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Turn your radio on! (a rant)

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  • Turn your radio on! (a rant)

    Twice this week I've been unable to call SOs I am working with because the radios they carried were turned Off.
    At the steel mill where I'm contracted we had a ship arrive at the dock to take on several tons of steel beams. Just before the ship tied up to our dock we sent a SO up to the guard shack on the end of the dock on the levee. A half hour later the ships agent pulls up at my window at teh plant's main gate and says he's headed up to the levee to the dock. "No problem," I told him, "We have a guard up there to do the usual sign in stuff before you walk out to the ship". As he got in his car I walked back over to my desk, noted in the log book that the ships agent had been kind enough to check in with me and then I keyed up the radio to let my Officer on the levee know that someone was headed her way. I was unable to get a response from her. I called here a couple of time with no luck. Our Facility Security Officer (FSO) who is a in house SO/EMT, not a contractor like me, was at teh ship confering with the captian and ensuring that all MARSEC, Coast Guard and other paperwork was taken care of. The FSO calls me on the radio and says he's almost finished on the ship and will check to see what's up with my other officer as he exits the dock. About 10 minutes later he tells me that he found her, parked in her care behind the guard booth, asleep and the radio on the seat next to her, Turned Off. Later when I ask her about it she says when she got the radio she never thought to make sure it was turned on and never thought to perform a radio check.
    Last night I tried to call the Officer on the levee to inform him of some info regarding the expected departure of the ship. I was unable to get him on the radio. I could look out across the plant and see the lights on in the booth on the levee. As I was about to seen my patrol officer (who happened to be the one who had been sleeping the first night) up to see if he was dead or alive he called me to tell me that the ship pilot had just been up to his booth with the news I had been trying to send for 10 minutes. When I asked how come he hadn't been answering his radio he replied, get this, He turned it off while he set it in it's charging base on his desk. So this SO with over 3 years working for our company believes that you can't leave the portable radio turned on while it's charging.
    Sometimes I want to bang my head against the nearest wall. But I'm just a shift supervisor. I log it all down and pass it on to my supervisor in the morning.
    Last edited by EMTGuard; 12-15-2007, 02:16 AM.
    Hospital Security Officer

  • #2
    I run into this from time to time and it is frustrating. However, we have an overhead paging system that I can call officers on if they don't answer their radios. It isn't something you can do when the buildings are filled with thousands of people, but after hours the paging is an option.

    I can perform a specific floor page or activate a specific call box as well. After hours, I generally deal with troublemakers without ever dispatching an officer. I just tell them to move along over the speaker, they look up and see the cameras and decide to get going.

    Have you thought about having officers leave their cell/pager numbers with you as a back up way to reach them?

    What did the FSO think about the officer sleeping on duty with her radio off?

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    • #3
      We have the problem all the time with our Maintenance people. They often turn down the volumes on their radios when they go into occupied rooms to help guests then forget to turn them up when finished. Quite often we are sent looking for them. I have asked the hotel to buy them a back-up pager but they do not want to spend the money.
      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CorpSec View Post

        What did the FSO think about the officer sleeping on duty with her radio off?
        He wasn't happy but there's not much he can do. While sleeping is listed as a termination offense in our policy the fact is that it goes on during almost every shift and the client and our company are aware of it. We've actually had the issue brought up in a meeting regarding a particular SOs behavior. When she was asked if she was sleeping on duty regularly she replied "Sure I sleep. I get to work after being up all day and most nights I have to sleep some during my shift." This in front of our client and our company Representative. No classified ads were put out looking for a replacement, no disciplinary action was taken. She still works at our site, shows up and sleeps nearly every shift.
        My little coworker who was sleeping in her car on the levee sleeps nearly every night. She hops in the patrol van, disappears for 3 hours at a time and is never seen on any of my cameras during that time. I'm told by other contract employees of the plant that they see her parked in the back part of the plant behind a couple of buildings with the seat back snoozing away. At least she mostly keeps the radio turned on so I can call her when she's napping.
        Often when I go on patrol I'll swing past the main gate and wave at her as I make my patrols back and forth. Many times I come back from a hour or so of riding around and find her in a chair in the corner with her feet up, a jacket draped over her and snoring.
        I don't know why I still get mad except that I've never been able to sleep on the job. I just can't. When I first started there I had a fellow SO who worked with me for a year. He drinks cokes and smokes all night. I don't think the guy sleeps at home much less at work. So I got used to sleeping during the day when I was off and coming to work at night ready to stay awake for my 12 hour shift. After a year he took a post on another shift and I've learned that we were the exception to the standard there. While we were doing our best to stay alert the other shifts regularly sleep either right at the desk at the main gate or in the patrol vehicle in a secluded part of the facility.
        But that's a whole different rant.
        Last edited by EMTGuard; 12-15-2007, 02:17 AM.
        Hospital Security Officer

