Is your security officer training effective and efficient? – Part 2

This is the 2nd part of ensuring that you are training your officers effectively and efficiently. You can’t afford to save money on training your security people. If you do, then you’ll regret it in the end and probably end up with union grievances or lawsuits. And you want neither one of those, because they can be costly and time wasters not to mention headaches.


Designing, Writing, & Implementing (DW&I):

The first thing you have to do when Designing, Writing, & Implementing your program is read the details of what the local law requires to be taught. The law in some jurisdictions Require that some things be taught that may not seem like a whole lot of anything.

I can assure you that even the wearing of the uniform is important. If an officer doesn’t wear their uniform correctly, then they will become the butt of innumerable jokes, which doesn’t help their authority in protection. Employees and vendors alike will view them as nothing more than the rent-a-cops they thought they were from the beginning. Or worse a refugee from Barnum & Bailey.

As an Account Manager, I had an officer assigned to me that was no way going to work at my account for long. He arrived for work, albeit with the proper uniform it just wasn’t worn the proper way and worse he rode the bus to get to work. His uniform shirt was un-tucked and unbuttoned. His pants were hanging off his butt. His shoes were worn, scuffed, & brown (shoes I could have dismissed until payday). I counseled him on the proper wearing of the uniform and he showed up one more day looking like that refugee from B & B. I got comments from tenants that he was rude, crude, lewd & stupid, a quadruple threat. Which meant that in a Class A office building with high powered tenants…

So what should you be training your officers on besides uniforms and professional etiquette? Here is a short list to start from. You should have someone in your company or department that could impart some golden nuggets of wisdom on your officers?

  • Patrolling techniques including how to patrol and what to look for. How about looking up at the next level of steps when going up a flight of them, holding a flashlight in a dark warehouse, and unfreezing locks in winter?
  • Safety measures for hazardous equipment and materials. Even in an office environment there are things that they need to be aware of to keep them and the employees safe
  • Emergency procedures for every emergency you may encounter. From burst water pipes in winter to fires or tornados
  • Access & parking control. This is a basic premise of security and should be imparted…no matter how small the detail
  • Physical security barriers and boundaries. This would also include the parking lot and other such striped area’s which are used to control vehicles. Of course it naturally includes locks, fences, and etc.
  • Customer service. Yes customer service. How else will they handle angry employees, vendors, truck drivers, and etc. without it?
  • Emergency call lists. How else will they contact someone after hours or utilities with it? You don’t want them fumbling for the number either on-line or in a phone directory during a crisis situation, do you?
  • Vendors and visitors. How are they handled and what do they need to enter the building?
  • Common things that might be amiss during the shift, You may include this with patrolling techniques but anything special to watch out for
  • Report writing. Keeping those records safe and the various types of records i.e. disc/hard drives and etc.
  • Maps of the facility showing where all of the off switches, emergency shut-offs, fire extinguishers and electrical panels are


How to Train:

The next thing you need to do is determine how to train your officers. This isn’t as difficult as it may seem, despite the innumerable ways of training. From on-line courses, books, videos, lectures, and others (heaven help us to survive those!).

My firm belief, for the past 34 years, is that your officers need to be trained with an actual live instructor in front of them. Someone who has worked in the field for a number of years and knows a few things as well as the standardized material.

The instructor should also utilize an interactive method, allowing questions at any time during class.  By not doing so and having the instructor simply reciting from a manual will put the class to sleep. I recommend both the KISS and Socratic methods. This will keep them engaged and better able to retain what you are instructing.

If you wish to have your newly hired officers fall asleep and not pay attention to what is being taught start showing them videos and turn off the lights. It doesn’t take anyone with having an IQ of a genius to know that someone who stayed up late the night before will more than likely fall asleep. The body may function but the brain will not absorb what they are being taught, even if it is not mind-numbing.



I am in the process of compiling a booklet with all my training golden nuggets of material in it. It will instruct you on the best ways to train and keep your officers engaged in the process. Also on how-to retain the material, unless they refuse to learn which may be possible.

But until then I hope these tips will help you to know what you need and how to go about doing it.

Robert D. Sollars assists businesses and their employees to lessen their risk of WPV as well as other security/customer service related issues. You can follow him on his Facebook page,, or twitter@robertsollars2.

                               I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

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