We’ve all seen it. The bored security guard, one hand in their pocket, the other on their cell phone, eyes glazed over and without a care in the world. To my knowledge, there are no published statistics or studies researching the amount of crime or negligence committed because a guard did not maintain proper presence. Of course, a study like this would be entirely based on observation and interpretation of information. And a for a contracted security manager, this type of negligence can lead to high liability, the loss of a valuable client, or worse yet, injury or death resulting from a crime that could have otherwise been mitigated by presence alone. So the question becomes how does a company combat an issue like cell phones, especially as they become more capable to include things like email, the internet, games, etc and are in the pockets of an ever increasing number of guards.
The solution is a clearly communicated policy from company management, and enforced through all levels on supervisory personnel. AEGIS Private Security Los Angeles has adopted a strict cell phone policy that is communicated both in writing and verbally to each and every guard. Cell phones are to be used when checking in with management upon arrival, in an emergency when a call to 911 and management is necessary, and for several seconds while checking the time. If a client, supervisor, or manager observes a guard excessively using a cell phone, they may be sent home on the spot or suspended. More than one breach of this policy may result in a termination. This kind of understanding results in field personnel who provide an inherently higher quality, professional security service due to minimized distractions.
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