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Retail Loss Prevention Officer / Edition 1

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Overview

This book serves as an invaluable manual for the loss prevention officer working in the field of retail security, offering these professionals a series of actions and responses for every type of incident that may occur in a retail setting—the know-how of what, when, why, and how to react to particular situations and the consequences that may follow. All aspects of safety and security within the retail premise are covered detail—making this book an invaluable part of the retail security officer training curriculum. KEY TOPICS A seven-part organization covers specific material related to the criminal and civil; criminal law and the retail security officer; the retail loss prevention officer; emergencies, threats and hazards; alarms and inspections; and relevant topics of concern for the retail loss prevention department. For in-service retail security officers, retail operations managers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130394750
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The first recorded endeavor regarding retail security took place in England in about 1663 during the emergence of mercantile establishments. Specifically this consisted of a privately paid force of constables designed to patrol and protect business property at night. As the need arose, various private police groups began to concentrate and specialize by taking various forms as merchant police, dock police, and warehouse police. As paid organized police forces in the United States were beginning to appear during the mid-1800s, private security had its beginnings as a recognized entity when Alan Pinkerton formed a private security and detective agency specializing in investigative and security services on a nationwide basis.

Presently, within our society there are two broad areas of security and safety. The first is the legal or public sector, which includes the police, varied law enforcement agencies, and the prosecutors. These institutions along with the courts and corrections share a common goal to preserve the peace, prevent crime, and keep the community and its citizens safe. This public sector is commonly known as the criminal justice system.

Second, there is the private sector, which includes various contractual and proprietary types of private security, private investigators, executive protection and bodyguards, security alarm protection, and security consultants among others. They are employed by business and industry to protect the varied assets of a company. As an alternate to public law enforcement, there are thousands of private security companies that offer "contractual services" to business and industrial establishments. These services may include armed or unarmed personnel, with the hired officers attired in a uniform or not.

In addition, many firms employ their own security personnel as a means of more personal control and supervision. Such a security force can be tailored to a specific need or service. These "proprietary" security forces can encompass a one-person security unit up to a large security guard force that could include hundreds of officers.

For the police to provide protection for all the security needs of private business would entail large expenditures for police personnel, equipment, and ancillary services. The tax base would have to be enormous, and the general public would consider it excessive. Concerning private security, however, the cost of security protection is surreptitiously passed on to the public. Customers may not be aware that they pay for this security service along with loss by theft and damage as part of their purchase price. But if they were mindful of it, they would realize that the cost of service between a police officer and that of a security officer is great indeed. Along with salaries, benefits, and part-time employment, the cost to business in making use of private security is a cost benefit. Moreover, the possibility of conflicts could cause serious problems if there is a sense of favoritism by public officers toward one business over another.

As demands for police services along with their tasks are being increased daily, the need for protection in business and industry, and the community in general has heightened in proportions that are simply beyond the capabilities of the police alone. The focus on specialization and community policing has created a situation where police presence has been reduced in or toward the business community. In many areas of the country we find that the attention of the police has shifted from the prevention of crime to responding and investigating crimes that have already occurred. The businesses, in an attempt to secure and protect their investment, have turned to private security, so that they have some control over the losses they may suffer both internally and externally. Unfortunately, the cost of this control must be passed on to the consumer.

Because of its size in the workforce and the significance on business establishments, the security industry has drawn the attention of the legislatures, the courts, and the insurance sector. Although the security profession has become more refined technically and professionally in recent years, there are those instances where poor selfrestraint and legal considerations are many times neglected.

In the last few years, some states had come to the conclusion that there were too many instances in which security guards were involved in unlawful circumstances, and in many cases, instances where they had little or no training. Numerous situations have come about where guards who were hired had questionable backgrounds, some with very serious criminal histories and who were placed in sensitive security positions. Employers complained that poor selection and training led to an increase in civil liability and litigation, especially so in recent years as the public in general became more forthright and aware of their right to sue, and the protection of their civil rights in particular. Some of these states realized that in an effort to correct this problem there should be some type of background check and training for all security guards employed in that state.

Subsequently, a few legislators found it was in the state's interest to require proper screening and hiring of all security guards, with guards meeting minimum standards in recruitment, investigation, training, certification, and licensing. Security guard companies, guard schools, and instructors have also come under scrutiny and are now obligated to some type of minimum requirements and certification.

