A violation of a client’s policies occurs when someone knowingly or unknowingly does not follow a client’s policies. Generally, this is considered a separate type of incident which can be distinguished from other types of incidents such as criminal activities that occur on the client’s property. The basic procedure to follow when dealing with someone who has violated a policy is:
1) Identify what policy has been violated. Attempt to deal with the violation immediately if possible.
2) Explain, to the person who violated the policy, the nature of the policy and the reason for the policy. Most people will comply if they understand the reason.
3) If they comply, then a simple entry in the log will suffice for most cases. It is a good idea to document all violations because the information can help the client when they consider altering policies or implemented new ones.
4) If you find evidence that a policy was violated, but you were not present when it occurred, then document the findings in an incident report.
5) If the person does not comply when asked, then follow the procedure for the Noncompliance Violation.
Noncompliance is a specific type of violation. Noncompliance occurs when an officer attempts to gain compliance for a policy, but the person violating the policy refuses to comply. All Noncompliance Violations should be reported in an incident report, because the person committing noncompliance may cause additional problems later. Therefore, the paper trail will document a history of a problem. The documentation may also be useful to the client when they review their policies. A policy may be out dated or unfair and the officer’s documentation will point out common patterns of behavior in response to policies.
People do not comply for a variety of reasons:
1) They want to be an exception to the rule.
2) They may be in a hurry, and, as a result, think or feel the policy does not matter.
3) They do not think the policy is valid.
4) They may not realize the importance of the policy.
5) They enjoy breaking rules or subverting authority.
6) They have some sort of criminal intent.
Gaining compliance is an important step in maintaining order and keeping a post safe and secure. Therefore, it is important to know and follow rules so as to set an example of reasonable conduct and fairness. Most people respect or, at least, will accept fair play. It is also important to be knowledgeable about rules and why they exist, so that they can be properly explained and enforced.
There are a variety of ways to gain compliance:
1) Explain the policy. This works for most people.
2) Explain the reason for the policy. This is more persuasive.
3) Explain the benefits of following the policy. This is a variation of the reason, but phrased so as to show the advantage for the specific person.
4) Explain the consequences of not complying. This is a negative approach that should only be used if other means fail.
Sometimes the person will comply, but they will file either a formal or informal complaint. Complaints are of two types:
In either case, the complaint should be logged and reported. Officers should understand the rules so they can determine whether or not the complaint is reasonable. An officer should always report complaints. However, an officer needs to remain objective. An officer should advise the person that they will report their concerns to help diffuse any unnecessary anger the person may have. The proper procedure follows:
1) Remain calm.
2) Listen carefully and take notes.
3) Explain the complaint back to ensure you understand their point of view.
4) Offer to let them write a complaint.
5) Offer to give them a contact to speak with if they wish.
6) Assure them you will report their complaint. Stay objective.
7) Report the complaint in an incident report.
Another related incident is when another officer violates a rule. These violations fall into two categories:
1) General policies that everyone must obey.
2) Specific policies that only concern security officers.
Security officers should set an example and not violate rules. However, violations can occur. An officer has a responsibility to report all violations regardless if it was committed by a co-worker, subordinate, or superior. Follow this procedure:
1) Advise them that they violated a policy and give them the opportunity to correct the error.
2) Report the incident to the supervisor. If the supervisor committed the violation, then report it up the chain of command. Go to Human Resources if the problem is not addressed by the ordinary chain of command.
3) Follow your orders concerning the incident.
4) Report in an incident report.