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Roving Security Officer Procedures

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Foot patrols are an important part of any security regimen. Cameras can't be set up at every location where a problem is possible. Even if they were, it is better to rotate guards from the camera control room to patrol every half hour to prevent them from losing focus while watching cameras. Roving guards check the areas they pass through for disruptions such as water leaks, fire and break-ins. In some buildings, they are even asked to make note of burnt out light fixtures.

Planing Patrol Routes

Before heading out on patrol, you should make a randomized point form list of destinations. The reasoning behind randomizing patrols is that when a potential thief is casing a building and searching for weaknesses in the security strategy, they will often time guards' patrols and make note of which floors of a building the guards are in. Being overly regular in your patrol routine will allow thieves to estimate how much time they have to escape notice; don't be predictable. One important point is that if management requires you to check any specific locations at timed intervals, be sure to honor the contract with them first and randomize other parts of the patrol. There are two types of patrol: a quick patrol, which is used to check ground level and ground accessible entrances, and a full patrol, which includes an internal sweep of the entire building. It is advisable to do a full sweep at least once every few hours.

Points of Interest

When conducting a full patrol, there are several locations that are important to check in most buildings. First perform a quick patrol to ensure that all ground level and ground accessible entrances are secure and then move on to the building's interior. Doing a thorough sweep includes checking any room with a water fixture. Old pipes can often spring pinhole leaks that over the course of an evening become big messes. Catching a leak before it gets out of hand will save the property owner significant money. Parking areas are another key point of interest since they are a high profile target for petty theft. It is also worthwhile to do a thorough check of any mechanical rooms. Be careful not to accidentally alter any control settings since your goal is only to report obvious malfunctions like leaks and fire hazards.

Making Notes

Keep a small pocket notebook detailing when you took patrols, locations you inspected and any problems you encountered, as well as how you responded to them. A common mistake is simply documenting the problem and not the resolution. If you keep a clear record of how you solved past problems, future staff can benefit from your experiences even after you have moved on in your career. A simple rule of thumb for quality note taking is to remember the Five Ws: who, what, where, when and why. If you, like many in the modern era, suffer from sloppy hand writing, make your notebook yours alone. Type a daily report for management on key events to add an extra level of professionalism to your note taking.


Daniel R. Mueller is a Canadian who has been writing professionally since 2003. Mueller's writing draws on his extensive experience in the private security field. He also has a professional background in the information-technology industry as a support technician. Much of Mueller's writing has focused on the subjects of business and economics.