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  • Opinions - Minimum Post Orders

    I would like to solicit everyone's opinion - officers, managers and consultants alike - as to what you believe should be included in the MINIMUM post orders for ANY security post.

    NOTE: I'm looking for categories of orders, not specific orders themselves, which would obviously vary from post to post. For instance, "emergency notification procedure" is a category of orders, whereas the procedure itself would be site-specific. "Frequency of foot patrols" would be a category, whereas the specific time interval that might be specified within that category would again be site-specific.

    Thanks - I look forward to reading your replies!
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-25-2009, 09:10 AM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

  • #2
    Patrol Safety, with a focus on Officer Safety. I have worked in-house and contract security for various companies and I have yet to be trained in basic officer safety tactics. These tatics are general and can be tailor made to any site and how they do things. They include how to approach a suspicous vehicle in the parking lot, on foot, by car or both. How far and where to stand when contacting the driver of said vehicle, how to approach a suspicous person on site. Again how far and how to stand, how to "cut the pie", how to use light and sound discipline, when is broadcasting your prescense better then trying to be more steathy about your prescense. The concepts of contact and cover. These are just basic security prinicpals that can be applied to any site, yet it is never taught or given to the staff in any way. I think some companies take for granted that there is a decent amount of retired or former Military and LEO's in private security, where this training was probably already given to them.
    Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. - 1 Corinthians 16:13

    The cleanliness of our hearts, The strength of our limbs, and commitment to our promise.

    My military contract is up and over. However, I never needed to affirm that I would defend the constitution, our freedoms, our way of life from enemies both domestic and foreign. Do not think that since I am no longer in the military, I will not pick up a weapon to defend my family, my home or my country. - Me!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by FireRanger View Post
      how to "cut the pie", how to use light and sound discipline, when is broadcasting your prescense better then trying to be more steathy about your prescense.
      I'm not familiar with this phrase. Would you explain, please, if it won't distract form the OP too much?
      That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

      Comment


      • #4
        I arrived on-post as a supervisor replacement about a year ago. I am looked at as a “cleaner” of sorts. In management, but work difficult and troubled posts to maintain client confidence. My present assignment is for a computer chip manufacturing company that will shut down in 2010. The main goal was to reorganize the security department, streamline operations and regain client confidence. The first thing I looked at was the Post Orders.

        Our company has contractual rules which are incorporated into the individual site Post Orders. Each officer has signed this contract for employment so it is included as a “reminder”. This is all my post had at the time, which was something like 4 to 7 pages. All instructions were verbal, which was incredible for such a site. Security is involved with chemicals & chemistry, spill detection, disaster response, life-safety, access control, surveillance, etc. After a month of work and consulting almost on a daily basis with the client, we now have a 75 page live document that is our Post Orders.

        While I will try not to get involved in it to keep this brief, we settled on the following which appear in the same order as what you would find in the actual Post Orders…

        * Emergency Contacts List
        * Introduction (including post hours, use of post orders, electronic media, general instruction <employment contract>, Things you should know about chemistry, objectives, uniforms & equipment, safety in the workplace, chemical hazards, officer safety & use-of-force).
        * Post Manuals (including Emergency Action Plan, Environmental management System, Materials Safety Data Sheet Statement, Post Orders).
        * Generic Forms (including Daily Officer Report, Incident Report and assorted other security company internal forms).
        * Security Control Room (Monitors & DVRs, Notifier Fire Computer System Overview, Pro-Watch Computer System Overview, Duty Computer, Computer Use Policy of company and client, email system, telephone policies, Telephones <desk, emergency, internal page system and cell phone>, Motorola Radio operation and use, Uniden Emergency Radio operation & use, Keys, Temporary ID Badges, Safe Access, First Aid Cabinet Inventory and Use Policy, Automatic External Defibrillator, Explosive Atmosphere Sniffer use).
        * Post Specific Forms (including Visitor Log & procedure, Vehicle registration form & procedure, Parking lot citations & procedure, Tool Log, Safe Access Form, Signature Stamp Form, Gold Plate Form, Camera Request Form, New ID Badge Request Form, problem Report, property Removal Form, Hazardous Chemical Spill & Release Form & procedure, First Report of Injury Form & procedure, Authorization for employee medical treatment Form & procedure, Fire Riser Inspection Form & Procedure, Fire Extinguisher Inspection Form & procedure, Emergency Exit Door Inspection Form & procedure, DVR Malfunction Log, Key Log and Emergency Radio Inspection Form & procedure).
        * Post Procedures (including General information, foot tours, Notifier use, Pro-Watch use, Computer back Up Tape Exchange, Clean Room procedure and Test, Cryogenic Liquid & Compressed Gas Deliveries, Other chemical deliveries, Testing leaks & spills).
        *Emergency Incident & Response procedures (including Security Responsibilities, Blood & Body Fluid precautions, Outside Agency & Authorities, Medical Care Facilities, hazardous Materials Response Contractors Call Sheet, Severe Weather Events, Ice & Snow Response, Weather Information Phone Number <plant closures, etc.>, Nations Weather Service Watches & Warnings.

