Increase in Need for Security Guards: Do You Have What It Takes?

To say the world is facing an uncertain time right now would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the shut down of businesses, record job losses and nearly 1 million cases of the virus globally (with this number increasing daily). Industries across the board have been experiencing significant changes. Many workers have lost their jobs and are looking for alternate ways to make ends meet.

If you've been considering a job as a security guard, now might be the time to get started. Due to the recent world events, many businesses have found a new or greater need to protect their businesses. From hospitals and schools to office parks and restaurants, many business owners require increased security for their property, business assets and people.

Would You Make a Good Security Guard?

According to the Department of Labor, there are over 1.1 million private security guards employed in the U.S. If you've been considering a career as a security guard, you might wonder what it takes to be good at this job and what qualities potential employers look for in a candidate. If so, here is a shortlist of what makes a good security guard.

Discretion

If you're in security, you're bound to see a lot of things going on. After all, it is your job to. One lesser-known aspect of security is protecting the reputation of your employer. That means your job should always be done with as little drama as possible. Discretion is key. That is the reason security rarely confronts a shoplifter in the middle of a store if avoidable, but instead moves them somewhere quietly to determine what action to take. It's also why every crime stopped doesn't end in arrest.

Good judgment

Related to discretion is having good judgment. A security guard is not a police officer. Their job isn't to make an arrest, it's to protect the property of their employer. This means they are expected to use their good judgment in determining how best to handle any incident they are presented with.

Sometimes calling the police is appropriate, whereas, at other times, it is better to handle matters discreetly and not get the law involved. For instance, few companies will want law enforcement involved over a teen shoplifter who stole a pack of gum. It's rarely worth the hassle and potential bad publicity to pursue it. Plus, you might win over a new customer if you call a parent and give them a chance to correct their child on their own. It's a careful balance between protecting your company and keeping good relations with customers.

Deescalation skills

One thing every company dreads is ending up on YouTube. Picture an angry customer getting physically removed from a store while a bystander waves a shaky cellphone to capture the moment. "Well, that made us look good!" said no company ever. That being the case, one of the most important skills you can have as a security guard is the ability to deescalate a situation to avoid those catastrophic social media moments entirely.

Alertness

This one goes without saying. Your primary job is to stop crimes against your company from happening. You can't stop what you don't notice. Alertness is a keen eye for detail, watching people's behavior and interpreting it. Alertness can also be like a marathon, though. It requires a steady mindset to remain alert for long periods. Some people can't help but daydream after hours on their feet or at a post. If you intend to be a security guard, you'll have to learn to fight that urge and stay vigilant.

Honesty

Here's another self-evident trait for a good security guard – honesty. You are there to keep visitors to an establishment honest. If you're not honest yourself, you can't reasonably be expected to keep other people honest. Honesty is a slippery slope. Turning a blind eye once can start you down a path to not doing your job effectively.

Now, we've discussed discretion and judgment, so don't confuse this with honesty. As a good security guard, sometimes you will let minor infractions slide by. However, you make that determination based on the best interests of your employer, not because you're not in the mood to deal with the paperwork.

Professional appearance

At their best, security guards are an excellent visual deterrence. To do so, they need to look the part. A well put-together appearance and uniform will exude authority. You want the sight of a security guard to move a shoplifter's thoughts from "Can I get away with it?" to "I'm not even going to try."

Represent the qualities and standards of your employer

Confronting a criminal can be a public relations nightmare for a business. If you think about it, there is no positive outcome for a company. At best, there will be no notice the crime occurred; at worst, the issue will be handled poorly and bring unwanted publicity to the business. That's where security guards can protect their employers. They are on the front line during an incident and should reflect the ideals and standards of their employer.

Respectful and courteous

One of the advantages businesses like to capitalize on when they have their own security staff is enforcing polite behavior. Face it, if a business has to call the police, what you get is a complete mystery. They could be very helpful and wrap up an incident with minimal fuss, or they could be abrasive and create a mountain out of a molehill. Having your own security guards means your customers can routinely expect security on-hand to be respectful and courteous to guests.

Pursuing a career as a security guard

If you feel you may be a good fit for a position as a security guard, your next step is getting some training under your belt. There are many licensed, quality security companies for people just entering the field. They'll provide the necessary training and teach you the techniques and tricks of the trade. If you've got a good temperament, steady nerves and work well under pressure – being a security guard can provide a stable, quality career for you.

