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Mall Security - Part I

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  • Christopherstjo
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    Oh, crap. Here we go again. Nope, I won't "bite" this time, Chris - fry cook or no fry cook.

    End of discussion.
    Oh my, arn't we a bit touchy.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Christopherstjo
    I think SecTrainer that what it really boils down to is that you want me on board with your concept of "standards of practice."
    Oh, crap. Here we go again. Nope, I won't "bite" this time, Chris - fry cook or no fry cook.

    End of discussion.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 04-25-2007, 02:10 PM.

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  • Christopherstjo
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    I'm following you like a dog follows a fry cook, but are you following me? . . . . It's important to make these distinctions if we hope to be able to discuss these issues so that you and I aren't using the same terms to mean different things.
    The thought of you following me; wagging your tail, and hoping I will drop you a bone is way too much information. Next thing you know, you'll be wanting to borrow my leg for a "quicky" Not in this life time or any other.

    Seriously though. I think SecTrainer that what it really boils down to is that you want me on board with your concept of "standards of practice." Yet, as I pointed out in my previous post, standards of practice is defined as:

    "Professional practice standards define the role of the
    practitioner and establish the criteria used to judge
    performance regardless of the specific occupation held."

    With this in mind, the only realm I am speaking of when I use the term "standards of practice" is that of the "training and selection process"

    I believe the ASIS mannual does this very thing and this is why I strongly support such.

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  • Christopherstjo
    replied
    Well as if everything wasn't confusing and chaotic enough, now we have NASCO wanting to flex its' muscle in defining what constitutes a "security guard" and what constitutes a "security officer" in its' Jan 3, 2007 conference. Neglecting of course, to remember that some states have statutory laws that already do this and any intrusion by employer driven organizations (emphasis on "employer driven") such as NASCO is only going to add more confusion and chaos in our industry.

    It would be nice if employer's would shut up for a change and start actually listening to the voices of their front line security officers. Ya, right; that will never happen.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Christopherstjo
    The standards of practice I have addressed (and I know I have been clear about this) is that of rendering proper training in all aspects of a security officers duties and funcitons.
    I'm following you like a dog follows a fry cook, but are you following me? It doesn't seem that you read my previous post, or understood the critical distinctions between "basic procedures", "SOPs" and "standards of practice"...and I didn't even discuss the difference between "standards of practice" and "industry recommendations". All of these play different roles in regulating both individual and organizational behaviors.

    I agree with your general premise. However, I repeat that these training subjects involve "basic procedures", not standards of practice in the proper sense of those terms. It's important to make these distinctions if we hope to be able to discuss these issues so that you and I aren't using the same terms to mean different things.

    There are numerous basic procedures for evacuating buildings, for instance. However, they are not all appropriate to different "communities" (types of security venues - for instance, a chemical plant versus a hospital), or to different situations.

    Accordingly, I train officers in the different basic procedures; however, at the basic "academy level", I have officers from many different venues. As such, I do not train them in site-specific SOPs. This training is reserved for on-site training.

    In turn, SOPs should be written in conformance with whatever "standards of practice" can be identified, but those are management/administrative questions and, in any case, training security officers to conform to SOPs is not the same as training them in the basic procedures in the first place.

    Standards of practice do guide and inform the development of SOPs, which in turn prescribe what basic procedures will be followed in certain circumstances, etc. However, standards of practice develop outside any specific organization, deriving their force either informally (de facto), or formally from bodies that have appropriate relationships (regulation, accreditation, professional association, etc.) to the community (type of venue) in question, and you will note that some of these may not even be "security bodies", per se. For instance, in the healthcare community JCAHO, which is not a "security body" whatsoever, has important standards for "the environment of care", of which security is a part. In the banking community, the American Banking Association makes important recommendations that are incorporated into the "standard of practice" of security for the banking community.

    Training - especially at the basic or "academy" level - really has nothing to do with SOPs or standards of practice, as I said. It addresses basic procedures, skills, techniques and (usually) very limited forms of individual, situation-based decision-making. Security officers require training across the range of basic procedures; we probably can agree on that, so we can move on.

    Use of the baton is a basic technique. Site-specific or agency-specific SOPs prescribe how and when the baton may be used, and when writing SOPs the organization should consult, consider, and incorporate whatever standards of practice might be relevant. Academy training of security officers begins and ends with the proper use of the baton and the limited situation-specific decision-making that may be relevant to its use. I do not comment on, nor do I teach site-specific SOPs on the use of the baton, and certainly do not become involved with whatever standards of practice there might be in different communities or venues that could influence an SOP.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 04-24-2007, 11:07 AM.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    Well, IASIR really only has a consultative role in recommending statutory minimums, no? I'm not aware that it has any direct statutory authority or that any state law relinquishes this authority to their pronouncements?

