How Has Being a Security Guard Changed Over the Years?

Security GuardsHow has being a security guard changed over the years? Well, there are more security threats than ever, and some of them require a whole new mindset, for sure.

As times have changed, the security guard’s role has adjusted to be much more than just standing in a lobby saying hello to people. Have you noticed how more and more places are concerned about who is entering their business, office, or store? In the old days, it seemed like people had more freedom to access places, such that you could just walk into City Hall, take an elevator up a few floors, and walk right into the office of your local Mayor. You two could chat and it was no big deal. Today, however, security guards are stationed in multiple places in buildings, checking people’s identification cards, making calls to see if they have a proper appointment, etc. Access control is a major role of security guards combining both customer service and visitor management.

If and when there’s an emergency of any sort, a security guard is essentially a first responder to the situation. They deal with people getting injured. They also have to pay attention to things such as fire alarms going off and anything else that disrupts the normal flow of a workday. Ever since September 11th, 2001, when the World Trade Center was attacked, American society has changed. Security guards not only have to watch over a place to protect it from petty criminals– now they even have to be watching for terrorists.

Most security firms hire people with at least a high school diploma, though college/military experience is preferred. Guards need proper training–of course–and have to pass both a background check and a drug test. When on duty, today’s guards need to be hyper-vigilant and ready to deal with all sorts of problems that could occur.

Finally, the one thing that security guards have to deal with, now more than ever, is workplace violence with active shooters on the premises. Hardly a day goes by when you don’t hear about some deranged person shooting up a school, mall or other public place.

Common Techniques Used By Shoplifters

ShopliftersShoplifting happens more than you think. That’s why so many stores today hire security guards to stand at the door, check receipts, and deter crime with their very presence.

So what are some common shoplifting techniques? If a person has a large bag– it could be a purse or a diaper bag or whatever– they can place that near their feet and casually drop merchandise in it as they stop and “shop.” If you’ve ever noticed certain stores stapling their bags shut, they do that to prevent shoplifting using their bags.

Women have a shoplifting advantage over men because they typically carry purses. These bags are perfect for shoplifting items. Women also tend to utilize baby strollers to hide stolen merchandise– with blankets, toys and babies taking up a lot of space in a stroller, it’s easy to conceal stolen items there.

Clothing can be used to shoplift stuff. Baggy clothes work best, but some people don’t even worry about that– they’ll just stuff items between their legs/into their undies and “walk out with it” seemingly undetected.

Coats and umbrellas are also used to shoplift store items. One technique is to cut slits in a coat pocket lining and then reach for items with the one hand, unseen, while the other hand is in plain view, looking “normal.”

There’s also the brazen shoplifters who’ll use distraction to get what they want. For instance, if a group of youths walk into a store, there’s one who’ll engage the clerk at the counter in a conversation. Meanwhile, the other two are sneaking stuff into their coats, clothes or bags, robbing the store blind. Shoplifters can also ask the clerk to “go in the back” to look for something, and if there’s no one else in the store, that’s prime time for them to steal stuff and run out before the clerk is back in the main room.

If you own a business and want to deter shoplifters, hire COP Security. Call 585-750-5608 or email rbarton@copsecuritycorp.com.

Crowd Control Techniques

Crowd ControlTake one look at a newspaper and you’ll notice there seems to be almost non-stop shootings in public, from nightclubs to schools and then some. We live in a time where we all must be hyper-vigilant when we’re in public, always taking notice of our surroundings. All it takes is one crazy person with a gun to cause an entire crowd to erupt into dangerous chaos.

Security personnel have become more and more important as time goes on, since there are plenty of places where crowds gather that need protection. What are some crowd control techniques security people can utilize to best protect people?

For starters, wayfinding signage is key. People need to know where they are and where they can go. The more signs pointing to things such as the exits, the better.

