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Do you take needed breaks?

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  • Do you take needed breaks?

    I have noticed that some security posts make it very hard to take a lunch break.
    This is especially true for patrol officers.
    The sheer number of wrecked company vehicles is pretty good testimony to the fatigue and malnutrition that goes with the job for patrol officers.
    This is why I turned down an offer to work in the patrol division at the company I work for.

    BTW, I do take lunch breaks and a few times told a superior officer what to do with himself when I was told not to.
    Insubordinate, or just protecting my ability to do a good job without screwing up.
    You be the judge.
    Observe and report what you saw with a good flashlight.
    Bedtime at sunrise

  • #2
    Having just started a security job, I'll chime in. The company I'm working for has no built in 15 minute breaks. We get one 30 minute lunch break, and if we're needed, we have to drop what we're doing. So I can understand what you're saying. And 3rd, are you saying they're telling you that you can't take a lunch break at all?

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    • #3
      All of the companies I have worked for had what was considered "working lunches," as the client is not paying for time the company is not protecting them, and the company is not paying for time you aren't protecting the client.

      What this usually meant was you had 8-12 hours to eat. Make a patrol, make sure part of your patrol was the cafeteria, and eat something. Static posts meant you could eat in the guard house, etc.

      I've never seen a company give a traditional break/lunch schedule, where you are off the clock and unaccountable to the client. Partially because the company would require to post a replacement for your lunch period(s).
      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
        I am a patrol officer in the same city as you and I can absolutely relate. I hardly ever get to sit down and eat, period, because of driving through the lunch break to get the entire zone done. The usual routine is "drive and eat" on the weekends. I do get to sit down for 30 minutes on the weekdays. It also depends on what company you work for and what kind of workload they pile on you.
        A lot of patrol wrecks happen, but those are usually attributable to drunk drivers and those morons who race hondas on the freeways - hit from behind. At least the company I work for now drives crown victorias instead of little mini pickup trucks like one previous one where I worked as a lieutenant. Those wrecks were severe - my god they were severe. However, patrol normally elicits less sleepiness than having a post where you have to roll around in the car at 5 mph. Those guys have had waaay many more wrecks than patrol.
        In short though, to answer the topic of your post, usually no.
        "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

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        • #5
          Sure I get a meal break after getting a burger from the drive thru and driving to my next patrol assignment. In other words I am in the same boat as the other patrol guys, but I like the fact my view changes every 30-45 mins.

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          • #6
            Hey 1stWatch, I work for Smith Protective of Dallas.
            Small pickups?
            That's what we have except for in the Village apartments where it's Merurys and Queen Victorias.
            I agree totally, that it's the slow speed vehicle patrol posts that are quite sleepy to do.
            Observe and report what you saw with a good flashlight.
            Bedtime at sunrise

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            • #7
              Whoever's bright idea it was to use pickup trucks should take a look at the accident profiles. Driving a newer Crown Vic is bad enough, being rear-ended can make the unit explode if you've got a bunch of equipment in the trunk. But to have almost no body weight, and then just an easily perforated box... Not to mention that most of the trucks can't take the equipment put into them...

              Crown Victoria, Caprice Classic (While they last), Chevy Tahoe. Police package if I can find em in good condition. I want the things to last more than a year, and being on the road alot, constantly idling, powering lights and laptops and heaters and whatnot... Yeah.

              That, and lets face it. If your given a beater truck, your not going to feel that good about driving it around. You won't care so much if your coffee spills all over the interior - its already crap.
              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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              • #8
                Originally posted by 3rd_shift
                Hey 1stWatch, I work for Smith Protective of Dallas.
                Small pickups?
                That's what we have except for in the Village apartments where it's Merurys and Queen Victorias.
                I agree totally, that it's the slow speed vehicle patrol posts that are quite sleepy to do.
                Yes that's who I used to work for. You were wise to turn down the patrol position. They not only can, but will find a way to make you crack if you work for them.
                "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                  Whoever's bright idea it was to use pickup trucks should take a look at the accident profiles. Driving a newer Crown Vic is bad enough, being rear-ended can make the unit explode if you've got a bunch of equipment in the trunk. But to have almost no body weight, and then just an easily perforated box... Not to mention that most of the trucks can't take the equipment put into them...

                  Crown Victoria, Caprice Classic (While they last), Chevy Tahoe. Police package if I can find em in good condition. I want the things to last more than a year, and being on the road alot, constantly idling, powering lights and laptops and heaters and whatnot... Yeah.

                  That, and lets face it. If your given a beater truck, your not going to feel that good about driving it around. You won't care so much if your coffee spills all over the interior - its already crap.
                  The particular companies who use these want you to feel like crap anyway. Anything good is too good for you in their opinions. People have been seriously hurt or killed while driving these and they don't care. They also don't want you to have that technological equipment, especially the laptop. I have seen nasty things happen with insurance fraud from these companies too. Get in a fender bender and they'll charge you $100 out of your check to make you pay their insurance deductible, then get a settlement, pocket the money, not fix the truck, and make you drive it like that. Illegal, yes, but it happens all the time.
                  "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Finding time to eat isn't a problem where I work unless you have the day shift. It's so busy that you end up eating a bite at a time hoping that the phone won't ring or a visitor won't arrive just when your mouth is full of food. Tough to look professional when people see you eating. The same is true when nature calls.
                    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                    • #11
                      Break? Whats that?

                      I usualy find time in the morning, when all of the kiddy finaly stop partying. I alwayes eat a big meal, before work. Snacks that fit in my pocket or work bag usualy keep hunger pains away.
                      "Yes, making mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep" – Rudyard Kuipling"

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                      • #12
                        We don't get breaks but since I work nights it's almost always slow enough that I have no trouble taking care of dinner or potty breaks.
                        Hospital Security Officer

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                        • #13
                          Like N.A. said, for those companies that do not allow official lunch breaks,

                          it's best just to stop someplace quick while on patrol. In my position, the

                          upper management discourages stopping for anything but refueling on patrol,

                          but I mostly disregard what they say because they're not the ones who have

                          mandatory 13 hour shifts without any breaks whatsoever.
                          "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
                          - Thomas Jefferson

                          “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
                          — Vince Lombardi

                          "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

                          IX. Strive to attain professional competence.

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                          • #14
                            I'm in the same boat as the rest of most of you, grab a meal when you can. It's rarely a problem, especially now in the summer when the campus is mostly empty of students.

                            I got into a discussion with my supervisor a few months back about our official policy on meal breaks. Apparently, it's a 20-minute "working lunch" where you can be called off if needed. Interesting, since the State of New York states that if I work an 8-hour shift, I am entitled to 2 15-minute paid breaks (where I can't be called off for work) and a 30-minute unpaid lunch break.

                            Of course, I'll never say anything to anyone at work about it, since I'd rather have a 20-minute paid lunch than a 30-minute unpaid one. 80 hour checks > 75 hour checks.

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                            • #15
                              Working alone & having to respond to fire alarms, medical emergencies etc I don't get a set meal break. However having worked the same shift for many many years I have come to know the times of day when most of the guests are out of the hotel. That's the time to eat. Oh, & we do get a meal from the hotel restaurant for "free". (It's a taxable benefit).
                              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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