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When to blow the whistle?

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  • When to blow the whistle?

    I am fortunate enough to be the only officer where I work, so this is something I have not had to deal with, but nevertheless, it got me wondering. How far would all of you allow a coworker to go before you blew the whistle on them? For instance, if you knew someone made a habit out of sleeping while on company time, stole from the comany, used a company vehicle for personal uses, wrote down hours that you know they did not work, etc., how long, if ever, would you allow it to go on before reporting it? I am someone who absolutely hates dishonesty, but I'm not sure where I should draw the line between outright dishonesty and and honest mistake.

  • #2
    I would report any stealing from the company immediately. This includes falsifying time cards. If you know about company theft and do not report it you are just as guilty... especially as a security guard.

    The small stuff like sleeping... I would just wait for them to get themselves fired.
    Police Officer

    Experience: Bouncer, EMT, Theme Park Security, Money Transport, Armed Guard

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    • #3
      To steal is wrong, to steal while in a position of trust is even more wrong. And if you were to know this was going on, report it. Say it ends up being investigated by higher-ups, you may be seen as an accessory, then your credibility is at risk.

      Cover your six.
      I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

      If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

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      • #4
        I have and will continue to blow the whistle on anything that can/will endanger me. If you are to be my partner on a site, you WILL NOT SLEEP. If somebody comes on site and starts to go crazy, its BOTH our asses. I had a guy removed from my post for sleeping on site. I can't stand that crap! Sleep at home, work at work. Its a simple concept, no?

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        • #5
          My first boss at my first hotel would steal everything he could from the hotel. All his Kleenex, toilet paper, shampoo, bread, milk etc etc. He was the same nationality of the General Manager & got away with it.

          Then he went too far. He bought an apartment building during the engery crises & changed it from oil heating to electric. Every morning the hotel electrician would punch his card, get into the Security Director's car, go to the appartment, work all day, get driven back to the hotel & punch out. At the same time he got himself a job as a blueprint delivery man. He would do this job on hotel time!

          I finally went to the owners of the hotel & blew the whistle. Nothing was done because the owners had already taken a decision that they were going to close the hotel & did 3 months later.
          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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          • #6
            How far would all of you allow a coworker to go before you blew the whistle on them?
            It's difficult to say. I've seen and continue to see plenty of stuff that I know isn't right.
            For the moment I tend to have the opinion that I keep quiet and let things work themselves out. I've done enough whistle blowing in the past. The reason I'm no longer working for the city fire department is because I spoke out against the Drinking on duty, falsified training records and nepotism I saw in the department. Getting the reputation as someone who rocks the boat will not help me find another job.
            Hospital Security Officer

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            • #7
              On a Government Contract, Access Entry Control Site, a guard has been sleeping on duty and abandoning his post for a number of years. Same post a female guard has been bringing her child to work with her and allowing unauthorized personnel on the site. Four guards and the supervisor reported this to the company president in an effort to protect the contract, the company and their jobs and they were fired for insubordination. They complained to the next persons in the chain of command, Government Contracting Office. Government refused to do anything about it. So....why worry about doing your job by the book? Nobody really gives a crap. First hand experience speaking.

              The guard that sleeps on post and abandons his post and the female guard are still there doing as they please.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by EMTGuard View Post
                It's difficult to say. I've seen and continue to see plenty of stuff that I know isn't right.
                For the moment I tend to have the opinion that I keep quiet and let things work themselves out. I've done enough whistle blowing in the past. The reason I'm no longer working for the city fire department is because I spoke out against the Drinking on duty, falsified training records and nepotism I saw in the department. Getting the reputation as someone who rocks the boat will not help me find another job.
                One or more of your former comrad's or a citizens of that F/D are still alive because of that CHOICE you made. It truely takes courage, to do the right thing while everone else looks on...

                There is hope on the horizon as more and more "whistle blowers" are being protected, it may not be tomorrow or the next day, but hopefully good will prevail especially for those in positions of trust are being caught.
                I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

                If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

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                • #9
                  The bell, The book, the candle/camera.

                  I remember a phrase I learnt once.

                  The bell, The book and the candle/camera. It went something like this (may not be word for word).

                  The Bell;
                  If a bell rings in your head that something is wrong about this action, think about it.

                  The Book;
                  What does the book say about this situation.

