Rapid advancement has changed every industry for the better. The security sector is no exception.
Several new technologies have come into the market that have streamlined our industry and created a completely new standard for delivering security services. In this blog, we share tips that will help you to be more proactive and adapt to changes quickly instead of delaying and missing out on the digital revolution.
The Appification of Security Tasks
The security function has always relied on mobile devices like walkie-talkies, metal detectors and scanners. These devices helped security guards on the ground stay in touch with a command center and raise alerts in case of problems.
The function is now being transferred to mobile apps that can be easily installed on cell phones and digital devices. There are dozens of new apps in the market that can help security companies and guards with staffing, tracking, alerting and communication. The apps are designed to be used through handheld devices and make it easier to keep track of incidents, patrol routes, intruders and much more.
Apps on handheld devices literally put the power of reporting, tracking, and compliance in the guards’ hands. Mobile patrol systems are making it easier for guards to better report on incidents and manage them in real time.
Digital apps offer two way communications and make it easier for guards to be more aware of the situation. Through GPS integration, security guards can quickly become aware of intruders on the premises and take timely actions to prevent damage to their client’s property.
Multiple Surveillance Cameras and Drones
Modern security surveillance systems can support multiple cameras located throughout the business premises. A single security guard can keep track of the whole facility and see what is going on across all corners of the client’s business.
Security guards working at a warehouse can see the delivery truck pull up to the warehouse even before it has fully parked. If a maintenance contractor arrives to carry out checks and works, the security guard will be better prepared to meet them before they get to the front door.
Visitors who need temporary access to a certain part of the building can be monitored remotely, without the need to assign an escort.
Advanced surveillance systems keep track of what’s going on by recording videos that could be saved to a storage device. These videos can serve as evidence in legal proceedings. If a major incident occurs on the client facility, the surveillance system can assist the security team in identifying culprits and taking action.
Another major development is the use of drone cameras for security purposes. Installed cameras only cover a fixed area of the property, but drones can move around to cover the entire building. Drones can be operated by a security guard, or even be programmed to patrol the premises providing a bird’s eye view of the property.
Security Workforce Management Software
Guard management and assignment is something that security firms have struggled with for a long time. This is a particularly problematic area for firms with dozens of employees and hundreds of security guards.
Security workforce management (SWM) software is becoming a new industry standard for security firms. SWM can drastically improve the way security services are provided and accounted for. It ensures that all parties, guards, security firm and clients are involved in hiring and scheduling security guards.
SWM software connects everyone and tremendously improves the effectiveness and efficiency of operations for a security firm. It gives access to all the security guards and mobile patrols to the important information that affects their job.
It can also provide useful features through mobile phones which can become their main work tool. Security guards can clock in and out of work through integrated SWM software, without needing to come into close contact with others.
Team supervisors and dispatches can monitor all security guards through GPS technology. They can also proactively alert guards and provide them with vital information in real time. The management can easily get access to a security guard’s worked hours, schedule, shifts and training levels with a few clicks.
The SWM software can also be programmed to send reports, invoices and notifications to clients to take action.
Client Expectations for Security Guard’s Technology Skills
In the past, the knowledge, skills and qualifications that were expected from a security guard were very low or non-existent. That is no longer the case. Modern security guards are now expected to be fully trained in the use of new technology.
They are also required to maintain their qualifications through continued education and development, leading to a higher caliber of security guards.
Client demands are also becoming more sophisticated. They want real-time solutions to their security requirements. This includes ensuring that they can see the status of their sites at any time of day.
Many clients these days want to know that a security guard is onsite at the required time, doing their scheduled job. They also want to be aware of any important incidents in real-time and technologically savvy guards can provide the information to them better.
The Increasing Role of Female Security Guards
While the security industry is still a predominantly male-oriented industry, the role of female security guards is also becoming important. There are three main reasons for that.
First, many security roles are becoming more about surveillance rather than an actual display of security guards. A couple of decades ago, you needed to place security officers at entrance and important points within your building to deter would-be thieves. Today, you can place security cameras at important entry/exit points.
Visitors and would-be thieves are likely to behave when they think they are under observation. The monitoring job can be performed by female guards just as well as male security guards.
