Security Officer Manual
In this modern era of terrorism and law enforcement budgetary constraints, the security officer may be called on to perform many duties that until now were considered law enforcement functions. The security officer’s job now is much more than sitting in a guard shack and controlling access to a factory. This “job” for the retiree or want-to-be cop has become a profession in it’s own right. However, the image of the security officer has not changed. He is still viewed as the square badger idiot or want -to - be cop.
This image will continue to persist because of a lack of educational and training standards in the profession. I have worked in the field ten years and have noticed an alarming trend in the private security industry to hire the least qualified candidate. This in and of itself would not be a problem if the industry had a uniform training standard. It does not. In many cases all the training an officer will receive will be brief information on the company he is working for and some basic information on fire control and answering telephones. While those are both major duties of the security officer , in this day and age, he may be called upon to handle many more demanding situations. These include but are not limited to terrorist attack and drug use among employees. The officer not only needs a clear understanding of the security profession but also needs a clear understanding of basic law enforcement techniques.
This manual is by no means a complete training manual for the security professional but it will cover some of the more basic security techniques and basic criminal justice areas; such as basic criminal law, search and seizure, arrest, investigation and crime scene protection.
Part I Patrol
Patrol is the most basic security function. No matter what area of security the officer works in , he may, at some time, be asked to conduct patrols. Patrols may consist of clock rounds in a factory, foot patrol in a mall, hospital, motel or hotel or vehicle patrol in an un-incorporated community or gated community. Patrol is a necessary evil of the security officer‘s job. The purpose of patrol is to prevent and detect crime, unauthorized activity and safety problems .
The most common type of patrol is the foot patrol. An officer on foot patrol should be looking for any safety violations such as blocked fire exits, open or unlooked doors, blocked fire extinguishers and wet floors. He should check all fire extinguishers to ensure they are fully charged.. Also an officer should also be checking for potential fire hazards. While on patrol, check problem areas, such as employee parking areas, entrances and exits or other area’s that have reported problems in the past. If any of these are encountered while on patrol , the officer should investigate and take appropriate action. For example, an office door that should be locked after normal business hours is found unlocked. First investigate the area to make sure no one is working late or engaged in illegal activity. If nothing is found , lock the door and explain your actions in your activity log.
While on patrol the officer should avoid walking too close to walls or stacked boxes and avoid making sharp turns around corners by leaving a few feet between him and the wall. This will cut down on potential accidents. Occasionally, if possible, the officer’s patrol route should be altered.
Some client sites may require the security officer to conduct hourly “clock” rounds. The officer will have a determined patrol route to follow, in this case, the route cannot be altered. Each key station must be hit in order. In general, this patrol route will take the officer though areas that the client has determined to be problem areas. While conducting this kind of patrol it becomes quite easy to walk through a patrol route with blinders on. Not noticing any other security problems outside the immediate area of the next key station. Conducting clock rounds with “blinders on” must be avoided. If the officer walked through areas that do not have a key station not checking for security or safety issues the entire patrol is meaningless. While the keys are mainly placed in areas where it is thought the most security and safety violations occur, nothing is a sure bet and if the officer isn’t thorough on patrol the entire purpose is defeated.
Generally speaking vehicle patrol is a special function preformed at the request of the client. It may also be a service offered to many independent clients. The purpose of a vehicle patrol is so the officer can cover more area in a reasonable amount of time.
Before performing a vehicle patrol the car should be inspected to make sure that all lights and safety equipment(sealt belts, air bags and the like) are working properly before beginning the patrol. Any damage to the vehicle or non-functional safety equipment should be noted in the officer’s activity log. All patrol rounds made in the vehicle are recorded in the activity log.
The patrol should be conducted at low speed to allow the officer to thoroughly observe his patrol area. All suspicious activity should be investigated. Whenever the officer leaves the patrol car he should call into dispatch or contact another officer to advice them of his location and the nature of the stop. The officer should turn off the vehicle and take the keys. Under no circumstances should the vehicle be kept running.
