POST ORDERS: A WORKING DEFINITION
Post orders are written documents that clearly outline duties, responsibilities, and expectations of security guards. Without post orders, there is limited accountability, and so it’s important for those who have hired or are hiring security guards to make sure that:
1) post orders exist and are up-to-date. Typically the security guard vendor’s responsibility, it must be decided who will create and keep post orders current.
2) post orders must be read, understood, and signed by every security guard working at any given account.
3) post orders must be tailor-made, specific to each account location.
4) Post orders must contain emergency contact information and ALL important security-related policies and procedures relating to the account.
5) Post orders must be located in a safe place out of the public’s eye; they must be regularly checked for accuracy and that they are, in fact, present.
Below is an example of post orders for a retail account. I have used my own company post orders, deleting some names and numbers for privacy and confidentiality. Keep in mind, every industry brings its own set of security-related problems as does every account, and so post orders will vary, but the example below should provide a good, solid overview of what ought to be included.
1536 Wooster st #2
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Tel: (310)919-8780 ~ Fax: (213)867-2143
POST ORDERS FOR LOS ANGELES SECURITY GUARDS
Any life threatening emergencies follow ALL steps below:
• Call 911.
• Quickly report the problem to the client/ whomever is in charge at the location where you work.
• Help everyone evacuate the building, if needed.
• Contact Excalibur Management and report the problem.
• Be alert at what’s happening; take notes when you can, as you will need them to create an incident report.
(*Note: Most sites have their own policies regarding emergency procedures dealing with specific situations.
Read and familiarize yourself with what those policies are)
(Note: write this down so you have it on you when not at work)
Excalibur Agency 310-919-8780 FAX 213 867-2143
Field Supervisor: 866-321-7165
CHECK IN PROCEDURES
Within 15 minutes of your scheduled shift, ALL security officers must call 866-310-9469 extension (0). Tell the operator your name, store location number, and that you are checking in for work. For your record, make sure to write down the operator’s name and the exact time you called him/her.
If your shift starts Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, call Excalibur’s main office at 310-919-8780 and report your name, store location number, and that you are checking-in for work. If you reach a recording, press (0) and someone should pick-up. If no one answers, leave a message. If you do not receive a call within ten minutes confirming you have checked-in, call Scott Dinnerman at 310-919-8780.
When you check in at work call Scott Dinnerman when at post. If you reach a recording, make sure to leave a message.
GENERAL POST DUTIES
• For the majority of your shift, you will be posted by the front door(s) OR wherever the client requires. Know where all exits are. Know where the fire extinguishers are placed as well as First Aid kits, if present. Become familiar with all departments of your store.
• Always be cordial and polite to staff and clients. Remember that you are often the first and last impression people see. Greet customers with a friendly smile and be helpful with all their needs. Good customer service is extremely important. (NOTE: learn the names of all client management personnel).
• When a problem arises, always be friendly and courteous. Use such language as ‘Excuse me Ma’am/Sir, may I check your receipt?’ (Note: If you have cause to believe someone is stealing, report it to management at once. First, ask politely for the suspect to wait. Reveal little to them. Most importantly, read all the information in your specific post orders so that you know what is expected of you).
• If you encounter ANY serious security-related problems, report it right away to whoever is in charge.
• Patrol site every half and hour. If the client wants the patrols to be more or less frequent, honor their request, log it, and report this to your field supervisor. Be sure to mix-up your patrol checks to avoid any obvious patterns.
• Keep your eyes on security sensitive locations or where there is often suspicious activity.
• Return to the front desk or wherever you are stationed.
• Detail your activity in your daily post log. While writing, try also to be aware of what is going on around you.
• Time Cards should always be left at the post in the binder. Do not go home with it.
WHEN PROBLEMS OCCUR
If a customer or employee does anything inappropriate (including something illegal):
• Immediately notify manager in charge.
• Remember, unless it’s self-defense, NEVER touch the individual.
• Depending upon what the client wants, leave questioning and the handling of the situation to the manger.
• Listen carefully to what is said. Collect names, descriptions, and all necessary information.
