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Migrating from "Observe and Report" to action

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  • SecTrainer
    Folks, I'm really kind of ashamed of us all here. Mounting an effective response to a security threat is NOT "POLICING", and as professionals we should all know that. This is a subject for another thread, though.

    If a client wants "observe and report", one thing we should be doing is making sure that this is really what they want. In my experience, a little conversation on that topic often results in a change of mind because there are actually damned few clients that REALLY want strict "O&R".

    You: "Then, if our officer were to see a small fire in the electrical closet and could extinguish it, they are only to report the fire, and watch it engage the whole floor before the fire department can arrive and set up?"

    Client: Well, no, of course not. We'd like them to report it and then extinguish the fire.

    You: "I see. Then, if our officer were to see an unrecognized vehicle parked toward the back of your employee lot with someone inside, they are to simply watch as the occupant of this vehicle snatches up one of your female employees leaving work? Oh, and report it, of course!"

    Client: Well, umm, no, not exactly.....

    You: "I see. Then, if our officer were to observe one of your disgruntled ex-employees entering the facility with an automatic rifle, they should report this, and maybe just count the dead bodies before the police can possibly arrive - you being probably among the dead, as the owner/manager? You do know, Mr. Client, that most of these incidents are over before the police arrive?"

    Client: "Well, not, that wouldn't be very satisfactory."

    You: "I see. NOT quite exactly 'observe and report', eh? Observe, report and respond is what it seems to me you want, Mr. Client. OR & R, not O&R."

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  • Bill Warnock
    Nathan IMO you are on the mark. When attending both Air Police and Sheriff's Academies they stressed both what you were allowed do and how to do it and what you weren't allowed to do. The security guard companies who hire only those who can see lightning and hear thunder place emphasis on observing and reporting. And still some companies and/or guards manage to screw that up. Call police or 911. OK, call police, what is the phone number and where is the phone I am to use? OK, dial 911, again where is phone? Most importantly, what information is the guard supposed to provide. I read on one guard order, and Nathan, I'm not making this up, the police or 911 will talk you through the problem. Underlined, that is their responsibility. Continuing, under no circumstances are you to get involved. To do so will result in your termination.
    In examining another post order it stated, and again, I'm not making this up, you are to notify your immediate supervisor and nobody else. There was neither name nor phone number.
    Now sit down for this one! When I submitted my report, the woman who hired me said with a straight face, "Mr. Warnock, I didn't think you would be looking that close."
    Enjoy the day,

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  • N. A. Corbier
    Folks, you're looking at state licensing from the wrong angle. The licensing and training requirements aren't there to turn out cops.

    They are there to protect society from security firms. That's why they exist.

    That's why your state gives as little as 4 hours of training, or up to 40. That's why the training is more about what your limitations are.

    That's why there are no "defensive tactics" or "officer survival" courses. The entire point of the training is to protect society from security guards.

    Florida was thinking of a "tiered" system, with certifications for things like providing first aid or arresting people.

    This isn't to benefit the guard. It is because they don't trust the security firms to adequately teach how to do these things, so they'll mandate the training through law.

    That's the whole point of state training: You people can't be trusted to teach, so we'll require it.

    POST courses are designed to teach someone how to do something. Security Licensing courses are to teach untrained individuals what they can't do.

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  • Jedi
    At the heart of the matter, I think a huge problem is that the security industry is too varied in missions. It encompasses everything from someone watching a gate open and close in between their naps to heavily armed defense contractors providing for our nuclear stockpiles; from simple window intrusion alarms to complex network intrusion detection software/hardware; from investigating employee theft of a pack of gum to developing threat matrix of the next likely terrorist attack.

    Just looking at the security guards/officers, what Limo LA has suggested makes some sense. After all, you have different levels of assignments, why not have different training requirements and expectations, from a regulatory stand point, for those completing the assignments. So lets discuss how we structure this.

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  • Maelstrom
    Sadly common sense & SOPs don't always co-exist harmoniously

    Receptionist/Security... sounds like a bad dose of 'multi-skilling' OR double the opportunity to take the heat over someone else's short comings
    Last edited by Maelstrom; 02-17-2008, 01:39 AM.

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  • NRM_Oz
    There are some serious issues on liability here if you say "YOUR RULES ARE ...... " and the S/O oversteps the boundaries due to operational requirements such as the removal of persons from your premises. I lost 1 contract when I had my company as it came to dollars and cents for front of house security. It was far cheaper for them to use S/O's than it was to pay a professional receptionist who worked for 8 hours a day. Amazing huh ?

    Public perception believes the word SECURITY requires you to act like a police officer to assist them but if you had asked them to leave a premises you are nothing but dirt as you are just an S/O. What makes things worse is when you go from Action to O / R duties based on previous incidents, management stupidity or bad contract negotiations by your employer.

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  • bigshotceo
    I think that the first problem in going beyond "observe and report" is that it simply cannot be worked into the current security framework, which is what some "progressive" companies are trying to do. When you consider that most companies only give 40 hours of training (if you're lucky), little to no defensive/communications equipment, and no legal/financial/medical support if things go wrong, I think that it's irresponsible for most companies to expect anything more than "observe and report".

    Then comes the money issue. If you want more than "observe and report" guards, AND you want to do it properly and responsibly, it's going to cost a lot of money in wages/benefits, equipment and training. How many clients are realistically willing to pay, for example, $60/hr for a guard? Also, how can you prevent companies from undercutting and outbidding each other, and creating the same "race to the bottom" we currently see in private security?

