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How do you deal with problems in your day to day as a security officer? What steps did you to take afterwards?

I am currently in the process of studying to be a security guard and I want to know what will I have to do when a problem occur and how to resolve them, along with what steps do I have to take afterwards.

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Kim’s Answer

Christopher,
There are many different scenarios as to where you might be working at, and they are all different.

1. working at a corporate headquarters building: your job is to check security badges, deny unescorted access to anyone without a badge, issue a visitor badge and get an escort for approved visitors, and turn all others away. A high-ranking individual comes in. You recognize him. He forgot his badge. Think for a minute. Is it possible he was fired and nobody shared that info with you? Yes, although one would hope that's not the case! So, you call personnel to verify he still works there, make a note of who you spoke to, and, make the decision to let him in, without his badge, without an escort. You would document that on your daily log.

2. Working at a retail store: An employee reports seeing a child shoplift. There are all sorts of laws about detaining minors, so, the first thing you would do is recall your training on that subject. The child is with his mom. You might ask to speak to her, and she might have the child hand it over. Or, she could simply defend the child against your "false" accusations. This is why it's best to have this conversation somewhere private, because if she gets defensive, and there's other shoppers around, she then has an "Audience" and that doesn't work out too well. Once this is resolved, you would probably write a report, not just a log entry. You would have the names of the person who witnessed the event, the child and his mom, and anyone else involved. You would promptly notify your supervisor, as well as store management.

The most important thing in all of this is going to be how you treat people. You need to be polite, and not use inflammatory language. Watch your body language as well. People will try to get you to escalate things, you will need to de-escalate. When someone is yelling, you speak softer. You will learn these things. There will also be company policies, that might vary from location to location. For example, one store might want all shoplifters prosecuted, whereas one will leave it up to the on-site manager to decide. The more cases you handle, this all becomes easier to do, without really even having to think it through too much!

good question!
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Kelly’s Answer

Hello Christopher,

I always encourage new officers to pay close attention to details and boost their self-awareness. This is crucial as it forms the basis of the reports you'll often need to write post-incident. If you're in a situation where you can jot down information, such as responding to theft or property damage complaints, it's a win-win for everyone involved. However, in fast-paced scenarios like witnessing a physical fight, you might not have this advantage.

In my experience, I usually have the opportunity to review incidents on CCTV post-event to verify if the account given matches the actual events. It's not uncommon to find witness descriptions lacking in detail, inaccurate, or completely fabricated. I've had instances where individuals tried to blame the company for damage to their vehicles. On another occasion, an employee with a mental health condition falsely accused a colleague of hitting a pedestrian within the premises.

There are times when I've had to deliver the unpleasant news of access denial due to suspension for misconduct. Both internal and external issues pop up daily, and officers who are well-versed with company policies handle them more effectively. Officers who can recite and adhere to procedures will almost always have the support of company representatives.

Unfortunately, my least effective team members are those who resist learning, ignore policy update emails, and dismiss the concerns of the people they interact with. I understand that when people from around the campus approach me, it's usually not for casual chats about their weekend. They come with concerns or questions that are significant to them at that moment.
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James’s Answer

It is your job to deal with problems. When you encounter them, a lot of times it's a simple fix. Your company will have standard operating procedures to deal with a lot of what you are going to face on a daily basis. The rest is critical thinking. If you encounter a security issue or someone who is posing a threat, I recommend looking up verbal judo on how to diffuse a situation. If that doesn't work, follow the continuum of force. That is the guide for Military and Law Enforcement professionals.
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