While working as a security officer does not have to involve an overwhelming amount of danger to the officer, the fact remains that there is some inherent danger to the position that involve risks greater than some other posi­tions. However, with proper training, planning, and com­mon sense, security officers can greatly reduce the risk to themselves and the people they protect.

This module outlines some basic preparation and “tools of the trade” that officers can use to enhance their safety and help them better do their jobs.

Danger from Persons/Threat Assessment

The Workplace and the Potential for Violence

It seems almost on a regular basis, you can pick up a newspaper or, watch the 6 o’clock news and learn about some disgruntled employee or former employee who returns to his place of employment and opens fire on his boss and co-workers. You don’t necessarily always think of the workplace as an environment which would induce violence but, over the past five or ten years, there have been numerous violent episodes which have resulted in serious physical injury and even death to employees.

It is imperative today’s security officer understand his other role in potentially violent situations and have the training required to respond appropriately. In most instances, the security officer’s role is preventative in nature. The security officer must develop excellent skills at being able to recognize potentially violent situations and be able to utilize appropriate verbal skill management techniques to diffuse them.

A closer examination of the work place environment reveals a number of situations which could turn violent:

  • Employees being severely disciplined.
  • Employees being discharged.
  • Employees who are assisting in layoffs or “downsizing” may be targeted.
  • Disgruntled former employees returning to the property.
  • Employee suspected of drug abuse being sent for a drug test.
  • Employees under the influence of drugs or alcohol which causes a reduced “threat threshold”.
  • Severe personality conflicts between employers and employees and their supervisors.
  • Employees involved in relationships who are now feuding.