        The appendix has an original hard copy of each paper form we use to make copies. The "Post Specific Forms" section also has a blank form, a correctly filled out form and an incorrectly fill out form. The errors are highlighted with an explination of why it is wrong (space left blank, no initials, date in wrong spot).

        Each heading is like a “chapter” and each sub-heading is like a page in the chapter. Therefore, it is set up as 1.0 for Emergency Contact List; 2.1 would be Introduction-Post Hours; Emergency Incident & Response Procedures-Severe Weather Events would be 8.6.1 and 8.6.2 because it takes two pages of the Post Orders.

        Color photos of technical stuff, like screen shots of the computer systems when showing procedures to acknowledge a trouble alarm on the Notifier, are also included in the Post orders where necessary.

        Something to think about…Amendments to the Post Orders. I have seen where some will strike out the old verbiage and then include the new verbiage after the struck-out section. Others will put additions at the end of the chapter or section, or in an appendix. I don’t like either way. I send out a memo to the client, the owner of the security company and my officers that a change is imminent. I will quote chapter and verse of the old order, and then give the new order in a different color. An effective date of change will also be given in the memo. After I have received email return receipt from the client and my boss, and physical signatures of my officers on my officer memo, the page will be removed from the Post Orders and the new sheet will immediately be inserted. I will then write the actual change date on the officer memo (the one all of my people signed) and sign it, showing that the change was indeed made. A copy of the outdated orders and current orders are kept as a PDF on the company computer and I am allowed to keep a copy of the old and current in my private email address as a back up. The memo is scanned as a PDF and the original is filed. Post Orders are also available as a printed document in the security office.

        This may seem to be a highly technical set of Post Orders and it may seem overblown. However, one has to remember the chemistry, possible emergencies, and possible threats to life-safety that we deal with on a daily basis. Our training varies from person to person but averages 40 – 80 hours prior to being released on your own assignment solo. Everyone is crossed trained in every position so we are all considered specialists.

        Hope this helps, YMMV.

        Chris

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by officerchick View Post
          I'm not familiar with this phrase. Would you explain, please, if it won't distract form the OP too much?
          We refer to it as "slicing the pie" and it is a technique for looking into a room that may be occupied by an armed person. Not really a post order type of thing.

          http://www.officer.com/article/artic...siteSection=21
          Remember those who died, remember those who killed them.

          Comment


          • #6
            PM Sent to OfficerChick
            Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. - 1 Corinthians 16:13

            The cleanliness of our hearts, The strength of our limbs, and commitment to our promise.

            My military contract is up and over. However, I never needed to affirm that I would defend the constitution, our freedoms, our way of life from enemies both domestic and foreign. Do not think that since I am no longer in the military, I will not pick up a weapon to defend my family, my home or my country. - Me!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by NoMoreFEMA View Post
              This may seem to be a highly technical set of Post Orders and it may seem overblown. However, one has to remember the chemistry, possible emergencies, and possible threats to life-safety that we deal with on a daily basis. Our training varies from person to person but averages 40 – 80 hours prior to being released on your own assignment solo. Everyone is crossed trained in every position so we are all considered specialists.

              Hope this helps, YMMV.

              Chris
              Most impressive! I hope you won't mind if I save a copy of this post and refer to it.
              That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by officerchick View Post
                Most impressive! I hope you won't mind if I save a copy of this post and refer to it.
                Not a problem. If anyone is interested, I can have a sanitized version of the actual orders done and emailed to them. May be use as a point of reference or template.