Vehicle overhead lights are commonly used for high visibility patrol functions, such as hospital shift changes where there is a high volume of employees entering and exiting.
The main purpose for this type of patrol is visibility, for this reason, the vehicle should not be parked in one place for long periods of time.
Bike patrol is something quite common in my area of Myrtle Beach. Many of the hotels here are too large to conduct a thorough patrol on foot, yet too small for vehicle patrol. Generally speaking bike patrols are used for this exact type of situation.
The patrol itself should be conducted at a slow pace to ensure officer safety and to aid him in monitoring the patrol area.
While patrolling inside a building or complex move quietly, try not to advertise your presence. If the area is well lit try to walk in the shadows. This allows the officer to observe the area without being seen. Stop from time to time to listen for strange noises, also note any safety or fire hazards.
One of the major issues a security officer will face on patrol is complacency. Patrol can become routine and boring. Keeping patrol interesting depends on the officer’s attitude. If he feels that patrol is a waste of time and effort on his part, he will become bored and possibly injure himself or miss safety problems. Each area of a client site is unique. An officer must take the time to get to know the patrol area and all its specific problem areas in order to analyze and identify potential problems and check for safety, fire and security hazards. Patrol can be interesting. The long and short of keeping patrol interesting is the attitude of the officer conducting the patrol. The more professionally the officer conducts his patrols and himself , the more respect he and the security profession will receive.
Types of Patrol
There are two distinct types of patrol, proactive and reactive. Both types can be used at different times depending on the situation.
Proactive patrol involves wearing a uniform and driving a clearly marked patrol car. The purpose of proactive patrol is to be seen. Be as conspicuous as possible while on proactive patrol This is the patrol choice when your purpose is to prevent crime and disturbances.
“Proactive patrol is the usual purpose of security. If you are observant and curious and appear to be everywhere at once, you will:
Prevent more crime
Detect more fires, water damage, intruders, thieves, vandals, and other dangers
Help more people
Be professional because you‘re doing doing a through job.”1(see site bellow)
Reactive patrol will involved the security officer trying to draw as little attention to himself as possible. If a vehicle is used it will not be clearly marked. While on foot patrol, the officer should use shadows and darkness to his advantage. If the officer notices something suspious on patrol he should allow the suspious party to make the first move. “Reactive patrol is the choice when there is a need to observe without influencing a situation or actions of individuals.”2(see site bellow)
The most important aspect of patrol is the manner in which it is conducted. Conducting a patrol in a casual and inattentive attitude is a waste of time and effort
Preparing for Patrol
Before starting a patrol the officer should check to make sure that he has all the equipment that he needs for the patrol. The officer should also mentally prepare for the patrol. He should try and clear his mind of all distractions. An inattentive or distracted officer can lead to injury.
Techniques while on Patrol
Each officer has his own method of patrol, no one method is better than another. It depends on the preference of the officer. All that should be remembered while patrolling is to completely cover the area being patrolled, no cutting corners. I once worked with an officer that in an effort to shave a few minutes off patrol would take the elevator to the top floor, walk down one flight of stairs then take the elevator to the next floor, he would alternate walking and taking the elevator. This made the patrol shorter but what if someone was being assaulted in a stair well that he did not check or if a fire had been set? He would have missed it. Remember be thorough but a patrol does not HAVE to be conducted in the same manner by each officer unless demanded by the client i.e. clock rounds.
Five Senses on Patrol
The most important tool an officer has to rely on during a patrol are his five senses. The security officer should train himself to use and react to all five of his senses while on patrol. .Looking for things that appear out of place .Listening for noises and smells that are not common to the area. The sense of touch is the most important of the five senses. If the officer smells something out of the ordinary and believes it may be a fire or receives a fire alarm, he should check the door and make sure it is not hot before opening it. If the officer finds something out of place he should take steps to correct the problem and report it in his activity log.
