Managing Security Officers
Ashamedly I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always treated officers in the fairest way I possibly could have. And unfortunately, the way officers are trained and managed by their management, supervisors, company, & clients, isn’t much better at times.
At First Response, in Mission Kansas, I remember a couple of incidents where my judgment was called into question over the way I conducted business with an officer. And in all but one it was my fault, fortunately I had many more successes than failures back then in dealing with officers.
In many companies, even those within the security field, they don’t treat their officers with the respect they deserve. It doesn’t really matter whether they are contracted or not, they are management’s enforcement arm for company policies, procedures, rules, & regulations. Therefore, the thinking is that they don’t deserve respect or other such things because they’re just gears in a grinding machine. And I know this will rankle a few management people in the field, but…
And when it comes to even company management, at times, they don’t treat us with respect. In many cases, the security team is treated with the attitude of a necessary evil, and never backed up when a complaint comes in from an employee. And generally, in far too many instances, they are paid less than contracted janitors.
In my 32 years in the security field this has happened to me on more than one occasion. Disparate treatment to both me and my officers was rampant. In a couple of posts where I was the Field Supervisor/Manager what the security staff did was never right. We got the end result of constant complaints and back-stabbing. And management didn’t back us up even once, even when they told us to do something and we accomplished the goal. And this was done to appease the union stewards and rabble rousers.
Another aspect of this is training. And what bugs me the most about this, is that after we have invested the time, money, & energy into training officers specifically for that post, the client blames us for something that we did or didn’t train them in. And many times, we were never told to train the officers in this area. Or worse, we trained them the way the client wanted them trained, and then the client contact changed, which meant…
Sometimes the security company is to blame for many problems with managing officers and keeping their loyalty. When we train an officer in one way and then they deviate from the ‘tried and true’ method, we blame them for something that goes wrong. And in some cases, we train them in certain areas and then we blame them for doing it the right way. Then after we blame them for this, we either transfer or terminate them. It’s our fault but the officer pays the price for the client/company screw-up.
I also remember a company I worked for in the mid 90’s (Allied Security), where I had to transfer several officers out of an account, a very large 75% of our billable hours, for what can be said were b—s— reasons. I didn’t like it and after voicing my opinion to the branch manager, he did it himself instead of forcing me to do it. And the worst part was that we weren’t allowed to inform the officer of the true reason behind the real motivation of the transfer.
One of the officers was a light skinned black guy with a red (not dyed) afro. We transferred him because the building manager didn’t like black people working security at his building, he didn’t trust him. The other was a lady who literally, they said, smiled too much and was too friendly, while working the front desk at the corporate office. Can we say disparate treatment to both of these officers, who were excellent at their job?
Look for the 2nd part of this next week
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 32 years, and 24 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 http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, 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.