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant
quote.

Our experience means your safety.

Coronavirus & the Food Services Industry: The Emerging Role of Security Guards

Businesses across all industries have seen significant changes over recent weeks. For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in temporary or even permanent closures. For others, it has meant the need to pivot their businesses to “keep the lights on,” and to do it quickly. 

The food services industry has been hit particularly hard during this pandemic. With orders to cease all in-person dining, many restaurants have needed to close their doors and lay off employees until the worst of the virus has passed. Others have embraced the still available options for serving their customers, including to-go orders, curbside pick-up and delivery.

Coronavirus Has Changed the Way Restaurants Do Business

This new way of doing business has resulted in an emerging area of concern for restaurants and retail establishments: security. With high tensions and the need to maintain social distance, restaurant owners have found that they need security guards to help them maintain order and keep people safe. Restaurants have seen lines wrapped around the block as customers wait (six feet apart) to pick up their food orders. These kinds of conditions have the potential to become stressful or even dangerous situations.

Other businesses that are deemed essential have been experiencing increases in traffic, as they become one of the few options available to customers. Retailers have also seen an uptick in thefts as people who might typically rely on panhandling are no longer able to do so.

If you own or operate a restaurant or other essential retail business, you might be looking for ways to ensure the safety of your customers and staff. You may also realize that you need assistance with crowd control and enforcing the social distancing rules. Off Duty Officers has a team of experienced, professional security guards who are trained to work with people in challenging situations.

What are essential retail services?

With cities on lockdown, only essential and critical services are allowed to be open for business. This order is meant to help curb the spread of the virus while still providing opportunities for citizens to get the basic necessities they need to survive. Businesses that have been deemed essential include:

  • Gas Stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery Stores
  • Farmers Markets
  • Food Banks
  • Convenience Stores
  • Banks
  • Laundromats
  • Hardware Stores
  • Restaurants and Bars for take-out and delivery

In some states, the list of essential retail services varies. For example, in Colorado, marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores can remain open during the stay-at-home order. And to make matters more confusing, the regulations seem to change day-by-day as the impact of the virus becomes more apparent.

The Role of Security Guards for Restaurants and Retail Businesses

With the COVID-19 safety regulations that are in place, security guards can be valuable allies for operators in the food services industry. Qualified security guards can fill several vital roles that will help keep people safe. Some of the functions that security officers can hold for restaurants and retail businesses include:

Enforcing Social Distancing

Health and safety protocols recommend keeping at least six feet away from other people. Strict adherence to the regulations can protect people from contracting or passing on the virus to others. However, many people may choose to disregard the protocols or forget about them altogether. Security guards can politely remind customers to abide by the social distancing rules, protecting people and keeping your business in compliance.

Ensure Orderly Pick-up Lines

Restaurants in larger cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and Denver have experienced long lines, despite the stay-at-home orders. Why? The uptick in pick-up orders for lunch and dinner means that people descend upon restaurants all at once. Not only do restaurants need help complying with the social distancing orders, but they also need a strong presence to ensure that people are maintaining orderly lines, respecting each other and moving quickly.

Off Duty Officers – Professional Security Guards for the Food Services Industry

Do you own or operate a restaurant or retail establishment that has been deemed essential? Are you faced with new security concerns since the outbreak of the coronavirus? Professional security guards can help your business during this uncertain time. Security officers have the training and skills you need to maintain order, deter crime and enforce social distancing orders to keep your staff and customers safe.

If you need temporary, armed or unarmed security guards for your business, contact Off Duty Officers today for a consultation. We have a variety of security solutions available to meet your needs and your budget. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant
quote.

Our experience means your safety.

Security Guards Respond to Coronavirus in the United States

Over the last several weeks, we have seen the spread of COVID-19 escalate around the world. The virus is now running rampant throughout the United States. In response, cities and states have taken drastic measures to isolate the virus and prevent more sickness and death among their residents.

For many, that means the closure of restaurants, bars, gyms and other non-essential businesses. Workers are required to work from home, rather than reporting to an office, unless they have a job in a critical industry such as healthcare or food supply.

Security Guard Industry Responds to Coronavirus in the United States

Industries across the board are feeling the impact of this pandemic, and likely will for quite some time. What do these closures mean for the sustainability of these businesses? What will happen with their employees? The security industry is starting to feel the impact of COVID-19 in a variety of ways.