The security officer should carry a flashlight while on night patrol and use it in areas that are not well lit. Other than that the flashlight should be used sparingly, remember darkness and shadows are your best friend on patrol, you do not want to draw attention to yourself.
When investigating suspious activity, the officer should try to use the cover of darkness. This will allow him to observe the activity without being seen. It will keep the officer from placing himself at risk. One other thing to remember, in most cases, the officer will be working alone, usually late at night, what the security industry calls “off shifts” normally the four P.M. through midnight shift or the midnight through eight A.M. shift. Help can be a long way always so the officer should make every attempt to keep himself out of trouble and stay out of situations that may turn dangerous. Many clients frown on the security officer calling the police and the police don’t want to be called to nuisance complaints. If the officer sees a situation that could potentially be dangerous , I advise, this is the same procedure I use while on patrol, call a company supervisor. Many security companies in my area have what are called patrol routes. The officers on patrol are supervisors call one of them and advise him of the situation. If at all possible they will arrive to assist with the situation. If that isn’t possible or the officer is working for a company that does not have patrol officers and is working alone, call the police non-emergency number and advise them of the situation. This way if the officer finds himself in trouble help may not be that far away.
Approaching Suspicious Persons
A suspicious person should be approached on foot in a casual manner. For safety purposes the officer should leave a few feet distance between himself and the subject. When talking to the subject the officer should use tact and courtesy.. The lone officer should never box a subject in or make him feel that he is trapped. Subjects should be left a means of escape. This is for the officers safety. If the subject runs, he runs, as long as the officer is safe. If the subject does run the officer should get a good description of the subject and the direction he left in and notify the police. If the officer feels he may be entering a dangerous situation, he should notify other security officer (s), if possible, or dispatch or the police and wait for backup to arrive before taking any action.
Report writing is, in the eyes of the client and the company the officer works for, the most important aspect of a security officers job. But in the opinion of the officer, the least important aspect of his job. Why is the report so important? It is a written document detailing an event (incident) or the performance of normal duties (activity). A report should be clear and brief containing all information and facts pertaining to a given situation. It should also flow in a logical and concise pattern. The report should be written in a manner, where someone not present at the time of the incident or activity, could clearly understand the events that took place.
Reports are kept brief by only containing relevant information from the beginning to the end. Either from beginning to end of a shift or beginning to end of an incident. There are six basic questions that will be answered by a properly written report, each will be answered relevant to the situation:
Who- the names of all individuals involved in the situation. For example, Mr. Smith (complainant), Jack Jones (witness), Andrew Thomas (accused) .
What- what was involved in the incident. If something is stolen, what will describe the object taken. For example, the object stolen was a black day planner. It had a zipper on the side and two compartments that could hold small papers. It contained Mr. Smith’s identification. What- should identify the nature of the event then identify the action taken by the officer. This officer notified management for their authorization to continue further investigation.
When- did the event begin, the date and time and when the event ended. Start-November 30, 2003 0935 hours, End November 30, 2003 1000 hours.
Where-this question will be answered by describing the exact area the event took place in. Another question to be answered by the question of where, is where were the witnesses in relation to the event. For example, Mr. Smith’s day planner was stolen from his officer, it was left on Mr. Smith’s desk. Mr. Smith left his office at 0930 and returned at 0935 at which time he noticed that his day planner was missing from his office. At 0932 Jack Jones saw Andrew leave Mr. Smith’s office looking through a small black day planner. Mr. Jones was five feet from Mr. Smith’s office and had a clear view of those entering and leaving Mr. Smith’s office
Why-this question can not usually be answered until a full investigation is completed.
How-how did the officer become involved or aware of the problem or event, the method used to solve or respond to the problem, the conditions in which something was found. For example, Mr. Smith notified me by phone that someone had taken his day planner out of his office. After speaking with Mr. Smith and witnesses, this officer notified management for authorization to continue with the investigation. Mr. Smith’s day planner was found in the possession of Andrew and returned to Mr. Smith in good condition.
