3 Responsibilities of Warehouse Security Officers

merchandise warehouses

Businesses in America lose approximately $50 billion each year due to theft.
That’s why it’s such common practice for business owners to hire security officers to protect their property.
However, security employees aren’t there to just stand around and be intimidating. They also have other responsibilities that many people aren’t aware of.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about what your security should be doing.

1. Surveillance Monitoring and Regulation Enforcement

This task is typical of those in a security officer role. You’ll also often see security officers on television monitoring security cameras.
But, true surveillance monitoring involves much more than staring at a screen and waiting for criminals to break in.
In addition to keeping track of security camera footage and making sure the equipment is functioning correctly, security officers are also tasked with patrolling the exterior of the warehouse.
Security officers who make their physical presence known will serve as a significant deterrent to would-be criminals, which is something that cameras on their own can’t always do.
These employees are also in charge of granting or denying access to the warehouse or surrounding property. This is a crucial responsibility that prevents unauthorized individuals from being able to come in contact with the warehouse’s inventory.
When granting access to approved persons, security officers are responsible for escorting them to the appropriate location. They’re also responsible for directing drivers and documenting the interactions between employees and visitors.
As part of their surveillance routine, these employees also keep an eye out for things like damaged goods and hazardous conditions that could result in damage to property or physical harm.
The security officer can be thought of as the “glue” that holds warehouse operations together and keep everything running smoothly.

2. Handling Violators

If a facility is well-protected, it’s unlikely that any problems will arise. But, regardless of how well a security officer performs their role, issues can and will arise from time to time.
While it’s the officer’s job to handle these problems, the solution isn’t always a simple one-step process (such as telling someone to leave the property).
Possible complications include:

The way in which officers deal with violators is dependent upon the facility’s policies.
Some facilities allow guards to detain violators so long as the situation reasonably allows them to do so. For example, it’s not appropriate to immediately detain someone who simply wanders into a restricted area.
But, it would be allowed to detain someone who’s attempted to break into the facility or steal goods.
Some facilities, however, implement a solely “hands-off” approach to rule enforcement, meaning officers aren’t allowed to handle violation with physical force under most circumstances.
While this may make dealing with aggressive violators more difficult, it allows the officer to attempt to deescalate the situation and reduce the opportunity that anyone gets hurt.
As a rule of thumb, security officers should contact local authorities when they encounter significant violations rather than attempt to immediately intervene.
For example, if an officer is monitoring live security footage and observes a group of individuals climbing a fence into a restricted area, they should call law enforcement before confronting the violators.
This will prevent the situation from escalating and also avoid putting the officer’s safety at risk, which is something that should always be prioritized.

3. Investigation and Reporting

Security officers’ responsibilities aren’t limited to handling problems as they occur. Sometimes, they’ll encounter an issue that happened earlier in their shift without their knowledge.
While there are endless scenarios that could occur, common situations that officers may encounter are:

  • Damage to gates/fences around the facility
  • Damage to the facility itself (broken windows, broken locks, etc.)
  • Missing or damaged inventory

Since the officer was not able to witness the crime, they’ll have to figure out what happened on their own.
By checking security footage, investigating the surrounding area, and piecing together evidence, they’ll be able to come with a general idea of what happened.
Let’s take a look at a brief example.
David is patrolling his facility at 2 AM one morning. He notices a suspicious vehicle parked on the far side of the property on the outside of the facility’s protective barbed wire fence.
As he approaches the vehicle, he notices that someone has used a tool to cut through the fence and gain access to the property. 
Thinking quickly, he uses his flashlight to view the license plate number of the vehicle before heading back to the warehouse. He calls local law enforcement on the way.
After checking the surrounding area, he finds that someone had unsuccessfully attempted to break into the back door of the warehouse. He then interviews each employee present to see if they saw or heard anything.
In this scenario, David’s investigation and report that he compiled could greatly assist law enforcement in locating and apprehending the criminal.
While this scenario involved an attempted break-in, the same strategy could be applied to missing inventory, internal conflicts, etc.

Security Officers Are Valuable Assets

And they’ll make sure that your property stays safe.
With the above information about security officers in mind, you’ll know exactly what to look for when hiring a professional.
Want to learn more tips about warehouse security? Make sure to check out the rest of our blog!

About OPS

OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, contact us!

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