OBSERVATION & DOCUMENTATION (Lesson 17 of 26)
Internal patrols are a key element of an overall loss prevention program and are an integral part of the daily duties of security personnel. Generally, internal patrols are conducted for the same reason as external patrols; to observe, act and report on abnormal or unusual conditions. As part of internal patrols, security personnel should include the following:
- Checking doors & windows; correcting & reporting abnormal conditions (i.e. open, closed, locked, unlocked)
- Checking machinery and/or maintenance instruments
- Observing fire protection equipment (sprinklers, risers, fire exit, etc.) for proper condition
- General Observations
Usually internal patrols are arranged in some sort of systematic manner which includes the times and routes of the patrols. Often a facility of considerable size will have various internal patrols which may be conducted simultaneously by two or more officers or may be alternately patrolled at prearranged times. Whatever the situation, it is essential that security personnel remain in their assigned patrol areas unless requested to aid or assist someone. If the security officer is required to leave his assigned patrol area, a supervisor or other officer (if practical & possible) should be notified. This absence from the assigned area should also be noted in the appropriate logs. Unfortunately, incidents will occur in an area that is patrolled by a security officer. Without fail, if security did not observe the incident in any manner, questions will be asked by management as to where was the security officer and what was he or she doing during the time of the incident.
Whenever one security officer is relieving another at the change of shifts, after the normal discussion of events on the preceding shift the relieving officer will often conduct a patrol of the facility. This patrol is the most important one since it is at the beginning of a shift. At this time, a security officer should note and correct any unusual occurrences. By documenting and correcting any problems during the first patrol, a basis of comparison will be established which may prove invaluable at a later time.
During this first patrol, the professional security officer will note the doors and windows which are opened or unlocked but should be closed and locked. Lights which are left on should also be noted. Particular attention should be given to those areas where problems have occurred in the past such as vending machines, cafeterias, restrooms, conference rooms and executive offices.
During subsequent patrols, the professional security officer will be able to quickly determine if something is out of place because of the diligence paid during the first patrol.