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        • #5
          I've had the opposite problem. Being sent to a site with a dead (or shortly to be dead) phone. They want us to the battery draining gps mode and won't give us a charger. I've gotten pretty vocal about and it still happens. I've adopted a policy where if my phone is not fully charged I"ll turn off the gps mode (which is heavily advertised to customers). I really dont get it. I"ll get a call if the gps mode isn't operating, but if the phones dead no one seems to care. Oddly enough, the other day, I left my personal phone in truck and got a message from the company. Sure enough, they'd tried to reach me first on my personal cell and only secondarily on the co phone.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by craig333 View Post
            Sure enough, they'd tried to reach me first on my personal cell and only secondarily on the co phone.
            That sucks dude. How cheap do they have to be not to include a charger which probably came with the phone when they bought it?
            Hospital Security Officer

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EMTGuard View Post
              My little coworker who was sleeping in her car on the levee sleeps nearly every night. She hops in the patrol van, disappears for 3 hours at a time and is never seen on any of my cameras during that time. I'm told by other contract employees of the plant that they see her parked in the back part of the plant behind a couple of buildings with the seat back snoozing away.
              This is your back up when SHTF? what gives, are shifts at your site hard to fill? is this SO related to the company CEO?
              "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill

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              • #8
                Guilty as charger. I'm getting better, but I frequently turn my radio down and forget to turn it back up.

                My campus is downtown so if Im outside I have to turn it up to hear, but there are things being passed over the air (usually from other 6 campuses in the district where the officers are doing traffic stops or running someone for info for some other reason) that we don't want everyone to hear. sometimes I forget to turn it back up. I really need to get me one of those earpieces so I don't have to do that.

                (funny campus cop story inbound)
                Heck, one time (a coupel years ago) I was talking to a guy who I found on campus trying to sell a book he was holding (not uncommon, people try to get a better deal selling a book direct than what they would get selling it back to the book store) but the guy was real jumpy. Turns out he stole a book bag which is how he got the book, But I didn't know that.

                The dispatcher came over the radio and said "(unit number) , is your radio secure?". That means that she has sensitive info about someone that she needs to pass to the caller, something you might not want the person to hear (usually a warrant lol).

                The guy took off running when he heard that. I caught him in a stairwell and my partner and I hooked him up and took him to our station. When we asked him why he ran, he said that he heard the dispatcher, that he knows what that means and he knew he had a warrant for burglary.

                THE FUNNY PART: The dispatcher wasn't replying to me, she was replying to another officer at another campus clear on the other side of the county who had stopped a guy in a car that came back stolen (turns out it wasn't, just old info in the TCIC system). I hadn't even called dispatch yet, I was just talking to the guy . Got credit for a felony warrant arrest purely by accident, just fell in my lap (we didn't charge him with evading even though we could, or DA is picky about wheter people ar technically in custody when they run, and he wasn't so we didn't bother) .

                I called the officer at the other campus (we used to work together) and told her thanks lol. She was ticked, because like I said, she thought she was going to recover a stolen car, but she didn't.
                Last edited by Black Caesar; 12-15-2007, 07:41 AM.
                ~Black Caesar~
                Corbier's Commandos

                " "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." ~Margaret Thatcher

                Comment


                • #9
                  On the technical side of this problem. It is best to let your radio completely discharge prior to recharging it. It has to do with the memory in the battery. My old company always had extra radios mostly for this purpose. Yes you can leave it in the charger and on for the short term. More than once a lazy guard would either forget to put the persons on the previous shift in the charger when he leaves his shift an will put his radio in and screw up the cycle.