    Statutory minimums are quite different from what we're discussing, although a standard of practice would naturally need to meet or exceed them. Statutory minimums are only one "input" to standards of practice. As such, there is nothing in any state law that I'm aware of that prohibits any agency - or, indeed, the security industry at large - from training to a higher standard than the minimums or creating "higher" standards of practice, and statutory training minimums have almost nothing to do whatsoever with site-specific SOPs.
    While a consultative role, its made up of people who regulate the security industry. As in, the people who propose, administer, and enforce the laws regulating security and investigative services.

    This was my point. If those folks don't think the ASIS "suggestions" are useful, then why use them? A higher training standard is extremely useful, but something ASIS nor IASIR will advocate currently.

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  • Christopherstjo
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    I was probably unclear. It really doesn't matter how ASIS (or anyone else) uses the terms - they are what they are, although they are frequently misused. Basic procedures, SOPs and standards of practice form a rough hierarchy of procedural specification and decision-making. Perhaps I can draw an analogy from the field of medicine since you graduated from nursing school.
    Professional practice standards (a/k/a standards of practice) define the role of the practitioner and establish the criteria used to judge performance regardless of the specific occupation held.

    The standards of practice I have addressed (and I know I have been clear about this) is that of rendering proper training in all aspects of a security officers duties and funcitons.

    Receivng proper training in all aspects of ones' job duties and funcitons is the fundmental key component, however, to establishing any standards of practice. Without the needed trianing you cannot legitimately and logically judge ones performance against any rationale scale.

    Current industry trends delibertely provide only the most minimial training so as to intentionally and maliciously deprive security officers from obtaining the full range of knowledge and skills needed to successfully carry out all of his or her job duties and functions. Hence, current industry trends knowingly, willingly and maliciously set security officers up to fail.

    The 2001, ASIS Training and Selection Mannual, serves well in ensuring that security officers are provided the full range of training that is both necessary and critical to fulfill all of their duties and functions while at the same time affording security officers the ability to avoid liability pitfalls because of the knowledge and skills obtained through proper training standards of practice. Therefore, unlike current industry trends, the 2001, ASIS mannual sets security officers up to succeed because it establishes a detailed standards of practice in the trianing of security officers and therein one can legitimately and logically judge ones performance according to a rational scale.

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  • Bill Warnock
    replied
    Originally posted by SecTrainer
    Well, IASIR really only has a consultative role in recommending statutory minimums, no? I'm not aware that it has any direct statutory authority or that any state law relinquishes this authority to their pronouncements?

    Statutory minimums are quite different from what we're discussing, although a standard of practice would naturally need to meet or exceed them. Statutory minimums are only one "input" to standards of practice. As such, there is nothing in any state law that I'm aware of that prohibits any agency - or, indeed, the security industry at large - from training to a higher standard than the minimums or creating "higher" standards of practice, and statutory training minimums have almost nothing to do whatsoever with site-specific SOPs.
    Both you and Nathan have hit the mark. Harken back to your military days, military manuals versus regulations and instructions, technical manuals versus technical orders.
    If a regulation required the commander to follow a regulation, instruction or technical order, that was set in concrete and must be adhered to by all, otherwise they remain merely suggestions.
    So it is true with models developed by ASIS, suggestions that are presented for consideration and by some governmental body, implemented as a law rule or regulation.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    Since the ASIS "suggestion" on how security personnel should be hired and trained has been brought up so much, has anyone read the IASIR response to the ASIS Guidelines? The people who decide what state mandates will be is called IASIR, the association of state and local security and PI regulators. Formed by the man who introduced, so long ago, Chapter 493 (Private Investigator, then Security Guard (Changed to Officer eventually), then Repossession Agents) in Florida, the "model" for national security laws has always been the IASIR model.
    Well, IASIR really only has a consultative role in recommending statutory minimums, no? I'm not aware that it has any direct statutory authority or that any state law relinquishes this authority to their pronouncements?

    Statutory minimums are quite different from what we're discussing, although a standard of practice would naturally need to meet or exceed them. Statutory minimums are only one "input" to standards of practice. As such, there is nothing in any state law that I'm aware of that prohibits any agency - or, indeed, the security industry at large - from training to a higher standard than the minimums or creating "higher" standards of practice, and statutory training minimums have almost nothing to do whatsoever with site-specific SOPs.