• Make an incident report once time permits.
• Always notify security management office when anything illegal happens or posses a serious security threat
WHEN YOU SUSPECT A THEFT
• Even if you believe you see someone steal something, you could be wrong. Remember to always approach and speak to the individual(s) in a respectful manner.
• If while working an alarm is activated as someone
leaves say something to the affect of, “Sorry about that Ma’am/Sir. Let me try and clear this up.”(Remember to take a mental description of the potential suspect(s) in case an incident report is required) If you have a radio, call the manager in charge or the building engineer. Never question someone about a theft without an eye-witness.
• ‘Daily Officer Store Time Form’ must be completely filled out and signed every day by the store manager or whoever is in charge when you start AND when you end your shift. This form must be faxed by 11 AM every Sunday to the security management office. (Note A: If you work the evening hours on Sunday immediately fax your time sheet after leaving work.)
(Note B: Make sure the fax went through. If you have a problem faxing this form, it is your responsibility to inform management during regular business hours no later than Monday morning at 8:30 AM).
• Your ‘Bi-weekly Time Sheet’ must also be completely filled out and signed by the store manager and faxed to the office on the 16th and the 1st of every month. (Note: again, it is your responsibility to make sure this fax is received by security management. If you’re having difficulty faxing, for any reason, contact our main office during regular business hours)
Remember, reliability is critical to our business. When hired, we reviewed our strict attendance policy. But if there’s an emergency and you can not make it to work, it is still your responsibility to inform security management, the sooner the better, at least four hours before your shift starts. You should write down our ‘contact information’ so you always have it, even when you are not working. Make sure you get a hold of someone from our management team and tell them you will be calling off. Do not just leave a message.
DAYS OFF REQUEST
If you need any days off notify security management office. You must fill out a ‘Days off Request Form’. This form must be confirmed before you take your days off. You are not allowed to switch shifts with officers UNLESS you have the consent of security management and have filled out your request form
We keep track of every officer who shows up late. Constant tardiness will not be accepted, and disciplinary measures will be taken up to and including termination.
Your job is to observe and report. Including report writing is very important because, among other things, it protects you as well as others involved. Incident Reports are often used in the court of law as a legal document. Incident reports must be taken for any theft, crime, or potentially dangerous situation whether it has occurred or may occur. They must be faxed to the corporate office immediately (no more than one business day after the incident happened). Call the corporate office to report what happened. When writing an incident report, write neatly and simply. The following “Who, what, where, when, how, and why questions.”
WHO QUESTIONS– Be precise with times, to the minute; keep a running log.
Who was the victim(s)?
Who caused the incident?
Who reported the incident or problem to you?
Who witnessed the incident?
Who first discovered the incident or security problem?
Who came upon the incident scene shortly after your involvement?
Who might have been involved because of special access?
Who did you report the problem to (Client Contact)?
Who did you report the problem to (GSI Staff)?
Who did you deal with from the local law enforcement?
WHAT QUESTION —The incident, event or accident by type or category.
What exactly happened?
What crime was committed?
What actions were taken by suspects, victims, and witnesses?
What evidence was found?
What was done with the evidence? (if crime scene, ALL evidence should be left untouched for police investigators)
What weapons by type, caliber and serial number were involved?
What transportation was involved; in what way?
What was the crime or accident scene situation? (Draw a sketch if necessary for clarify)
What other facts may have had bearing on the incident?
WHERE QUESTIONS — The location in terms anyone can understand.
Where did the incident or accident happen? (Draw a map if necessary)
Where was the incident reported?
Where were you when the incident happened?
Where were all the “players” during the event?
Where did each “player” arrive from just prior to the event?
Where did the “players” move from-to during the event?
Where did each “player” depart for after the event?
Where were weapons and tools relating to the event positioned?
Where was the evidence found?
Where was the evidence taken after the event?
Where was any criminal apprehended?
Where was any suspect taken by law enforcement?
WHEN QUESTIONS — Be precise with times, to the minute: keeping a running log.
