A security guard maintains the peace, deters riff-raff from your property and lends an aura of safety to the area. Whether you run a church, a gallery, a shop, an event venue, an apartment complex or almost any other facility, you are likely to benefit from having a security guard on site. Before you start searching for a guard, however, here are five things you need to consider first:
1. Full-Time Guard Versus Contract Guard
A full time guard is a guard you employ through your company – he or she receives the same benefits as the rest of your employees. A contract guard works for him or herself or through an agency. You simply write a check, and the guard or the agency takes care of things like payroll taxes, benefits and insurance.
Contracting a security guard is a great idea if you just want to test out using a guard or only want to use a guard once in a while. However, if you have guards on staff everyday, it can improve office wide morale if you bring the guards on staff, rather than letting them flounder as contract workers.
In fact, when several tech companies converted their guards from contract to full-time employees, they received a positive response from the guards and the community at large.
2. Weapons and Accessories
Whether you bring a guard on your payroll, hire an independent guard or go through a security guard service, you need to think about weapons and accessories. Ideally, you want your guard armed in a way that makes you feel safe.
For some people, that means hiring a guard with a gun in his belt. For others, a sense of safety is achieved with a belt full of non-deadly weapons like pepper spray and batons and accessories like flashlights and handcuffs.
3. The Security Guard's Beat
The beat is the territory that a police officer, or a security guard in this case, patrols. The term also covers the times when the patrolling happens. Before hiring your security guard, think about what you want his or her beat to be.
Are there special times when you need more security? Is there a path you want them to follow? If so, walk the path to see how long it takes. If it takes more than an hour and a half to walk through, you may need two guards to patrol that area.
If you haven't ever mapped out a beat, you can have security company advise you on what needs to be patrolled. For instance, if you are securing a library, you probably want the guard to check the stacks, quiet corners and the bathrooms.
4. Repercussions for Disturbing the Peace
In the event that your security guard unearths someone getting into trouble, you need to decide what your plans are for repercussions. In one library, for example, the security guard can choose to suspend rowdy patrons for a week, or he can even opt to ban them forever.
If you own a shop, you may want the guard to alert the management every time someone steals something, or you may want to just have the guard give a strong warning to people who are only trying to steal something small. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what you want your protocol to be.
5. Guard Background and Training
Security guards come from a range of backgrounds and have a range of training. If you contact an agency, they can help guide you toward the right guard for your needs. You can find guards with backgrounds as police officers or military professionals, and you can also look for special trainings with weapons or martial arts.
Contact professionals like Palisade Group mobile patrols for more information.