The effectiveness of any security program is measured by its ability to gain involvement from as many people in an organization as possible. If the image of the security program is perceived to be that of a professional unit employing competent professional security officers, then it will achieve far greater success than one that is not perceived in that manner.

The cornerstone of this program is the security officer. His/her success is measured largely by the cooperation and support received from and within the organization. If the perception of the officer is poor, his/her ability to be effective will suffer. If the perception is that of a professional, the officer will be treated with more respect and deference and will likely be more successful.

In order for the security officer to be perceived as “part of the business,” the officer must act as an integral part of that business. While the officer may not make, warehouse or sell widgets the officer (to the degree that he/she is capable) is responsible for protecting those who do and the environment in which they work. This responsibility makes the officer an integral part of the business.


While the role of security officer is vastly different from that of police officer, both work in a fish bowl. The security officer works in a highly visible position where duties and actions are often carefully scrutinized and examined, and do not allow for inappropriate behavior. A security officer’s actions, good or bad, are very apparent.

It is important for the security officer to think before acting. Some questions security officers may wish to ask themselves before taking action in any situation include:

  • What resources do I have at my disposal?
  • What will the result of my actions be?
  • Will my actions improve or diminish the situation?
  • How will my actions impact others?
  • How will my actions be observed by others?

Of the options that I have, which is the best course of action for this situation?

A security officer that asks these questions is more likely to take the appropriate action in a given situation.