Career Link: Role of the Officer in Charge of Protective Forces

Officer in Charge, Protective Forces – Armed

The Officer in Charge, Protective Forces -- Armed is accountable for most of the armed physical security personnel for the company. The position also helps evaluate, recommend and implement physical security requirements based on site location and function. The officer and staff are the first responders to any physical threat, but are also the first contact that site staff and guests encounter entering and exiting the facility, requiring excellent interpersonal skills that reflect well on the company and staff. The Officer in Charge also interacts with local law enforcement and others to stay abreast of current and perceived threats to the organization and staff. The position ensures proper staffing levels, equipment needs and efficiencies, and training of staff in appropriate enforcement techniques.

Job Description:

  • Under general direction, supervises the personnel engaged in the Protective Forces function for the company.
  • This position would have armed guard force accountabilities.
  • Supervises the day-to-day shift operations of the department.
  • Supervises the equipment used by personnel, investigates unusual incidents and directs activities at emergencies.
  • Assists in the development and implementation of access and perimeter control operational procedures, conveying and verifying security requirements.
  • Implements corrective actions and upgrades to the physical and technical security posture of the company. Identifies and recommends electronic access control equipment designed to detect unauthorized entry into facilities or property.
  • Supervises assigned personnel in guard areas, initiates corrective actions, and completes daily activity reports.
  • Directs personnel responsible for electronic and physical security systems, evaluates performance, and develops processes and procedures to minimize risks.
  • Ensures safety of personnel by checking and monitoring all equipment in guard areas.
  • Updates post orders, accounts for security seals, and supervises vehicle inspections.
  • Participates in Emergency Response operational plans and related activities as required.
  • Coordinates security requirements and participates in security planning of various on-site construction projects.
  • Participates in Protective Force administrative and operational matters with management, union officials, local law enforcement and clients/customers to ensure continuity of operations.
  • When necessary, supervises the handling of demonstrators and perpetrators.
  • Supervises the activities of and provides leadership direction to the professional, technical and support staff within the organizational unit.

Qualification Guidelines:

High school diploma or equivalent and more than eight years of progressive experience in the armed forces security, military police, law enforcement, or public- or private-sector security organization. Must meet any physical requirements for defensive combat protective personnel. Also must qualify with weapons and have a background, which would not preclude a security clearance granted.

About the authors: Jerry Brennan and Steve Walker are co-authors of the book Security Careers, published by the Security Executive Council. Mr. Brennan is founder of SMR Group, a job-finding resource for security executives. Mr. Walker is partner in leading compensation consulting and research firm Foushee Group Inc. Both are content expert faculty for the Council.
A new edition of Security Careers has just been released that includes more than 70 security job descriptions and career paths; up-to-date compensation trends for each position; tips on how to get the best compensation for yourself and your staff; comprehensive lists of certifications, member organizations and job resources; and resume tips and samples. For more information, visit the website of the Security Executive Council.

The information in this article is copyrighted and reprinted with permission of the Security Executive Council. All rights reserved.

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