                  My home aa charger has a button that will totally discharge your batteries before starting the charge cycle.
                  I use the Batteries in my scanner and get average 8 hours + run time each day for months. Some of you may have seen the below site but if you are a cheap or should I say thrifty sob like me then this will be right up your ally.
                  The Batteries in the below are not rechargeable. So don't try or you will be a news item in tomorrows news paper.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzgDffMcsUU
                  THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A 911 CALL IS FOUR MINUTES
                  THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A .357 MAGNUM ROUND IS 1400 FEET PER SECOND?
                  http://www.boondocksaints.com/

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                  • #10
                    When I was a baby S.O, I worked in an office building, where as mentioned sleeping was the norm on night shift, especially for the shift leaders. They would curl up underneath the bench and sleep while an S.O monitored the cameras, alarms etc.

                    I was not happy with this situation as we are paid to work, not sleep. So every 15-20mins I would yell, set off an alarm. You know, something noisy. The shift leaders in question would of course sit straight up, hitting their heads on the bottom bench. One even knocked himself out.........

                    For some reason, they took me off night shift as apparently I was a "Disruptive Influence" Who? ME?
                    You are not defeated unless you believe you are -Fernando
                    The world is full of willing people; some willing to work and the rest willing to let them - Robert Frost

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                      We have the problem all the time with our Maintenance people. They often turn down the volumes on their radios when they go into occupied rooms to help guests then forget to turn them up when finished. Quite often we are sent looking for them. I have asked the hotel to buy them a back-up pager but they do not want to spend the money.
                      My advice on this would be to get your maintenance guys an earpiece with PTT microphones.

                      We use something like this...

                      http://www.qmuniforms.com/moreInfoGr...io+Accessories

                      Erik
                      111th PAPD Class
                      Bravo Platoon 4th Squad

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Maelstrom View Post
                        This is your back up when SHTF? what gives, are shifts at your site hard to fill? is this SO related to the company CEO?
                        No, this is not his backup. He has no backup when SHTF. Technically, I think he's supposed to pull out of Dodge when that occurs, calling the client on the way out.

                        This is just the state of contract security in some places.
                        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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                        • #13
                          well...

                          The only thing I find worse than leaving radios off is the current situation I work with. I pull part time as a bouncer at a fairly large and very busy night club. Our managers are both in their early twenties and think it is cute to play games on our radios all night. Because of the atmosphere, we have to keep those nifty surveillance headsets on at all times. It is just a pain to listen to their mindless chatter and flirting. Last night, a fight got a little out of hand because my partner and I could not communicate to the head of security while he was flirting with the bar manager via radio...

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                          • #14
                            You could try this...

                            Hey Dougo83, you ought two buy the two lovebirds a CHEAP pair of
                            walkie-talkies to use, and when giving it to them, tell them that the rest of you want to stay alive, so please don't use the work radio's for their B.S. anymore.

                            Hopefully that will make them realize how important the ability for you to use the radio is, and they will knock off the love boat talk. If it works, hopefully they will give you the cheapo radio's back that you bought, and you can bring them back for a refund.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We used to have the same kind of problems at a site I worked at. My first job, before we had dispatchers, after 11pm we'd switch radio channels since maintenance didnt have access to our channel. Come to find out, the city police didnt know this and spent 30 minutes trying to get ahold of me one night, on the wrong channel. When I trained for nights, the FTO made it a point, between you're detex patrols, sleep and hang in the office. Never liked the idea of routine/predictable patrols and sleeping on shift, somewhere where I could see nor hear anything.

                              My 2nd job at an amuesement park, at night, you were the ONLY person around, no dispatcher, maintenance.. anything. You'd get a cell and a radio and be completely on you're own. Neither was ever charged and our LT was a tech guy who liked playing with the radios and cells and he'd lock out the cell to silent/vibrate.. I never felt that thing. i got in a 2 mile foot chase with a sexual predator and thanks to the LT, my radio stopped working after the first mile, and I couldnt hear deputies calling on the radio or cell. Got a little scary there at the end. Its the kind of incompetat acts like this stuff that gives security officers a bad rep.

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