As a security officer you know that your work is hazardous. Let’s face it, when you are patrolling you are looking for hazardous situations. Consider that if there were no hazards, chances are you wouldn’t be working at a specific location. Following are a few reminders to ensure you are safe when on-duty:
1. Be aware, be alert – First mainstay of safety is always being alert to your surroundings, understand what is going in the area you are working, and being alert for any potential problems. “Keep your head on a swivel” – best advice that has been passed down for decades. It refers to looking around you at all times.
2. Prepare early for work – Give yourself enough time to get ready for work, before you leave the house. Rushing at the last minute often results in leaving important equipment at home, or failing to inspect your equipment. There are those times when an officer is running late, rushing to get to work and they left their firearm at home….don’t be that officer.
3. Arrive early – Make sure you have enough time to mentally and physically prepare for duty before you start. This is an opportunity to talk with on-duty officers about potential issues, review the post orders and reports from prior shifts. You need to have the time to be aware of what may potentially happen.
4. Be diligent in your duties – You may have been on a post for months without any issues. Today or tonight will be different. “Something is going to happen.” Sounds paranoid, but you need to be have your senses about you. Patrols can become monotonous at times, but that is not a reason to relax. Check that door again, or view your perimeter a second time. You are looking for changes to the property, then investigating why it is different. Being diligent will help you remain alert, and to identify potential problems at the earliest on-set so you can react in a preventative manner.
5. Report when required – Not only is your safety important, but remember your colleagues. Make sure that your report suspicious activity, or situations to relieving officers. Let them know of potential problems. Maybe you found a door propped open, or observed an individual lingering a little too long on the property. Let them know. Over time they will ensure they let you know of potential problems.
6. Maintain a safety position – Keep a safe stance when interviewing suspicious individuals. Keep your body turned at a slight angle toward the person, strong hand further away from them. This allows you repel an attack without losing your balance. Maintain eye contact with individuals you encounter. Scan, scan, and scan again for hand movements, concealed weapons, or signs that the individual may attack. Always be alert for positions of cover, and routes for evacuation if an emergency situation arises.
Unfortunately, security officers are injured in the line of duty, and some may even lose their life. You are responsible for your safety, make it a priority.