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What's in a name?

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  • What's in a name?

    I'll try to keep this (fairly) short. The powers that be want to "soften" the image of our department. That's fine. But they want to get rid of the word "Security." Apparently it has to do with a lawsuit in Illinois, where a rape victim sued the complex because the level of "security" portrayed wasn't what they had.

    I've seen similar cases, and very rarely is it about the name, but about the actual level of services delivered. The only case where name was involved (as I remember) were guards wearing "Private Police" patches or badges when they had no special commission or powers to detain - clearly false advertising.

    When you start renaming you can create other issues. I don't want to be a "Safety Officer," because that job title has a specific occupation not related to security - in our state, its the guy at the factory that makes sure you are in compliance with OSHA and state labor and safety regulations. Likewise, "Loss Prevention Officer" would be in line with some of what we do, but we are not a retail establishment, which is what I think of when I hear that. "Courtesy Patrol" just sounds weird - my job is to go around and greet people?

    Aside from the stereotypes which can't be avoided, "Security" to me is what we do - just let it be.

  • #2
    Well, you could rename the security department to the Security* department (with the asterisk). If anyone asks what the asterisk means, have a pamphlet ready

    Seriously, I understand what you mean in that companies want to have a security department but not appear to have one. I've seen weird names, such as "Safety Officer", "Courtesy Duty Officer", etc. From my experience, "Protection" is the term that is often used in place of security (the fact it's written the same in French helps, too..).

    On a side note, here in Ontario security guards can no longer be referred to as "security officers" or any type of "officer". However, there's no requirement that the word "guard" be used. As a result you see the terms "security agent", "security professional", "security staff member", "security personnel", etc..

    Personally, I just use the term "guard" (I rarely say "security guard" as I think it's implied from "guard").

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    • #3
      So if you are Safety Officers, and someone gets hurt, do you get sued for failing to provide a safe environment?

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      • #4
        Exactly. I have no idea why "Security" is such a big deal - if something is unsecure, they don't fire the whole department.

        We've been "Security" for over 10 years; I see no reason for the name change other than they are in the midst of a re-branding - new logo, new slogan, office make-over, etc. I think they've been watching too many of these "rescue" and "impossible" shows (the ones where they go in and give a bar, hotel or restaurant a renovation & new recipes and magically all is well).

        We are also in the midst of a rise in property crimes - I'm sure dressing us as janitors and calling us "safety concierges" or whatever will really push those crooks down the street.

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