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  • What to observe and how to report

    Okay so for the legitimate members on this site. How many of you have had actual training on what to observe and how to report

  • #2
    My in house training has been better than what I received from contract companies. I was kind of surprised at how little it is covered in our state's training, given that most Washington state guards are of the O&R type. A lot of it is self training - I practice looking at cars / people quickly, looking away, and then seeing how much I accurately remember. Remembering license plates and suspect descriptions is difficult in stressful conditions, and I don't think we get enough pointers on how to do it.

    Report writing is important, and yet even in house training seems a bit light. The place I am at now has a template, which helps, but they want reports in a very specific style and wording, so it took me about 6 months to reduce the number of times I had to re-write stuff. (Alas, the lieutenant's red pen was worse than my community college English teacher's...)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
      My in house training has been better than what I received from contract companies. I was kind of surprised at how little it is covered in our state's training, given that most Washington state guards are of the O&R type. A lot of it is self training - I practice looking at cars / people quickly, looking away, and then seeing how much I accurately remember. Remembering license plates and suspect descriptions is difficult in stressful conditions, and I don't think we get enough pointers on how to do it.

      Report writing is important, and yet even in house training seems a bit light. The place I am at now has a template, which helps, but they want reports in a very specific style and wording, so it took me about 6 months to reduce the number of times I had to re-write stuff. (Alas, the lieutenant's red pen was worse than my community college English teacher's...)
      I think it's important to remember that "Observe and Report" and "Warm Body" are NOT the same things. A security guard who is not expected to go "hands-on" can still be a very valuable asset by knowing what to look for and when to report things.

      I think a lot of "what to look for" is instinctual, looking at things and asking yourself "does this seem right?".

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      • #4
        Speaking as apparently an illegitimate member of The Forum (tell me again why I should respect anything you have to say?) I don't think I have ever worked for a security company that told me any more than what format they wanted their reports in.

        When I worked as an EMT at Evan's Hospital on Fort Carson I was taught the 2 golden rules of report writing, 1. If your paperwork is sloppy your work was sloppy and number 2, if you didn't write it, it never happened.

        I was also taught to write concise objectively factual statements. "I found this door unlocked." "I found a broken window on this company vehicle." "There is a vehicle belonging to XYZ Corporation parked on the third floor of the parking garage in parking space C15 that's been there for 3 years."

        the Army taught me to use the SALUTE format for writing reports.

        Size
        Activity
        Location
        Uniform (Description)
        Time
        Equipment

        On this day at this (T)ime, at the following specific (L)ocation. I observed X(S)number of individuals. Description as follows (U) engaged in the following specific (A)ctivity. I took whatever specific action the post orders dictated that I take.

        I see a lot of random suspicious loitering around my site but I make it a personal rule never to call the police unless I can describe a specific activity that I saw somebody engaging in that I know is illegal. " at 3 a.m. I saw a homeless black guy wearing a camouflage field jacket walking through the parking lot of XYZ mechanic shop. He was checking the doors on every single car in the lot could you please send a patrol car to check it out."

        Originally posted by Consolewatcher View Post
        I think a lot of "what to look for" is instinctual, looking at things and asking yourself "does this seem right?".
        I don't think knowing what to look for is instinctive at all. I mean there is a reason that they put in experience cops with experienced cops. The experienced guy is going to know things and pick up on things that the new guy would never even think of.

        I have learned to pay attention to the following because they almost always indicate that something is in the wind.

        Aimless loitering. If you're hanging around someplace where there's really no reason for you to be hanging around you're usually up to some s***.

        Pay attention to the people who are paying attention to you. Those are the predators. They're either deciding if you're going to be an easy mark or they're waiting for you to leave so they can do something did they don't want you to know they're doing. This also applies when you're not at work if you're walking down the street or walking through Walmart and somebody's checking you out you need to stop and ask yourself why they're checking you out.

        Did my arrival change your behavior? this used to happen to me a lot when I was a roving guard. I was sitting at a traffic light one night 3 a.m. when a guy came walking down the sidewalk. I'm not sure what he was doing but he looked up and noticed that I was in a marked security car and he stopped dead in his tracks and turned around and went the other way. Only an idiot wouldn't have known he was up to something. A lot of times just letting somebody know that you're aware of their presents is enough to get them to leave.

        There are a couple others but they apply more to general situational awareness than what to keep your eyes out for. If I see any one of the above behaviors it gets my attention. If I see any two you're up to some s***
        Last edited by Lunch Meat; 03-07-2019, 04:02 AM.

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        • #5
          I don’t observe and report. I observe and react.

