Security guards need to know that working as a mobile patrol officer can be dangerous and in some situations even fatal. I have done my time as a patrol officer in Sydney’s danger spots and you quickly learn how to assess every situation you attend very fast. I only wish that this training would be included as part of a security guards course, because most guards have no idea how to attend an alarm activation safely.Security Guard Services For Your Jewelry Business | Jewelers Mutual

In my company we used a radio code for when another security guard needs urgent backup and the nearest response officer would attend. This is about one of the times when I responded to the urgent code call.

Mobile Patrol duty

Mobile patrol officers have assigned runs to patrol each shift which includes a set number of clients and the number of site visits they each want. These are known as hits, the number of times you attend a site and inspect it.

Sometimes you will be tasked by the control room to attend an alarm activation of a client site in your zone or if you are the nearest available mobile officer.

Alarm activation

The control room sent the mobile patrol officer through an alarm response activation and requested a site inspection as soon as possible. The patrol officer acknowledged the task and changed their direction to respond. As is the case during long periods of driving and nightshifts combined you can be a bit tired and slow to notice unusual events. You just want to get the shift over with and get home to sleep.

Mobile response on site

The attending officer arrives and radios through to the control room following all protocol for the activation. The guard can see that the building appears secure from his vehicle and exits for a closer look. The building is a standard type of office building with a chain link fence surrounding the storage yard. It looked like landscaping had been done some time ago as the grass was a foot high and some bushes nearby were looking ragged.

The mobile patrol guard checked the door and could see it was secure. A quick look with his torch into the surrounding area showed all clear. He radioed back to control that everything appeared okay. After a check of the alarm system he was cleared and sent back to finish his patrol route.

False alarm again

About midnight the control room called the officer again and instructed him that the alarm has activated again at the previous client site and could he go check it out. Thinking of how this was going to be a long night he turned around and went back to the client site.

On arrival he found the same situation as the building appeared secure. Quickly he got out of his vehicle and attended the door for a physical check. Pushing the door tested it was still locked and his torch showed no signs of intruders.

Getting back into his vehicle he radioed through that it appears as a false alarm activation because nothing had changed. Control acknowledged and cleared him from the site.

Irritating alarm wasting time

At about 0200 the mobile guard received another radio call from control advising that the same alarm had activated again so could he go and check it out. He suggested to them that it was a false alarm and they should ignore it.

He responded to the alarm and arrived at the site again. Nothing was security companies changed and he wanted to clear this site to get his run over. Walking quickly to the front door he reached out with his arm to push the door.

Fatal blow

Moving quickly from the bush next to the door a man struck out with a VB beer bottle into the guards throat as he turned to face his attacker. The offender pushed the security guard against the door and pinned him in place while stabbing him in the throat several more times completely breaking the glass bottle.

The guard dropped to the ground clutching his throat while the offender started to break into the building.

I arrived just in time

The injured security officer just got enough time to make the urgent code to request help. As I was the nearest attending officer I took the call and made my way to the site.

I found the guard on the ground near his vehicle and passed out from blood loss. Providing first aid and then I called for an ambulance after I stabilised him.

What happened

The security guard had got lazy from attending to a number of alarm activations from the same site and had assumed that they were false alarms or faults. His radio protocols and search techniques had become tired and failed company procedures.

The offender had been nearby the entire time and had been timing the guards response time by pushing the front door until it alarmed then moving away to see how long the guard took to get there.

The offender also watched how the guard checked the building and decided to wait for the guard to get lazy and make his attack.

What I learnt

When arriving at an alarm activation treat them all the same and at a high risk level until you know all the facts. You also need to change your patrol and search techniques so that it is harder to predict your movements.

 

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