In the world of security, simple communication can make the difference between life and death. But unfortunately, most security firms do not prioritize it. But we are here to change that. Below, you will learn why it is critical to acknowledge the importance of communication in the security Industry.
Before we dive in, we need to make it abundantly clear that we were NOT present during the time of the incident we reference below. Our comments are assumptions made based on our experience.
When Poor Communication Can Go Wrong
There is a pending court case from an incident that took place back in 2015 between a mother of a woman who committed suicide and a security officer/firm. What happened? Here is the story.
One day, a security officer, hired to protect a building, was making his normal rounds. While in the building’s stairwell, he found a girl near the door leading to the roof access. Note that this door is always locked, so it is unusual for an individual to just “hang out” in this area. He did not question the girl and instead proceeded to the door to check the roof. At this time, the girl blew past him and ran towards the ledge. The officer tried to calm her down, but he was unsuccessful.
The girl’s mother initiated the lawsuit against the security officer/firm stating that he was responsible for the girl’s death because he provided the access to the roof.
This case is still pending.
If the security guard had questioned the girl, would she still be alive? That is impossible to determine. However, simple communication and questioning could have made a big difference that day.
How to Prevent Situations Like This from Happening
There are two ways security companies can use communication to take a more proactive stance and possibly prevent scenarios like the one mentioned above from happening.
- Have a strict hiring policy ensuring their employees can think critically, react appropriately, and communicate in stressful situations.
- Do a complete walkthrough with the client, identify security gaps, create crystal clear policies, and communicate the policies with the officers.
Strict Hiring Policies
There is a difference between thinking and thinking critically. That being said, it is the responsibility of the security firm to only hire the individuals that can think critically, recognize when there is a situation that may not seem right, and then react accordingly. This is when the importance of communication comes in — can the guard calmly interact/speak with the individuals involved? And/or is the guard willing to ask (their managers) if they do not know what to do in a situation?
It is the security firm’s responsibility to only hire guards capable of assessing the situation, reacting accordingly, and then being able to communicate. If they cannot do this, they should not be a security officer.
Note that: we have touched on this before! Often, security companies are so hungry to sign a new client that they do so without having the proper infrastructure or manpower in place. As a result, they fill the position as fast as possible without considering whether or not the person is the right fit for the line of work AND/OR the company they are hired to protect!
Unfortunately, many security firms will never tour the facility that their guard is hired to protect. As a result, the guards go in blinde. But it is the duty of the security firm to identify every nook and cranny of the property they are hired to protect. Then, they need to flag areas of concern, and create policies to help prevent a domino-effect of problems. For example, do not unlock prohibited areas with people present.
However, this is only effective if the policies are properly communicated (and followed) by the guards and the client.
Final Thoughts – The importance of communication in the security Industry
In the security industry, communication is extremely important. And sadly, there are so many terrible instances when preventable situations unfold. So, when hiring security firms, talk to them about communication!