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          • #6
            last two gigs the program was to NOT report, but I did anyway, for the public good.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn9YdML8PPw&t Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lone Wolf View Post
              I don’t observe and report. I observe and react.
              I just act. I've found that deciding what I'm going to do before I arrive gets best results. Sorta like how the cops operate. They go "today we's gonna be settin' up speed trap on West Elm hidin' behind old lady Cross's carport", or "you and Bubba go shake down some disadvantaged urban youth outside the High School".

              Last thing you want to be is become known as "the problem solver", because that only makes them give you more problems. Better to first CAUSE a few problems and set the precedent. That gets everyone behaving and no problems.

              Pro Tip: Go ahead and make up your own (stupid) laws. I've found there is no "law" so stupid that an American (or immigrant) wont believe its 110% real. Key is to make it really, really stupid and not in the Mark's area of expertise. Don't tell a trucker about diesel fuel law, tell him its Fed Civil Rights that all milk in schools must be from both White, Brown and Black cows and CERTIFIED no less than 20% of each group.

              For extra credibility, just go to Wikipedia and edit in your "law" on a large existing page, with cites, notations, etc (that go nowhere) and print or email. Anyone can edit Wiki and no one will correct it for a few weeks. This not in anyway illegal unless used to commit a real crime, and no one is gonna be able to pin it on you unless the NSA takes the case.

              I'm gonna try this on an actual lawyer first chance I get. Buddy's GF/wife got 95% on LSAT, into Boston Law, etc before getting her Mrs degree, and I'm smarter than she is.

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              • #8
                If all else fails throw 'em a Hot Pocket

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lunch Meat View Post



                  I don't think knowing what to look for is instinctive at all. I mean there is a reason that they put in experience cops with experienced cops. The experienced guy is going to know things and pick up on things that the new guy would never even think of.
                  Yeah, when I say "instinctive" I agree that it's something that definitely builds over time. I think that in the absence of specific policy governing something, a lot of it is based on whether something seems "off" or not. Even if it only seems slightly "off", you can still take a measured response. For example, if you've worked at a building for a while and see a cleaner you don't recognize, you don't necessarily have to go asking him a bunch of questions, calling the client, etc. It could be something as simple as casually happening to "run in to" another cleaner you know and asking them "by the way, do you guys have a new guy working for you tonight?".

                  I've also found that when dealing with a suspicious situation, you can mask what you're really trying to find out. For example, if you see a suspicious person hanging around you don't have to go up to him and say "You! What are you doing here?". It could be simply going up to him and saying "Hi there. You look like you're lost. Anything I can help you with". To him, it appears I'm being friendly and my goal is to help him out. That's not my goal; it's to find out what he's doing here.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Consolewatcher View Post

                    I think it's important to remember that "Observe and Report" and "Warm Body" are NOT the same things. A security guard who is not expected to go "hands-on" can still be a very valuable asset by knowing what to look for and when to report things.

                    I think a lot of "what to look for" is instinctual, looking at things and asking yourself "does this seem right?".
                    Excellent

                    Who
                    What
                    Where
                    When
                    Why...not always attainable

                    And if possible make do your Incident report asap

                    http://www.laurel-and-hardy.com/ Greatest Comedy team ever!

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                    • #11
                      The best advice I can give is to notice what is not normal and to log it. After a while, you will get a feel for what is normal and what is not. When in doubt log it. A short pencil is better than a long memory. I Would keep a small pad of paper with me when I would do patrols and I would log things in my pad as if I had to testify about what was there. I would then use that for the basis of my reports. I would still store my notes from my pad for later on if need be but I had records I could go back to if need be to jog my memory if need be. My notes would include oral orders( both the client and staff) things I felt needed to be investigated, descriptions of people who were there and tag numbers of vehicles parked in areas that were not normally parked at. I had a police officer contact me about an incident 6 months after I was terminated from a site asking about a theft on site I had worked. My first response was to tell the officer go F yourself but I pulled out my notes and my information led to the arrest of the manager and one of his friends who lifted 50K in copper fittings (about 10k in scrap value) by showing up 2 hours early one morning and reliving the security guards. My information about a vehicle being parked outside of the gate that I did not recognize is what led to the arrest. It did not get my job back but at that point, I did not want it back.
                      Confronted with the choice, the American people would choose the policeman's truncheon over the anarchist's bomb.
                      Spiro Agnew

                      Why yes I am a glorified babysitter , I am here to politely ask you to follow the rules , if not daddy comes to spank you and put you in time out its your choice - Me

                      Luck is a red hair woman , if you ever dated one you know there remarkably dangerous , my personal preference is to be competent and let luck join the ride if she so chooses .- Clint Smith

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                      • #12
                        ^^^^^this^^^^^!

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