What to Look for When Hiring a Mobile Patrol Service
Patrol services are among the fastest growing security services in the industry, and that is due to the proven effectiveness of the approach. No other security approach can achieve the coverage and response times that a mobile patrol service can. Since many security companies offer these services, and each employs different equipment and techniques, choosing the right service can be a great challenge. With that in mind, let us consider what to look for when hiring mobile security services.
Availability and Response Times
Availability is arguably the most important characteristic of patrol. Mobile security guards should at least be available during the times coverage required, but ideally, the service should be available around-the-clock throughout the year because coverage needs may change. Another crucial aspect is response time. When a problem is identified, how long on average will it take a security officer to call law enforcement or alert a manager or business owner? All security companies have this data available based on performance with current and past clients. Ask for it.
Patrol Frequency and Randomness
Determine the frequency of the mobile patrol within the coverage period. Coverage may be provided for an 8-hour period overnight, but actual coverage is very different if the company guarantees one pass every hour than if they guarantee one pass every 15 minutes. Another issue is randomness, which helps to avoid predictability of mobile patrol services. Ideally, randomness should be determined by patrol software rather than the security officer or a person at the central station.
GPS Tracking and Reporting Capabilities
Every patrol vehicle should have GPS tracking, and if the patrol is on foot or bicycle, then the security guards should have a GPS device on their persons. This is for their protection but also so that the client has access to proof that the service is providing the coverage being paid for. Officers should also have access to advanced reporting capabilities so that they can keep comprehensive logs of their patrols, which will be of great use to law enforcement and insurance companies in the event of an incident.
A mobile patrol can be an excellent deterrent, but the effectiveness of that deterrence depends greatly on the presence of the patrol. It is for this reason that the top security guard companies uniform their guards, choose vehicles with strong statures, such as SUVs, and equip them with hardware such as LED lights and halogen spotlights. Remember that patrol officers should be kind and respectful at all times, but they should also be able to provide an intimidation factor when necessary.
Guard Training and Ongoing Education
More crucial than the ability to intimidate is the ability to perform under pressure. That kind of performance requires extensive training, which is why the top security guard companies train their employees on an ongoing basis. Officers should possess a current security license, but they should also have modern, relevant certifications. Keep in mind that security best practices change, and a state security license does not necessarily reflect the pinnacle of that knowledge and techniques.