Second, many women aspiring to be security guards take up fitness and hard training routines similar to male security guards. There has been a massive socio-cultural shift in the last three decades with more women opting for masculine jobs instead of accepting the traditional role.
Third, there is an actual demand for female security guards from clients and businesses. For example, event organizers who expect a predominantly female gathering specifically ask for female security guards. Many organizers catering to a mixed gender gathering ask for security guards with a 50-50 male female ratio or at least a few female security guards to handle certain crowd control situations.
The last decade has shown us that the real pusher for any industry towards growth is the creativity and the innovations that their employees bring to the table. Workplace diversity is the major catalyst to bring forth new ideas.
Security firms realize the importance of workforce diversity as a stimulant to the growth process in the industry.
The thing with most male security guards is that they are inclined to meet difficult workplace situations head-on. Most male guards act with instinct without thinking through all the possibilities for de-escalating a situation.
Sometimes this approach is not the best option.
One the other hand, female security guards are more likely to look at different angles. They try to solve problems through dialogue and social interaction. This approach can work in many situations and give female guards an edge in the field.
Of course there are situations where dialogue doesn’t work and physical action is the only option to go. This is why a mixed team of male and female security guards works best for handling security situations.
Better Partnerships with Law Enforcement Agencies
Law enforcement agencies are a vital part of private security firms. Any persons detained by a private guard must be handed over to the law enforcement officers. Private guards must also cooperate with public security officers in case of a local community threat.
Technology is helping private firms to improve the cooperation between security guards and police force to keep criminals at bay. Integrated alert and communication systems allow a quicker response to any incident that’s deserving of police attention.
New evidence collection and forensics methods have been instrumental in police investigations. They help public law agencies to recover stolen items and arrest suspects quicker. Facial recognition software, for instance, can help the police to track down criminals from recorded video.
Private security firms are also improving coordination between their guards and disaster response agencies such as the local fire station. Private guards are now better trained than ever to quickly raise alarms. They must be fully trained on how to evacuate the building quickly in case of fires.
Modern Non-Lethal Weapons
Another important advancement in technology is the type of weapons carried by armed security guards. Previously, private guards were restricted to either carrying a firearm or a baton to bring suspects down. However, there were problems with these weapons.
Security guards were trained to use firearms as a last resort. Many guards carried empty guns that were meant more as a deterrent than an actual weapon that could be used in a tight situation. Guards were also reluctant to use firearms out of concerns.
Severely injuring a suspect or the death of an intruder could lead to a long legal process and prison time for the guard. Even in the best case scenario, it meant the end of the guard’s career.
A variety of non-lethal handheld weapons have been developed that are capable of neutralizing suspects without causing grave injury or death.
The first of these weapons is the pepper spray. The spray contains a concentrated supply of capsaicin, a chemical that is made from chili peppers. This chemical packs a powerful sting that can momentarily blind a person and cause burns in the throat and breathing system.
The spray does not cause long term injury. It is a lightweight and convenient deterrent for potential offenders. Private guards can keep it concealed or on display to deter would-be thieves and intruders.
The second device is the electric taser that is popular with private guards. Unlike the pepper spray, the taser has a longer range and can be fired for a distance of up to 10 feet.
The device shoots out an electric bolt that can shock a target and leave them paralyzed. The taser is very effective to prevent suspects from getting away or attacking the security guard. The guard can then detain the suspect until backup arrives from law enforcement officers.
If you decide to equip your private guards with tasers, make sure that they receive full training in the use of these devices. Unlike pepper sprays, tasers can cause damage to people and send them into cardiac arrest that can lead to death.
Most tasers come with an adjustable setting for the shock power, and it is best to keep it on the lowest setting unless your guards are up against someone much bigger.
These days, most successful security firms heavily rely on new technology to manage their operations. Advanced technology is used in every aspect from hiring, training and equipping security guards to assignments and management of client projects.
Modern security platforms, software and mobile devices have become an integral component of superior security strategy. Technology also plays a critically important role in offering better communications, accountability, and transparency for all stakeholders.
In this blog, we covered some of the innovations and technologies that private security services must look at to offer better services for clients. It is highly recommended to continuously look at your current recruitment, training and equipping standards to offer better services to clients.
Mobile technology is important for improving and benefitting your business in the long run. New things are made and utilized every day, so let your company be at the forefront of new and innovative technologies for the better.