The officer should carry a field notebook while he is on patrol. It should contain everything that occurred on patrol that needs to be written in an activity or incident report. An officers field notebook should be small, so that it can fit in a pocket, so as not to be in the way while on patrol.
Field notes should be complete, clear and accurate because these notes will be the basis of your incident or activity report. Also if an incident is taken to court and the security officer is called to testify, his field notes will serve as a reminder of the incident. An officer should record details in his notebook such as date, time, location, license plate, descriptions, sequence of events, names and addresses, reminders to follow up. All facts that will be needed in a report.
I’ve seen it suggested that an officers should carry a small note book while on patrol but his actual field note book should be a three ring binder and field notes should be type written. The purpose of this is if an incident is brought to the attention of the police and it goes to court, the officer’s field notes may be entered as evidence. With a three ring binder, field notes will look more professional and only those pages relating to the incident at hand will be entered as evidence, not the officer’s entire field note book.
Traffic control is another basic function of the security officer. While on traffic control duty , the officer needs to make himself highly visible by wearing a reflective vest and standing in an area where he can clearly be seen. This is for the officers safety and the benefit of the vehicles and pedestrians he is trying to signal.
When the officer is using hand signals to direct traffic, he must look at the person he is signaling. This is done to ensure that he has the drivers or pedestrians attention before giving them any signals and that they understand the meaning of the signal and comply with it Before giving any further directions, the officer must ensure that the intersection is clear of other vehicles and pedestrians.
Bomb threats can be received in a variety of ways; by phone, through the mail and via email. The written bomb threat can yield the most information regarding its origin. Because of this, every effort must be made to preserve it’s evidentiary value. After opening the letter and determining it to be a threat , it should be handled as little as possible and placed in a clear plastic bag or other clear container. This will preserve the letter as evidence but it can still be read.
If the bomb threat is received via phone, the officer that takes the call should alert another officer( if possible) so he can also listen to the call. Every effort should be made to keep the caller on the phone as long as possible. The point of this is an attempt to answer several important questions. Each security post should have a bomb threat check list (one will be included at the end of this text). This check list contains several important questions to ask the caller about the placement of the device. It also contains several important questions the officer should ask to identify the caller and perhaps also from voice characteristics be able to determine age, sex and education. of the caller.
When receiving the call , the officer should initially be concerned with the following:
Who the caller is?
Where the bomb is placed?
When it is set to detonate?
What it looks like?
Why it was placed there?
What it is made of ?
A search conducted in response to a bomb threat should be conducted in teams of two. The search should begin outside the building or structure unless the caller has indicated that the device was place inside the building. The search team should begin at least twenty-five feet from the building exterior and work in ward. An interior search should begin on the bottom floor and work up.
To begin a room search, it should mentally be divided from floor to ceiling. The first area searched is from floor to desk height. The next area is from desk top height to approximately six feet. The final area to be searched is from six feet to ceiling.
If a device of suspicious origin is found , it should Not be Touched or Moved. The police and fire department should be notified ASAP.
Law and the Security Officer
Constitutional law is not a subject that security officer gives a lot of thought to. Since they are not public law enforcement officers, many do not see how these laws apply to them. The simple fact is that many of these laws do apply to them and an officer that is not aware of them opens himself up and his company and possibly the client to litigation.
A constitutional amendment of particular interest to the security officer is the 14th amendment added in 1868. The amendment reads “Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws.”
Another amendment that is important for a security officer to know is the fourth amendment. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrant shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”
Probable cause is a concept that only applies to public law enforcement. In security it is called reasonable grounds to believe. If you hand a case over to the police, they will need all the information an officer has to show sufficient reasonable grounds to believe in order to give them probable cause.