At its core, security guards are in the business of customer service. They work with clients on-site to protect their businesses, employees and other valuable assets. Security guards are not effective working remotely; they need to be face-to-face and on location to do their jobs. They are tasked with working and facing potential risks while others are isolating, all to keep us safe and maintain order.

At Off Duty Officers, we take the safety and security of our guards very seriously. We also take pride in our commitment to providing all of our clients the services that they need, even in trying times. The reality is that the coronavirus situation is in constant flux; we can’t be sure what will happen one day to the next. All we can do is be as prepared as possible for every contingency, and respond where and when our clients need us.

As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be seen, we have seriously considered the fact that the virus has the potential to diminish the capacity of law enforcement, health personnel and other first responders. After all, our first responders are the ones who are in frequent contact with the public. In preparation for this possibility, all businesses, individuals and security personnel must continue to adhere to the safety precautions as set out by the CDC.

Expanded Need for Security Officers During COVID-19 Pandemic

With the business closures, self-isolations and other safety measures currently being enforced, you might think that there is a decreased need for security guards. However, now more than ever, security guards are being called upon to protect properties, businesses and people. New and emerging risks have made the demand for qualified security officers sharply increase over recent weeks.

Some of the clients currently seeking the assistance of security guards in the United States include:

Grocery and Big Box Retailers

During the initial onset of the virus in the United States, many residents flocked to retail stores in droves to obtain food, paper products and other supplies they needed for the period of isolation. Long lines and high tensions presented unique and new experiences for many stores, outside of Black Friday sales, perhaps. Security guards were called upon to manage large crowds, handle disputes and communicate to customers on behalf of management.

Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are facing ever-increasing numbers of patients. Healthcare workers are being tried as they manage an influx of people, both typical patients and those infected with the coronavirus. And, with the fear of the virus spreading a top concern, additional measures are needed to ensure the safety of workers, patients and visitors alike.

Security guards have been, and continue to be, needed to handle the extra strain. They have been tasked with managing access to facilities, checking credentials and even taking the temperatures of those who wish to enter the facility. With only skeleton staffs available, security personnel have needed to step up in a variety of ways.

Unoccupied Office Buildings  

With remote working being required by companies all across the country, thousands of usually bustling office buildings and business parks are now vacant. Vacant buildings will be appealing targets for thieves and vandals who want to take advantage of this rare opportunity. Businesses across all industries have sought the services of professional security officers to protect their properties and all of the valuable equipment inside.

Security Guards Step Up to Protect Businesses Against COVID-19

The crisis that we are currently facing will subside. However, until the worse has passed, individuals and businesses need to take the necessary safety and security precautions to keep people safe. Security officers from Off Duty Officers can help protect vacant businesses from crime, maintain order in retail establishments and assist healthcare facilities in managing the masses.

If you have questions about how to protect your business during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact our security professionals. Our team is standing by to answer all of your questions and give you the peace of mind you need during this challenging time. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant
quote.

Our experience means your safety.

Is Your Retail Business at Risk?

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), shrink accounted for $46 billion worth of losses in 2018. Shrink, of course, covers a wide array of inventory loss – from theft, shoplifting and fraud to simple human error. Yet, we can all agree a large part of that is undoubtedly theft. What's worse, 20% of shoplifters are likely to continue targeting the same retail chain. So implementing a good security policy is vital for the continued profitability of any retail business.

With so many high-tech security options available for modern businesses, you might wonder why your business should consider security guards. However, when you look in detail at the benefits a physical security presence offers, you may find it makes more sense to hire security guards now more than ever before. While it's easy to identify the concrete advantages to adding physical security, let's instead take a look at some of the less tangible advantages security guards offer retail businesses.

The Hidden Benefits of Retail Security Guards

Human Discretion

Sometimes there's a right way to do something and a smart way to do it. These aren't always necessarily going to be the same thing. For instance, you might have an “all shoplifters will be prosecuted” policy in place. What is that rule actually there for though? Do you really want to be the long arm of the law in your area? Of course not. Your rules are in place with the single goal of reducing loss – by detecting and deterring shoplifters. 

That's where a trained security guard comes into play. Their priority, like yours, isn't to be the police – it's to protect your company's profitability. Consider when that shoplifting rule needs to be applied and the culprit is a minor. Or consider an elderly customer who may very well have accidentally walked off with an unpaid for item. Having a security guard allows for intelligent, human discretion. 

