Nothing can beat On The Job training, but going in with the Power of Knowledge can make the transition much more successful-
Working over 25 years in the security industry as well as being a State certified training instructor, and having an online marketing business. The following descriptions were used by our team, that describes the qualities that make up a Top-Notch security officer. Not every security guard has these qualities in equal measure, but they are all important.
As a professional security officer you must evaluate yourself honestly and think of ways that you can improve those qualities that are not your strengths. For example, if you know you need to work on something, do your research your due diligence to look for ways of improving. And in no time the more you
work to exemplify the traits below, the better your chances are for success in a security industry and as a professional security officer. That my friend can be of great value to any organization.
Just to recap a Security Officer on the job responsibilities from previous post, and the basic difference between the Security Officers role vs Peace Officer (Police) role.
On The Job Responsibilities of a Security Officer
- SECURITY OFFICERS only protect specific people and property.
- POLICE [PEACE OFFICER] protect people and property and enforce laws.
- Peace officers are law enforcement officers, their duty is to enforce the law and preserve the public peace. If a law is violated, peace officers are required to pursue and apprehend the person responsible. This is not required or expected of a security officer!
- REMEMBER, a peace officer’s responsibilities are different from a security officer’s responsibilities.
- A security officer may also be responsible for maintaining certain company policies, State requirements, building rules, and clients’ rules and regulations while on the job.
- A very important role for a security officer is: Monitoring safety standards and reporting hazards: blocking exits, fire, safety, slippery floors, etc. These are things that can prevent emergencies from escalating.
Prevention is the Key
- For example, if a security officer spotted some people trying to climb a fence to private property that he is stationed at, a security guard should get their attention or turn on lights. Do anything lawful that would discourage their trespassing: don’t wait until they cross the fence so that the security guard can confront them. Try to deescalate the situation. Another typical situation might be:
- A person intends to steal from a store but sees a uniformed security officer on patrol. The person leaves the store without stealing anything. The security officer, simply by being there in uniform (command his/her presence alone), has prevented a crime.
- A security officers should try to be visible at all times while on the job.
- Observe and Report! Observe and Report! Observe and Report! The Who? What? When? Where? And why?
- If a Security officer can’t prevent an incident, the proper action is to observe and report.
- Observe carefully; get witness statements include names and numbers, take accurate notes and pictures. The security officer reports may be relied on in future court proceedings.
Report immediately to the local law enforcement, and/or your supervisor as per your on the job, post orders.
TRAITS OF A TOP-NOTCH SECURITY OFFICER
Although, in most cases, a security officer is not a Client employee, as a contract security guard you represent your company and most importantly you represent the Client that hired you, as an authority figure while on the job. You are entrusted with the safety and security of many people including company property. The security officers are one of the first responders in emergency situations, and play a key role in handling the first crucial minutes. Because a security officer has such important responsibilities, they should be a top caliber individual with a strong sense of duty.
The following traits are necessary for a TOP-NOTCH Security Officer:
Integrity. You must be honest without criticism. You must always do what is right, not what is simply convenient, acceptable, or easy.
Ethics. You must never accept gifts, benefits, or favorable treatment other than authorized rewards. Similarly, you must never give preferential treatment or benefits to others, or even give the appearance of wrongdoing. Any acceptance of unauthorized or unofficial compensation, favoritism, or other benefits is unethical behavior and could be grounds for removal from a post or job site.
Knowledge. To be effective, you must know your post duties well. You should act automatically as a result. Your job is very sensitive and its guidelines are important. You must know what to do and how to do it. You must know how to handle any emergency on your post, including utility cut-offs. Knowledge is Power.
Politeness. You must always display courtesy and politeness when dealing with people, whether they are friendly, indifferent, or hostile. You will gain respect and cooperation by being polite.
Even temperament. You must not get angry in performing your duties while on the job. Anger does not help in any situation. By being calm and stable you will prevent situations from escalating and others will become calmer.
Impartiality. Don’t take sides in disagreements or disputes among others. You cannot show favoritism toward one side or it will be viewed as an attack against the other. You must be unbiased and simply address the facts as known and base them on client policies and or rules and regulations, not personal feeling.
Alertness. You must be aware of the environment around you and be able to notice even the slightest changes or unusual conditions. By being observant and aware, you will prevent and detect crime or unauthorized behavior. You must watch for deviations from the norm, such as a strange car parked in an unauthorized space, a person approaching or coming from an area that is not normally used, or nervousness/unstable behavior from a person approaching you. Little things that seem to have no significance may add up to something important. Alertness can only be achieved by keen watchfulness and by diligent application of post order requirements. Camera systems enhance the effectiveness of security forces; but nothing is a substitute for the alertness and his/her presence alone of a physical security officer. The degree of alertness determines whether the security is effective or can be penetrated.
Good Judgment. Good judgment is more than the application of common sense – it is the power of arriving at a wise decision. Experience provides knowledge, and knowledge precedes judgment. Security instructions cannot cover every situation. Many are unique and require individual consideration. You must develop the ability to observe, compare, and discern similarities and differences to arrive at logical conclusions. It is good judgment to contact your supervisor when you are in doubt about how to proceed in any given situation.
Confidence. Confidence is a state of feeling sure, free from doubt or misgivings. Confidence includes faith in oneself and in one’s abilities. Nothing can bring out self-confidence like job knowledge. You must have confidence in yourself, your equipment, your leadership, and other members of the security team. If you have concerns about any aspect of your job, contact your supervisor for guidance or clarification. Generally, the more experience you have on the job dealing with a wide variety of people and situations, the more confident you will become.
Physical Fitness. Security duties are often spent stationary or seated at a fixed post, but occasionally they require great physical exertion. A security officer must be able to react quickly, be strong, and have endurance. Being stationary for an 8-12 hours shift is not healthy. It is important to move around on post if possible, foot patrol, walking parking lots, perimeter fences, etc. Emergency responses and confrontations can be very physically demanding. The availability of security officers’ jobs can be limited, and may depend on the guard level of physical fitness and ability to act and to control a bad situation.
Tactfulness. The ability to deal with others without offending them is a highly desirable quality in security officers. It is difficult to assume the authority and responsibilities of security officers’ position without consciously or unconsciously displaying a sense of superiority in an unpleasant manner. All security officers must be able to communicate clearly, concisely, firmly, and authoritatively but without arrogance or offensive.
Self-Control. Security officer duties his/her presence alone situations that require not only sound judgment but also self-control. All security officers must always act professionally and control all of their emotions, especially anger, exasperation, frustration, nervousness, and fear.
Positive Attitude. Your general mental attitude towards life and your job is very important. Interest in the job and loyalty to the organizations you protect is particularly applicable to security officers. By maintaining a positive outlook on life in general and in your job, you will be more productive, effective, and satisfied. Success is 90% attitude and 10% knowledge.
Approachable Manner. Many people are intimidated by or fear law enforcement and/or security Officers in uniform. Try to minimize their concerns by giving signals showing that you are approachable, such as making eye contact with a smile, greeting the person cordially, or simply acknowledging their his/her presence alone with a nod. If you can win people’s trust, you will be able to do your job much more effectively.
Be a Professional Security Officer
As a professional security officer you must evaluate yourself honestly take your job seriously, improve those qualities that are not your strengths and keep learning.
I will continue to give information about being a better security officer and contract guard (which are the same, depending on being hired as in house security or contract guard through a security/guard company). I will expand on some specific duties such as dealing with people, dispute resolution, sexual harassment, etc. Thanks for tuning in.
Until next time B Safe-
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