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Characteristics of a Professional Security Officer

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Professional security officers have a responsibility to the business or area they are providing security for, beyond just making sure no crimes are committed or anyone is harmed. These responsibilities range from physical security to friendliness to staying low profile.

Good Judgment and Common Sense

No matter where a security officer is employed, good judgment and common sense should always be part of the job. In a department store, security guards should position themselves in areas where they can observe suspected thieves without being noticed by them. At a facility where security is needed, security officers should make no exceptions for anyone entering or exiting without proper identification. That said, it is unnecessary to be too strict at times, especially when you see the same person coming to work every day and he has simply forgotten his identification card. It's also important for security officers to know when to get involved with a possible criminal situation and when to just call the police.

Following Directions

As security officers are employed by a business and are also not law enforcement officials, being able to follow directions accurately and completely is a must. If you are told to be stationed in a particular area or treat everyone coming to the business you are providing security for in a certain way, then do it according to your employer's direct orders. If a crime is committed and the police are called, be prepared to assist them in the same way you would take orders from your employer.

Testify in Court Accurately

A professional security officer should be able to remember everything she observes and accurately testify to what happened in the situation if it ever ends up in court. This entails close observation and keen knowledge of the environment she works within, as well as communication with other employers or professional security officers. It also means relaying what was seen to your employers and their legal counsel, as they may not want you to reveal certain things in the court room unless asked.


Hailing from Austin, Texas, Daniel Westlake has written under pen names for a myriad of publications all over the nation, ranging from national magazines to local papers. He now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. but regularly travels around the country and abroad, exploring and experiencing everything he can.