Protection America, Inc. does not assign a security officer to a location until they have received our full course customer service training, de-escalation training and sexual harassment training. We do everything we can to minimize risk and liability for both our clients and our company.
7 Steps to De-Escalate Situations
Staying calm in a potentially threatening or dangerous situation is a lot easier said than done. It’s completely normal for security guards to want to fight fire with fire and stand their ground.
But this is only going to make the situation worse. If a guard responds aggressively, the person they’re dealing with will want to respond even more aggressively back.
These 7 steps will help any security operation be better equipped to handle sticky situations and keep everyone safe.
Having a plan for your security teams to follow in threatening situations has a lot of benefits. Following a plan can minimize mistakes, give officers confidence, and keep them calm. Using past situations to help develop your plans will make them even better.
Things to consider in these plans include knowing when to call for backup, when using physical force should be considered, and how to communicate. Once you have a solid plan in place, make sure all security officers are trained well to implement that plan.
Whether a security officer is trying to remove a homeless loiterer, a violent criminal, or an aggressive soccer mom, it’s important to look past the person’s actions. Looking at everyone as people first - even in tense situations - will make them feel like someone actually wants to help them.
If anything a security officer says or does comes off as judgmental, the person they are trying to calm down will see the situation as a struggle instead of an attempt to find a solution. If the officer’s goal is to keep everyone calm, escalation is a lot less likely.
The #1 rule for listening is to not interrupt. But it’s more than just letting an angry person rant and yell. People need to feel like they’re actually being heard. Security guards dealing with an angry person should practice active listening.
Maintaining eye contact will keep guards focused and show the person that someone is paying attention to them.
Repeating what they say back to them makes sure the security guard knows what the person is trying to say, not just guessing.
Communication is not just about the words you say. Studies show that communication is only 7% verbal. The rest comes down to how things are said and body language.
Your security guards need to pay attention to every aspect of how they communicate. Doing things like keeping a calm tone of voice or standing further back will communicate that the security guard is not a threat and wants to help.
When asking questions, giving people plenty of time to respond can make a huge difference. Not only will the security guard be practicing patience and keeping calm, the problem person won’t feel rushed.
Even the most aggressive or threatening person is more likely to respond better when they feel like someone is genuinely trying to help them. Again, an officer’s main priority should be peacefully resolving the situation, not using force.
Using phrases like “let’s figure out how we can fix this problem together” shows that the officer is willing to work with the person. Asking questions to better understand why the person is mad in the first place can help the officer come up with the best solution.
Offering solutions to the problem based on what the person has said shows the security officer is actually trying to help or mitigate the situation.
Documenting a problem interaction can make all the difference. If the situation turns violent, having documentation can help later on in potential lawsuits or interactions with law enforcement.
Using an effective reporting will allow security guards to record audio, take notes, and take pictures to make sure the entire story gets told.
To keep the situation calm, it’s always best to ask or inform the problem person that they will be recorded. If they start to escalate in response, taking notes and/or making sure backup is nearby are good alternatives.
Talking about tense situations as a team is super important. Getting feedback from guards in the field can help update and improve de-escalation preparedness in the future.
Sexual harassment is prohibited by federal, state and local laws, and applies equally to men and women. Federal law defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when the conduct: (1) explicitly or implicitly affects a term or condition of an employee’s employment; (2) is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the employee; or (3) unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
All sexual harassment policies apply within the company and other employee as well as clients, staff and visitors. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to: subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors; inappropriate touching; lewd, sexually oriented comments or jokes; foul or obscene language; posting of suggestive or sexually explicit posters, calendars, photographs, graffiti, or cartoons; and repeated requests for dates. Company policy further prohibits harassment and discrimination based on sex stereotyping. (Sex stereotyping occurs when one person perceives a man to be unduly effeminate or a woman to be unduly masculine and harasses or discriminates against that person because he or she does not fit the stereotype of being male or female.) The Company encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of sexual harassment, regardless of who the offender may be. Every employee is encouraged to raise any questions or concerns with his or her immediate supervisor, designated manager, or Human Resources.
All managers are expected to ensure a work environment free from sexual and other harassment. They are responsible for the application and communication of this policy within their work area.
Basic Security Officer
The Basic Security Officer (BSO) comprises the base element of security services. General duties and responsibilities include providing security services to a variety of clients. These duty posts include manufacturing and distribution facilities, religious institutions, retail sites and any other fixed or temporary location as needed or required.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Protect property and lives
Monitor entrance of property
Identify visitors and ask for appropriate documentation
Guard against theft and maintain security
Respond to alarms and calls of distress
Complete accurate incident reports
Call for aid if necessary
Answer telephone calls, take messages, answer questions, provide information
Prevent passage of prohibited vehicles into restricted areas
Prevent access to unauthorized persons
Inspect and adjust security systems, equipment and machinery to ensure operational use Regulate and monitor building systems
Inspect windows and doors to ensure locks are in place and working
Complete all required security logs
Proper flag maintenance
Communicate effectively with client management, employees and visitors
Completing proper bodily searches and bag searches: before initiating search, announce to the subject that you will be conducting a body search, ask them for permission first then use the back of hands with gloves on for pat downs, checking the legs area, never will there be any form of groping or touching anywhere in private areas for males or females, or touching breast, or buttox area or beneath waistline, respectfully ask clients or visitors to run fingers along their waistlines, security officers will not touch these areas, clients will conduct those actions to ensure complete bodily search without violating clients’ privacy while ensuring thorough searches; only a male guard can search a male visitor or client and female guard can search a female visitor or client, no exceptions. Please refer to Shelter SOP's for more detail on proper searches.
Wear uniform neatly and correctly
Be alert at all times during duty period
Always ready to deal with security emergencies
HS graduate or equivalent
Completed state-mandated Basic Security Officer training
Site-specific training for each site worked
Paychex Time & Attendance software
Site-specific software (visitor badges, truck check in/out, etc)
Training on computers and/or tablets
I SHALL always regard myself as a member of an honorable and important profession.
I SHALL take complete charge of my assignments, remain on duty under all circumstances until properly relieved, and without fear or favor, execute all orders and enforce all rules.
I SHALL follow my chain of command without exception.
I SHALL keep myself in the best possible condition so that I can efficiently perform my duties.
I SHALL put forth all effort to know my work thoroughly and take every opportunity to increase my professional knowledge.
I SHALL not furnish any information verbal or otherwise regarding the duties to which I have been assigned to anyone other than an official of Protection America, Inc. or the Client to which I am assigned.
I SHALL keep my conduct beyond reproach at all times, be honest in my dealings, and courteous in my professional relations.
I SHALL undertake each assignment with the knowledge that my duties are important, that my being ready to assume my duties on time and properly equipped, and my pride in being a professional are my most valued assets.
I SHALL not request nor accept a gratuity of any nature for any reason.
I SHALL be impartial and efficient in the discharge of my duties.
I SHALL be loyal to my superiors and accept responsibility for my actions.
I SHALL present a neat appearance and military bearing, and I shall at all times wear regulation uniforms and equipment.
I SHALL be impartial in reporting unusual incidents, regardless of the persons or consequences involved, so as to assist my superiors in arriving at correct decisions.
I SHALL not take drugs unless prescribed by a Physician. I will notify my supervisor if I am taking any prescription drug.
I SHALL not drink any alcoholic beverage eight hours prior to my shift or during my tour of duty.