Observation and Report Writing

STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! In a sense, security guard/proprietary private security officers are paid observers. As a security guard/proprietary private security officer your role should be PREVENTION. When an offense has been committed, your responsibility should be to OBSERVE and REPORT. You may be required to:

  • Report to the police
  • Write a report for your employer
  • Testify as to what you saw, heard, and did

The above direction is a suggestion and at the discretion of the employer. Some employers may want their security personnel to be more proactive as long as they stay within the parameters of what is lawful regarding private persons (citizen’s) arrest.

FACT vs. CONCLUSION. You will need to know the difference between a fact and conclusion.

  • A FACT is what has actually happened, or is known to be true.
  • A CONCLUSION is a judgement or opinion formed as a result of the facts.

Peace officers and your employer are interested only in the FACTS. With proper facts, they can reach their own conclusions.

For example:

  1. Fact – As I came around the corner, I saw two men kneeling at the door. One was holding a crowbar. The door had markings around the lock.Conclusion – The men are burglars.
  2. Fact – A man was walking inside of a fenced area, looking at the loading dock.Conclusion – A man was wandering around looking for something to steal
  3. Fact – A young man was weaving back and forth and almost fell down twice in the two minutes I observed him.Conclusion – He was drunk and couldn’t even walk right.
  4. Fact – A Woman got into the car and tried to start it.Conclusion – She tried to steal the car.
  5. Fact – A girl picked up the necklace, examined it, placed in her purse, and walked directly to the north exit.Conclusion – After she stole the necklace, she tried to get away by the north exit.

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! It will take practice to become a good OBSERVER and to be able to REPORT facts instead of conclusions.

When you write a report, remember to include these six facts:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. Where
  4. When
  5. How
  6. Names of witnesses