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  • Role of a Security Guard

    ROLE OF A SECURITY GUARD “The role of a security Guard is to provide his or her employer with professional protective services, assisting in maintaining order and security within a defined area.” Security Guards have a very difficult role when dealing with numerous parties in the course of the workday. At times, situations require security Guards to wear different “hats” to deal with different situations and people. However, the ultimate responsibility of security Guards is to protect people from harm and property from loss in the built environment. Property owners and managers have a responsibility to protect the people who occupy their properties, from retail stores to restaurants, from concert halls to hotels, from hospitals to corporate high-rise buildings. Even though protecting the property occupants is a major function of security Guards, it is the responsibility of each individual to find a means of protecting themselves from harm. It was in the 1950s that private companies began to hire security Guards to maintain safety and patrol the companies’ properties to protect their employees. Eventually, companies began to develop a protection management style more in line with the corporate culture of the institutions and retreated from the military look that was more popular at the onset of protection management of people and property. In New York State security Guards are private citizens who are employed by private companies. Private security Guards, whatever their legal authority, perform their functions to further the policies of their employers or clients. It is the company that hires security Guard that determines the tasks of the security Guard. Because company cultures vary dramatically, it is the responsibility of the security Guards to educate themselves about the policies that are introduced by the company. The property managers usually determine the policies and procedures that security Guards are expected to know and execute while working in their assigned properties. Besides company policies, security Guards are expected to know the city and state laws that might have an impact on their actions or lack thereof. Throughout the time that the security Guards work for private companies, security Guards are expected to maintain a professional presence and demeanor. Through continual training and exercises, security Guards develop the skills necessary to interact and address the different incidents that will happen during their tenure in a particular property. Operations orders are designed by the property managers for the security Guards to read, understand and execute while at work. These orders indicate in detail the responsibilities of security Guards. These orders serve as guidelines to ensure that security Guards understand their roles. It is critical for security Guards to be knowledgeable of their tasks and the operation of security and fire/life safety systems in their properties. The following are systems that security Guards should be familiar with and be able to respond to them effectively and efficiently. Properties have different types of alarms that security Guard should be aware of. Alarms include fire alarms, burglar alarms, water detecting alarms, LAN Room alarms and others. Security Guards should know the capabilities of the alarms as well know how to operate them and reset them when the incident is resolved. Operations orders will detail what the security Guards’ responsibilities are relative to their response to alarm activations. In most instances, operations orders indicate that the security or fire safety director, the property manager and the tenant representative should be notified upon activation of an alarm in the building.

  • Security Guards must be mentally capable and physically fit to perform their functions.

    Security Guards must be mentally capable and physically fit to perform their functions. Being mentally prepared and ready to interact with many people from many different social, economic and cultural backgrounds requires security Guards to be prepared to deal differently with different people. Hence, being mentally alert will make a significant difference in the way security Guards interact with the general public. Depending on the type of property, security Guards may come in contact with just a few people or thousands. Having the ability to respond to incidents and possibly physically interacting with someone, requires security Guards to be physically fit to meet the physical challenges they will be confronted with while in the protection management field. Since emergencies are unpredictable, physical fitness and stamina are necessary to properly respond to emergency incidents. Some incidents might require security Guards to climb hundreds of feet of stairs to reach the incident floor. Professional presence is perhaps the most notable aspect of being a security Guard. Professional presence refers to both the demeanor of security Guards and the appearance projected by security Guards. With hundreds and thousands of people entering the facilities protected by security Guards, it is critical for the security Guards to understand that they are being observed every day by all the people who enter the property, including colleagues, management company representatives, tenants, clients, visitors and most importantly prospective tenants. Security Guards play a significant role in public relations. The demeanor and actions of security Guards are generally reported in the news media, from a photograph of a sleeping security Guard to a newspaper article about the unprofessional demeanor of security Guards who interact with the print media. Although security Guards are confronted with many situations that may generate different reactions from the security staff, it is generally recommend that security Guards de-personalize the situations and display courtesy, even under strenuous situations, dignity and confidence in what actions they take to resolve incidents.

