Michael Lamoureaux, Managing Director Security at Servest Group, discusses the evolution of the security officer role.
“The days of security officers being perceived as low-skilled are numbered. Thanks to improved guard training and screening of potential employees and advances in technology, combined with increased threat levels and demands on delivering a better guest experience, the industry is seeing the dawn of the new security officer.
“These professional, focused and highly skilled and trained officers use technology to vastly enhance the service they deliver.
“They pilot control panels with a host of IP-connected digital applications that include closed circuit television (CCTV), life and fire safety systems, and remote online access control systems.
“They receive real-time updates to assignment instructions via electronic communication.
“And they are actively seeking and locating potential threats to client’s assets using technologically-advanced surveillance systems that feature high tech full-motion, real-time enhanced imaging capabilities. This allows them to identify potential threats quickly and discretely, without causing panic or general disruption.
“All of this is a far cry from 10 years ago, when, to keep up the appearance of adequate security, organisations bought set weekly hours of cover with a swelled guarding provision when needed.
“As an industry, we need to provide this new breed of security officer with state-of-the-art training to ensure they are ready, able and motivated to take on the numerous daily challenges they face and that they are optimally deployed, responsible and accountable.
“In the past, training has been hampered by security officers’ a typical working hours and remote locations. Classroom training has been both prohibitively expensive and a logistical challenge. But that’s changing.
The vast majority of today’s security officers are avid computer-users, so online training and development programmes, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated, are a simple solution to educate, empower and connect them to the wider industry.
“Training becomes instantly accessible, allowing security officers to view the industry as a career, not just a job, where they can progress and be rewarded for their efforts. No longer does a guard behind a desk feel isolated and disengaged. Instead, online training can allow them to progress up though the ranks to shift and site supervisor positions and beyond, learning new skills and techniques to keep them motivated to go that extra mile.
“In return, an average wage and a clean uniform is no longer enough compensation. Today’s officers receive competitive wages and comprehensive benefits alongside their award-winning training. And, there are extensive recruiting efforts to identify quality applicants, plus retention and recognition programs designed to keep them motivated and focused on going the extra mile.
“Our customers’expectations of the security service are simple – to provide safe and secure facilities, while delivering an enhanced guest experience. An investment in comprehensive security technology, married with continuous development programmes, is the most effective way of delivering service excellence. A security officer is a career for life, not just a job.”
Michael began his career in the industry as a security officer some 18 years ago and quickly progressed through the ranks, holding senior management positions for SME and PLC businesses and delivering total security solutions across various sectors.
Michael has achieved numerous successes in his career ranging from significant business growth by understanding Servest’s customers’ needs to the delivery of service excellence. He is passionate about service delivery and exceeding customers’ expectations while focusing on engaging with the team at every level.
His ambition is to develop Servest’s security division to be a top 5 provider while having the most highly motivated team delivering and exceeding Servest’s clients’ expectations.
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