Next, security can focus on managing lines whether those lines are in/out of parking lots, to get tickets, to purchase items, to enter a building/venue, or for whatever reason people line up. If there’s a way to keep a crowd in line entertained, that can go a long way in placating them. After all, if they can focus on something that makes them smile, such as a strolling singer or juggler, they’re less likely to complain about a long line and want to get into fights over the wait. Simple things like awnings to shield guests from extreme weather and cooling fans for when it’s extremely hot outside can go a long way in calming people down.

Security should do their best to arrange barriers so they’re effective at keeping people where they should be, and keeping them out of areas where they should not be. Crowd control can also involve mainstays like velvet ropes, retractable belts, and stanchions to keep people in order and moving in an intended direction.

In order to prevent crowd crushes, drunken fights, and riots, crowd control is vital. Things like mounted patrols (on horses), as well as metal detectors and sniffer dogs are some other ways to further ensure the safety of patrons at public events where crowd control is necessary.

If you need a professional security service in Rochester, NY, contact COP Security today.

What can You Do to Make Employees Feel Safe in the Workplace?

Workplace Security These days it’s kind of hard not to be paranoid about possible terrorist attacks which could conceivably happen anywhere. It seems like we’re always reading or hearing about crazed gunmen shooting up places we wouldn’t normally associate with violence. What are some things companies and organizations can do to help employees feel safe in the workplace?

First, acknowledge that violence occurs and rather than live in denial, take a proactive approach toward keeping your employees informed of any possible threats or problems that may impact them. An informed group of people can be empowered, whereas ignorance is NOT bliss– at least not these days.

Awareness is key. Employees should be aware of who they’re around and what others are up to on the premises. If someone notices unusual or suspicious behavior, they should have a set protocol on what to do, such as report it to a supervisor or guard on duty.

Hiring private security guards to patrol the workplace and be a visible presence on-site helps employees feel safe in the workplace. Getting advice from law enforcement officials and security experts can help train employees what to do when certain situations arise. Consider scheduling preparedness drills, self-defense classes, and/or security workshops to get everyone on the same page should violence or other problems occur in the workplace. It’s better to be aware and prepared than not.

If possible, conceive a written plan or plans that set the standard for what to do when there’s a crisis in the workplace. Have legal counsel take a look at your plans in order to vet them.

Assign leaders who can and will “take charge” should there be an emergency in the workplace. These leaders should confer with security guards so everyone’s working as a team to ensure workplace safety.

Finally, consider hiring C.O.P. Security to help maintain the security and safety of your workplace by calling 585-750-5608. Having security personnel “on watch” at all times can help employees feel safer.

What can Security Guards Do to Help Police Officers?

Security GuardsPaul Blart: Mall Cop was a funny movie about a mall security guard. In the movie, actor Kevin James played Paul Blart as a chubby, bumbling wannabe cop. Indeed, movies and TV shows for years have shown security guards as the butt of jokes– too busy sleeping, watching TV or eating fast food to actually be doing their job well… and/or acting as if they’re true police officers when they’re not. In real life, the majority of security guards are not like Paul Blart and other fictional characters. If you were to become a security guard having never done so before, you’d find it to be the kind of job that is hard work, requiring both mental and physical stamina.

Security guards do a dangerous job. There’s always the chance of being assaulted, injured, or shot. Like police officers, they have to deal with all sorts of people, including troublemakers who are up to no good.

What can security guards do to help police officers? For starters, there should be mutual respect between them since they’re both trying to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. A “we’re all in this together” attitude is much better than an “us-versus-them” approach.

Next, security guards are smart to emulate police officers in the way they dress. Nothing commands attention like a well-dressed, neat professional. Little things like tucking in shirts, wearing belts, and not having stains on one’s shirts goes a long way in showing that you take your job seriously and that you should be taken seriously.

Again, little things matter a lot. Security guards who are able to clearly and concisely explain things to police officers who are looking for facts will do well. Police officers have a limited amount of time for each case, and they don’t need opinions or tangents. Clear communication between security guards and police officers is essential.

Finally, a security guard’s job comes down to two things: observing and reporting. By keeping an eye on what’s happening and then accurately reporting events and situations to police officers, a security guard is fulfilling his or her role the right way.

Does Your Event or Organization Need an Unarmed Security Guard?