                Glad to help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As part of my consulting practice, I often review guard company post orders as a part of the security assessment process. Over the years I have seen quite a variety, but the following would be a fairly typical "table of contents" of a post orders document:

                  1.0 emergency contacts and procedures
                  1.1 emergency contacts
                  1.2 emergency evacuation procedures
                  1.3 extortion and bomb threats
                  1.4 civil disturbance emergency procedures
                  1.5 fires
                  1.6 trespassers/unauthorized persons
                  1.7 law enforcement relations
                  1.8 medical emergencies
                  1.9 natural disaster procedures
                  1.10 weather-related emergencies
                  1.11 violent incidents
                  1.12 people stuck in elevators
                  1.13 chemical spills
                  2.0 general procedures
                  2.1 introduction to the facility
                  2.2 post hours and security force management
                  2.3 public relations
                  2.4 professional conduct of a security officer
                  2.5 telephone and radio communications
                  2.6 security system monitoring
                  2.7 reporting procedures
                  2.8 safety procedures
                  2.9 identification and control of company employees
                  2.10 patrol procedures
                  2.11 fire prevention procedures
                  2.12 use of customer-furnished equipment
                  3.0 post specific instructions
                  3.1 general supervisor information
                  3.2 security officer duties
                  3.3 facility access
                  3.4 key control
                  3.5 elevators
                  3.6 theft and pilferage control
                  3.7 lost and found procedures
                  4.0 shift change procedures
                  6.0 appendices
                  6.1 required forms
                  6.2 other documents

                  As you can see, many topics are already included on the outline provided by NoMoreFEMA (good job, BTW), with a few additions.

                  The biggest problems with most post orders I review are:
                  • Document is a "cut-and-paste" job from the guard company's standard template and doesn't relate specifically to the site.
                  • Too many photos and other graphics used to "bulk-up" the document but which don't contain information that is truly useful.
                  • Post orders procedures are in conflict with the client's own security policies and procedures and/or employee handbook.
                  • Document reads like a security text book and contains information that really belongs in a training manual rather than in the post orders.
                  • Document not kept up-to-date and contains much obsolete information (bad contact information, reference to buildings that no longer exist, etc.).

                  Generally, you can tell quite a lot about the overall security operation just by reviewing the post orders. If the document is complete and up-to-date, chances are good that the on-site security program is pretty squared-away. Conversely, if the post orders are poorly-written or non-existent, there is a good chance there are greater problems with the way that security is managed at the site.
                  Michael A. Silva
                  Silva Consultants

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                    I would like to solicit everyone's opinion - officers, managers and consultants alike - as to what you believe should be included in the MINIMUM post orders for ANY security post.

                    NOTE: I'm looking for categories of orders, not specific orders themselves, which would obviously vary from post to post. For instance, "emergency notification procedure" is a category of orders, whereas the procedure itself would be site-specific. "Frequency of foot patrols" would be a category, whereas the specific time interval that might be specified within that category would again be site-specific.