You will have a highly trained professional who can not only follow your rules but interpret them in a meaningful, productive manner that puts the success of your company as their central goal. Sometimes calling the police and prosecuting may be in the best interest of your business, but there are plenty of times when it is more hassle than it is worth. So let a professional handle the situation and determine the best way to resolve the issue.

Company Image

In the age of social media, retail businesses can suffer enormous losses of reputation and sales over single, isolated incidents. Smaller companies have even gone out of business over bad online publicity. Look no further than YouTube to find endless videos of seemingly maligned customers treated with varying degrees of indifference, condescension and outright hostility.

You may think your employees are well-trained and prepared to handle such incidents, but this is not necessarily the case when you are dealing with shoplifters. Firstly, it is hard to predict how even a well-trained and polite employee will deal with the stress of confronting someone committing a crime in your store. Unfortunately, a shopper with a smartphone is likely to capture the incident and post it to their social media accounts, causing a potential outcry from the public. 

Furthermore, without a security guard presence, the police are far more likely to be involved in any situation. This can further complicate matters because the police don't work for you. You're not responsible for them and cannot control their words or actions. Sadly - though you understand this fact, potential customers are not always so understanding.

Note anytime a news report comes out involving a police officer mistreating a person at a place of business. See how often it is mentioned that an employee called the police to respond to an incident. The central problem is that, in many customers' minds, the police are an extension of your business. 

Having your own security, on the other hand, means they do represent you. By controlling how your security guards respond to shoplifters and other security matters, you are in effect sharing the values you want to impress upon your customers. So while a police response can damage your standing with customers, having your own security guards can actually have a positive effect on your image.

More than meets the eye

You are already aware of the advantages of having security guards walking the floor of your business. They are a visual presence for deterrence, they can respond to a detected theft instantly and they can identify a theft in progress. However, they can also be a front line in protecting your store's image – a factor that can cost your business far more than shrink ever has. 

Do you think your retail business would benefit from security guard services? Contact Off Duty Officers, the leader in private security guards throughout the United States. Our security experts can help you assess the security needs of your retail store and help you identify the best solutions for your needs.  

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant
quote.

Our experience means your safety.

Coronavirus: Keeping Your Organization Secure

As the news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes more apparent, a pandemic mindset often comes into play, and panic can often result. Security during this time is paramount for the safety of your employees, customers, and clients.

Whether you operate a healthcare facility, a retail store, or a business organization, a temporary security guard can assist with situations when circumstances require security assistance. Our security guards can take precautionary steps because preventative security measures go a long way to avoid safety and security related issues.

COVID19 SECURITY FOR HOSPITALS, EMERGENCY ROOMS & URGENT CARE FACILITIES

Panic may drive an unprecedented number of people to hospitals, emergency rooms, and urgent-care facilities, believing they must get tested for the Coronavirus. An onslaught of people coming into healthcare facilities can lead to a disturbance of regular protocols and endanger patients as well as staff. Temporary security guards can quell the confusion simply by their presence and are able to bring order to overcrowded waiting rooms. Professional Security Officers are trained in crowd control and will implement necessary controls to assure the safety and security of medical staff and patients.

CORONAVIRUS SECURITY SERVICES FOR RETAIL STORES & SUPERMARKETS

As the media plays up the news of the Coronavirus 24/7 and a panic mindset spreads in the United States, people assume they must stock up on basic necessities, and many people may try to hoard supplies. This panic may bring in a multitude of people to retail stores to purchase items that they believe will become in short supply. Professional uniformed security guards in retail stores are there to ensure that people remain calm and order is enforced. Trained security officers are prepared to monitor volatile situations, take the necessary actions to secure your store and make sure that both retail staff and customers are safe.

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COVID-19 SECURITY FOR LONG TERM HEALTHCARE FACILITIES

We all know that the elderly are at the most significant risk of contracting the virus. Eldercare and long term healthcare facilities will need to create and mandate new safety rules to make sure that the residents are protected from the Coronavirus. One way to do this is to monitor all visitors and vendors that are entering the facility through checkpoints. A security guard can effectively monitor those intending to enter the facility, have them sign in, and using a thermal scanner, take their temperature. Anyone with a fever will be turned away immediately to protect residents and patients.

elder care coronavirus security

STAY SAFE

We hope that your organization stays safe during this time of uncertainty. Preventative security measures go a long way towards the prevention of unnecessary disturbances. At Off Duty Officers, our security guards are ready to assist your organization with any security guard services you may need to keep your business or institution running smoothly.

