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  • Posted By Scott
  • |
  • Sep 10, 2023

Why should Security Guards train, and train consistently? Avoiding bad & wrong decisions in the field.

Private security guards quite often get a bad rep when it comes to the effectiveness of their services. A lot of this bad press is a result of our own complicity – labour shortage, limited quality assurance, and lack of understanding of different assignments are just a few.

Every company will address these challenges in a different way. At 3DSRS, we begin each meeting by reading our mission statement:

"To Enhance the perception of uniformed security in the province of Ontario by providing motivated, professional, and well-trained security guards at every assignment."

We feel that the training aspect of the guards is so important that it should be included in the statement. In addition to ensuring that Security is respected in the manner that is worthy of the industry, there are many other reasons for security guards to train consistently. As you will see from some of the reasons below, a large benefit of the training is that they do not react inappropriately or incorrectly in the stress of the moment.

What does consistent training address?

Lack of Experience: As part of the duties of a professional guard, they may be placed in the position as a First Responder. At 3DSRS, we will sometimes consider our people as Immediate Responders, since we are usually already on site when the incident occurs. If we use CPR as an example, if the last time a guard did CPR was 18 months ago when they recertified, the chances of them performing quality CPR in a stress induced situation is greatly reduced.

Lack of Confidence: There are times where guards receive little training and are expected to do professional security jobs. As we are, for some parts, a reactive industry, this is going to happen. By training consistently with other guards, they will benefit from Other People (guard) Experience (OPE) and will develop the confidence to meet each challenge with a cool and professional mindset. As a side benefit, we also see the opportunity of team-bonding and trust development between guards who train together.

Ego: If there is one thing that, in our experience, will instigate a guard to make a bad decision in the field – it is ego. We have seen this countless times where a guard sticks to a bad or incorrect decision (“doubles down” in common parlance) because they do not want to admit that they have made a mistake or do not have an immediate answer. Using the example of training in de-escalation communication (such as Verbal Judo) will train a guard to separate their personal self from their professional self. Successfully doing this will reduce accusations of targeting people, and provide the guard with the satisfaction of being a professional.

Physical Fitness: Depending on the location, a security guard may be required to exert themselves physically. This could be as simple as running up building stairs if an elevator shuts down during an emergency, or it could be the physical removal of a trespasser (depending on company policy). Using the example above, most people take use of force training and will complete it in a single day. This certification is usually valid for a year and many guards will not undertake any sort of physical training in between certifications. What this may result in, when combined with the previous point of ego, is that if a guard decided to engage and is not trained – they risk injury to both them and the suspect. In addition to a lack of safe techniques to use, the stress of the situation, which usually causes adrenaline dysautonomia (dump) causing the guard to lose their fine motor skills. A guard that is in better physical condition, should they need to undertake any physical endeavours, is more likely to complete them in a safer fashion than one who is not in shape.

There are those that will dispute the points above points and advance the point that security guards are only meant to observe and report. More and more companies are adopting a hands-off policy and will only take low-risk assignments. If that is the company policy, then consistent training may not be as important.

At 3DSRS, one of the most significant benefits that we see from our weekly training sessions is noting the attendance of the guards. Those that are willing to take the time to avail themselves to the free training are the ones that we look to as leaders. By taking advantage of the resources offered by the company, they are demonstrating that they are invested in providing professional security services – these are our type of people!