Archive for January, 2017

Do You Have a Case of the (Holiday) Mondays?


You have unwrapped all the presents, cleaned up all the empty champagne bottles and put away the extra bed sheets from the holiday visitors. Now it is time to get back to the grind and pay off those bills. Whether you took a few days or a couple of weeks off during the holidays, it can be hard coming back to work. So how does one get out of the post-holiday slump and back into the swing of things?

Below are some suggestions:

  • Acceptance

Knowing and accepting that it might be hard to get back into daily routines. Prepare yourself for it and have some remedies in mind to get you back on track.

  • Getting out

If you are like me, holiday meals were pretty heavy, and I did not get much exercise. A good way of getting back into the groove is to get your body active and blood pumping. The extra blood flow will increase brain function and help you respond to any situation that might pop up.

  • Change your schedule

Try taking a vacation day here and there to either give yourself a shorter work week (and longer weekends) or a mid-week break.

  • Have fun

This one is easy to say but can be difficult to follow through with. If it is possible, attend a work event that you find fun or interesting. Alternatively, book a vacation, even if it is just for a weekend to get away to do something you enjoy.

I hope these tips help you get back into your pre-holiday routines.

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Post Order Confusion

shutterstock_172646537Everybody in our industry can explain the importance of post orders as a means to clarify roles and responsibilities between parties involved. The most commonly used definition is: Post orders are written documents that clearly outline duties, responsibilities, and expectations of security guards. The client, service provider and security professional fulfilling the role can find out what is expected by looking at the post orders. Often the post orders become extensive and complex. Some sections can be used as a manual in non-urgent situations, while other parts are essential and describe actions that need to be taken in emergencies. To ensure guards know what to do, they should be trained and quizzed regularly. The use of quick reference cards has proven helpful and can also be used as instructions for short term assignments. It is also important to explain the logic behind the procedures. If it makes sense to someone, it is easier to follow and remember.

Even when guards are well trained and know the post orders, they can fail. Specifically in situations when instructions are not fully detailed in the post orders or when it differs from the normal course of action.

On December 19th, 2016, an unexpected tragedy shook the diplomatic world; Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov was assassinated at an art gallery exhibition in front of several TV cameras. Mevlut Mert Altintas, an off-duty police officer, shot him. Although the post orders apparently outlined how to act in a situation like this, the security officers got confused. They should have refused access and inquired with managing authorities before letting the off-duty police officer in. Instead, they were intimidated by the police badge and let him through.

Another example is seen in the film Snowden, when Edward Snowden makes copies of confidential files and exits the CIA building with the files. At the risk of a “spoiler alert” I will refrain from revealing further details, but the post orders were not followed thus leading to an international scandal.

In short, post orders are essential and should be followed to the letter. Training and testing are essential to keep security officers on their toes. Moreover, when in doubt, no access should be given until further verification has been confirmed.

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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Loss Prevention Investigations; Should Training be Standardized?

Over the years, I have seen the role of a loss prevention investigator change dramatically. There are so many variances to the job description that to find a loss prevention investigator to support your needs of the client is becoming more and more difficult.
All loss prevention investigators follow the same five steps to apprehend a shoplifter. However, due to all the liabilities associated with the role, the requirements of how to mitigate these risks have altered the duty to whether a loss prevention investigator should apprehend or deter. Some are being asked not to arrest, wear a uniform, and work with store associates to have the suspects ‘customer serviced’. This new approach to loss prevention is making it more and more difficult to find loss prevention skillsets.

When I interview for loss prevention positions, many of the candidates have loss prevention experience but no formal training or certification. Even at a provincial level, there doesn’t seem to be a training model on consensus or requirements.

We need to evaluate a standard, ensuring that all loss prevention investigators are properly trained. With such a highly liable roll and no standard of training begs the question if this should be a focus for the industry?

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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