Fundamentally, these concerns produced legislation to some degree now found in many states, and affects all security guards, including security officers, loss prevention officers, store detectives, guard and watch companies both contractual and proprietary operating within that state's boundaries.

The author would be neglectful if one particular subject was not covered at this juncture. Those states that have established guidelines and regulations concerning the hiring, training and licensing of security guards are to be commended. However, in recent years the acceptable applicant pool for guards has been reduced because of several factors. The most important factor being low wages, which cause qualified applicants to look elsewhere and find better paying jobs. Entry-level guards with law enforcement or military background are becoming harder to attract because of these low wages and poor benefits.

In many parts of the country, security firms or proprietary guard services offer little more than the minimum wage to begin employment. Moreover, it is not unusual for security guard firms to fall into bankruptcy or be dissolved after attempting to renew a contract at a lower rate, and then failing.

Low pay equals low standards and as long as the business establishment accepts these lowered requirements, the profession will suffer. So it should not come as a surprise for businesses to hear of increasing talk about unionizing security officers and guards. There have been some inroads in the area of proprietary services with demands of better pay and benefits. Contractual security guard firms will surely follow as guards affiliate with each other for a common goal, especially when enhanced responsibilities are added and hi-tech services and equipment become the norm.

Because business and industry wish to pay as little as possible for security services, excessive competition becomes the standard behavior. Consequently, security firms competing with each other by bidding low for a contract, inevitably result in cutting insurance costs, overhead expenses, and guards' salaries. Because of this competition, the service and the quality of the people offered have remained stagnant, if not lowered. Businesses that attempt to employ guards above the average in education and training soon discover that they may be able to get the "best offered" for the "cheapest price:" Unfortunately, in an effort to cut costs and save money, a business soon learns that the security guards offered are poorly educated and trained, meet minimum dress standards, care less for their responsibilities, have little job satisfaction, and have limited loyalty to anyone.

As we have seen during the latter part of 2001, there has been a failure of appropriate safety in airport security checks of airline passengers. Many states have no restrictions or regulations concerning security guards, and until recently there had been no central agency that controls security guards employed at our airport terminals. Because of public exposure of the poorly trained guard at these locations since 9/11, the federal government has taken steps to federalize, train, regulate, and set a wage standard that will attract a higher level of applicant. However, the rest of the industry has failed to encourage the need for broad national or state requirements of trained security officers.

In the State of New York, which has licensing and training requirements for security officers, the New York Security Guard Advisory Council, whose members include security professionals in the field, are attempting to elevate the security industry as a whole. In effect, the council is considering the possibility of a "super guard" designation that would guarantee to businesses an officer with above average capabilities. Wackenhut Security, a national security firm, offers business corporations "traditional," "upscale," and "custom" security officers, with each designation guaranteeing different levels of training and background. Unfortunately, most businesses at this time choose the "traditional" guard and its lower cost.

Today, technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Along with the ever-changing needs of our society and the possibility of loss due to numerous threats or risks, the security officer must be familiar with a vast category of rules, requirements, services, and criminal and civil law that the sworn police officer never had to experience fifty years ago.

Regulation has given rise to the standards of a security guard. The time of the "warm body" assigned to a fixed post and who is of no use when called upon has been relegated to the past. Business has come to realize, though somewhat slowly, that an inept and poorly trained security guard causes more problems financially and imagewise than not. As responsibility, training, certification, and ethical conduct become the norm, effective security officers will be well regarded and sought after, and the security profession will certainly attain compensation commensurate to their abilities and worth.