                    Thanks - I look forward to reading your replies!
                    SecTrainer this is a subject near and dear to my heart. The other respondents have covered the field. I want to take a departure and discuss wish, goal and mission when writing post, patrol and special orders. We have security officer general orders. Nothing in the general order should be repeated in the post, patrol or special order because it is specific to that particular task. What is the wish of the writer? What is the goal of the writer? What is the mission envisioned by the writer? Most importantly, what do the words mean to each individual reader. Recall your military training, the "Ten Security Instructons." We each had to write out understanding of each order. The understanding covered the gamut! Wishes and goals are in many instances confused and the mission suffers.
                    A post order is not a novel, short, sweet and to the point in simple easy to understand language. We have to use Napoleon's example. As an artillery lieutenant he found this private. Though the man was retarded, Napoleon keeps promoting him and kept him on his staff. Finally, in desperation, Marshal Ney asked, "Why?" Napoleon's answer was classic and should be practiced by all of us, "Because, when I an order, I let him read it first. If he understands it, everyone else will too!"
                    Next, have these written post, patrol or special orders been coordinated with general counsel and other staff members?
                    If they are not properly coordinated or staffed, they may contain errors, contain stupid, improper or illegal wording or directed actions.
                    Remember the words of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes, "How can something seem so plausible at the time and so idiotic in retrospect?" Some of our writings do represent tossing water filled baloons! If not careful, we can expect an occasional PLOOSH! And finally, who is responsible for keeping these orders current? When pressed, finger pointing doesn't cut it.
                    Enjoy the day with C,
                    Bill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bill Warnock View Post
                      SecTrainer this is a subject near and dear to my heart. The other respondents have covered the field. I want to take a departure and discuss wish, goal and mission when writing post, patrol and special orders. We have security officer general orders. Nothing in the general order should be repeated in the post, patrol or special order because it is specific to that particular task. What is the wish of the writer? What is the goal of the writer? What is the mission envisioned by the writer? Most importantly, what do the words mean to each individual reader. Recall your military training, the "Ten Security Instructons." We each had to write out understanding of each order. The understanding covered the gamut! Wishes and goals are in many instances confused and the mission suffers.
                      A post order is not a novel, short, sweet and to the point in simple easy to understand language. We have to use Napoleon's example. As an artillery lieutenant he found this private. Though the man was retarded, Napoleon keeps promoting him and kept him on his staff. Finally, in desperation, Marshal Ney asked, "Why?" Napoleon's answer was classic and should be practiced by all of us, "Because, when I an order, I let him read it first. If he understands it, everyone else will too!"
                      Next, have these written post, patrol or special orders been coordinated with general counsel and other staff members?
                      If they are not properly coordinated or staffed, they may contain errors, contain stupid, improper or illegal wording or directed actions.
                      Remember the words of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes, "How can something seem so plausible at the time and so idiotic in retrospect?" Some of our writings do represent tossing water filled baloons! If not careful, we can expect an occasional PLOOSH! And finally, who is responsible for keeping these orders current? When pressed, finger pointing doesn't cut it.
                      Enjoy the day with C,
                      Bill
                      Great post, Bill. We had 11 "General Security Orders" - #11 was "If you ever forget or violate the first 10 orders, pucker up and kiss your a** goodbye."

                      The point you make about coordinating post orders - especially general post orders, which usually implement broad security policies - with corporate/agency counsel is critical, but often not done.

                      Something else you imply is that the general post orders should include an order specifying who is authorized to countermand and/or change the post orders. This might be a first-level supervisor, but not necessarily. You might want to move that authority up the food chain a bit.

                      Best regards to you and M!
                      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
                        As part of my consulting practice, I often review guard company post orders as a part of the security assessment process. Over the years I have seen quite a variety, but the following would be a fairly typical "table of contents" of a post orders document:

                        1.0 emergency contacts and procedures
                        1.1 emergency contacts
                        1.2 emergency evacuation procedures
                        1.3 extortion and bomb threats
                        1.4 civil disturbance emergency procedures
                        1.5 fires
                        1.6 trespassers/unauthorized persons
                        1.7 law enforcement relations
                        1.8 medical emergencies
                        1.9 natural disaster procedures
                        1.10 weather-related emergencies
                        1.11 violent incidents
                        1.12 people stuck in elevators
                        1.13 chemical spills
                        2.0 general procedures
                        2.1 introduction to the facility
                        2.2 post hours and security force management
                        2.3 public relations
                        2.4 professional conduct of a security officer
                        2.5 telephone and radio communications
                        2.6 security system monitoring
                        2.7 reporting procedures
                        2.8 safety procedures
                        2.9 identification and control of company employees
                        2.10 patrol procedures
                        2.11 fire prevention procedures
                        2.12 use of customer-furnished equipment
                        3.0 post specific instructions
                        3.1 general supervisor information
                        3.2 security officer duties
                        3.3 facility access
                        3.4 key control
                        3.5 elevators
                        3.6 theft and pilferage control
                        3.7 lost and found procedures
                        4.0 shift change procedures
                        6.0 appendices
                        6.1 required forms
                        6.2 other documents

                        As you can see, many topics are already included on the outline provided by NoMoreFEMA (good job, BTW), with a few additions.

                        The biggest problems with most post orders I review are:
                        • Document is a "cut-and-paste" job from the guard company's standard template and doesn't relate specifically to the site.
                        • Too many photos and other graphics used to "bulk-up" the document but which don't contain information that is truly useful.
                        • Post orders procedures are in conflict with the client's own security policies and procedures and/or employee handbook.
                        • Document reads like a security text book and contains information that really belongs in a training manual rather than in the post orders.
                        • Document not kept up-to-date and contains much obsolete information (bad contact information, reference to buildings that no longer exist, etc.).