Probable cause is defined as the facts and circumstances sufficient to lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been or is being committed and that the suspect has committed or is committing it. Beck Vs. Ohio (1964). While the probable cause doctrine does not apply to the security officer courts have applied the principle of reasonable grounds to believe in cases where a security officer was involved.
Plain View Doctrine
If the police accidentally see incriminating evidence in plain view, in a place they have a right to be and for a proper reason, they can seize it. Coolidge Vs. New Hampshire(1971).
Police officers are sworn to protect and serve the public, because of this, they are expected to act immediately in emergency situations. When an emergency situation arises, the police don’t have time to obtain a warrant or ask permission to enter a dwelling. Mincey Vs. Arizona (1978). This doctrine holds true for the security officer within the client’s premises. As soon as possible, the officer should write a report that explains why he thought immediate action was necessary.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a warrentless search of a home is unconstutional without exigent circumstances . Payton Vs. New York.(1980). To arrest a third party requires both an arrest and a search warrant. Gold Vs. United States (1981). An officer may make a reasonable search of the areas within the suspect’s reach or distance. Necessity demands that that officer protect himself. This search will allow the officer to determine if the suspect has any weapons or items that would assist in the suspects escape. Any search beyond that would require a warrant.
When a security officer acts, he must have reasonable grounds. The action must be fresh, meaning that it must relate to an event that is occurring or has JUST occurred a short while ago. A short while ago means minutes NOT hours.
Fruit of a Poisoned Tree
“Fruit of a poisoned tree is the principle that legal evidence gathered illegally is not admissible as evidence.
This exclusionary rule has been eased somewhat in recent years. Once enough to invalidate a warrant, now if an officer acts on information believed true, but if turns out not, the United States Supreme Court, states in United States Vs. Leon, 486 US 896 (1984) that the officer acted in good faith.”3(see site bellow)
In most states the security officer does not have the power to arrest. An officer should check with his company or state statue before taking any actions that may be construed as an arrest. If your not sure, ASK first, it’s better to ask than be sorry later.
An arrest is a restraint or denial of freedom of movement. It happens when a person feels that they are in an officers custody or not free to leave. Once a person is or believes they are denied freedom of movement an arrest has been made.
“.But a security officer can detain a person while investigating a situation. A detention is the holding of a person pending confinement or release. You have the right to maintain the status quo while you are checking a situation.”4 (see site below)
Search and Seizure
This can be a tricky situation for the security officer. Here are some of the basics the officer should know. If the employer provides a locker and key to the employee but keeps a key to the locker, with the employees consent, the locker can be searched. If the employee provides the lock and key, the interior of the locker could be considered private property by the court. If the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the locker contains some kind of contraband, he should contact the police and let them determine if a warrant should be applied for.
Case law has stated that a desk is an employee’s private property if it is assigned to only one employee, if however, it is a community desk it’s fair game.
United States Vs. Katz (1967) states that protection extends not only to the building, but also to its curtilage, the open areas immediately adjacent to a dwelling, the area around a home to which the activity of home life extends. However, it does not offer protection where one cannot reasonably expect privacy such as open fields or public places.
The officer should ask a subject’s permission to search. An officer should try to get such consent in writing. If the subject refused to give consent, decide weather there is reasonable ground to hold the subject for the police.
Like the police, if the security officer has a right to be in an area, any evidence or contraband in plain view can be seized.
One of the advantages the security officer has over the police is he is not an agent of the government and is on private property. With due notice, the officer has the right to search whatever he likes. If the client has a sign posted that all packages are subject to search, the officer is good to go. If someone refuses to consent to the search, the officer can deny him entry onto the grounds.
Interview and Interrogation
The security officer probably won’t find himself in a situation to conduct an interrogation but can find himself conducting interviews. The difference being: an interview is an effort to develop information from a reasonably cooperative person. An interrogation is a discussion with an unfriendly and uncooperative person, either the accused or a co-conspirator. This person will normally have something to hide. If they try to be cooperative with investigators, this may be an attempt to conceal deception. When conducting an interview or interrogation , the officer should stand in a position that translates into a defensive postture.
