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Security Staff: An In-Depth Exploration of the Role
Police officers and others working in law enforcement are trained to intervene or respond to a crime. However, rather than being reactive, it is the job of security guards to attempt to prevent the crimes from occurring in the first place. Security guards are there to mitigate risks and deter would-be criminals. Let’s explore the role further.
Potential Employment Opportunities for Private Security
There are a lot of potential employers for a security guard. A lot of businesses rely on them to safeguard their premises, staff, or products. Some businesses provide training, and others look for security staff who are already trained and certified. The responsibilities of these security guards will depend on their employer. In retail premises, the guards protect staff, merchandise, money, and equipment to prevent thefts. Guards detain shoplifters until the police arrive.
In offices, banks, hotels, and hospitals, the security guards are there to maintain order and protect customers, staff, and property. For museums and art galleries, security guards are hired more so to protect the art and the artefacts by watching people and inspecting all incoming and outgoing packages.
In factories, government buildings and military bases, security guards are responsible for protecting information, products, and people. They do this by checking the credentials and the property of all visitors to the site on their way in and out. At universities, stadiums or arenas, guards are responsible for crowd control and checking visitors for contraband on their way into the premises.
At bars or nightclubs, the guards or bouncers, as they are often called, check that patrons are of legal drinking age and maintain order among the customers inside. Guards who work within the transportation industry protect people and equipment. Finally, in personal security, guards are hired specifically to protect a person, usually someone well-known whose notoriety could put them at risk.
Typical Private Security Duties
Across most of the sectors mentioned above, there are several duties that a security guard will be expected to perform. Their primary objective is usually to protect premises or people and enforce the rules of the business.
It is often their job to monitor alarms and CCTV. They control access to the site and conduct security checks for visitors. They may also be required to write incident reports or outline things observed during their shift. Lastly, they often detain criminal violators until the police arrive.
Traits to Exhibit as a Security Officer
These traits aren’t always innate; they can be learned through proper security training. Every successful and effective security guard exhibits the following traits:
A security guard’s job most of the time is to watch and observe. They need to be able to keep their focus and watch for anything out of the ordinary.
Their sense of smell, hearing and sight all need to be tiptop in order to detect any strange smells or sounds or anyone acting suspiciously.
Quick response time
Not only does a security guard need to be able to sense an oncoming crisis they also need to be able to respond quickly to control the situation.
Efficient problem solver & decision maker
A security guard needs to be a keen problem solver and an efficient decision-maker. They know how best to respond to a crisis or other dangerous situations depending on the threat level. Some situations may be beyond security guards’ capabilities, in which case they should not hesitate to call for help from law enforcement. It is about being able to judge the situation well.
A security guard needs to exude a certain level of confidence. They need to feel comfortable enforcing rules and policies. After all, they are responsible for the safety of staff and consumers alike. Although it would be extremely difficult to be a shy security guard, they need to feel confident in exercising their authority and handing out consequences to those unwilling to follow their orders.
The best security guards remain calm and collected. Getting worked up can often lead to an overreaction which then exacerbates the situation at hand. Staying calm while dealing with unforeseen events is the key to being an effective security guard. It allows them to come up with logical and well-thought-out solutions instead of behaving reactively and potentially making the situation worse.
Lastly, a security guard needs to be approachable. Visitors and staff alike should feel comfortable in approaching the guard to ask for directions or report something suspicious that they have noticed. If a security guard isn’t friendly, it can put people off approaching them, making their job more difficult in the long run.
However, there is a caveat to this one. For guards working as personal security, they often do not want to seem approachable because it is their job to act as a deterrent to keep people from approaching the person they are protecting.
The Bottom Line
The core of a security guard’s job is to prevent crime or harm from coming to their employer or place of employment, as the case may be. Most security guards are highly trained in recognising suspicious behaviour or packages as well as being adept at conflict resolution. Not everyone is suited to this line of work, but those who are tend to flourish.