Post Orders: Writing them efficiently and effectively
One of the many duties that I acquired in my 20 years working with several security companies was the idea that the post orders for every client needed to be Written and updated. So, when I was tasked to do that I began by standardizing each book.
This wasn’t always an easy thing to do. Some sets of post orders hadn’t been updated in more than 5 years! That made it difficult for any security officer assigned to a new post to understand what was going on. And worse, the amount of ‘Wite-out’ and red/black/blue marks through outdated paragraphs and so on were even more confusing. In some books, there was more blacked out that was printed! It made the post orders look like testimony to a ‘Select Senate Committee on Aliant Encounters’! More was redacted than was visible. Now how the hell are they supposed to learn with that?
As I stated I standardized the post orders for every single post we had. From Wells Fargo with 15 (in the 80’s), to Allied with 45 accounts to First Response with 35. And the ones I did with Allied were still being used 10 years later when First Response took over the Dodson Group.
What to Utilize:
I never called them post orders after Wells Fargo. I began calling them ‘Security Operations Manuals for …’ This made the officers/client think that they were actually better than they were before. And in doing so, it helped to make the officers stand a little taller and take their assignments a tad more seriously. And in this aspect, it helped for them to be more respected by the client’s employees and the client, because of the professional look it had.
As with training classes, I utilized the KISS method when writing the post orders. I kept them simple for several reasons. #1 was ease and simplicity in finding something that needed to be accomplished. #2 was so that if an officer had to take over and work an account with only a couple hours of training, then they could read the post orders and quickly, effectively, and efficiently work the post, it wouldn’t be perfect (nor is the idea of only a couple ours training), but it would suffice, in most cases.
- General Orders
- Policies & Procedures for both the client and company
- Code of Ethics/conduct
- Laws, regulations, and other necessary items
- Emergency call lists
- Anything else that may have been necessary for the post/assignment
So now we come to the actual post orders themselves. What do you include in there and where? Again, it can be a little detail oriented, but it is very effective and efficient after it’s been completed;
- Entry control. This included deliveries
- Visitors and visitor control
- Cameras, monitors, recording, and etc. This was used when necessary and sometimes with alarm panels and other electronic controls – all which had their own section
- Emergency procedures. Broken down into the likely disasters that could befall the client and the different procedures for each.
- Trucks, trailers, and pick-ups/drops of same
- After hours maintenance
- Equipment on post
- Diagrams of the equipment, maps of the facility, usually broken down into separate maps for fire extinguishers, fire hoses, alarm pulls, lighting controls, and etc.
And these won’t be the only things in your Security Operations Manuals either. There may be thing sin your facilities that need their own sections. I’ve worked at heavy manufacturing plants before and special care had to be shown for the chemical tanks and other hazards.
So, as with many posts I write, I’m giving you the generalized guidelines to make your security officers more effective and efficient. You will always have to write your own and tweak them to the needs of your company/clients. Despite what some people want you to believe, there is no ‘one size fits all’ in security – no matter how many places are alike.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page (One is too Many), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.