits of a contracted security service, and as such one of the most common reasons that businesses choose to utilize them, is that the security company has a large pool of officers ready to staff a position in the event of a call off or officer replacement. Many security officers are accustomed to working at several different posts.
This has obvious benefits in regards to staffing and continuing coverage, but can pose difficulty in ensuring excellent service. Many security companies will send any guard willing to work to any open shift. This leads to bad performance and reflects poorly on both the security team and the client company. Regular communication is required, with both the client to always understand what their expectations are, and with all security officers to know their strengths and weaknesses and what can be done to improve upon them.
Capital Asset Protection would like to join the nation and the world in mourning the recent loss of our 41st president, George H.W. Bush. As you probably know, Former President Bush passed away peacefully on Friday night, just 7 months after the passing of his wife of 73 years. The national day of mourning will be observed on December 5th and all flags are to be flown at half-mast for 30 days.
In almost all cases in which an intrusion is defeated, it is stopped from ever happening in the first place by the security operation deterring the intruder away from the target. This is why most discussion of security involves creating the security plan and how to broadcast the presence of security measures. However, sometimes a determined adversary will misjudge or ignore the defenses in place. A security plan must be ready to respond at all times in case deterrence fails.
Capital Asset Protection has had several instances of malicious intruders attempting to breach our defenses. We’ve found that this most often occurs at night, in locations that are difficult to fully monitor all areas at once, such as large factories. In all cases, upon discovery and the realization that an authority figure was aware of their presence, they disengaged with little or no disruption to the property.
A stopped intrusion is cause for [celebration] and relief in how much damage was prevented. However it also necessitates an examination of why the security measures in place failed to deter or obstruct the intruder from entering the property, and a change in procedure to eliminate the weakness.
Today we meet with family and friends to give thanks for our blessings and celebrate our relationships with those close to us, and as we do we should all take a moment to remember that each of us has reason to feel fortunate. Whether it be due to the jobs that allow us to live our lives, the satisfaction we receive from contributing to society with them, and most importantly the people who we will soon be joining together with.
Our management team, Dan, Mark, Mike, Christy, Dylan, and Geoff, wish you a safe and secure holiday, and we hope that it is spent in much joy and little worry.
What is the best way to ensure a location is secure from intrusion? It starts with the environment that the building is located in.
Take the above picture for instance, an illustration of a typical industrial building. How does the environment assist in deterring or disrupting intruders? Some measures are obvious – a large fence limiting entranceways, a guard shack in position to limit access to authorized personnel. Some features that help secure the facility are more subtle. The long, unbroken sightlines will reveal any intruder long before he reaches the factory walls. Further improvements could be made still, such as the addition of lighting to ensure nighttime visibility, and cameras so that the entire facility is observable at all times without leaving post. More intensive measures could also be considered, such as replacing the walls with a chain-link fence that does hide potential intruders.
To set up a defense, you must be able to know how the intruder will think – what his approach will be, what goals he will be working towards, and what methods he will attempt to breach the security measures. While you may be confident in your facility’s defensibility, there may be subtle vulnerabilities, or simple changes that could be easily made to improve security. Always make sure to have your defenses reviewed by a security professional, especially in today’s fast evolving world of crime.
The most effective way to deter an intrusion into your property is simply to show that it is being actively defended. A good example is the signs that are commonly placed around homes announcing a security system is installed or at businesses marking the position of cameras – the idea being that if the potential criminal knows that their intrusion has been prepared for, they will not attempt it.
A perimeter barrier is another effective element in a deterrence operation. While most fences provide only a minimum of effectiveness as a delay barrier and thus should be paired with other defensive environmental elements, as a perimeter barrier they are very effective at marking property lines and removing any doubt that a trespasser did not know they were in an unauthorized area.
When a security officer is responsible for defending a property, they will almost always have a patrol schedule implemented as part of the post orders (unless their job duties keep them tied to one area, such as a guard shack at the only accessible entrance). This is partly so the guard can observe the entire property, but arguably the more important result is that the guard makes himself and his active defense visible to anyone who would look to break in.
Exploring What Creates A Protected World