When did the crime, accident or event happen? (If not your direct knowledge, by who and what means was the time established?)
When did you find out about it?
When did you relay the preliminary incident report to the Client Contact?
When did you first notify GSI Management?
When did events leading up to the incident happen?
When did the situation Change? (Be specific; what happened, when?)
When did each of the “players” become involved?
When did each witness arrive on scene?
When did each of the “players” leave the incident scene?
When did you report the event to law enforcement?
When were any apprehensions, or arrests made and by whom?
HOW QUESTIONS — The “mechanics” of the incident or event, be careful to separate FACT from your opinion!
How did the incident, accident or event happen?
How was the incident, accident or event discovered?
How did all the “players” arrive and depart the scene?
How is security systems breached?
How many people were injured and what was their disposition?
How much damage was done? (Be specific or state as you estimate)
How much property was lost or stolen?
WHY QUESTIONS — As an early responder to any crime or accident scene, your “reasoning” and sense perceptions ARE important. Keep in mind the importance of separating FACT from personal assessment.
Why was the crime committed? (Personal gain; malicious mischief; revenge?)
Why is one particular “player” a suspect of wrongdoing?
Why was a particular entryway, or point of access used?
Why were other “players” in the vicinity of the incident?
Why did the incident unfold as it did?
Why were certain tools used? (Suggesting what we need to do to tighten up security in the future.)
Why might the event have happened WHEN it happened?
In summary, when writing an incident report include the following information
• What happened? Be specific.
• Who did it happen to? Get first and last names of everyone involved, including Police officers first, last name and badge number; if police were called to the seen. (Note: if suspect will not provide their name that is fine, simply include this in the report)
• When did the incident happen? Always state the time.
• Where did the incident happen? Always state where in the store it occurred and where you were in relation to that.
We realize that report writing can be quite involved and difficult. If you are struggling with your report, ask security management for help and always notify your field supervisor when an incident occurs. (NOTE: Please see examples of incident reports at the end of the binder).
FRATERNIZING AND SOCIALIZING WHILE ON DUTY
While being polite and having a positive, cheerful attitude is commendable, always remember:
• You are hired to work.
• Socializing gives the impression that you are not working.
• Socializing interferes with observing what is happening around you.
• What may seem like a friendly customer may actually be someone intentionally distracting you from what is going on in the store.
• A person you may feel is your friend can change their opinion very quickly and, ultimately, get you in a lot of trouble.
• Those you befriend may expect favors.
• Flirting with a customer or employee is not allowed. Disciplinary action will be taken.
Sexual harassment is a crime and is cause for immediate termination.
LUNCHES AND BREAKS
You are entitled to a one half an hour lunch and to two fifteen minute breaks for every eight hour shift. Before you take your break, ALWAYS inform the manager or whoever is in charge. If you are working a longer shift, you may be allowed more breaks. Contact your field supervisor if you have any break questions. (*Note: No officer is allowed to apply their second fifteen minute break to leaving early).
BREAK/ LUNCH SIGN IN AND OUT
The “Break /lunch sign in and out log” is to be filled out daily, with accurate time(s), for all 15 minute breaks/ lunch periods.
You must be in full uniform at all times. Shirts must be ironed or pressed and buttoned all the way up
(including top button; black tie is optional), a white t-shirt must be underneath; pants must be dark
navy or black and they must be ironed or pressed; belt must be black; shoes must be work shoes and
polished (no sneakers). You must be neat and clean at all times. If you need more uniforms, contact
While working, unless it’s an emergency security-related situation, you can not use your cell phone. Keep in mind that impression is everything!
PEN AND PAD
Always have a functioning pen and notepad on you at all times. If any emergency happens, you will need to collect information.
Officer supplies such as time sheets, uniforms, post orders must always be available and in good condition. If they are not or they are missing, it is your responsibility to inform your field supervisor and/or management at once so we can provide you with what you need.
HOW TO HANDLE COMPLAINTS
If anyone complains about you, our company, or anything related to security, document the information and always notify your field supervisor. If you believe it’s an important issue, contact the security management office during regular office hours. If the complaints relates to the store, let the store management handle the situation.
