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Mall security officers are always looking for new ways to improve their programs. It's challenging to monitor the security and safety of so many people in one place, and planning is necessary to see where resources will be needed in the future to better serve the public. Officers need to keep abreast of the ever-changing conditions that arise inside and outside malls. This will go a long way to help a security force deal with the many incidents they will encounter.
Have a post-orders binder available to all security personnel. It should have a clearly defined mission statement for the mall security department and list all of the duties required of the security officers. It is also wise to review its contents at least once a year, making updates as needed.
Add in-service training throughout the year on an as-needed basis. Cover new cultural trends and your area's crime statistics, gang population and dress fads. This will help security officers spot suspicious behavior during their daily tours.
Increase high visibility patrols to cut down on crime and be readily available to the public's needs. This is especially important in high-theft areas, food courts, employee entrances, parking lots and receiving docks.
Make sure you are operating a high-quality, digital-video-recorder system for camera surveillance. This will increase your ability to record clear video and still pictures of criminal activity to better help law enforcement.
Add extra security officers and police presence as part of a holiday shopper safety program. If that is not enough visual presence, lease or buy a SkyWatch or Segway. The SkyWatch is a guard tower that can be elevated for better surveillance, and the Segway is a highly mobile, two-wheeled patrol vehicle.
Enhance your emergency procedures by adding high-threat, criminal-activity training. Mall security should be aware of what to do when there is a shooter, hostage situation, bomb threat, abduction or rape.
Conduct periodic emergency drills, which should consist of tabletop and live exercises. If possible, include the mall's tenants in at least one after-hour live drill a year. Invite your local police and fire departments to participate in them as well.
Emergency-procedures training also should cover such events as a plane crash, hazardous materials exposure, a fire and natural disasters.
Security officers need to be aware of local laws concerning their authority after "observe and report" procedures. They need to know whether they can arrest suspects.
- Emergency-procedures training also should cover such events as a plane crash, hazardous materials exposure, a fire and natural disasters.
- Security officers need to be aware of local laws concerning their authority after "observe and report" procedures. They need to know whether they can arrest suspects.
Joe Gerz is a public safety writer in Arizona. His articles have appeared on eHow.com and Examiner.com. His career spanned 20-years in safety and security management. He wrote training and procedure manuals for 10 years starting in 1997. Gerz studied Criminal Justice at Phoenix Community College.