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Wal-Mart Parking Lots: Duty to do more than Observe?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mall Director
    I agree, and as expressed in other threads, the funding of the undercutting companies isnt there to properly train people. I would not expect any of my officers to just jump in at the first sight of an incident, thats suicide. But on the other hand, if I find out one of them stands idely by, watching an incident occur, knowing full well that our typical police response is approximately 20 minutes, and the incident itself can be handled appropriately and safely, with the fully trained officer, to include open handed PPCT and CQB tactics, then to observe and report can be done hand in hand in proactive operations, in which action is taken.

    Looking at my personal issues I dela with daily, in such a heavily populated area, with a high crime rate and an already overtasked Police Agency, I can not stand around and expect the Police to be on the spot immediately, and handle all aspects when they are already facing hardships on thei rown, which I so sympathize with them full heartedly. We have to be realistic today, and realize that this cycle of criminal behavior will continue unless a pattern is broken. General consensus between our department and the local police department is that we have gained very advanced training and certifications in operating in the private sector. Take for example, a trespassing subject. Once they see our Officers, they immediately attempt to depart. This is a criminal ofense comitted in the presence of the Security Officer, and the Security Officer has the full legal right to arrest the subject. These officers, having been trained in this particular area by local and national agencies, can safely arrest said subject. If they were to call it in, and wait for response, trespasses would continue untouched as the subjects would continue to violate knowing they have more than adaquate time to depart before Police arrival. Once placed under arrest by the Security Officer, the subject is reprocessed in our controlled facility, and all the documents are completed and duplicated for the Police Officers arrival, in which the subject is cited and taken away. The Police department we work with has expressed pleasure in our ability to handle such incidents appropriately and professionally. They enjoy the fact that most of their paperwork is done before they even arrive, and have come to rely on this aspect.

    This is a form of Proactive operations, and many many people find great comfort in frequenting an area where such standards are provided in such an unsafe world today.

    Now of course, never would I expect an Officer to handle fires, or even major medical incidents, to include very serious criminal offenses where severe harm could fall to all involved. But the expectation of handling general and typical incidents, or incidents the Security Officer is trained in and legally covered to operate under, provides excellent environments, productive staffs, and pleased parties on all ends.
    Mall Director I don’t disagree with you. In our hospital we are a proactive force and involve ourselves into a situation at the earliest point. We are prepared to take action, to include arresting under C.R.S. 16-3-201. The PD is summoned once we have taken custody to remove the offender.

    But, there are many security officers who are prohibited by their companies from doing more than observe and report. We have a contract company providing officers to supplement our in-house force and those officers are told to observe and report by their company (not what we teach them when they get out to our site) – a national security company.

    These officers are insufficiently trained in all areas (law, defensive tactics, equipment, etc). The companies don’t want them doing anything but observe and report. This places the officers in one heck of a position – what are they going to lose their job for, involving themselves in violation of the company policy or following their instructions?

    It’s no fault of their own for doing the work as they have seen instructed to, at the theat of job loss if they don’t comply.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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    • #17
      Site reassigns you, you keep your job. Lose your job for disobeying company orders, and you they get to say you were "terminated for disobeying policy."
      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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      • #18
        Originally posted by aka Bull
        Mall Director I don’t disagree with you. In our hospital we are a proactive force and involve ourselves into a situation at the earliest point. We are prepared to take action, to include arresting under C.R.S. 16-3-201. The PD is summoned once we have taken custody to remove the offender.

        But, there are many security officers who are prohibited by their companies from doing more than observe and report. We have a contract company providing officers to supplement our in-house force and those officers are told to observe and report by their company (not what we teach them when they get out to our site) – a national security company.

        These officers are insufficiently trained in all areas (law, defensive tactics, equipment, etc). The companies don’t want them doing anything but observe and report. This places the officers in one heck of a position – what are they going to lose their job for, involving themselves in violation of the company policy or following their instructions?

        It’s no fault of their own for doing the work as they have seen instructed to, at the theat of job loss if they don’t comply.
        As I do agree with you, you are 100% right. I too am aware of the "Companies" that have this policy. I have a major department store with in my mall, that has one of these "Observe and Report" only policies, and the management of the department store is very frustrated, as they can not rely on the Security Officer of this company to help handle issues, and even this stores clerks have more power than the Security Officer.

        This is what gets me though, for the Officers that are bound with Observe and Report only, such as the one I stated above, the department store contacts us with their emergencies and rely on us to help them with their problems, all the while this poor Security Officer stands there and watches.

        I feel so much for these poor guys, as they are undertrained, underpaid, and bound with so much, and then more than likely held so accountable for the actions of others, but are not permitted to do anything. I want so badly to contact these Security Officers Corporate leaders and give them a peice of my mind. Why subject their people to such standards and then rip into them when an incident happens and is not dealt with.

