Security and protective service employees are hired to provide an additional level of public safety to private property, businesses and residences that may face certain vulnerabilities to criminal elements or undesirable activity. The primary purpose of a security officer is to observe and report prohibited activities but, in certain cases, intervention or entanglement with potentially dangerous situations will occur. While they are not sworn law enforcement officers or military personnel, they are often uniformed and may occasionally be subject to violence from individuals who are engaged in unlawful activity. If it is the case that one of your personnel are assaulted while on the job, there are a few essential steps that you need to take to assess the situation and prevent a reoccurrence of a violent incident onsite.
Thoroughly Document and Investigate the Incident
This may seem like a simple first step, but it may be the most important. While most security officers are required to keep a log of activities that happen at every site, and these logs are considered legal documentation, depending upon the nature of the site and the incident these logs may not be complete or pertinent. If possible, interview all employees and witnesses who are cooperative to get a full picture of what happened and review any surveillance recordings that may exist onsite. While a security company is not a law enforcement organization, the safety of employees on the job is the responsibility of the management. Being thorough with documentation will not only come in handy during legal proceedings but also provide a starting point to taking further measures to ensure that safety.
Review Procedures and Identify Solutions
In reviewing the incident, determine the procedural factors that played into the assault on your officer. Was the officer's workspace an exposed location where they had no safe refuge from which to report the activity? Was the officer compelled to intervene when an immediate threat to life or property was revealed? Was electronic surveillance and observation available to safely observe the activity and notify law enforcement? Knowing the answers to these questions will enable you to revise operating orders and retrain personnel or make onsite changes that will safeguard your officers in the future. If there are any safety requests that officers on site are making, whether it is locked guard posts or additional bodies on the site for backup, take these into consideration and refer them to your client with your endorsement. There is a good possibility that your client will be willing to shoulder a portion of the additional expense to protect their property and your officers after a violent incident.
Take Appropriate Action
Once possible solutions have been identified, it will be up to you to decide to decide which changes to implement and on what timetable they should be made. It may not be possible to immediately make every change that you wish to in order to secure the site, so of the possible solutions make certain to install the ones that will have the greatest impact on the safety of your officers. It may be as simple as retraining established procedures or reassigning personal, but it may require significant changes such as shifting to armed officers or vehicle patrols. Use your best judgment to make the changes that are most likely to enhance safety and be mindful that drastic on-site change may not be in the best interest of anyone involved. Taking these immediate actions will also show your client that you take the safety of their lives and property as seriously as you do the safety of your employees.