Jobs in the security department

Introduction to the Security Industry

A journal is either physical or electronic. A learning journal not only records events, emotions or thoughts, but it also requires conscious replicationand annotation to make use of the material learned and link it to your ethics, values, commitments, and beliefs. Keeping a journal of learning will help to retain the content you are studying and develop your attention and conception of ideas. A learning journal must entail a date, lesson name, and key concepts in the lesson.

 The security industry is an active and expanding industry. This is because the demand for security and security personnel has increased as more people are concerned about the safety of both their business and domestic property. Security personnel detect problems and trends, prevent crime, observe the premise, and report what goes on. The guards prevent losses, manage risks, and protect assets. They work full or part-time regularly or in rotating shifts. The majority of security companies have policies that guard fully work for them. Other than protecting people and property, security guards patrol places and check gates, windows and doors for signs of unauthorized entry. They respond to alarms and check alarm systems. A guard must have traits such as ethical, reliable, and trustworthy. Security personnel can work in different locations e.g., hospitals, banks, shopping malls, etc.

There are several jobs in the security department, such as manager, security advisor, etc. The gaming security professional protects staff, customers, and casino property. Security advisor, on the other hand, provides advice and strategic direction to manage information and information technology. The primary role of a Security supervisor/manager is to ensure the facility has proper security.

        The history of security has two sources; the history of law and the history of the military. There was a code of rules created by a king in Babylon known as King Hammurabi around 2000 BCE called the Code of Hammurabi. The laws symbolized the order of law and the requirements of each member of society. There were other ancient legal systems and how they originated, such as ‘The Beginning of Western Legal History’ and ‘The Tradition of Watchmen.’

The private security industry has grown drastically throughout the years (Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services). Investigative Services Act and the Private Security changed the outdated Private Investigators and Security Guards Act, 1966, to improve industry standards and ensure the security guards had the necessary qualifications and skills to perform their jobs.

       Security guards are not only accountable to the law and their employers but also the public.  Security personnel maintains mutual understanding with their society as it represents the management.Human Relations are crucial to improving the productivity of the individual for the interest of the company.

The PSISA and Ministry Code of Conduct

The Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005 (PSISA), controls the security industry. It is a statute posted on E- Laws, a website that is sustained by the Government of Ontario, where it contains the recent versions of the regulations and statutes required. Bill 159 administrates a host of security-related professionals who work for a salary. The work consists of two categories; guarding to safeguard persons or property and conducting investigations to provide information on the characters or actions of a person or business. There are several Service Acts e.g., Service Providers 2005, c.34, s. 2 (6), Private Investigators 2005, c.34, s.2 (2) and (3), Security Guards 2005, c.34, s.2(4) and (5), Registered Employers 2005, c.34, s. 5, e.t.c. whose function was to state the laws and consequences if one fails to meet them. The PSISA demands that all security agencies and professionals that sell security services must be licensed. To be worthy of having held a license, one should have a clean record. Unless a pardon has been granted, applicants who are convicted of offenses under the Criminal Code (Canada) or any other Act, one will not obtain a license. 2005, c.34, s .10 (5).

        Under the PSISA, businesses that sell security guard or private investigator services must be insured by an insurer licensed under the Insurance Act. The insurance must be for the prescribed amounts and kinds of liability. The new Act is supported by regulations that make the Act operational. Part VIII of the PSISA, Regulations of the Act, sets the scope of the rules that relate to the Act. They relate to classes of licensing, exemptions, conduct, testing and training requirement, uniform, documents and records, and other matters recommended by the Act.

The law sets standards for professional conduct and performance for business licensees and security guards. Regulations of the Act states that it is a condition of every license that licensee observes the Code of Conduct. 2005 (Part VIII). The alterations brought about by the Act and its guidelines seek to strengthen professionalism and ensure competency of the guarding industry and also heighten public safety. The Act offersthe public with a complaint process for violations of the Code of Conduct where the public can file a written complaint with the Registrar of the Private Security and Investigative Services Branch or with a licensee’s employer.

