Pattern Variations

Virtually every security textbook stresses the importance of varying the route and time of patrols. No two security officers conduct their patrols in the exact same manner. One officer may pay close attention to open doors and windows while another walks through out-of-the-way places. The point to be made is that even patrols made in a reliable yet systematic routine diminish the effectiveness of patrols. Employees of the protected facility will often joke that they can set their watch to the patrols of a security officer.

In an effort to break monotonous, routine patrols, security officers should be encouraged to be creative during their patrols; staggering the time and route of patrols. Merely conducting a patrol while simply “going through the motions” serves little use.

Entrance & Exit Points

The easiest and simplest way to enter a facility is through an entrance or exit. Usually these points of ingress and egress are controlled either by a receptionist, security officer, lock, camera or some other access control mechanism. However, some entrance points are not controlled adequately, especially visitor and employee entrances. Even with sophisticated electronic security devices, compromises occur. That is why, as part of an internal or external patrol, the security officer should review activity at entrance and exit points.

Persons, who intend to steal from a facility or commit some other sort of act which would damage an organization will usually enter or exit the building the easiest and quickest way possible. An observant security officer visible at entrance and exit points may never apprehend a criminal but will no doubt prevent some losses from occurring.

Watchclock Rounds

The use of a watchclock to record the time at which a security officer was at a particular location is still in use today. Many companies have changed to a computerized version of the watchclock which serves the same purpose: to provide supervision with a tool to document and evaluate the patrols of a security officer. A record is produced which allows for a proper evaluation to be conducted on the time and route of patrol.

A major problem with the watchclock system is that “punching the clock station” becomes the primary objective of the security officer as opposed to observing, correcting and reporting on anything which appears out of the ordinary.

Proper care and maintenance of the watchclock is required to insure proper operation. Damage to the unit is the primary cause for reliability problems. Any damage to the watchclock should be immediately noted in the daily shift log.