  • Security Guards Goals & Objectives

    GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Corporations have one idea in mind, and that is to be profitable in order to remain sustainable. The security staff is part of the marketing plan to ensure that they are profitable. By the mere existence of a security staff, a company is viewed as being proactive and interested in their employees’ safety and in the continuity of the business. By having a security staff, companies are also generously compensated (in the form of lower premiums) by insurance companies that consider security and safety of employees a top priority. A well organized and executed security program will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the company’s employee safety culture. It is the responsibility of security Guards to make a difference in the way the company’s image is perceived by the general public, and professional associates. An active security force will always be “on the ball” making sure that all aspects of the protection management program are adhered to by the people who interact with the property’s tenants. Implementing preventive measures will avoid more serious issues from arising. By enforcing the company’s business, security Guards enforce the company’s objectives by there mere presence. But to further encourage businesses to be profitable, security Guards must also be vigilant in ensuring that company policies are enforced. The enforcement of policies may happen in informal settings, as well as business related settings. The jurisdiction for security Guards does not extend outside the times designated in a workday nor beyond the jurisdiction of the company property. Discretion and confidentiality is critical of security Guards who have access to sensitive company information and trade secrets. Personal client information should never be exposed or tampered with by anyone, particularly security Guards who have a great deal of accessibility to this information. All business transaction should remain confidential at all times. In some properties, contractual security Guards are required to sign an agreement indicating that they are not to share any private company data with anyone outside of those people who need to know. The employees must be afforded personal safety and protection while at work in the building. Employees are to be protected when at work and in any other area that is within the company’s “property line.” Privacy, health and safety and normal working conditions are expected to be provided to the employees, including security Guards. Security Guards must protect property from loss by theft, damage and waste. A proactive and well orchestrated security program will discourage employees and intruders from committing thefts, damaging property and wasting valuable company time investigating these incidents. Security Guards are expected to be familiar with the following protection management areas: Asset Protection: Protection company equipment Loss Prevention: Prevention loss of company documents, inventory and office equipment Escort Services: Escorting guests and visitors to appropriate locations Alarm Response: Responding to fire, burglar, water and other alarms in the property Crime Prevention: Creating and administering programs to prevent crimes from occurring Accident Prevention: Through fire drills, hazardous materials safeguards and reporting dangerous conditions Patrols Patrols are generally divided into two categories: Internal or vertical patrols and perimeter patrols. Internal patrols require security Guards to walk throughout the building to ensue that all the areas are properly protected. Patrols must be highly visible to be effective. Tenants and other people in the property usually feel a sense of safety when they see security personnel walking the floors and stairwells. When conducting vertical patrols, security Guards must also check the elevator lobby doors to ensure that are secured. Excellent observation skills enhance the patrol experience for both the security Guard and the people being protected. Being aware of what belongs and what does not belong is advantageous for the security Guard. When faced with a situation where the security Guard is faced with a problem, them it is of utmost importance that the problem is communicated to the line supervisor so that the problem is corrected.

  • Security Guard Crowd Control

    Security Guard Crowd Control is another critical aspect of security, particularly entertainment security. Concert halls and arenas can legally hold but so many people. In cases where events are over-ticketed, the potential for crowd disaster increases dramatically. Many corporate buildings have places of assembly such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, restaurants and dinner/ballrooms. Maintaining an adequate count of the number of people in the building will go a long way in preventing a crowd disaster. Traffic control is essential for those properties that have garages and parking lots. Ensuring that there are no automobile accidents is a very serious task that security Guards undertake. Parking, traffic flow, pedestrian walkways, communications skills and understanding corresponding laws are essential to maintain order in motor vehicle/pedestrian environments. Site-specific tasks 1. Monitoring activities 2. Reacting to incidents 3. Reporting to management or law enforcement Theft 1. Internal vs. external 2. Business practices 3. Property removal policies 4. Criminal law knowledge Trespassing. 1. Unwanted and unauthorized people on the premises 2. Identifying trespassers 3. Approaching trespassers 4. Removing trespassers Drug (including alcohol) Abuse 1. Safety concerns 2. Business (productivity) concerns 3. Identifying abusers 4. Dealing with “suspected” abusers White Collar Crime Sabotage/Bribes/Kickbacks/Payoffs/Computer fraud/Embezzlement/Detecting white collar crimes/Deterring white collar crimes/Reporting white collar crimes. Emergencies such as fires, explosions, bomb threats, riots and other disorderly conduct, civil disturbances, demonstrations, labor/management conflicts that lead to picket lines and hazardous materials incidents are all emergencies that security Guards should be educated on to ensure that outcomes are to the liking of all people involved in the emergency incident. Natural Disasters such as power outages, earthquakes, snow storms, floods and other natural disasters may lead to devastating losses, but a well trained security staff usually means that the outcomes will be positive and limiting loss of lives and property. 1. Evacuations 2. Securing damaged property 3. First aid 4. Calling for assistance, etc. Medical Emergencies Evacuations. 1. Plans 2. Implementation.

