With today’s constant threat of domestic terrorism, and the increased number of drug-related violent incidents at bars and events, the role of the private security officer has never been more critical.
Security guards and private security officers work in a highly visible profession. They play an important role in the protection of property and people, and as such, the community has come to rely on their integrity and judgement.
While security personnel are performing their responsibilities in the public arena, rarely do we get the opportunity to gain an insight into the daily responsibilities and duties of a professional security guard. Beyond the ‘detect, deter, observe and report’ methodology, there are many additional responsibilities that security guards must undertake. To keep you informed, we decided to speak to our North Queensland CAP Security Services Team to give you a better idea of what it takes to be on the security frontline.
OFF THE JOB
Remain physically fit
It is essential for security personnel to maintain their physical strength. The job of a security guard is not like the average desk job. Guards are often required to work on their feet for prolonged periods of time, which can have a range of negative impacts on the body. In addition to needing the physical stamina to endure long work hours, guards require strength to combat threatening, or dangerous situations.
Having a high level of fitness is crucial, particularly in crowd control situations. It makes crowd management easier, enabling guards to detain threatening persons if need be, and shift equipment, such as crowd barriers, when needed.
To ensure that an optimal level of fitness and stamina is reached, the majority of our team undertake cardio training and strength-building exercises four to five times weekly.
Keep the brain active
It’s something that many people don’t associate with the security guard profession – mental strength. The reality is that mental training is just as important as physical training. In a profession where employees are required to work alone for long periods of time, the ability to keep the mind active and aware of surroundings is vital. Our site surveillance team in particular are often asked how they stay vigilant while fending off boredom. The solution? Keep the brain active at all times by doing mental exercises.
Continuous training and upskilling
CAP Security Guards are committed to participating in ongoing learning and training opportunities. Security services and measures are constantly evolving and expanding, meaning that guards must be adaptable to changes in industry rules and regulations, client requirements, and event demands. In addition to performing protection and defence methods, guards may be required to write reports, deliver first aid, and handle emergency situations. Ongoing team training, both on and off the job, ensure that guards are fully prepared for every situation that they may face in their role, and have attained the most recent, and highest level, of their qualification.
ON THE JOB
Be vigilant, but most importantly, patient
A professional security guard must maintain a high visibility presence to deter illegal or inappropriate actions, and be vigilant at all times by monitoring and surveilling the surrounding environment, and observing unusual behaviour. Vigilance is a skill that takes time and experience to master.
This profession also demands a huge amount of patience. Whether a guard is required to stand alone for hours at a time, work with a team, or interact with patrons, they must be patient in dealing with any situation that arises in order to maintain a level of professionalism.
Obey and take instruction
The majority of security professionals will work under the supervision of a senior supervisor at some point in time. Guards must be able to obey and follow instruction, take direction and criticism, and report to their supervisor, client or job contractor.
Respond to incidents
Security guards must use fast decision-making skills and react quickly, but logically, in any given situation. When responding to an incident, the duties and responsibilities of a guard will vary. In threatening or harmful situations, guards must act with a sense of urgency to control the situation. They must respond appropriately and decide upon the best way to proceed – which may involve calling the appropriate services while containing the incident as much as possible.
Guards are often misunderstood as being intimidating and unfriendly folk, but this is simply not the case! Guards are professionally trained to be approachable figures so that members of the community are not hesitant to approach them with concerns or queries. All security personnel are trained to be good communicators, both with their team and the general public. With their wealth of knowledge, guards can actually offer some useful safety tips on how to prevent security-threatening situations, issue warnings, or simply answer an event or property related query from a member of the public. Their primarily role is always security but they are also savvy to their surroundings and can assist with a variety of questions or matters of public concern.
We hope that this has given you a deeper insight into the daily duties and responsibilities of a security guard. It’s comforting to know that, with the community’s best interest in mind, security guards are continually working to educate and improve themselves within their profession.