                        Generally, you can tell quite a lot about the overall security operation just by reviewing the post orders. If the document is complete and up-to-date, chances are good that the on-site security program is pretty squared-away. Conversely, if the post orders are poorly-written or non-existent, there is a good chance there are greater problems with the way that security is managed at the site.
                        Excellent and thoughtful responses from everyone so far - thanks! Each and every response provides a valuable "takeaway". Others...feel free to jump in too!

                        Michael, I appreciate and echo your observations about the shortcomings you've seen. Very cogent. Incidentally, I notice that your "table of contents" listing jumps from section 4 to section 6 - was section 5 not relevant to this question (e.g., used for site specifics or left free for future expansion), or was this just a typo? (I'm not quibbling - just don't want to miss anything on your list!)
                        Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-25-2009, 05:27 PM.
                        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post
                          Incidentally, I notice that your "table of contents" listing jumps from section 4 to section 6 - was section 5 not relevant to this question (e.g., used for site specifics or left free for future expansion), or was this just a typo? (I'm not quibbling - just don't want to miss anything on your list!)
                          I tried to come up with some type of profound philosophical reason for the omission but came up short. Just a typo...
                          Michael A. Silva
                          Silva Consultants

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just some echoing...

                            Stuff like slicing the pie, etc, is training. It isn't post orders.

                            I've always found that the cookie cutter stuff should go in General Orders, which are the policies which everyone in the company should follow.

                            Specific General Orders should be modified or countermanded by Post Special Orders, or Individual Special Orders. These Special Orders are just that, orders for special circumstances.

                            Like, say, the company uniform policy is the hard "police look" uniform, but on X post, blazers are worn. The General Order for uniforms requires the wearing of the Class B uniform. The Post Special Orders for Account Bob countermand General Order 100.3.4 through 100.3.6 and mandate the authorized basic uniform for the post be Blazer, Blue and Shirt, Dress, White.

                            Another very useful thing in post orders is numbering so that you can reference things.

                            Oh, and finally, I have seen post orders that were written by the day shift guard on a napkin. This should be unacceptable. He may "know" how the post is run, but nobody at management level knows what the hell is going on.

                            The Post Special Orders should be written based on the contract, and should be reviewed and agreed to by the client. Any changes from the client should be submitted to the management office, at which point the management office (upon agreement as outlined under contract) shall issue new post orders which supersede the old ones.

                            Many times, the client rep who has no actual corporate authority to do so will make changes to the guard force duties and then BOOM, "We never told him to do that." or "The Guard did that himself!"

                            And then the firm is stuck paying 200 dollar towing tickets or paying for a device that the client rep just had his uncle Zeke steal.
                            Some Kind of Commando Leader

                            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Excellent observations, Nate. Something we often don't consider is the phenomenon sometimes referred to as "contract creep", meaning those little incremental changes in the way a contract is implemented that happen over time, and that can cumulatively add up to a huge disconnect between what officers were originally contracted to do and what they are actually doing a year later.

                              In the construction industry, a properly written contract will provide a clear process for "adds and changes" to the original plans, and good construction managers make NO changes to the original plans without a written modification order, which usually will also include a modification to the cost of the project resulting from the change. These modification orders then become part of the original contract, enforceable just like any other terms of the contract.

                              This is just good contract management. Many "little" informal requests from the client are such that they have an associated cost for you to deliver (an officer's time, for instance, or a cost associated with some item of gear that's needed, or even sometimes the cost of losing officers when a request involves "scut work" like sweeping the lobby or shoveling the front walk). That means that very often your answer to the client who is requesting a change to the contract should be: "We'll be very happy to accommodate your request. If you'll put it in writing, I'll have it costed out by our bean-counters and get back to you on what the change in our rate will be. If it's acceptable to you, we'll modify the contract immediately."

                              Notice how cooperative this response is. However, my own experience is that when you politely tie contract changes to an associated change in your rate (assuming the request does involve some additional cost to you), the "little request" often simply evaporates and you never do get that request in writing from the client. This keeps you from directly opposing a client request, but it also saves you from the unpleasant experience of looking up one day and suddenly realizing that you're doing a lot of stuff for free that was never mentioned when the contract was created. Given the very slim margins in our industry, we cannot afford to do anything for free - nor should any client expect us to.
                              Last edited by SecTrainer; 02-25-2009, 08:26 PM.
                              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

                              "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

                              "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

                              "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

                              Comment

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