If the security officer finds himself in a position of taking witness statements from more than one person at a time, all witnesses should be separated and interviewed separately. They should be kept apart to keep them from creating a story.
Bias on the part of a witness does not automatically mean they are lying, part of human natures is to shade the truth. Truth changes color in different light. It’s called selective memory.
During the course of an interview or interrogation a witness’s body language and facial expressions may tell an investigator more than what he or she is actually saying. For example, a strained facial expression might imply that the person might be holding back or it might mean that he or she just doesn’t remember. If the officer or investigator asks the right questions, they can prod a witness’s memory or catch them off guard.
“The principles of getting information from someone are:
Keep yourself out of the incident
Listen carefully to answers
Never suggest answers
Be reasonable and understanding
Never embarrass the subject”5(see site below)
Information gathered during an interview is for report purposes. If the officer takes written statements , witnesses are less likely to change stories at a later date. After the statement is taken, ask the witness to sign it. If they refuse, it should be noted in the report. The officer should then ask the witness to initial the report.
Interviewers should be adapt at reading body language. If a witness is hiding something , they may lean back with their arms folded . Someone whose arms are open and they are leaning forward attentively may be more egar to help or are telling a lie. Also an interviewer may communicate thoughts or feelings with body language and gestures.
While the security officer should not find himself in a position to conduct interrogations, the need for him to conduct one may arise, so here are some of the basics on how to conduct an interrogation.
The officer should remember that a principle psychological factor in a successful interrogation is privacy while conducting an interrogation. A person is much more likely to confide in someone when they are alone. However, if an officer is interrogating someone of the opposite sex , they may want to have a witness present.
Many suspects that have committed crimes against individuals will be emotional. Those who have committed crimes for financial gain will usually be unemotional.
Fire is a primary concern for the security officer no matter where he is working. While on patrol the officer should be on the look out for anything that may cause a fire or be a safety hazard Such as smoking in unauthorized areas, oily rags left next to a heat source, boxes stacked up and blocking fire exits or fire sprinklers, over heating machinery and the like.
If while on patrol, the officer smells something he thinks may be a fire, sees smoke or receives a fire alarm notice, before opening a door leading to the area of the fire, he should feel the door for heat. If it’s hot he shouldn’t open it. The officer should never assume that a fire signal will be received at the local fire department. If fire is found, he should CALL the local fire department.. If at all possible, the officer should notify a second officer, this officer should wait outside the facility and direct the fire department to the area with the fire. The first officer should remain where he is and assist with employee evacuations and keeping the fire contained (this should only be done if it can be done safely).
An officer on patrol has found a fire. Now what does he do? Using the appropriate fire extinguisher can be the difference between keeping the fire contained while awaiting the arrival of the fire department, putting the fire out (even if the officer is able to put the fire out, the fire department should be called and they should check the area just to make sure it hasn’t spread) or making the fire worse.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
Class A- Wood, cloth, paper, trash. Extinguishers marked A contain water.
Class B- Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, paint, solvents. Class B extinguishers may use co2 foam, halon, or dry chemicals.
Class C- Electrical equipment. This type of extinguisher may use dry chemicals, halon or co2.
Class D- Combustible metals such as magnesium and sodium.
It is important that the officer know what extinguisher to use on what type of fire.
While the security officer is by no means expected to be a narcotics officer, he may come across employees using illegal drugs or encounter someone on them. So it is important to know what these drugs are and how they are defined. This section is by no means a complete listing of narcotics.
The controlled substances act define drugs as:
Narcotics: opium, morphine, cocaine, heroin and methadone. Depressants: chloral hydrate, barbiturates, methaqualone. Stimulants: amphetamines, phenemrazine, methylphenidate. Hallucinogens: LSD, mescalinete, amphetamine variants, phencyclidine, phencyclidine analogs. Cannabis: mararijuana, tetrahydrocanabinol, hashish and hashish oil.
