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March 02, 2016

Protecting the security of an organization is a crucial element in the functionality and sustainability of a business. Typically, that responsibility falls to a company’s contracted guard force. Critical to their success is having a central command leader who can oversee the operation and manage resources when threats arise. Who to put in that position is a question CSOs and others grapple with often. Many companies employ a third-party Guard Force Manager for this role and there are several benefits to doing so.

Blue uniformed shoulder of a security guard force protection person.


Why a Third-Party Guard Force Manager

Every situation is unique, though they often share some elements of similarity. A guard force manager evaluates the entire security and protection landscape and create a management plan to encompass all aspects. This position ensures the element of stability within the entire guard force that is deployed. Regardless of the service longevity of contracted team or individual security guard professionals, the guard force manager remains in place at the epicenter of the total operation. 

This position can be filled a number of ways, however, diligent corporations and organizations tend to seek top security and protection agencies to provide the services of a contracted third party guard force manager for this highly specialized and important role. Within a company or organization, the oversight title is currently moving away from the traditional Head of Security. That person may very often now be called the Director of Security – or Head of Facility. That position can also be part of the Human Resources division of the firm. The person or team tasked with this responsibility will generally reach out to a protection and security agency for their expertise, and as the initial step, the agency will conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Based on that big-picture evaluation, the new guard force manager can begin implementing the desired recommendations, and making changes and improvements to what was previously in place. They will best determine the priorities and timeline to implement both the major and minor elements deemed necessary.


Standards, Motivation, Training, Responsiveness – and More

Once established in the guard force manager position, that security expert will move forward to develop standards and processes for a multitude of security and protection force items that fall into a few categories:

  • The hiring and recruitment aspects - including screening, benefits & salaries.
  • Training, monitoring, motivation & supervision.
  • Management of contracts – including duration & financial implications.
  • Ongoing monitoring – including the evaluation of performance, responsiveness, and professionalism.
  • Expansion that mirrors the growth of the company or organization appropriately.
  • Hardware and software incorporation based on need and advancement in security technology.

The Important Aspects of a Well-Functioning Guard Force

Training and clear post orders are the backbone of any security force. Like an NFL team, continuing training and instruction along with the development of the best game plans are the things that directly impact success. Maintaining a stable environment is twofold. The guard force helps maintain a stable environment within the company or organization, and to do so, creating a stable environment within the guard force is extremely necessary. 

The size of the force is determined based on government and industry standards. Additionally, first and foremost, all state and federal guard force regulations must be met. Industry standards that are more robust - and tend to go beyond the governmental ones - should be incorporated. Stakeholders’ insight and input will be sought, as will collaboration to ensure that nothing on the security and protection end impacts business in a negative way. The boundaries of authority of the guard force manager ranges, and is based off the company culture, but it is always kept in mind that the manager has a depth of knowledge and expertise to incorporate improvements into the system. An experienced guard force manager almost always initiates improvements that will result in budget reductions offsetting the cost of their contract for of the position – and more.


The Benefits of 3rd Party Guard Force Management

  1. Cost Effective
    1. Reallocation of costs to support Independent guard force manager.
    2. Auditing of guard force to ensure efficient and effective use of client resources.
    3. Implementation of technology rather than relying on traditional service lines.
    4. Traditional guard force turnover is over 70%, a dedicated guard force manager is a well-paid and highly trained individual who is career oriented and will remain with a client for the long run.
  2. Unbiased
    1. Third party support, unbiased opinions and increased transparency to the client.
  3. Expertise
    1. Relying on a vetted and experienced trusted risk advisor who has experience in the risk management industry.
    2. Incorporation of other risk management tools such as compressive risk assessments, TSCM, audits and protective intelligence.
  4. Efficiency
    1. Services are modular and can be site specific or include management of several facilities under one strategic guard force manager.
    2. Can also perform facilities functions, EHS, technology integration.
  5. Business Continuity
    1. Security vendor contracts change often; having an outsourced Guard Force Manager provide continuity in guiding the new teams

The Guard Force

Where do the best security and protection force individuals come from? Traditional uniform security officers come from a large cross section of the population. Some are just out of college, while others have a deep background in law enforcement. Young individuals starting their careers, along with retired military or police officers moving on to a new chapter in their professional life, all combine to create a typical composite force. 

In the improved and streamlined system created by the guard force manager, security professionals remain sharp even when having to perform some relatively redundant duties – like monitoring security camera screens, or maintaining a physical guard position. Motivation is addressed by recurring assignments to new sites or duties. Shifts are scheduled whenever possible to ensure change and a difference in potential patterns of sameness. The professional guard receives continuing training that includes the newest technology in development and implemented, and a structure is created that facilitates the ability to move beyond their current job, to areas like supervising training modules, and positions of higher responsibilities and authority.


The Best Approach

As one can see, the role of a guard force manager is substantial, overseeing all aspects of security and protection. Ideally, a guard force manager would come from the region in which the company they are guarding is located. Accordingly, the manager would have a relationship with the local law enforcement community and knowledge related to threats present in the region. When a guard force manager is provided by a security and protection agency, this contracted position is seamlessly embedded with the client whose force they govern. This 3rd party relationship is proven to be the best of all choices to establish and maintain top security and protection within a company or organization.

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