       The authority of security personnel is based in Canadian law. It distinguishes the authority of owners to guard their property and regulate the use of it.

Basic Security Procedures

One of the critical roles of the security guards is to observe suspicious behavior where they survey the environment and monitor sound decisions when formulating a plan of action. The Physical environment refers to the external conditions in which something is in existence. Regarding security and its work, it includes vehicles, buildings etc. Since the physical environment has a direct relationship on the safety of the assets of an organization, the security guards observe the situation and report any hazards. This will be of great help on asset protection. Through observations, guards will identify threat, risks, and vulnerabilities which will prevent asset loss. Monitoring the physical environment i.e. observation and perception is key in surveillance security.  Observation uses the five senses e.g. hearing, sight, smell etc. After making observations, one is required to record them. One technique of loss prevention is patrol. It is an effective means of deterring and detecting crimeand ensuring company policies are followed. Patrol requires mental alertness and physical wellness as it is demanding. During surveillance, security guards observe the environment in the following three ways; foot patrol where security guards survey the area by foot though they cover a small area, fixed post such as CCTV duty are assigned to one location and do not move to other areas and mobile patrol, where security guards use cars to survey the area and cover a large perimeter.

            Physical security is any measure that deters or prevents criminal attack or accidental threat to resources, information, and facilities. It slows down invaders so that they can be detected before they do any destruction. Situation awareness(SA) is the alertness, perception and responsiveness of upcoming situations. To obtain SA, security guards should start by paying attention to the physical environment.

          Risk is the chances of experience harm or loss. The two categories of risk are Pure and Dynamic risks. Management of risk is by identifying, controlling, and lowering the chance of liability. Security protocols are made to minimize danger to property and individuals, and they start by acknowledging and understanding the risk connected to a specific guards are usually assigned the duty of access control. Access control is the task of controlling and restricting access to services, information, facility, property, etc,. 

       Crowd Control is a preventive technique used to manage crows in different areas and used to observe order. Crowd control is designed to provide directions, control access, and prevent the chances of rioting. Barricades are vital in regulating access during activities. They are situated at entry and exit points to ensure the public doesn’t access regulated areas.

Report Writing

The private security industry uses pre-printed forms for report writing.  Some of the reports that security guards write includes daily logs, shift, logs, daily report and daily activity report (DAR). They are a record of basic facts, routine occurrences conditions and incidents faced during a shift. Types of reports include; incident reports which are written when something happens that is unusual, material control passes/logs that ensures borrowed items like laptops are returned, witness statements etc. A good report should incorporate ‘the Rule of Five W’s and One H’; when, where, why, who, what and how. There are also guidelines and rules of notetaking e.g. write legibly, write in clear English and in simple e.g. When recording information about an incident, gather as much information as possible. Reports are an actual record of information such as time, date, actions, behaviours, location etc. It is written in a chronological order; from the beginning to the end. During report writing, the following rules should be adhered to; clarity, cohesion, coherence and concision- the four C’S so as to achieve excellent writing. There are fourteen writing techniques and rules e.g. coherent writing, prompt writing, etc. the reports created by the security guards can be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

                 The Canada Evidence Act provide for the admissibility of records in Part I of the Act under the section entitled ‘Documentary Evidence’. In order to preserve their validity as evidence, records created should be accurate, factual, objective and unbiased. Witnesses play a key role in justice administration. A witness statement accompanies the related incident report which will help you establish a complete picture of what happened.

Health Safety

          The procedures and policies of the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System and Occupational Health And Safety Act are necessary to ensure the occupational safety of security guards and those whom they interact. There are several acts that ensure the health of people and environment is maintained. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act is a civic act that rules the transportation and handling of dangerous goods across Canada. The Occupational Health and Safety Act which is a foundation upon which workers and employers create an efficient safety and health programs and solve the health problems. The acts also include the Hazardous Products Act, the WHMIS which was implemented on October 31, 1988, etc.