                  The Candle/Camera;
                  How would this look if it some light was being shed on this/or if this was being filmed.

                  Obviously I still refer to this phrase in times of doubt, which makes me stop for a moment no mater how brief and think, The bell, The book, The candle/camera.

                  Remember someone is always watching you even if you think no one is, that may be true or not but do you really know for sure...?
                  (I heard someone say that once too).
                  I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

                  If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

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                  • #10
                    My viewpoint

                    Stealing is unacceptable - it indicates a larger moral deficiency problem.

                    Safety & OSHA Violations - possibly, depending on the risk of injury.

                    Sleeping - depends on the circumstances and frequency. Before reporting it, try to talk to the offender 1st. If unresponsive, report it.

                    Blowing the whistle should be done when you are absolutely sure of the facts regarding the incident(s)

                    Keep in mind that sacrificing a job by doing the right thing is always better than living with a bad conscience.
                    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                    • #11
                      I think that anything that amounts to a criminal act being committed by your co-worker HAS to be reported.

                      Anything that the co-worker does that permits a dangerous situation to arise, or to be allowed to continue, would entail that you either handle the situation with the co-worker in making them handle the problems, or you would have to report the co-worker to your company.

                      Most other situations, unless they fall into the two previous categories, can be left alone, if you wish, but only if it will not affect negatively on your good image, and with the hope that any relatively good supervision will, sooner or later, pick up on it.

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                      • #12
                        I had a few issues with co-workers flaunting the rules and trying to sort things out onsite.

                        1. Petty theft of tea / coffee supplies makes life harder to trust again

                        2. Theft of vital equipment like 1st aid supplies (not a band aid) was a sore point (no pun).

                        3. LPO getting sweetheart deals from other staff and when I reported it was told I was victimising the poor innocent little LPO. It was the turning point when I wanted out of this company as I had no support from management.

                        4. Same person in item 3. was reported for past workers comp claims at 3 previous firms and had a current claim I reported on but was told "it's none of your business" and when I said "until he is unfit for work", I was cut down.

                        I don't blow the whistle anymore, I allocate 6 feet of rope so the person can hang themselves with their own stupidity. When no action is taken or it hits you back in the face, people lose patience and trust and when staff at my last store LPM role told me who was stealing and giving sweetheart deals, I collected the evidence and did something about it. If I did nothing they just lose their trust in the LP program.
                        "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                        • #13
                          As a security officer, If I saw a co-worker stealing, I'd bust him. If I saw a co-worker sleeping, I'd wake him up and get him some coffee or something. If he made a habit of it, I'd report him.
                          As a supervisor, same thing goes for crooked guards... bust them. If I find a guard sleeping, I might let him go depending on the circumstances, but not if it continues. After all, the client doesn't pay us to sleep!
                          Once I had to relive a guard who got sick on post. He left his car at the account, and I drove an unmarked car so the midnight guard didn't recognize that I was on site until he walked in the front door - with a sleeping bag and a pillow. I suspended him and sent him home. When I found out from the guard who went home sick that his relief showed up with the sleeping bag and pillow every night I fired both of them. In those days it was a terminable offense to let someone who was unfit for duty relieve you.
                          "Striking terrific terror in the hearts of criminals everywhere" Since 1977.

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                          • #14
                            Even worse when they are armed officers as well. I thinking coming to work intoxicated is disgusting regardless of where you work and I used to argue big time with a supervisor who would come through our office wearing sunglasses from a hangover the night before Thursday night. He was a mean SOB too and he would expect everyone to be quiet for him. Mind you he was in his 40's and should have known better. Can I add drugs into that as well ? We can argue about soft and hard stuff but these days - an employer has to offer you counselling and the like - BS I SAY ......... your personal choices should not be affecting your employment. Either work or stay at home.
                            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                            • #15
                              This is a great question. The answer for me is connected with how much faith do you have in your management to do the right thing? I have worked in situations where if you brought problems up, you become the problem. We live in a shoot the messenger era at times.

                              So, I think it depends on your situation. If you make a serious accusation against a co-worker and nothing is done about it, where does that leave you?

                              I am lucky in my current job that shenanigans aren't tolerated. Sure, people have fun at work and sometimes the lunch hour is extended or people spend a little too much time on the phone or computer, but there is a big difference between that stuff and out and out theft.

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