        When I first started out in the industry, I worked at one time for a Corporate Security Agency that had the Observe and report system only. It really sucked, as I was not permitted to handle any issue, but when something happened, my supervisors made like i had screwed up for the crime happening and wanted to hold me accountable. You cant just simply fill a uniform with a warm body, and expect that to be enough to stop crime in your feild of operation. There are criminals, that regardless who or what is "present" will act in violation.

        IMO, there needs to be some way of helping others, such as major clients, and smaller clients, understand that to contract an observe and report only agency will give them the results of "observe and report" only, and that it wont always stop or detour crime, and when crime does happen, the agency can not be held accountable for these actions, as this is what the client hired. If the client wants asset protection, then its time to pay by either getting a Security Agency that is adaquate, or pay by replacing losses and lawsuits. Its clear cut and simple, in todays world you are either gonna pay one way or another, why go cheap and expect the best. We have the same concept when it comes to other products, so why put themselves in a position that is gonna cost them more later on!
        Deputy Sheriff

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        • #19
          The people working for me in my hotels are definitely not to just observe and report. They are expected to be FIRST RESPONDERS. And not only for criminal acts. I don't require them to be able to use a fire hose or preform a medical operation but they MUST be proficient at using fire extinguishers & advanced first aid. I see MODERN security as being professional first responders to all emergencies. I don't think we should be taking over the jobs of the other services but I believe it is our job to control the emergency until they arrive. By the way, my staff are In-House.
          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by HotelSecurity
            The people working for me in my hotels are definitely not to just observe and report. They are expected to be FIRST RESPONDERS. And not only for criminal acts. I don't require them to be able to use a fire hose or preform a medical operation but they MUST be proficient at using fire extinguishers & advanced first aid. I see MODERN security as being professional first responders to all emergencies. I don't think we should be taking over the jobs of the other services but I believe it is our job to control the emergency until they arrive. By the way, my staff are In-House.
            HotelSecurity, I couldn't agree with you more. Security should be first responders, prepared to handle the situation completely if possible, or to contain the situation as much as possible while awaiting the response of public safety agencies.

            I work in a hospital and I am constantly concerned with containing any incident to prevent the possibility of any patients finding themselves concerned with more than getting their care for their medical issues.

            However, the unfortunate fact of life is that we are in the minority currently. As has been discussed before on this forum the professionalizing of this industry has a lot of work to be done from within to gain the point where it is truely a profession.
            "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Mall Director
              ...IMO, there needs to be some way of helping others, such as major clients, and smaller clients, understand that to contract an observe and report only agency will give them the results of "observe and report" only, and that it wont always stop or detour crime, and when crime does happen, the agency can not be held accountable for these actions, as this is what the client hired. If the client wants asset protection, then its time to pay by either getting a Security Agency that is adaquate, or pay by replacing losses and lawsuits. Its clear cut and simple, in todays world you are either gonna pay one way or another, why go cheap and expect the best. We have the same concept when it comes to other products, so why put themselves in a position that is gonna cost them more later on!
              The pressure will have to come from the level of the officers (and that won't be easy considering most have their job as a temporary job till they find "real" work). To first off increase their pay and gain benefits, while also forcing decent mandatory training requirements on the industry for officers (likely through legislation). I don't see that there will be many clients standing up and saying 1) we'll pay more to get these officers - they'll still want as much as they can get for as cheap as they can get it - and 2) you (meaning the companies) need to improve the officer force.

              So then that leaves the officers taking on the many dimensions (clients, companies, law enforcement agencies, the state) to improve pay, training, law, equipment, etc... Not a small or easy undertaking.
              "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

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              • #22
                I'm glad that at the site I work we are somewhat proative. We challenge people on our property and not only observe and report violations of company rules we also confront the violators to resolve the situtation.

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                • #23
                  Bull + Lord, I also happen to agree with the both of you, private sectors are better, and yes, we as Security must take the initiative to set the standard and make precidense (sp) in our field of work. I believe we have a few years before the post 9/11 Security awareness of importance takes effect at a higher level!
                  Deputy Sheriff

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Mall Director
                    Bull + Lord, I also happen to agree with the both of you, private sectors are better, and yes, we as Security must take the initiative to set the standard and make precidense (sp) in our field of work. I believe we have a few years before the post 9/11 Security awareness of importance takes effect at a higher level!
                    I believe the awarness is growing in our post 9/11 world, where there is a perceived threat. The problem I see is companies and clients finding that threat may truely exist in places like residential complexes, shopping centers, hotels, storage facilities, smaller business complexes, etc.

                    The companies, IMO, wouldn't mind charging more for their services - yet I truely wonder how much of the increase would be spent in officer salaries, benefits, training, selection processes, etc.

