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  • New guy

    Hi all,

    Glad I found this site! I've only been working security for a few months and have a LOT to learn. I worked in another unrelated industry for many years but the work has pretty much all gone overseas. So here I am.

    Currently I'm working as an unarmed bank guard and spend the day standing by the front door trying to look imposing while helping old ladies with the door (also old men, women with babies, handicapped people, people carrying packages..actually pretty much everyone). I think the first day on the job was the longest day of my life. But I've managed to stop feeling sorry for myself and realize how people perceive me depends almost entirely on what I project. For example am I slouching and mumbling a weak "hi" when people enter the bank (as I was the first week) or am I standing straight, looking someone right in the eye and giving them a strong "good morning sir".

    It's also a good first post as I'm learning how to interact with people as a security guard and have plenty of time to think about the job and my performance. Initially I become too friendly with the employees and some of the customers and it wasn't long before they were venting, or if they were having a bad day, just blowing me off. After all as far as their concerned I'm JUST another security guard.

    Because it's not a great area of town I also regularly get asked if I have a gun. I think it was my third day on the job, and I was starting to feel "OK" with it, that a woman asked me if I was armed, when I told her "no" she said "well what GOOD are you!!". I stammered that I was a deterrent and she said "how can you be a deterrent without a gun?!". I had to admit there was some truth to what she was saying so at the end of this month I'll be taking the exposed firearm class and hopefully moving on to a post that's a little more interesting (and hopefully pays better).

    I also received very little training going into this. My supervisors only instructions were for me to stand on the left hand side of the door in the morning as that was where the shade was! I found out later the bank had been robbed twice in the last year.

    I've also been given zero training in how to subdue someone who becomes physical with me or a customer or employee. Personally I think some basic grappling or wrist or elbow locks would be very helpful rather then just punching out some guy who takes a swing at me.

    And there's been learning to deal with high school kids and drunks who occasionally raze me. My approach has been friendly and non confrontational with both and that approach has worked SO FAR. It probably doesn't hurt that I'm fairly tall (6'3").

    There's many aspects of the job I like. I get more respect then if I was bagging groceries, I don't have a nervous supervisor staring over my shoulder as I work, I don't have to learn new software every other week, I don't have constant impossible to meet deadlines to deal with, and, well I could easily go on. Of course the big drawback is (besides getting shot), the low pay. It's true I get more respect then the kid bagging groceries, but he's probably making more money then I am! least at my current contract company.

    And my wife likes how I look in the uniform and tie.

  • #2
    Find out from your company what your duties are, specifically. As in, ask to see a copy of your post orders.

    If you are there to protect property only, then you don't have to lift a finger to stop anyone from hurting anyone else. Your company may be sued because you failed to act, but in court, its their problem - your orders were to protect property only.

    Your at a bank. Most people at banks are there for either "robbery prevention," or "general order maintenance." Your not armed, so no FDIC bank would contract for unarmed security for robbery prevention - you lack the tools and training to prevent a robbery. Your probally there to lower the bank's general liability insurance by providing a visible deterrence to disorder - not crime.

    Read through most of the articles on the forums, you'll see who's who, and what's what in other places. As far as basic self defense - verify that your employer will not fire you, and fail to process a workman's compensation claim because you were injured defending yourself or someone else.

    Some companies will do this, stating that your job was to observe the incident and report it to the company (not law enforcement), and that any actions you took to intervene (including defending yourself from a confrontation) were against company policy, a violation of company rules, and therefore you should not be covered under worker's compensation rules or unemployment compensation.

    Know that in most states, your first 90 days, you can be terminated for "failure to make probation," and that's it. All they have to put down - no unemployment compensation.

    Before you look at a firearms permit, talk it over with your company. Most states require that either the agency sponsor you through the course, they sign off on your application, or that you must have client and company permission to be armed on a post.

    I've seen guys spend over 200 dollars on statewide firearms permits (130 for Florida G permit, 75 for classrom, 36 for range fees), complete duty rig, weapon, ammunition, and magazines, then find out that the company they work for dosen't have armed - and then considers them a liability for taking armed training and having the "armed mindset."
    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


    • #3
      Thank you for taking the time to write.

      It occurred to me after reading your response that I've never been shown any post orders. I'm assuming I'm at the bank to serve as a deterrent to, as you mentioned, disorder, and of course to observe and report anything suspicious. Though naturally all the customers believe I'm there to deter a robbery, and deal with any other crime in the general vicinity of the bank.

      I'll be taking the class for the firearm permit through my company. They have both armed and unarmed positions, though I'm hoping once I have the permit I'll be able to find work with one of the private companies at a higher rate of pay. I also eventually plan on taking a class in CPR along with getting the baton permit.

      I'm currently with a contract company and as I understand it they tend to pay slightly less as they serve as the middle man between the guard and the company whose site the guard will be working. Also my current companies health benefits are really pretty awful.


      • #4
        Greetings fellow newbie!

        This is my first post on this board, but I've been in the security industry basically since I was old enough (18 in my state)... So I've pretty much worked the whole spectrum... from being an unarmed door-watcher like your current post, all the way to being an armed patrol supervisor.... I even served as the head of security at a mall for a year or so...
        Currently, I'm one of the Crime Prevention Officers at an apartment complex, charged with ensuring the safety/security of the tenants and staff. One big thing I've noticed, is how different the local PD handles things, from the departments I formerly interacted with in the big city/metro area.... All the departments down there were EXTREMELY professional, and with the exception of one or 2 departments, had VERY good working relationships with local security.... Up here, the local PD is still stuck in that "Fifeism" mindset (as someone else here put it) and it makes it quite difficult to get things done properly, but we make do.
        Anyhow, glad to be aboard, and if anyone has any questions about life in this industry (in the Pacific Northwest anyway), let me know!
        Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
        Originally posted by ValleyOne
        BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
        Shoulda called in sick.
        Be safe!


        • #5
          New Guy

          N.A. makes a very valid point. When it comes to general, post and patrol orders, make sure they have been dated and signed by some senior person within the company. Authenticated and dated orders have validity. If they have substance you may be on firm ground. If they read like fluff, the slope is slippery. Post orders should be crisp and clean. Patrol orders should be the same. General orders may be a longer read, but in all cases they should make sense and not read like "Gone With The Wind."
          Maintain a personal log in addition to one the company has. Make it you business never to be without a pen and notepad. Invest in a lighted tip pen so you can make entries as soon as practical should it be night or in periods of limited visibility.
          Look sharp, stay in shape, keep your eyes and ears open. To hear is not the same as to listen!!! And never, ever, consider anything routine and let your guard down.
          Never act like your are the strongest man on earth. Somebody will always be stronger.
          You have two muscles that can save your neck, your brain and your tongue. Engage the brain then the tongue.
          Enjoy the day,