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant
quote.

Our experience means your safety.

7 Tips for Staying Safe at Public Events

When was the last time you attended a large public event? Sporting events, parades and rallies, concerts and even grilled cheese fests are commonplace events that draw huge crowds. As an attendee, you have most likely wondered what you would do in the event of an emergency.

Although the only surefire way to stay safe at public events is to avoid them altogether, that is not a reality for most people. Unless you are willing to forgo spending quality time with friends and family, enjoying yourself and celebrating your hobbies, it’s better to figure out how to protect yourself when emergencies happen in public places.

Research suggests that it is relatively rare for catastrophes to occur at public events. Many of the things we commonly do every day, like driving, are much more likely to cause injury or even death. However, tragic incidents at public events are widely covered in media and draw attention all around the world. Mass shootings, fires, vehicular attacks and structural failure are just some of the unfortunate occurrences we hear about in the news.

How can we protect ourselves and our loved ones from these kinds of threats? What strategies can help us stay safe at crowded public events? How can we protect others from harm?

7 Tips on How to Stay Safe at Public Events

Be alert at all times.

It might seem like common sense, but your ability to stay alert can mean the difference between an enjoyable event and a catastrophe. Sure, a music festival may be a time to let loose and relax; however, that doesn’t mean you should stop being aware of your surroundings.

Be on the lookout for suspicious behavior or people, especially look for unaccompanied bags or packages that appear out of place. If someone seems fidgety or nervous, follow your intuition and alert the nearest security guard or event staff. Avoid being overly occupied with your smartphone because this distracts you from what is happening in your environment.

Wear the proper footwear and clothing.

If an emergency were to happen and you needed to evacuate the premises, you’ll be thankful that you wore sturdy shoes. Options like flip-flops and high heels do not provide the traction and stability required if you needed to run or if you were involved in a stampede situation. Instead, choose sturdy boots or sneakers that will not fall off and cause an ankle injury.

Similarly, choose clothing that is appropriate for the weather. If there were an emergency situation that prevented you from leaving the premises, you want to be sure that you were protected from the elements. Loose, flowing and long clothing may look cool, but can be a potential hazard in an emergency evacuation or stampede. These items of clothing can easily be stepped on, grabbed or torn, causing you to fall or worse.

Stay hydrated and limit alcohol.

Many of these public events involve the consumption of alcohol. While it is perfectly acceptable to enjoy a few adult beverages at a music festival, concert or sporting event, event attendees must limit their alcohol. Dehydration is common at large events, especially those that take place outdoors. Plus, copious amounts of alcohol can cause people to lower their inhibitions, significantly increasing the possibility of fights or other unruly behavior.

If you are drinking alcohol at a public event, be sure to pace yourself and drink plenty of water. Not only will this help you prevent dehydration and illness, it will help you to maintain an awareness of your surroundings and react appropriately in the event of an emergency.

Keep your phone charged.

Most of us have smartphones these days, and we rely on them to do just about everything. No matter where you stand on the constant use of smartphones in our culture, they certainly serve a purpose when it comes to safety. Before attending a large public event, be sure that your cell phone is completely charged. You may even want to bring a charger for long and multi-day events. Assuming you have cell service, a charged smartphone can be a critical tool in communicating with family and law enforcement.

Tell others where you will be.

When attending a large public event, be sure to tell your family and friends where you will be and for how long. If an unfortunate tragedy does occur, it will be helpful for family and first responders to know who was in attendance. We can share our location using our smartphones, so our loved ones can know where we are at all times. When attending a large event or a multi-day music festival, this can be a critical strategy for staying safe.

Create a plan.

Chances are you’re attending a public event with other people. Before you go, research the venue. Have an understanding of the layout of the property and the location of all exits. You may also want to review the safety procedures for the event beforehand. It is also beneficial to create an emergency plan with your group, so everyone knows what to do if they get separated or an emergency occurs.

Remain calm and follow your intuition.

No matter what kind of emergency you are facing, it is essential that you stay calm. Do your best to take deep breaths. This will help you to think clearly and make the right choices based on the situation at hand. If something feels off, trust your intuition and contact your nearest security guard or event official. It is better to be safe than sorry.

With the spring season just around the corner, more and more people will be attending large events. Hopefully, these tips can help you enjoy yourself while avoiding a tragedy. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant
quote.

Our experience means your safety.