The controlled substances act also places drugs in schedules based on their medical usage and potential for abuse. Drugs included in schedule I are those with high potential for abuse and no common medical usage such as, heroin, marijuana, and LSD. Drugs listed in schedule II include those with high potential for abuse and some medical use, such as opium and cocaine. All substances listed in schedules I and II are illegal. Schedule III drugs include barbiturates and codeine; schedule IV drugs include phenobarbital and valium and schedule V drugs include everything else.
Symptoms of Drug Use
Alright now that we’ve covered what makes a drug illegal, now what? Well during the course of his career a security officer might come across someone on drugs. So now, we’ll take a look at some of the common symptoms a drug user my exhibit.
Symptoms that may point to drug use by an employee may include radical changes in work attendance, changes in normal abilities, inattention and dress and personal hygiene changes, unusual efforts to cover the arms and association with known drug users.
Indicators of an intravenous (IV) drug use are tracks or needle marks on the arms, pinhole pupils, frequent scratching and loss of appetite. The abuser may be drowsy after a fix and restless with sniffles and watery eyes before a fix. The security officer should look for a syringe, bent spoon, small metal bottle, glassine bags or tinfoil packets on the subject.
Depressants cause behavior similar to alcohol intoxication. The officer should watch for sluggishness or difficulty in thinking, slurred speech, bad judgment, impaired motor skills and falling asleep at work.
Stimulant effects include exhilaration, hyperactivity, loss of appetite, repetitive non-purposeful behavior, dilated pulils and chronically runny nose. Users may have straws, small spoons, mirrors and razor blades .in there possession.
Hallucinogens cause wide shifts in behavior and mood. A user may sit quietly in a trance like state or appear terrified. They may also experience nausea, chills, irregular breathing, sweating and trembling hands. PCP ( phencyclidine) users are likely to be uncommunicative, exhibit a blank stare with their eyes moving quickly from side to side, have increased sensitivity to pain and experience amnesia.
Marijuana users may exhibit signs of intoxication such as lethargy, impaired motor skills and disordered sense of time and distance.
If the security officer suspects that an employee is using drugs, he should notify management but take no action. Until advised, wrongly accusing someone of abusing drugs can open the officer and client up to lawsuits. The employee may have a reasonable explanation for why they have what appears to be elicit drugs in their possession.
The purpose of a security officer’s investigation is to:
Identify the guilty party and events which occurred.
Locate the guilty party or cause of the problem
Provide evidence of guilt or cause to management who must then decide the next step.
A successful investigation will meet the following criteria:
All available evidence is compactly handled
All witnesses are interviewed.
Suspects are effectively interrogated and given a chance to tell their side of the story.
All leads are properly developed.
The officer should remember that there is more to a successful investigation than following a prescribed set of rules. A good investigator will have a natural curiosity to recognize what could be an unusual lead. Thinking outside the box during the course of an investigation can be a very good thing. A good investigator also needs to understand people, products and situations.
Since the security officer may be the first person at the scene of a crime, he must remember not to disturb anything because that may effect it’s evidentiary value. When the officer arrives on the scene and sees a victim, he should look for a route into the area that will disturb as little of the scene as possible. He should not touch or move anything and note his actions from the time he arrived on the site. The officer should not allow anyone but emergency personnel and the police into the scene for fear of disturbing any evidence.
This manual by no means is complete. It is meant to be a brief overview of what a security officer’s job may entail. Each officer should know that while he may not be a sworn police officer, his job is no less important that that of a law enforcement officer. The security officer is encouraged to seek an education in criminal justice or a related field and apply the knowledge gained to the security profession.. Only through education and better hiring practices is the profession of the security officer ever going to be taken seriously.
Clede, B. 1993. Security Officer’s Manual.(work used for sites 1-5 in this paper)
Nation Wide Security. Training of Essential Security Techniques. Vol. 1-15