Security officers often arrive at scenes that are highly chaotic and emotionally charged. For example, perhaps you work in a mall and someone has just stolen goods from one of the stores, pushed down a store employee, and then escaped. It's important for you to not only remain calm and take control of the scene, but also ensure that there's no threat to yourself or to others. In many cases, someone who poses a threat will have fled, but this isn't always what you'll encounter. Being vigilant about assessing those around you can often indicate that a threat is present. Here are some things to look for as you scan the crowd.
People Speaking In Raised Voices
At a stressful scene, one way that you can look for a threat is to assess those who are speaking with raised voices. Raised voices don't always indicate a threat — someone may just be extremely anxious and is speaking louder than usual as a result. However, a raised voice can also indicate that someone is getting aggressive, and that the scene could boil over any minute. Listen for those who are speaking in raised voices and pay attention to what they're saying. If the message is aggressive in nature, you'll need to quickly intervene.
Someone Appearing To Evade You
It's possible that you'll arrive on a scene in which the perpetrator or an accomplice is still present. In some cases, this person will try to evade you, often by attempting to blend into the crowd. As you scan the people in front of you, look for those who are acting in an evasive manner. Perhaps they're avoiding eye contact, turning away when you call them, or attempting to hide behind other people or structures. Such a person bears further investigation to ensure that he or she isn't a threat.
Someone Is Moving Too Quickly
Quick actions can often indicate a threat, either against you or against someone else around you. Even in a chaotic scene, you'll often be able to tell when someone is moving quicker than others. This is especially a concern if this person is moving toward you quickly or directly toward someone else. This is a time to react rapidly by confronting the person, identifying yourself as a security officer, and ensuring that the person doesn't commit any aggressive actions. Your quick awareness with any of these three threatening signs can help to control the situation.
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