IF ASKED TO PERFORM SPECIAL DUTIES
If the store manager has requested you to perform a duty and you are unsure if you should or it breaks MBS’s policies, call security management and/or your field supervisor (Note: Never change your schedule unless the security management office or your field supervisor approves the change. So if the store manager asks you to stay over or come in early you must first get MBS’s approval)
PURCHASING MERCHANDISE/ BRINGING IN ITEMS
Any personal items you have upon entering/leaving should be revealed to the client. Never accept discounts for any client merchandise, even if it’s offered to you.
Pass on new, important information to your fellow officers. We must always be team-players. If you can’t reach your fellow officers, inform your field supervisor.
Check post orders daily because every now and then there will be updated information, and additional policies to learn. Do not write on this binder! But you may paste important notes if necessary. Understood
DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY
Excalibur Agency strives to provide a safe work environment and encourages personal health. Concerning this, the company considers the abuse of drugs or alcohol on the job to be an unsafe and counter productive work practice. It is, therefore, company policy that an employee found with the presence of alcohol or illegal drug in his/her system, in possession of, using, selling, trading, or offering for sale illegal drugs or alcohol during working hours, will be subject to disciplinary action including discharge. (Company sponsored activities which may include the service of alcoholic beverages are not included in this provision. Discretion should be exercised by the employee to not overindulge in the consumption of alcohol.) Substance Abuse includes possession, use, purchase or sale of drug or alcohol on company premises, (including the parking lots). It also includes reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An employee reporting for work visibly impaired is unable to properly perform required duties and will not be allowed to work. If possible, the supervisor should first seek another supervisor’s opinion of the employee’s status. Then the supervisor should consult privately with the employee with the observation, to rule out any problems that may have been caused by prescription drugs. If, in the opinion of the supervisor, the employee is considered impaired, the employee should be sent home or to a medical facility by taxi or other safe transportation alternative, depending on the determination of the observed impairment, accompanied by the supervisor or another employee, if necessary. An impaired employee should not be allowed to drive.
Excalibur Agency has relationships with several drug and alcohol screening facilities including TGG Associates where both instant breath and urine tests are available as well as lab tests. These tests are paid at company’s expense and given to security officers when the above described conditions warrant. We also conduct random drug tests, especially when a client requests it.
Prescription drugs prescribed by the employee’s physician may be taken during work hours. The employee should notify the supervisor if the use of properly prescription drugs will affect the employee’s work performance. Abuse of prescription drugs will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of the company’s supervisor to counsel with an employee whenever they see changes in performance that suggests an employee problem.
Employees will be required to submit to drug and/ or alcohol testing at laboratory chosen by the company if there is a cause for reasonable suspicion of substance abuse. Whenever possible, the supervisor should have the employee observed by a second supervisor or manager before requiring testing. Employees who refuse substances testing under these circumstances will be terminated. Circumstances that could be indicator of a substance abuse problem and considered reasonable suspicion are:
• Observed alcohol or drug abuse during work hours on company premises.
• Apparent physical state of impairment.
• Incoherent mental state.
• Marked changes in personal behavior that is otherwise unexplainable.
• Deteriorating work performance that is not attributed to other factors.
• Accidents or other actions that provide reasonable cause to believe the employee may be under the influence.
7. Or as required by any government programs such as the US Department of Transportation.
If the test results are positive then termination will result. Employees who refuse substance testing under these circumstances will be terminated.
BACKGROUND CHECK POLICY
Excalibur Agency conducts thorough background checks on all security officers when hiring them. All applicants supply personal references, which we check. We also contact their prior employers to verify pay rates and working history. We authenticate security guard card status through the Bureau of Investigative Services. Thus, we are able to ensure that no employee has prior felony convictions. Guard card status must be current and accurate.
Background checks are ongoing. If it is discovered that a security officer willfully falsified information on their job application or during their interview for hire, disciplinary measures will be taken up to and including termination.
