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What does it take to be LP?

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  • What does it take to be LP?

    Greetings everyone. I'm currently a security officer with a contract company, and at the end of January I'll be leaving the company (as well as the country!) to study abroad for three months. Upon my return in May I'll still be going to school here, but I really do not want to return to my security company - I'm an educated and active person and I do not want to return to a job that pays barely over minimum wage and does not involve me using my head or my body. (Low-risk sit-and-watch sites account for 90% of our contracts)

    Loss prevention is a related field that interests me as it incorporates elements of investigation and enforcement into the mix - something my current job does not. Plus, it pays more.

    When I return from studying abroad, I'll have 13 months of security experience under my belt (highlights include working sites in public settings such as public libraries, major sporting events [was the security coordinator for a team of 8 officers...best site ever], small cruise ships, and performing specialized work for a bank's corporate security [investigating ATM and branch alarms remotely, dispatching PD, report writing]) and a high desire to jump into a field that interests and challenges me (stimulating my mind) and as a result, pays more (stimulating my wallet...as a student I'm always in need of it )

    That being said, would I be a desirable candidate for loss prevention work?

  • #2
    Good morning
    I did loss prevention for 4 months, I enjoyed it but be warned. it is a very high stress job In Ottawa we had to have a certian amount of arrests per week (and they say only the police have quotas lol) you are putting yourself in jepordy well making arrest wether you are in shape or not, I hope you are ready and willing to run the kids teens tend to like there foot chases.Also remember the employees ARE NOT on your side do not expect them for back up as they are the ones stealing (7:1) other then these things I think loss prevention is a great choice.

    I wish you the best of luck

    stay safe

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    • #3
      Most in most retail stores, the minimums are:

      - Are you over 18.
      - Can you be hired as a regular associate.
      - Can you pass a credit check and background investigation.

      That's it. They hire kids off the street.
      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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
        Most in most retail stores, the minimums are:

        - Are you over 18.
        - Can you be hired as a regular associate.
        - Can you pass a credit check and background investigation.

        That's it. They hire kids off the street.
        Huh. I applied for a slew of open LP positions a few months ago (Lowes, Sears, Circuit City, Macy's) and was never contacted. Perhaps I'm a more attractive candidate now.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Just_Some_Guy
          Huh. I applied for a slew of open LP positions a few months ago (Lowes, Sears, Circuit City, Macy's) and was never contacted. Perhaps I'm a more attractive candidate now.
          It could of been:

          1. They weren't hiring.
          2. They didn't like what you put down on the application.
          3. They had more qualified canidates (they love cops for some reason)

          Most places will not contact you anymore, if you did not get the job. Keep in mind that most LP departments don't consider "security guard" positions experience.
          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

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          • #6
            I'm looking for a new job, too.

            I've thought about LP because it would be a challenge. However, no matter how fun the job is... i'm not going to take a $3 an hour pay cut to work in a enviroment where there is a greater risk of me getting my ass kicked than I currently do.

            I've got 2+ years of security experience, and have worked as a dispatcher during almost all that time. I am familar with cameras and DVR systems... that is one of my "selling points"

            Jon
            The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed.

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            • #7
              I just left Macy's Loss Prevention after having worked there for a year-and-a-half, so I can tell you a little bit about LP work...

              Your seem to have a good background as far as security experience goes. You also write proficiently, which is definately desirable (you'll write a lot of reports doing LP, and they'll be read by the police and lawyers). That being said, loss prevention is very, very different than uniformed security work. I went into the job with uniformed experience and a B.A. in criminal justice, and I was entirely unprepared for loss prevention.

              Loss prevention work demands attention to detail, adaptability, and good acting and communication skills. You also need a good deal of common sense so that you don't end up being a liability to your company--remember, LP officers are frequently apprehending people. Police officers can make arrests based on probable cause and/or "good faith," whereas in LP, you basically need proof beyond a reasonable doubt before you detain someone.

              I can only speak about Macy's LP, but candidates with law enforcement, military, or security experience were generally not considered more qualified or desirable (police officers are trained with probable cause in mind, which you have to throw out the window to do this job). Former LP experience is sometimes attractive, but not necessarily a guarantee you'll get the job. Macy's, at least, does not mind hiring entry-level candidates so that they can be trained "the Macy's way" and not have pre-conceived notions of how to do the job.

              Don't be too discouraged if you were never contacted. Most retail stores I know of locally have very little turnover in their LP departments, so you'll just have to get lucky and find a store with an open position. If you're 18 or older, have a clean background, and can pass a drug screen, you're good to go. If you get called in for an interview, demonstrate that you have common sense, that you have good communication skills, that you can work as a team player, that you have an attention to detail and could do investigation work, and that you understand the liability inherent in this type of job.

              During an interview, don't dwell on your past security experience, because as I said, it won't translate very well to loss prevention work. About the only thing I found that carried over was the attention to detail aspect.

              Good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by EMTjon
                I'm looking for a new job, too.

                I've thought about LP because it would be a challenge. However, no matter how fun the job is... i'm not going to take a $3 an hour pay cut to work in a enviroment where there is a greater risk of me getting my ass kicked than I currently do.
                That's why you make sure you're the one doing the ass-kicking!



                Originally posted by EMTjon
                I've got 2+ years of security experience, and have worked as a dispatcher during almost all that time. I am familar with cameras and DVR systems... that is one of my "selling points"

                Jon
                In working loss prevention, you'll probably do some camera work... but that's the simpler aspect of the job. It's a different thing altogether to be able to conduct successful sales floor surveillances.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LPGuy
                  Police officers can make arrests based on probable cause and/or "good faith," whereas in LP, you basically need proof beyond a reasonable doubt before you detain someone.
                  Same thing in hotel security under Canadian law. I hire a lot of Police Technology studetns who are waiting to get hired by police departments. I have to make sure they understand the difference in powers. In fact in the hotel industry we would rather they didn't make any arrests.
                  I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                  Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                  • #10
                    Hmm...does anyone care to share what an entry level rate of pay would be in a place like Macy's or Nordstroms (my top 2 candidates)? Earlier I assumed that LP would pay more than the guard job I had making a buck or two above my state's minimum wage. After comparing the salary on salary.com however, I'm not so sure anymore.

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                    • #11
                      For both companies, the bottom of the payscale is between $8.00 & $9.00. With some experience you may be able to start higher. Macys has an excellent training program with opportunities to move up.
                      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                      Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                      Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Just_Some_Guy
                        Hmm...does anyone care to share what an entry level rate of pay would be in a place like Macy's or Nordstroms (my top 2 candidates)? Earlier I assumed that LP would pay more than the guard job I had making a buck or two above my state's minimum wage. After comparing the salary on salary.com however, I'm not so sure anymore.
                        In the Seattle area, the bottom of the pay scale for Macy's LP is about $9.50/hour. If you have any experience or education, you may start at up to $12.00/hour. Up here, I think LP officers currently max out at close to $16.00/hour.

                        No idea about Nordstroms, though. I would assume it's comparable, if not a little bit better.

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