                    One can hope the companies would find the necessity for improving their force in these kind of circumstances, yet with so many of them working on a very thin profit margin I guess I am cynical enough to think they'll look to haviong more profit before anything else.
                    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by aka Bull
                      .....
                      The companies, IMO, wouldn't mind charging more for their services - yet I truely wonder how much of the increase would be spent in officer salaries, benefits, training, selection processes, etc........
                      Bull nailed it with this comment. We all know that publicly owned companies love to justify low wages with: "We have an obligation to our shareholders to increase the value of the stock, whether through growth, increased dividends or both." Meanwhile, top executives enjoy outlandish salaries, huge bonuses, and generous stock options.

                      The same is true with privately owned companies. Not being subject to public scrutiny makes it possible to keep financial information from the average individual. No, the average officer will not benefit from any increase in fees for services rendered.
                      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                      • #26
                        Its a viscous cycle we play in. I have wondered so many times how I personally could conquere such barrier when it comes to the finances of the Officer. Here I sit, with another corporate meeting at the end of this month, where all the directors get together, paid by corporate, flights, hotels, food, and what-nots, and I ge to go before the executives, who I know are sitting "pretty fat" on the profits, and try to explain to them that I have worked very hard to improve the Officer Quality, increased the work load and tasks on them in such a way that it is impossible to hire low grade staffing, and then ask for money for them. I never ever approach my salary increase, even though I may feel I am under paid for what I do, as I feel it is more important to get my staff paid more, as they face greater hardships and are the "real meat and patatoes" of the corporation, and with out them, we wouldnt be where we are at today!

                        I personally try to compensate for my staffs finances and challenges by giving them the latest tools, that sometimes even come out of my own pocket, and whenever new equipment is issued, instead of decending it from the top down, when its used up or obsolete, I direct it to the lowest grade first, then once they are given everything I can move it up. So getting the concept to flow to others is a challenge that I havent figured out yet!!
                        Deputy Sheriff

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Mall Director
                          Its a viscous cycle we play in. I have wondered so many times how I personally could conquere such barrier when it comes to the finances of the Officer. Here I sit, with another corporate meeting at the end of this month, where all the directors get together, paid by corporate, flights, hotels, food, and what-nots, and I ge to go before the executives, who I know are sitting "pretty fat" on the profits, and try to explain to them that I have worked very hard to improve the Officer Quality, increased the work load and tasks on them in such a way that it is impossible to hire low grade staffing, and then ask for money for them. I never ever approach my salary increase, even though I may feel I am under paid for what I do, as I feel it is more important to get my staff paid more, as they face greater hardships and are the "real meat and patatoes" of the corporation, and with out them, we wouldnt be where we are at today!

                          I personally try to compensate for my staffs finances and challenges by giving them the latest tools, that sometimes even come out of my own pocket, and whenever new equipment is issued, instead of decending it from the top down, when its used up or obsolete, I direct it to the lowest grade first, then once they are given everything I can move it up. So getting the concept to flow to others is a challenge that I havent figured out yet!!
                          I like your management style. We could use more people that think the way you do. I hope the 'powers that be' at your corporate meeting understand that quality security personnel are essential for any mall that hopes to increase its market share of consumers. A salary increase is a small price to pay when compared to the damage control costs that arise because of a serious incident that results in shoppers who are afraid to come.
                          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                          • #28
                            LOL, thank you! This whole mentality of "fixing an issue after it has taken place", or the increase in services proven after the loss, is sickening. Any suggestions on turning this mentality around when it comes to requesting more? LOL!
                            Deputy Sheriff

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                            • #29
                              With equipment, I always thought that the front line folks should get the newest equipment. The manager who puts on a uniform once in a blue moon makes enough money to buy his equipment personally, and good equipment at that. Why go nuts with a Streicher's Catalog ordering yourself the 200 dollar holster and $3,000 duty gear + coolio uniform when you're never going to wear it?
                              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


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Mall Director
                                LOL, thank you! This whole mentality of "fixing an issue after it has taken place", or the increase in services proven after the loss, is sickening. Any suggestions on turning this mentality around when it comes to requesting more? LOL!
                                You have to prove that their return on investment (the investment being more funds for wages, equipment, etc.) is worth the expenditure. One way is to find a mall that neglected security, experienced an adverse event as a result, and then had to spend considerable funds to repair their image in the public's mind. If you can show an anchor store pulling out or closing because shoppers went elsewhere, then you should be able to get their attention.

                                A pending or successful lawsuit due to negligence or failure to exercise due diligence in the security department is another way to grab their attention. Whatever you do or say, money will always talk louder to a capital driven board of directors. Show them "how much bang they're getting for their buck."
                                Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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