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Table of Contents

I. LAW AND LIABILITY.

1. Civil Liability.

2. Criminal Law and Liability.

3. Criminal and Civil Litigation.

II. CRIMINAL LAW AND THE RETAIL LOSS PREVENTION OFFICER.

1. Legal Powers and Limitations.

2. Applicable Laws and Alternative Charges.

III. THE RETAIL LOSS PREVENTION OFFICER.

1. Loss Prevention Defined—Process, Administration and Achievement.

2. Risk Analysis and Threat Potential.

3. Investigative Techniques.

4. Loss Prevention Contractual Services.

5. Other Responsibilities and Considerations.

IV. RETAIL THEFT—EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL.

1. The Shoplifter—Profile and Characteristics.

2. Primary Rules in Determining Probable Cause in a Shoplifting Arrest and Detention.

3. The Dishonest Employee.

4. External Crimes and Frauds.

5. Loss Prevention and Control—Tactics and Procedures.

V. EMERGENCIES, THREATS AND HAZARDS.

1. Natural, Accidental and Man—made Emergencies and Disasters.

2. Terrorism and Other Business Threats.

3. Infectious and Health Hazards.

4. Accidental Injuries and Illnesses.

5. Strikes, Violence, Unruly Persons and Crowds.

VI. ALARMS AND INSPECTIONS.

1. Burglar, Fire and Sprinkler Alarm Systems.

2. Fire Inspections and Testing.

3. Alarm Systems Response.

4. Alarm Records.

VII. RELEVANT TOPICS OF CONCERN FOR THE RETAIL LOSS PREVENTION DEPARTMENT.

1. Report Writing—Preparation, Maintenance and Significance.

2. Training—Employee Requirements and the Loss Prevention Manager's Role.

Appendices.

Glossary.

Websites of Interest.

Selected References.

Index.

Tables and Graphs.

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Preface

The first recorded endeavor regarding retail security took place in England in about 1663 during the emergence of mercantile establishments. Specifically this consisted of a privately paid force of constables designed to patrol and protect business property at night. As the need arose, various private police groups began to concentrate and specialize by taking various forms as merchant police, dock police, and warehouse police. As paid organized police forces in the United States were beginning to appear during the mid-1800s, private security had its beginnings as a recognized entity when Alan Pinkerton formed a private security and detective agency specializing in investigative and security services on a nationwide basis.

Presently, within our society there are two broad areas of security and safety. The first is the legal or public sector, which includes the police, varied law enforcement agencies, and the prosecutors. These institutions along with the courts and corrections share a common goal to preserve the peace, prevent crime, and keep the community and its citizens safe. This public sector is commonly known as the criminal justice system.

Second, there is the private sector, which includes various contractual and proprietary types of private security, private investigators, executive protection and bodyguards, security alarm protection, and security consultants among others. They are employed by business and industry to protect the varied assets of a company. As an alternate to public law enforcement, there are thousands of private security companies that offer "contractual services" to business and industrial establishments. These services may include armed or unarmed personnel, with the hired officers attired in a uniform or not.

In addition, many firms employ their own security personnel as a means of more personal control and supervision. Such a security force can be tailored to a specific need or service. These "proprietary" security forces can encompass a one-person security unit up to a large security guard force that could include hundreds of officers.

For the police to provide protection for all the security needs of private business would entail large expenditures for police personnel, equipment, and ancillary services. The tax base would have to be enormous, and the general public would consider it excessive. Concerning private security, however, the cost of security protection is surreptitiously passed on to the public. Customers may not be aware that they pay for this security service along with loss by theft and damage as part of their purchase price. But if they were mindful of it, they would realize that the cost of service between a police officer and that of a security officer is great indeed. Along with salaries, benefits, and part-time employment, the cost to business in making use of private security is a cost benefit. Moreover, the possibility of conflicts could cause serious problems if there is a sense of favoritism by public officers toward one business over another.

As demands for police services along with their tasks are being increased daily, the need for protection in business and industry, and the community in general has heightened in proportions that are simply beyond the capabilities of the police alone. The focus on specialization and community policing has created a situation where police presence has been reduced in or toward the business community. In many areas of the country we find that the attention of the police has shifted from the prevention of crime to responding and investigating crimes that have already occurred. The businesses, in an attempt to secure and protect their investment, have turned to private security, so that they have some control over the losses they may suffer both internally and externally. Unfortunately, the cost of this control must be passed on to the consumer.

Because of its size in the workforce and the significance on business establishments, the security industry has drawn the attention of the legislatures, the courts, and the insurance sector. Although the security profession has become more refined technically and professionally in recent years, there are those instances where poor selfrestraint and legal considerations are many times neglected.

