OBSERVATION & DOCUMENTATION (Lesson 20 of 26)
Problems In Patrol
When patrolling, a security officer may come upon a variety of problems that are not encountered on a daily basis. These include traffic accidents and involvement with unruly persons. At these times, it is extremely important for the security officer to maintain composure and to handle and control the situation in a professional manner. At all times, a security officer must consider his safety and the safety of others before rushing into a situation.
At times, a security officer may actually come upon a crime in progress. Again, safety is of prime consideration. Information should be gathered as quickly as possible and this information must be forwarded to the appropriate emergency response units at once! Be certain to be in a position to communicate to arriving emergency units the situation at hand.
A security officer must remember that normally he/ she will not come into contact with these special problems. However, on occasion, an emergency will occur which will require the officer to rely on their previous training in order to safely and professionally handle the incident.
Use of Senses
Security officers, when patrolling, will rely upon their natural senses to determine if conditions are normal or abnormal.
A security officer will use sense of vision to recognize familiar objects in familiar places. Additionally, vision will inform the security officer if an obvious change in the surroundings has occurred since his last patrol.
The sense of hearing will enable a security officer to distinguish glass breakage and malfunctioning equipment from normal operations.
The sense of touch will allow the security officer to determine a possible fire in progress by touching a door prior to entering an area. Malfunctioning equipment may also be hot to touch. Finally, the sense of touch will allow a security officer to come to the aid of an injured person.
The sense of smell allows an officer to distinguish normal aroma from acidic, chemical, or burning fumes.
The Sixth Sense
Many times a person is said to have a “sixth sense”. This is normally meant as a compliment to the person. What is often meant is that the person always seems to know what is going on around them. Certain teachers, particularly those in the elementary grades, are credited with having this “sixth sense”. This “sixth sense”, whether referring to a teacher, coach, parent or supervisor, is the ability of someone to know from previous experience what is about to occur, or the ability to know who is being truthful, or what appears out of the ordinary or does not seem “just right.” Another term for this “sixth sense” is intuition or insight. Usually, intuition or insight is developed from experience. Experience permits an individual to sense what is abnormal or unusual. As security officers, it is vital to learn as much about the facility as possible. Then, when confronted with a situation which does not appear normal, the security officer should investigate further in order to determine if the situation requires further attention or action.