At a mall, the armed security officers play an instrumental role in keeping shoppers safe and supporting retailers. If you've recently been hired to work in this capacity, your training and on-the-job experience will help you excel. While it's vitally important to remember your training but also trust your instincts and your fellow security officers, there are some things that you should avoid doing. Failing to do so may unnecessarily complicate your job and perhaps even lead to disciplinary issues. Here are three things not to do:
Stereotype Against Mall Visitors
Although most people like to think that they don't stereotype against others, the reality is that doing so can be easy to do. And, when you're tasked with preventing criminal actions such as shoplifting, you might allow yourself to accidentally stereotype someone. Doing so might just feel as though you're being vigilant, but it may also lead to problems. For example, if you see someone who appears to be homeless enter a store, part of you may think to approach the person and ask what he or she is doing. However, while it's true that some homeless people might shoplift, others will use money gathered from panhandling to buy products.
Use Excessive Force
As a mall security officer, you'll occasionally need to detain suspects. In these adrenaline-pumping moments, you need to be sure that you exercise control — especially when you're armed. It may be human nature to want to use excessive force, especially if a suspect has attacked you or someone else, but doing so is not within your job description. In most cases, your job is to detain the suspect until the local police can arrive on the scene. While you can use force to detain the person, such as holding his or her arm, you must never do so in an excessive manner.
Making assumptions when you work in mall security is another poor idea. As you patrol your area and notice various things, try to avoid making assumptions. For example, if you're outside behind the mall and notice that an access door is open, it might be natural to assume that someone is making a delivery. However, another possibility is that a thief has broken open the door and is in the process of stealing items from a store's storage area. If you don't assume anything, you'll feel compelled to thoroughly investigate the scene to ensure that everything is all right.
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