  • Access Control - Role of a Security Guard

    Access Control is a critical aspect of the protection system. Different properties have different methods of screening people who enter the building. Security Guards must understand the sensitivity of access control. Without having the ability to determine who is allowed to enter the property, security Guards face a very delicate situation which can have a significant effect on the protection of the people from harm and property from loss. In New York City, properties have been equipped with turnstiles and other methods of controlling access. Turnstiles activate when people who are authorized to be in the property use a card access system to release the turnstiles and allow access. Although several methods to access the property via the turnstiles exist, most require that individuals who have a building identification card to display the cards to a proximity reader. In other instances cards must be swiped at the turnstile to activate them to release. The access control system must be able to identify those people who are authorized entry to the property. Some access cards are programmed to allow people access to other parts of the facility. Time restraints are also programmed into the system to allow individuals access to certain areas during pre-specified times only. Attempts to use the cards to enter outside of the specified time range will result in a rejection. If access is rejected the door will not open. Generally a person is assigned the task of maintaining the access control system and programming the access cards for individuals. Locks play a vital role in access control. Most base building rooms, such as the elevator machine rooms and mechanical equipment rooms are under lock and key. The stairwell exits leading to the street level are locked and other sensitive areas of the facility. Only authorized personnel such as security managers and engineers usually have access to these base building rooms. The safety of tenants is important and a critical aspect of the responsibilities of the security Guard. When patrolling, security Guards must be able to identify risks. A risk is a situation that can lead to injury or death. Security Guards must be able to identify risks and report those risks so that appropriate actions are executed to lessen or remove the risk. The location of safety equipment is critical in an emergency incident. Properties have stations designed to be used by people, particular base building employees, to wash the eyes and decontaminate if they come in contact with a known or unknown substance that might lead to serious illness. Knowing the location of these washing stations allows the security staff to care for an injured person expeditiously until emergency responders arrive at the property. In all instances involving serious physical injury or illness, 911 must be activated by the security Guard who witnesses an incident or who is informed of an incident in the property. Because every property has a different reporting structure, security Guards must become familiar and know who to contact in the event of an emergency in the building, whether an injury to a person or a fire alarm activation. Security controls vary amongst different type of properties. Some properties in New York City allow people uninterrupted access at the lobby level while others require the display of a photo identification before an individual is allowed to pass into the elevator lobbies. Many community friendly venues have little access control while financial corporations (“Big Banks”) have very strict access control systems. Sensitive property, whether physical or intellectual, must be secured in special areas to afford them the greatest protection. Access to these areas is limited. Security Guards must know where sensitive rooms are located in order to effectively resolve an incident involving such sensitive areas. When an incident happens, a report must be completed. Properties have different methods of dealing with investigations of incidents or people. Usually a person or team of people is assigned to supervise investigations of people who might be considered suspicious in their behavior or activities. Hence the security Guard needs to understand what types of situation need to be reported. The types of incidents that must be investigated may vary, however security Guards should be made aware of the types of incidents that the company with whom they are employed deems a need for an investigation. Employee theft, for example, is an incident where an investigation is likely to be implemented to determine who is committing the thefts. After every incident and investigation, a formal report must be generated to maintain a record of the sequence of events and the people who were investigated including any interrogations that take place involving those employees who are considered suspects and accomplices. It’s critical for Security Guards to not disturb any crime scenes at their facility. In fact, security Guards are expected to secure the crime scene area so that the area does not become contaminated or evidence is removed. Physical evidence found at the time if the incident/crime must not be allowed to disappear. By maintaining a secure (closed off) crime scene area and ensuring that no evidence is tampered with or removed from the premises, security Guards play a critical role in outcome of the case.


    SECURITY GUARD FUNCTIONS FUNCTIONS AND TECHNIQUES The three basic functions of security Guards are to: Detect, Deter and Report. Detection A primary function of a security Guard is to detect occurrences and circumstances which do or could affect the security of the people and premises the Guard has been hired to protect—looking for problems. * Knowing what to look for * Common sense and special situations * Alertness * Good observation skills * Curiosity * Visibility: Uniforms, Patrol (Scheduled and Unscheduled) Deterrence Effective deterrence means preventing security problems from developing in the first place. All of the attributes of detection contribute to deterrence. 1. Observation 2. Knowing what to look for 3. Curiosity 4. Visibility 5. Unpredictable patrol \6. Special programs 7. Crime prevention 8. Safety 9. Escort services Reporting Typically, security Guards are expected to report all unusual incidents. This provides the information necessary to identify and assess risks, and protect people and property from harm, theft, and related threats. Written reports must be clear, concise, legible, prompt and complete Using force (against people) is not a central feature of most security Guard roles. Use of force by security Guards is legally limited, creates significant liability risks, and is almost always “situationally focused” (employed only in very specialized or unusual situations).