In addition to our own in-house background checks, we utilize Sentry Link which gives us greater view of criminal records, convictions, and of sex offenders nationwide. Over 200 million records are available in their criminal database. They also have DMV records and advanced social security tracing techniques.
RULES OF CONDUCT
The following is a partial list of those acts that will lead to disciplinary action:
• Falsification of forms, records or reports, including time cards, application materials and Daily Activity Reports (“DAR”).
• Insubordination; reusing to follow directions of a supervisor or post commander, or disrespectful conduct to any officer, client or member of the public.
• Possession of unauthorized firearms, explosive materials, knifes or other weapons while on company or client property.
• Unsatisfactory, insufficient or careless performance of duties.
• Sleeping on post or on client property.
• Reporting for duty with odor of alcohol.
• Reporting for or working under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on company or client property.
• Possession of or attempting to sell narcotics, drugs or alcoholic beverages while on company or client property.
• Excessive absenteeism, absence from work without permission or sufficient explanation in management’s reasonable judgment.
• Abandoning post or assignment without authorization and/or proper relief.
• Threatening, intimidating, coercing, harassing or sexually harassing fellow employees subordinates, client personnel or public in general.
• Failure to notify appropriate management representatives, by telephone or otherwise when unable to report to work (4 to 24 hours notice is preferred).
• Unauthorized use, possession or removal of company, client or employee property, records or other materials.
• Prolonged and unauthorized congregating with other officers or participating in unauthorized groups or meetings while on client property; visitingposts while off duty and distraction on-duty officers.
• Disorderly conduct; fighting, horseplay, practical jokes, including the use of rude, vulgar, profane, or lewd language or behavior.
• Violation or company policies, rules, practices or post orders.
• Not wearing or using mandatory protective clothing and equipment when it is required by state or federal law, Guard-Systems or by client.
• Any employee working for a competitor or company with conflicting interest may be subject to immediate discharge. Employees may be allowed to hold outside employment or attend educational activities, if the activities do not interfere with the individual’s availability or job performance as determined in the reasonable judgment or management.
• Failure to notify Guard-Systems of any charge or conviction of a misdemeanor or felony arrest on or off duty.
• Violation of uniform standards, including wearing of improper or incomplete uniform or wearing an unclean or damaged uniform.
• Allowing friends or relatives or others to visit the job site.
• Causing damage, allowing damage to occur, or needlessly exposing client or company property to damage through carelessness, negligence or intentional acts.
• Willingly allowing another person to commit a crime at a job site.
• Impersonating a law enforcement officer.
• Soliciting a loan from any client employee or visitor.
• Fraternization with client employees, tenants, or visitors.
• Smoking on client’s premises.
• Pins, insignias, logos, buttons, patches, devices or visible tattoos that have not been authorized in writing by Guard-Systems’ management may not worn.
• Electronic devices, games, televisions, radios, media players and recorders are not permitted to be used on the post while on duty.
• Personal cell phones are not to be used while on duty unless it is used exclusively for Guard-Systems business or in case of emergencies.
• Failure to properly fill-out and fax in on time BI-Weekly and Daily Timesheets.
• Failure to complete Break/Lunch sign IN and OUT.
• No reading, loafing, or any other behavior that is unprofessional.
As mentioned, most clients have their own additional important information that they have included in their binder. You must read and become familiar with it.
BY WRITING AND SIGNING YOUR NAME BELOW YOU ASSERT THAT YOU HAVE READ, UNDERSTOOD, AND AGREE TO FOLLOW ALL THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS POST ORDER:
QUESTIONS/CONCERNS ABOUT THIS INFORMATION
Call corporate office at 310 919 8780
Mr. Scott Dinnerman is President of Excalibur Agency, a Los Angeles based security guard company serving a wide array of clients, including several Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller, local businesses. With over twenty years of experience, Mr. Dinnerman has worked for the largest security guard firms in the country, both as an officer and in security management. Mr. Dinnerman has hired hundreds of security guards in Los Angeles and is always striving to make our community a safer place to live and work.
For more information on Los Angeles security guards, please visit http://www.securityguards-losangeles.com/