Roles and Responsibilities of Security Officers

The Government Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook discusses the roles of Security Officers as follows: Security guards, also called security officers, patrol and inspect property, to protect against fire, theft, vandalism, graffiti, terrorism, and Illegal activity. These workers protect their employer’s investment, enforce laws on the property, and deter criminal activity, and other problems. They use radio and telephone communications to call for assistance from police, fire or emergency medical services, as the situation dictates. Security guards write comprehensive reports outlining their observations and activities during their shift. They also may interview witnesses or victims, prepare case reports, and testify in court.

Although all security officers perform many of the same duties, their specific tasks depend on whether they are work in a “static” security position or on a mobile patrol. Security Officers assigned to static security positions usually stay at one location for a specified length of time. These guards must become closely acquainted with the property and the people associated with their station and must often monitor alarms and closed circuit TV cameras. In contrast, security officers assigned to a mobile patrol drive or walk from one location to another and conduct security checks within an assigned geographical zone. They may detain or arrest criminal violators, answer service calls concerning criminal activity or problems.

The security officers’ job responsibilities also vary with the size, type and location of the employer. In department stores guards protect people, records, merchandise, money and equipment. They often work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by customers or employees and to apprehend shoplifting suspects prior to the arrival of police. Some shopping centers and theatres have officers who patrol their parking lots to deter car thefts and robberies. In office buildings, banks and hospitals, security officers maintain order and protect the institution’s customers, staff and property. At air, sea and rail terminals and other transportation facilities security officers protect people, freight, property and equipment. Using metal detectors and high-tech equipment, they may screen passengers and visitors for weapons and explosives, ensure that nothing is stolen while a vehicle is being loaded or unloaded, and watch for fires and criminals. Security Officers who work in public buildings such as museums or art galleries protect paintings and exhibits by inspecting people and packages entering and leaving the building.

In factories, laboratories, government buildings, data processing centers and military bases security officers must protect information, products, computer codes, and defense secrets, and check the credentials of people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises. Security officers working at universities, parks and sports stadiums perform crowd control; supervise parking and seating, and direct traffic. Security officers stationed at the entrance to bars and night clubs to maintain order among customers and protect patrons and property.

To do this job well, the security officer MUST + be alert + listen + watch The absence of incidents/ crimes is one sign that a security officer is doing a good job.

If an offense does occur, an officer DOES NOT CHARGE IN. 
Instead the security officer should: 
- Stay calm 
- Observe and report events in his field notebook 
- Report to his supervisor as per company policy