When a controlled product enters a workplace, the employer ensures a WHMIS label is fixed to it and also sees to it that the supplier labels are not modified, removed, defaced or altered. A controlled product is any substance, material or product itemized by the regulations of the Hazardous Products Act.  MSDS are records made by the manufacturer or supplier of the material which comprise details such as; Preparation Information, Hazardous Ingredients etc. Hazardous materials include; Compressed Gas, Oxidizing material etc. The security guards should be aware of the hazards present in the premise because in the event of an emergency they will activate the emergency plan and evacuate the premise. Hazmat accidents are usually reacted to by highly experienced and trained people. They are trained in recognizing a hazmat, and implement steps to contain the situation.

Emergency Response Preparation

             Security guards are required to react to emergency situations so as to minimize the effect caused at a workplace. They have to carefully detect the risk factors connected to the bomb threats, fire threats, weapon emergencies etc. There are different types of threats and different types of responding to them. Such threats include; Criminal Activity, Weather Threat, Medical Emergency, Fire Threat etc. Severe weather occurs in different forms e.g. tornado, hurricane, flood e.g. lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity from ground to cloud and vice versa or cloud to cloud which releases heat energy which can cause a fire hence kills people. Another weather threat is high winds which can cause loss of life, structural damage etc. Fire threat is a common hazard. There are different stages of fire hazards; Incipient Stage, Smouldering Stage, Flame Stage, Heat Stage. Another threat is explosive devices. There are two types of IEDs, explosive and incendiary. The explosives are also categorised into two; low explosives which are solid combustible materials that decompose rapidly, but do not usually explode. High explosives burn quickly with pressure and force.

                   There are different classes of fire; class A which involves ordinary solids such as paper, wood, cardboard and even people’s bodies. Class B consists of burning gases, greases ad liquids. Class C which consists of cables motors etc.  Class K which comprises of kitchen fire involvingcombustible cooking fats or oils.  Security guards can be required to fulfil different responsibilities during an emergency. They should identify when an emergency id=s past their jurisdiction and require extra help.

Canadian Legal Aspects

       Security personnel work within Canadian Legal System hence they ought to be familiar with the Canada Evidence Act, Criminal Court System and the Ontario Evidence Act. Canadian legal system together with its territories and provinces originates from the British common law system. The courts main responsibility is to resolve conflicts amongst individuals and the state. There are two types of cases heard in the courts; criminal cases and civil cases. In a civil procedure the institution the individual with a civil law problem should forward an application or action to have a legal remedy. Criminal case consists of punishing and rehabilitating the criminals while criminal laws is all about enforcing laws and protecting the society. There are different types of evidences; testimonial, documentary, digital , exculpatory and inculpatory

Legal Authorities

The first part is about handling information and PIPEDA. While performing duties, security guards usually have limitations and these limitations are mostly due to regulations and procedures that protect personal information. Security guards usually deal with the collection, storage, dissemination, and destruction of information. Managing this information and keeping the information secure should be consistent with the regulations and procedures consistent with Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The PIPEDA act together with the Privacy Act are acts in Canada that protects the privacy of Canadians. However, Ontario Bill 31 (Ontario Regulation 329/04) protects the Ontarians. The Privacy Act aims at protecting personal information that is handled by the federal government departments and agencies. The Act limits the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. In addition to this, a Canadian individual can be granted access and request to correct personal information about them which are held by the federal organizations. In certain circumstances where personal information is collected, used, or disclosed, PIPEDA comes in to protect this personal information.

The responsibility to ensure compliance with PIPEDA is given to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. The Privacy Commissioner also receives and investigates complaints, audits an organization’s management of personal information, undertakes research, and promotes awareness on privacy matters. Security guards usually take photographs and surveillances during their course of duty for evidence. These photographs and surveillances, however, are protected by PIPEDA. Leaking of personal information can cause loss or theft, hence security guards should be careful when dealing with personal information. In additional legislation, Employment Standards Act, 2000 states the minimum standards to be followed by employers and employees, the employee roles and responsibility, continuity of employment.

