When people think of security officers, they often picture highly trained individuals who are assertive and adept at keeping people safe. Whether working in retail areas, corporate settings, or even in gated communities, security guards are often the first line of defense against criminal acts such as vandalism, theft, and assault. If you're getting involved in this line of work, you need to know that you won't always be chasing down suspects — a lot of the important work that you'll do will occur during your downtime when you're not on patrol. Here are some tasks that may be a part of your day.
Reading Security Reports
Many security agencies require their officers to compile security reports toward the end of each shift of duty. This paperwork is important, because it allows other guards working other shifts to get a sense of what has been going on. When you join a security company as a guard, you'll spend a lot of your non-patrol time reading reports — which can help you to do your job better. For example, if a description of a certain shoplifting suspect is written up in one or more reports, you'll know to keep your eyes open for him or her when you're on patrol so that you can ideally identify this person and detain him or her if necessary.
Following Up On Complaints
Security companies will often get a series of complaints throughout the day. These aren't complaints against the company, but are rather security-related issues that people want to bring to the security company's attention. You'll spend some of your downtime poring over these complaints and following up on them. Doing so can involve calling people or visiting them in person to discuss the issue and explain the steps that you and your fellow officers will be taking to correct it. For example, if a retailer is concerned about loitering, you can pledge to patrol the area in question more frequently.
Testing Your Equipment
Security officers need their equipment to always be reliable in the event of emergencies. A flashlight that doesn't work or a radio that has a problem can leave not only the security guard, but also members of the community, at risk. During the periods of downtime in your workday, you'll devote some time to testing your equipment. This is an integral part of your responsibilities, as doing so affects the safety of those around you — including your fellow officers.
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