In the last few years, some states had come to the conclusion that there were too many instances in which security guards were involved in unlawful circumstances, and in many cases, instances where they had little or no training. Numerous situations have come about where guards who were hired had questionable backgrounds, some with very serious criminal histories and who were placed in sensitive security positions. Employers complained that poor selection and training led to an increase in civil liability and litigation, especially so in recent years as the public in general became more forthright and aware of their right to sue, and the protection of their civil rights in particular. Some of these states realized that in an effort to correct this problem there should be some type of background check and training for all security guards employed in that state.

Subsequently, a few legislators found it was in the state's interest to require proper screening and hiring of all security guards, with guards meeting minimum standards in recruitment, investigation, training, certification, and licensing. Security guard companies, guard schools, and instructors have also come under scrutiny and are now obligated to some type of minimum requirements and certification.

Fundamentally, these concerns produced legislation to some degree now found in many states, and affects all security guards, including security officers, loss prevention officers, store detectives, guard and watch companies both contractual and proprietary operating within that state's boundaries.

The author would be neglectful if one particular subject was not covered at this juncture. Those states that have established guidelines and regulations concerning the hiring, training and licensing of security guards are to be commended. However, in recent years the acceptable applicant pool for guards has been reduced because of several factors. The most important factor being low wages, which cause qualified applicants to look elsewhere and find better paying jobs. Entry-level guards with law enforcement or military background are becoming harder to attract because of these low wages and poor benefits.

In many parts of the country, security firms or proprietary guard services offer little more than the minimum wage to begin employment. Moreover, it is not unusual for security guard firms to fall into bankruptcy or be dissolved after attempting to renew a contract at a lower rate, and then failing.

Low pay equals low standards and as long as the business establishment accepts these lowered requirements, the profession will suffer. So it should not come as a surprise for businesses to hear of increasing talk about unionizing security officers and guards. There have been some inroads in the area of proprietary services with demands of better pay and benefits. Contractual security guard firms will surely follow as guards affiliate with each other for a common goal, especially when enhanced responsibilities are added and hi-tech services and equipment become the norm.

Because business and industry wish to pay as little as possible for security services, excessive competition becomes the standard behavior. Consequently, security firms competing with each other by bidding low for a contract, inevitably result in cutting insurance costs, overhead expenses, and guards' salaries. Because of this competition, the service and the quality of the people offered have remained stagnant, if not lowered. Businesses that attempt to employ guards above the average in education and training soon discover that they may be able to get the "best offered" for the "cheapest price:" Unfortunately, in an effort to cut costs and save money, a business soon learns that the security guards offered are poorly educated and trained, meet minimum dress standards, care less for their responsibilities, have little job satisfaction, and have limited loyalty to anyone.

As we have seen during the latter part of 2001, there has been a failure of appropriate safety in airport security checks of airline passengers. Many states have no restrictions or regulations concerning security guards, and until recently there had been no central agency that controls security guards employed at our airport terminals. Because of public exposure of the poorly trained guard at these locations since 9/11, the federal government has taken steps to federalize, train, regulate, and set a wage standard that will attract a higher level of applicant. However, the rest of the industry has failed to encourage the need for broad national or state requirements of trained security officers.

In the State of New York, which has licensing and training requirements for security officers, the New York Security Guard Advisory Council, whose members include security professionals in the field, are attempting to elevate the security industry as a whole. In effect, the council is considering the possibility of a "super guard" designation that would guarantee to businesses an officer with above average capabilities. Wackenhut Security, a national security firm, offers business corporations "traditional," "upscale," and "custom" security officers, with each designation guaranteeing different levels of training and background. Unfortunately, most businesses at this time choose the "traditional" guard and its lower cost.

Today, technology is advancing at a rapid pace. Along with the ever-changing needs of our society and the possibility of loss due to numerous threats or risks, the security officer must be familiar with a vast category of rules, requirements, services, and criminal and civil law that the sworn police officer never had to experience fifty years ago.

Regulation has given rise to the standards of a security guard. The time of the "warm body" assigned to a fixed post and who is of no use when called upon has been relegated to the past. Business has come to realize, though somewhat slowly, that an inept and poorly trained security guard causes more problems financially and imagewise than not. As responsibility, training, certification, and ethical conduct become the norm, effective security officers will be well regarded and sought after, and the security profession will certainly attain compensation commensurate to their abilities and worth.

Read More Show Less

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