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Why Do So Many Security Guards Have Such Horrible Communication Skills?

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  • Why Do So Many Security Guards Have Such Horrible Communication Skills?

    This is something I noticed over and over and over again throughout my "career" and now I see it on YouTube and Reddit a lot.

    it's a little hard to explain because there's some Nuance here but I'll give an example.

    My last assignment before retirement was as a roving guard. I spent the night driving to various businesses in my town and doing door checks and what I call "Show The Flag" patrols, which is to say that I drove around the parking lot of the establishment two or three times with all my lights on so people knew that there was a "Security Presence".

    So on my first night of "training" my supervisor got into it with a trespasser at our first or second stop. It was a laundromat that was open 0700 to 2100. At 2100 the doors auto locked.

    So the supervisor and I showed up well after closing and there were a couple of Winos sitting on the steps outside the laundromat.

    The supervisor starts trying to get them to leave, and they're arguing back that it's Public Access property and that he doesn't have the authority or the right to tell them to leave.

    Now remember they're drunk and they're belligerent so they're not going to agree with anything he says anyway but he starts arguing the Municipal Code with them and trying to explain the source of his authority to tell them to leave.

    It's been my experience that when Crackheads or Winos start doing that they're trying to wear you out so you'll just give up and just go away.

    So I sat there and watched the back and forth blah blah for about 10 minutes and then I stepped in and I looked at the winos and I said "Gentlemen, we've asked you to leave. If you don't get up and start walking right now I'm calling the police."

    They DARED me to call, so I did.

    As soon as they heard "You have reached the Absaroka County police,fire and EMS Response Center if this call is an emergency please hang up and dial 911" they gathered up their belongings and they were on the way to the property line as fast as they could get there.

    Then my Stupidvisor engaged them again. Long story short while he was blah blahing with them I was on the phone with cops and we happened to get lucky because there was a unit in the area and they pulled up while I was still on the phone. Long story short the Winos were actually on the public sidewalk when the police showed up so I'm pretty sure they weren't Cited but they were told not to come back and I'm pretty sure they got the message that I at least was only going to tell them to leave once.

    So for me the question that comes out of this example is why do so many guards feel the need to continue to engage with people you're trying to get to leave? How long does it take you to learn that every word out of your mouth gives them a reason to stick around longer?

    I really think that it comes from this ingrown desire that we as human beings have to prove that we're "Right".

    If I'm trying to get a crackhead off property I don't care if they "Disrespect" me. I don't care if they talk about how good my mama was in bed as long as they're heading towards the property line while they're doing it.

    When they tell me that I don't have the authority to tell them to leave I don't discuss the finer points of the law with them I whip out the phone and let them know I'm calling the police and I tell them that they can discuss it with the officers when they arrive. I have yet to have one take me up on it.

    Final point, as I said previously, every word that I say to them gives them a reason to stay. Once I gain compliance, once they're leaving which was my goal to begin with I thank them for their compliance and I shut up.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by The Night Rider; 08-20-2022, 10:45 AM.

  • #2
    Lack of training. And the desire to be "right," as you said. And the desire to have the last word. I agree with your point about ignoring their lip - threaten to beat me up all you want, as long as you are leaving.

    I will argue with them about the law, for the simple reason that they are all jailhouse lawyers and they are wrong 99% of the time. I'm just trying to help them with their education.

    Calling the police is great if you have police that respond in under 3 hours. if not, you have to wear THEM down, or escalate the situation.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
      I will argue with them about the law, for the simple reason that they are all jailhouse lawyers and they are wrong 99% of the time. I'm just trying to help them with their education.
      I see no point. You could get a book with the actual black letter law and they'd still argue the point. As I said in my original post the point of the argument is to where you down so that you leave and leave them alone.

      Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
      Calling the police is great if you have police that respond in under 3 hours. if not, you have to wear THEM down, or escalate the situation.
      When I retired the police around here were still showing up for trespassing calls but even when they didn't, 99% of the time as soon as they heard me on the phone with Police Dispatch they bailed. Which is all I really cared about.

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      • #4
        In the area I work, local PD doesn’t show up within a reasonable time for anything. Only immediate response is to serious felony crimes in progress or anything involving firearms. We have to get creative when dealing with “minor” issues. Sometimes we take people into custody knowing full well local PD may release them. Just the fact of getting forcefully taken and put into handcuffs and being sat down for two hours deters some people from challenging us again. Sometimes having a large number of patrol guys showing up also helps with removing unwanted subjects through sheer overwhelming presence. At night we also use bright lights and spotlights on people that are non compliant. They may become irate but they know that once they begin posing a threat to us things will not turn out well for them so they just leave and take it somewhere else.

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        • #5
          Sounds like we work similar sites, SF. Whenever I tell them they might be handcuffed, I always remind them that I will sit them down in the rain and babysit for three hours, and aside from being soaking wet, they'll miss their next dose of heroin or fentanyl. That usually gets them compliant. (Especially if I have rain gear and they don't.)

          Since we're an open air facility, we play this little game where they wander around trying to lose us. If we have enough staff we herd them to the closest public street, or just wear them out. Sometimes the low speed chase is straight out of "Benny Hill."

          Bright lights work most of the time, but if they are really high it appears to have no effect. One guy said "Thanks for the lighting," and proceeded to take a quick hit off his tin foil right in front of us. America in 2022...

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