Things happen, sometimes they are small and sometimes they are so serious that law enforcement, EMS and fire departments get involved. When these happen Security Officers must know how to describe the situations in detail not only out loud but on paper as well. So, how would the officer write everything properly so that the next person reading it can get the grasp of the set by set process that took place, as if reading a book?
When an incident takes place there are specific things that the Security Officer must do and take note of. They will check the time, look at the place, and the people around. The officer will then scan for safety and take a mental note of the whole scene. They will check on the injured, assist the situation by calling emergency service, or it may be something completely different like a fight or argument which they can de-escalate. Incidents are never the same, they are always changing and can be multiple types, not all need emergency services, but each one must be taken seriously and have a report written about them.
There maybe many things that take place to make it hard to remember specific details, there may be emergency services coming and going, witnesses and crowds surrounding the area, and the whole situation can be a little crazy. But, this is why it is important for officers to carry notebooks! When things happen being prepared is the best idea in the world, the greatest gift to an officer is that little notebook, it will make the report process super easy, everything is pre-written, and ready to be wrote down correctly with no guessing on time frames.
It is not always a good idea to rely on your memory, somethings you will remember, such as where a person fell, their description, or vehicles; but time frames can be more complicated, so can names and exact interviews. Not everyone can remember the same things, some people can't remember what they wore last night, let alone what may have happen in detail just a few hours ago. It is extremely important to have a notebook so that nothing gets forgotten, and here's why... everything written in a report is a legal document! Incidents, accidents and crime scenes are all under the same legal status for paperwork. Everything that gets wrote down about what happen can be held as a witness statement in court, a Security Officer can be called to testify and that report that was written by them will be held in legal standing as a witness to that scene. Ensuring that it is correct is the most important thing that an officer can do for later reference.
So, how does the officer ensure it's correct and nothing missing. The 7 essentials are used; who, what, when, where, why, how and action taken. As long as it is written in chronological order, with those 7 essentials answered, the report will be complete, accurate and correct. When writing the officer will start from the time they arrived at the scene and end when they returned to normal duties. Take your time, never rush, if you need to complete the report after your shift when you can focus and not be interrupted do so. Reports will never be a quick paragraph, they will be sometimes so detailed and long it can consume 2 or 3 pages. This is fine, you can never write a report to long, the more details the better understanding the reader will have of what happen and the description of who was involved. Security Officers will, over time, become more antiquated and diligent with their reports, the first few times always have someone proof read your reports. You may have forgotten an important detail or didn't explain something clearly, always get a second set of eyes if someone is available from the company. If not remember your supervisor is going to look it over after each report anyway, if they call you to go over it, don't worry they may just want you to walk them through what happen.
We here at Professional Security make sure our students learn about how to write a proper report and even practice scenario writing so that each student understands and knows what to expect when they have their first incident experience on the job. Enroll for your class today! www.psiftmyers.com