Unarmed Security GuardYou don’t always need an armed security guard. If you’re dealing with large amounts of cash out in the open and you’re located in a high crime area, then an armed security guard makes sense. However, a lot of business owners, event organizers, apartment complexes and others who want security around are perfectly happy with unarmed guards.

Guards play a number of roles, from giving directions to watching for theft. They’re more alert than average employees, and they notice things others don’t. Unarmed guards can be great for literally walking around the office, store, or building to show people that you have a security presence there. They can watch out for (and prevent) theft or vandalism. If a kid is getting ready to spray paint a wall with graffiti an unarmed guard can tell him or her to go away and they will. People don’t have to know whether or not the guard is armed– just the fact that a uniformed security guard is in their presence communicates to them that they’re being watched.

People want to feel safe. Even though some people don’t like being watched, society today has pretty much accepted the fact that we live in a time when cameras are everywhere and so we’re all being watched in public places. Having a human, on-the-ground unarmed guard is another way to watch people in order to keep the peace. A camera can’t talk to an unstable person and try to calm them down, whereas a guard can. Furthermore, an unarmed guard can always call the police if the need arises.

C.O.P. Security’s unarmed guards help maintain order wherever they are, and they’re good at conflict resolution, too. They can conduct security searches if needed and monitor building or event access points, assisting customers or employees where needed.

Call C.O.P. Security at 585-750-5608 to discuss your unarmed security guard needs.

 

How to Maximize the Value of Your Surveillance System

Surveillance Cameras A camera surveillance system is only as good as the person watching it. Cameras can record activities going on in places like offices, warehouses, and stores, but what really helps is having a trained expert keeping their eyes glued to what the camera sees at all times.

Have you ever met a person who hardly notices anything around them? It seems like there are two types of people: those who are happily oblivious to all that is happening around them and those who notice every little detail. With a camera surveillance system, the best way to get the most out of it is to have a trained expert who loves noticing little details. You don’t want someone who is disinterested and/or oblivious.

C.O.P. Security believes the key to customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention is to consistently deliver a level of customer service that exceeds and even anticipates the customer’s expectations for value. In other words, C.O.P. hires the kind of people who notice every little detail and think proactively. This way, a camera surveillance system is not just passively monitoring a situation. It is being used by a trained expert to notice things that are “off” from the norm.

Imagine you had a “hawkeye” keeping tabs on your business via a proper and professional camera surveillance system. He or she could alert you to anything out of the ordinary immediately. Since you can’t always notice everything and everyone around you, isn’t it nice to know someone else is physically watching what’s happening and able to alert you or the authorities if the need arises?

Making customers, clients and workers aware of camera surveillance reduces loss, disagreements between employees, disruptive behaviors and other problems right away. C.O.P. Security can supply you with trained personnel to properly monitor and utilize your surveillance system. Call 585-750-5608 for more information.

The Benefits of Having a Security Presence at School Events

Security at School EventsIt’s a sad reality that times have changed. In the old days, it was almost unthinkable that students would have to worry about safety at school or school-related events. These days, school violence almost seems to have become the norm. Turn on the news any day and you’re likely to hear about some crazed person bringing a weapon on school grounds and causing mayhem.

Now, more than ever, is the time to have a security presence at school events. Why? Well, for starters, security guards have a physical presence that people notice. They’re on the lookout for trouble, and when people know they’re being watched for that sort of thing, they tend to avoid carrying out their heinous plans. If there’s no authority figure around, anything can happen and who is going to care? But if a security guard is on duty, it sends a signal to all those in attendance at a school event that their behavior is being monitored by someone “in charge.”

Security guards often diffuse situations before they turn violent. For instance, a security guard can notice and break up a squabble between kids before they begin to throw punches and fight. If a child is being bullied, the guard can step into the situation and ask the bully to stop.

Parents will feel more comfortable knowing their children’s activities are being observed by a responsible adult. Indeed, a security guard can relay information to parents about what they’ve observed, reporting any aggressive or depressed children to their parents. It never hurts to have additional adult eyes keeping tabs on what children are up to at school events.