                                      Effective Communication

To adapt to different environment or scenarios, one needs to have good interpersonal and communication skills. Good interpersonal and communication skills help in detecting conflicts and curbing the conflicts before they escalate. Security guards interact with a wide array of individuals and should therefore have good communication skills to enable effective communication. They must communicate with accuracy and professionalism whether verbally or non-verbally. The non-verbal clues account for 55% of the communication and they include: body language, emotions of the sender and receiver, connections between the people for example friends, etc. This is because frequently, how something is said is more important than what is said.

Good security personnel should be aware that communications takes place in a variety of levels such as verbal, paralanguage and body language. Changes in body language are always significant during any face-to-face communication. Written communication is mostly referred to as formal communication. Informal communication are sometimes not as purposeful as formal communication since informal communication have no specific goal in mind. Informal information is important and is not discouraged. However, one must be careful when communicating informally with their friends to avoid spilling company’s secrets to friends.

In order to have effective communication, there should be active listening. Active listening involves mutual understanding and listening attentively. The listener should be quick to listen and slow to speak, make the communicator the object of your focus, participate in the conversation as the opportunity arises, paraphrase and summarize the speaker’s key points, issues or statement and make sure you’ve understood. Composure must be maintained, and behavior must be adjusted in order to communicate effectively. In a situation where tempers flare, one should remain calm and take charge of your anger and defuse the situation.

Sensitivity Training

According to Cicero (106-43BCE), a morally wrong act that enables you to make some gain can never be advantageous even though you make some gain. Employers are expected by Canada’s Human Rights commission to prepare appropriate policies, provide anti-harassment training, ensuring all employees are aware of the policy and monitoring the policies’ effectiveness and updating the policies as required.

Supervisors are regarded by the law to be the company itself, hence, when a supervisor is charged with harassment, the whole company is held liable. The company should take necessary and timely action in case of cases of co-worker harassment, otherwise the company is held liable. Security guards should treat people equally and should not discriminate any person. According to the Canadian Human Rights Act, an employer should not discriminate against race, age, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, and family status. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom guarantees rights and freedoms deemed necessary in a free and democratic society.

This unit only introduces us to the wide field of law. This, therefore, does not cover the wide field and variety of aspects of Canadian law. As a security guard, you should keep studying the law, educating yourself and staying on top of changes. You should also refresh your knowledge of law frequently and familiarize yourself with laws and regulations.

Use of Force Theory

An arrest is the deprivation of a person’s freedom because he/she is under another person’s physical control. A wise security guard should know the procedures of arrest and should be last course of action. Arrest is deemed necessary for several reasons including protection of evidence, recovery of property, identification of the accused and protection of violent, suicidal, or drunk persons from harming themselves or others. Statute law gives security guards authority to arrest for indictable offences. 

When a behavior is frightening or upsetting it is referred to as “disturbing the peace”. In Canadian law, disturbing the peace is a minor offence and the offender should not be detained for more than 24 hours after the arrest. Unlike in Canada, United States consider disturbing the peace as a major offence and the offender can be fined or serves a few years of jail. Security guards have the right to search people as long as the search is reasonable. Reasonable search is search for weapons, means of escape and evidence. These findings could help in protecting the security guard and the public hence they are considered reasonable. Security personnel should avoid confrontations whenever possible and no force should be used when the person is not resisting and when they are not threatening. Use of force should therefore be necessary and reasonable.

Force can be used to prevent an offence and those who are authorized to use force are held responsible for excessive use of force. The use of force is continuum is a guideline that enables police officers and security guards to continuously assess a situation. The five stages of Ontario’s continuum are as follows: police officer presence, verbal communication, physical control, intermediate weapons, and lethal force. However, one can de-escalate the situation, but one needs to recognize potential crisis behaviour.

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