    The final question is this: who will you hire to be your hands-on/private police guards? Remember, comparing most security jobs to public police/private police jobs is comparing apples to oranges. 90% of the time the type of person who takes a security guard job (often a student, retired, looking for a 2nd job, recently laid off, etc...) is not interested in hands-on/private policing. If you're going to fill this role you're probably going to need the type of person who's more interesting in policing. If you're going to attract these people, though, you need to be competitive with what public police agencies are offering. This means better wages, benefits, job stability, etc.

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  • Limo LA
    Originally posted by Jedi View Post
    As the desire and even need for private "police" agencies (which are really just security patrol companies) grows, the legislature needs to update the policies and laws governing the security industry to be in line with the new role of security. Some states have already realized this and started to take steps to correct it, but most are way behind the times. It is time that action is taken.

    Of course, this is my personal view on this... what do you all think?
    My personal view is based on

    Fact 1
    BSIS Security minimum required training 40 Hrs +
    Level 3 reserve Peace officer minimum 162 +
    Level 2 reserve 390 hrs
    Level 1 730 hrs+ 400 hrs field training.(Still not full peace officer power granted)

    information from below

    Minimum 162 hours trained reserve peace officer are still Almost "prevent and report" status.

    From California POST
    Level III Penal Code sections 830.6(a)(1) and 832.6(a)(2)
    Level III reserve officers may perform specified limited support duties, and other duties that are not likely to result in physical arrests, while supervised in the accessible vicinity by a Level I reserve officer or a full-time regular officer. Additionally, Level III reserve officers may transport prisoners without immediate supervision.

    Level II Penal Code sections 830.6(a)(1) and 832.6(a)(2)
    Level II reserve officers may perform general law enforcement assignments while under the immediate supervision of a peace officer who has completed the Regular Basic Course. These officers may also work assignments authorized for Level III reserve officers without immediate supervision.

    Level I Penal Code sections 830.6(a)(1) and 832.6(a)(1)
    Level I reserve officers may work alone and perform the same duties as full-time regular officers.
    Full Peace officer training would be 664 hours (only basic) +,+,+

    MY personal view
    clients need for Security industry is very wide area (level).
    Some clients want just security who is wearing T-Shirts or jacket shows "Security" siting or standing. because they don't want to pay much.
    Some clients want Off-duty or at least Reserved officer type highly trained S/O and willing to pay higher rate.

    So as S/Os are in very wide variety.
    from still look like high school kids or retired old man who may not run for 50 yards to looks like SWAT or Secret service Agent.

    And All of those S/O are in one category and licensed as "California Registered Security Officer".

    My hope is BSIS will set up level of Security license.
    Level 1 officer, Level 2 officer.... so on.
    40 hours minimum trained officer is fine for some clients.
    if clients want "Almost" Police power S/O, they have to contract and pay for 300 hours required training Level 1 Security officer and pay $40/hour (Example).
    Because 300 hours minimum training required license S/O will not work for minimum wage.
    Hopefully, if client pays $40/hour, S/O may receive $25 to $28 / hour.
    if someone who doesn't step up level of license (unarmed minimum training license), he (she) would be still paid for minimum wage.

    State should regulate minimum training (include field training) for different Level of license and grant little more power to higher level S/Os.

    Also state need to issue separate license for Personal protection (Body Guard, Executive protection) than all same one type of Guard Card.
    and I hope BSIS will get power to issue "on duty CCW" for personal protection S/O.
    Because CCW issued by Sheriff and CCW for Personal protection S/O's are for different purpose.
    Last edited by Limo LA; 02-16-2008, 06:22 PM.

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  • Jedi
    started a topic Migrating from "Observe and Report" to action

    Migrating from "Observe and Report" to action

    One of the terms I hate to see in any message, article, or publication is "in a post 9/11 world...", but I am going to start there anyway. The reality is that much has change in emphasis and awareness since our Country was attacked on that September morning. One specific area is our realm of security. With the increasing awareness of violent incidents ranging from mall shootings to large scale terrorist attacks, the leadership of many organizations are looking to their security staff for strategies that go beyond prevention.

    This is a paradigm shift from the conventional belief that the role of security guards is to prevent by presence then observe and report if an incident occurs. It is now not acceptable, in many organizations, for security to become voyeurs when an incident unfolds.

    As a rather recent example, an incident occurred in the parking lot of a very large retailer where a verbal disagreement between two individuals ended up in one running the other over with a car. The family of the victim immediately asked where the retailer's security was while this incident unfolded. That same question was echoed by all of the media outlets reporting the story.

    Unfortunately, if the security guards from the organization were following the instructions provided in state mandated training, they were doing exactly what was expected of them, as described in California's BSIS Powers of Arrest manual "If you can’t prevent an incident, the proper action is to observe and report."

    It is a very muddy bog that we tread into when the organizations expectation moves past, or contrary to, those set by the licensing authority. The concept of replacing observing and reporting an incident with taking action to resolve an incident is in opposition of policies but in line with the public expectation. So how do you do it?

    As the desire and even need for private "police" agencies (which are really just security patrol companies) grows, the legislature needs to update the policies and laws governing the security industry to be in line with the new role of security. Some states have already realized this and started to take steps to correct it, but most are way behind the times. It is time that action is taken.

    Of course, this is my personal view on this... what do you all think?