Besides giving a security boost to school events, guards can be in key places at key times to offer assistance as needed. Say, for instance, a child falls down and injures themselves. A guard might be the first person to notice and help that child. Guards can also direct people to where they need to go, while noticing any suspicious people who don’t seem like they should be on the premises for particular events.

To hire dependable, professional security guards for your school events, email Rbarton@copsecurity.com at C.O.P. Security today.

What’s Life Like as a Security Guard?

Security GuardThere are over a million security guards in the United States, and it’s a growing field of work as more and more people and places seek protection from various problems.

In general, the life of a security guard is especially concerned with being the eyes and ears of an organization, such that it’s protected from theft, vandalism, shady behavior or illegal activities. If you’re the kind of person who likes to “watch the scene” for long periods of time, paying attention to little details as well as the bigger picture, security guard work might be for you.

Security guards can be found in a wide variety of places, including public buildings, retail stores and office complexes. Some guards will use surveillance cameras to keep watch over certain areas, while others will “walk the beat” in person, serving as a very public deterrent to crime.

Hours can vary for security guards, since their job often goes beyond the normal 9-to-5 working hours of most people. For instance, a guard might have to cover an overnight shift when few others, if any, are on premises. The idea is that a night guard patrols an area to make sure nothing unusual is taking place. Other guard shifts can occur during very busy times in places like retail stores where one guard might come into contact with hundreds of people per shift. Being flexible and adaptable to various situations is an important part of the job.

As with life in general, security guard work can involve some very intense times followed by other times when it seems like not much is happening. Therefore, it’s important to stay mentally and physically alert at all times during a shift in order to always be aware of what’s going on with the people and places you’re guarding. Certain jobs will have a team of guards on duty. This is a chance to build some camaraderie, while also switching up positions as needed for variety.

A security guard is not a police officer. If and when the police are needed to arrest a criminal, the security guard needs to call for proper back-up. Otherwise, a security guard’s main focus is to diffuse potentially violent situations wherever they may be, as well as notice anything suspicious that could cause others–or the company–some sort of harm.

Much like big brothers often watch out for their little brothers on the school playground, a security guard plays a very important role in today’s society. Just the presence of security gives people a sense of safety and security, putting them more at ease than the times when no security is around, “on-guard.”

The History of Private Security

History of Private Security Private security has been around for centuries. Long ago, in Ancient Egypt, pharaohs hired private security guards for personal protection. Ancient Romans as well as emperors during the time of the Byzantine Empire hired private security guards, too, to protect their families and property. Wealthy warlords in many countries, including China and Italy, were known to hire security personnel to guard their bases. Oftentimes, military soldiers would be employed as personal security guards during times of peace.

During the 1700s, as more and more people moved to cities, the crowded streets and neighborhoods were filled with poverty, crime and violence. Therefore, the need for security increased to the point where tax revenues were used to pay security guards to patrol city streets every night of the year, on the lookout for anything suspicious.

The Industrial Revolution brought with it a huge increase in crime, which lead to the formation of private security guard agencies. These agencies, such as the Pinkerton Agency in the 1850s, helped guard the railroads and banks in prosperous places.

Did you know Henry Ford hired his own security force for his Ford factory in its early days? Indeed, many industries started to hire private security to protect their factories during The Great Depression and World War II. Later on, the need to protect American industries from Cold War espionage continued to fuel the need for private security guards and forces.

When New York City was attacked by terrorists in 2001, many people felt unsafe for months, if not years, afterward. The nation was definitely “on edge” for some time, and more and more security guards appeared in places like hotels, malls, schools and public gathering spots.

Today we live in a world where there seems to be a constant threat to people’s security with ISIS and other nefarious entities plotting to cause innocent people harm. Now– more than ever it seems– personal security guards are needed.

C.O.P. Security Inc. is a private security company supplying businesses and events with monitoring and security services. Call 585-750-5608 or email rbarton@copsecuritycorp.com for details on how C.O.P. can protect your people and property.