Recent years have brought security patrol techniques and technology that increases the effectiveness and efficiency for both the customer and patrol officer. These advances ensure that areas of concern are being checked, patrols routes are correctly aligned and the officer’s time is properly distributed.
Patrol has always been a part of the security business. From the very beginning the night watchman would walk around various properties to secure doors, check for unusual activity and be a visual deterrent. Not much has changed in the duties but a lot has changed in the technology of how he performs and reports those duties.
When I first got in the business, patrol officers had a sheet of paper that listed all the properties and another sheet that had specific tasks for each. The officer would fill out each sheet and slide it under the property manager’s door nightly. The manager could then see what time the officer was there and if there was anything out of the ordinary each morning. As you may imagine, and because of human nature, after several nights or months of the same “nothing to report” or “all secure” over and over again both the officer and manager lose interest and things start to slip.
Everyone has the same issue, do more with less, and property managers are no different. No one has the time or desire to review the same nothing report every day. Security is used at a property for several reasons but one critical function is to inform the manager if something is wrong with their property when they are away. And do it promptly.
This is why the electronic real-time reporting systems have gained in popularity and are so critical to both a security officer and property manager.
At ACT Security Group we have a system that directs officers to specific tasks on a property each night and then reports any abnormalities to the property manager. Time-stamped pictures are also taken at every visit to provide documented proof of the officer’s rounds, a visualization of an issue as well as back-up evidence to an incident.
Property managers have the option of setting up issues that are emailed to them instantly, depending on the severity, or having them logged and categorized for later retrieval. This way they only receive the information that is critical and needs action or attention and eliminates the need to review all reports daily. All of this is a huge time savings for managers with multiple properties and very convenient for managers who are not on site as these reports can also be forwarded on to other contractors or fellow employees for follow up.
For us it effectively monitors the officer’s time so we can realign routes, reducing wasted travel or fuel consumption and minimize vehicle maintenance costs. It also alerts us to trends or incidents that may need additional attention. All of this ultimately increases productivity by creating a manageable workload for everyone.