Changing of the Guards: How the Private Security Industry is Evolving
The global private security industry is worth $7 billion a year, yet it remains largely unregulated. The role the security personnel play in people’s lives can’t be overemphasized since they outnumber sworn police officers. It was the threat of terrorism after the 9/11 attacks that raised awareness of the role these security personnel play.
They’re very crucial in sharing intelligence details with law enforcers. As such, there’s a need for states to strengthen the minimum standards and requirements in the sector. One thing that has come out clearly over the years is the need for increased training.
Private security officers need to be empowered beyond interacting with the police. While most of them don’t carry weapons, their interaction with the public is wanting. Poor oversight and little accountability of the industry have led to some of the problems in the sector.
Fortunately, there’ve been efforts to revolutionize the industry. Let’s have a look at some of the things that are happening.
1. Encouraging a Spirit of Learning
One way to motivate private security officers is to let them in on issues. It’s critical that they’re informed and trained on what goes on in the company and industry they’re employed. Every security company has the responsibility of doing basic orientation to the officers.
Providing an employee handbook is a good measure, but not sufficient. They get a better understanding of their job roles when they’re on site. This initial training is crucial.
It forms the basis of establishing the expectations and habits of a professional officer. Besides, the officers need to embrace a culture of reading about a variety of topics. When contracted by a company, they’ve got to understand the contractor’s business and how it works.
Training to Partner with Robots
Concerning the spirit of learning comes period training that security personnel has to undergo. Part of the training entails partnering with robots. Although this training has just started, the next generation will need to have expertise in dealing with robots.
About 500 robots have been deployed worldwide for use in physical security. Three primary purposes of robots will be
- Outdoor robots on the ground for deterrence
- Indoor robots for real-time response
- Outdoor drones for use in the sky
A large part of making their use successful lies in training the security personnel. They need to become familiar with the systems, then use their tools as force multipliers. A lot of change in management is also required.
In training, there needs to be a lot of change management. The trainers should set realistic expectations for what the robots can achieve. They can then iterate and refine these expectations over time.
As technology becomes perfected and training advances, robots and humans will make great teams. Humans will bring their unique benefits to the team while robots bring their own. One advantage of robots is that they can work with unwavering attention and dedication.
They quickly detect spills and leas, hear with precise clarity, and see well in the dark. It’s all about exploiting the capabilities of each and marrying them for the benefit of the security sector.
2. Education Is Important
In the past, the level of education for security officers was not given so much importance. Currently, there’s a promotion of the notion that they need to be educated. Well, they don’t necessarily need to have a Bachelor’s degree, but they should enjoy continual learning.
The key lies in changing the mindset of the personnel from being mere guards to professional security officers. It’s about drawing a balance between educated and uneducated staff. Companies would rather hire uneducated but dedicated officers than educated ones who don’t care about their roles.
3. Technological Advancement and Applications
Today, the security sector can employ various technology-based applications to enhance their roles. In the market, there are license-plate recognition cameras, integrated biometric access control systems, and robot guard versions. Other methods are based on cloud, mobile, and drone technologies.
The primary concept in technological approach is the mobile, real-time ability to track, deliver, and prove the supply of security services. The smartphone was previously considered the biggest distraction for security guards. Today, it has become a primary tool in the security toolkit.
They now use smartphones to take photos, record videos, create and send reports, and respond to alarms. This has contributed to an enhanced response to security issues.
4. Changes in the Workforce
A large portion of the workforce that is operating the technological gadgets is young and more tech-savvy. Although it seemed like a sector reserved for the old, more millennials are entering the workforce. It can be a challenge for employers to keep them engaged and productive.
Retaining their new and young skills is only possible if the systems are up-to-date and based on solving problems. They perform better when using technology-based systems than pen and paper.
5. Changes in Client Expectations
As the approach to security solutions and workforce evolve, client expectations are also changing. As the systems become more sophisticated, so do the expectations of those who need security solutions. The demand for a real-time solution has made unmonitored patrols, paper-based reports, and other legacy systems obsolete.
The significant shifts in client expectations are towards real-time mobile workforce management systems. These systems determine how well private security personnel can continue delivering services to demanding clients.
Private Security – Final Thoughts
The private security sector is a big industry that employs more personnel than the armed forces sector. The sector has, in the past, been faced with challenges that have inhibited its performance. The guards previously didn’t take their roles seriously, and they also seemed not to understand their influence on the market.
Luckily, stakeholders are embracing changes in the sector. Training is on a higher level; helping the personnel easily integrate into the companies they get employed. One of the main changes that are evident is the use of technological solutions to enhance security.
Clients’ expectations are changing, and with this, the security industry has to evolve to put up with the new expectations. Soon, private security officers will exhibit a higher level of professionalism and knowledge in what they do.
If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to our team.