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  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Since the ASIS "suggestion" on how security personnel should be hired and trained has been brought up so much, has anyone read the IASIR response to the ASIS Guidelines? The people who decide what state mandates will be is called IASIR, the association of state and local security and PI regulators. Formed by the man who introduced, so long ago, Chapter 493 (Private Investigator, then Security Guard (Changed to Officer eventually), then Repossession Agents) in Florida, the "model" for national security laws has always been the IASIR model.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    Originally posted by Christopherstjo
    No, I am referring to a standards of practice in both the training and the selection processes of security officers, as outlined in the 2001, ASIS manual.
    WARNING-WARNING-WARNING: Complex topic --> long post. WARNING-WARNING-WARNING

    I was probably unclear. It really doesn't matter how ASIS (or anyone else) uses the terms - they are what they are, although they are frequently misused. Basic procedures, SOPs and standards of practice form a rough hierarchy of procedural specification and decision-making. Perhaps I can draw an analogy from the field of medicine since you graduated from nursing school.

    1. The method for performing hospital decon of an unknown chemical would be called a basic procedure. There may be some limited variations of the technique, but the basic techniques/variants are very limited, involve very limited and closely proscribed decision-making, and would not typically differ from facility to facility, or from community to community. If, for instance, the technique calls for "flushing with copious quantities of water" in Chicago, this doesn't change to "flushing with copious quantities of gasoline" in Houston. Decon is performed the same basic way wherever it is performed.

    2. Each site, however, would have a standard operating procedure for performing decon that would impliedly presume the basic procedure will be used, of course, but would also include other matters that are relevant to that facility, such as where within the facility it can or should be performed, forms that must be completed, people who must be notified, what assistance must be on hand, and perhaps even the circumstances under which the SOP can be supervened by medical urgency, etc. SOPs are almost always site-specific and might, but need not, address matters of basic technique. Also, SOPs usually address a more complex level of operational procedure and therefore subsume more than one basic technique, performed by different personnel. For instance, the SOP for decon might reference duties to be performed by security personnel as well as the ER personnel (e.g., facility lockdown), without discussing the exact methods for facility lockdown, although reference might be made to other documents in which those basic methods are outlined.

    For another example, the SOP for bomb threats would subsume the basic techniques for the individual who takes the call (gathering call information and making proper notification), the individual who makes the response decision, the individuals performing facility lockdown, the technique(s) to be used for evacuation of that facility, and the technique(s) for the search of that facility. In each case, it might merely reference, rather than specify, the basic technique to be used. For instance, the SOP might merely state that "The ATF procedure for threat call-taking will be used".

    3. Returning to the healthcare industry, the medical community at large establishes standards of practice (and there are both "general" and "community-based" standards of practice). These arise both formally (by the pronouncements of relevant bodies such as the National Emergency Medicine Association) and informally (de facto), and while they may address basic procedures, they usually have more to do with the parameters that must be addressed by hospital decon SOPs, the parameters for medical decision-making, etc. Within a "standard of practice", there may be an infinite variety of site-specific SOPs that satisfy the standard so long as the parameters identified are addressed appropriately.

    Within this context, the matters that you appear to be addressing are those of basic methods or techniques. There are, indeed, basic methods for building evacuation - a number of them, in fact. A facility's SOPs would then address which basic methods will be used, by whom, under what circumstances, and who will make that decision. When creating its SOP, a facility would, both for reasons of competence and legal reasons (liability), want to make reference to whatever authoritative standards of practice it can identify that would be applicable, and these might come from a variety of sources such as the fire community, the EM community, an industrial association, etc.

    This, then is the hierarchy: Basic procedures are subsumed by SOPs, and SOPs are (or should be) created, so far as possible, in conformance with standards of practice when they can be identified. This hierarchy, incidentally, is the reason that security officers need both training in basic methods as well as site-specific training in that facility's SOPs, and is also the reason that security managers who write the SOPs must, in turn, know where and how to find, and write SOPs in conformance with, standards of practice.

    The mistaken interchange of these terms is fairly common, even in professional literature, but even more often in court documents (i.e., malpractice suits). I've even seen the basic procedure for placement of an intramedullary femoral rod referred to as a "standard of practice"; it is, of course, no such thing. At best, it is presumed by a standard of practice. The decision to place a rod under given circumstances (i.e., given the nature, extent and location of the fracture, degree of osteoporosis, the patient's age, lifestyle, fall risk, and comorbid medical conditions, etc.) would fall within the definition of a "standard of practice" for the treatment of femoral fractures. This "standard of practice" would also be likely to contemplate many other options for treatment and how the treatment decision should be made. The rough continuum is from one extreme that involves basic skills and fairly limited knowledge, to the other extreme that involves broad principles and complex domains of expertise and collective experience.

    Understanding the distinction between these terms is terribly important to the training community for very obvious practical reasons. "Training", and particularly the training you are talking about, is typically skills-based, and usually addresses basic techniques and limited situational intraprocedural decision-making. If the trainer is involved in creating organizational SOPs, or is a member of a body that establishes standards of practice, these are secondary roles, and are performed in collaboration with many others.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 04-24-2007, 09:28 AM.

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  • Christopherstjo
    replied
    Originally posted by Bill Warnock
    Chris, in those outlines it was not stated these are mandatory requirements.
    I understand and agree with this...they are just standards of practice that I strongly support and believe need to be implemented.

    Moreover, I believe that given the work done on this manual and the amount of time it must have taken to develop the mannual. It is very disappointing and discouraging that these standards of practice were not and are not being implemented.
    Last edited by Christopherstjo; 04-24-2007, 02:25 AM.

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  • Bill Warnock
    replied
    Originally posted by Christopherstjo
    No, I am referring to a standards of practice in both the training and the selection processes of security officers, as outlined in the 2001, ASIS manual.
    Chris, in those outlines it was not stated these are mandatory requirements.
    The folks who put these recommendations are the very same folks representing various portions of the security industry that would be impacted by these recommendations and as you will note, carefully worded.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

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  • Christopherstjo
    replied
    No, I am referring to a standards of practice in both the training and the selection processes of security officers, as outlined in the 2001, ASIS manual.

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  • SecTrainer
    replied
    I see the problem. You are referring to "basic techniques" or "basic methods", not "standard procedures", and certainly not to "standards of practice". These are all different things.

    There are, in fact, many basic techniques and methods that have already been "adopted" de facto in that they are generally accepted, and these are taught, for instance in the CPO program.

    I would not disagree with you if you said that we need to expand or extend the range of methods taught , however, or if you said that the training itself should be improved - vastly improved, in fact. I also would not disagree that all officers should be required to complete such training.

    I believe that training in the basic methods for unarmed officers - if done properly - requires a minimum of 120 hours (if advanced first aid is included). I would add approximately 60-80 hours for training armed officers depending on the capacity of the firing range, and a six-week, 240-hour academy would hardly need to look for ways to fill up the time.

    However, I'd consider it to be an enormous moral victory if we could get a national standard of even 80 hours of unarmed training in basic methods adopted. We're talking about two weeks of training for the people who guard our most valuable assets and our people, for Pete's sake. How hard should it be to get everyone in this country to agree that two weeks would hardly be "too much" training, or "too expensive" to implement? If you were to ask most companies how long it takes to train a cashier ("train", of course, does NOT just mean "telling them how to do it", but "assuring yourself that they can do it"), they'd tell you it takes a couple of weeks, at least.

    One of the subtle problems we have with the idea of "adequate training" is that everyone in this industry is called a "security officer" or a "security guard", even when their duties amount to little more than those of a doorman or a receptionist behind the desk in the lobby. Sadly, these very limited roles, rather than what you and I think of as a true "security officer", are always the ones that seem to be uppermost in the minds of the security companies AND their clients when you start to call for more training, and I guess we'd have to agree that six weeks of training would be just a tad too much expenditure on someone who does little more than tip his hat and point people to the elevators or pass out visitor nametags.

    When we think about this, it suggests that even before we can address the question of a standard for training, we need to DEFINE WHAT A "SECURITY OFFICER" IS, OPERATIONALLY, AND DISTINGUISH HIM FROM WHAT HE IS NOT. It is from that definition that a standard for training can be derived. And, incidentally, we should not call people who do primarily doorman or receptionist duties "security officers". Let's call them, ummm....I know - how about "doorman" and "receptionist"!!

    For instance, I would define a "security guard" as one whose primary duties are to observe and report adverse situations and/or conditions. These people are rarely armed.

    I would define a "security officer" as one whose duties, in addition to observing and reporting, also include effective response, mitigation and intervention, whether to crimes being committed, to hazardous/unsafe conditions that may arise, or to disasters and other emergencies. The security officer would be more likely to be armed, and more of them probably should be.

    In the case of law enforcement, society has a fairly well agreed-upon and surprisingly detailed idea of what a "police officer" is and does. In our domain, however, it's instructive to note that many more than one researcher has found that his very first task in designing a study is to provide his own definitions of security positions, specifying just what he will consider to be a "security officer" for the purposes of his study. This is obviously because of the many conflicting operational definitions that exist, and is empirical evidence that it is not possible to appeal to any "commonly accepted definitions" as it is in LE. The occupational definitions in our industry will have to be standardized before we can make much headway with standards for training purposes.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 04-23-2007, 05:16 PM.

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