By Bobby Decker, Operations Specialist
Ensuring that your school security guards are outfitted correctly is very important. Prepared and properly equipped guards look sharper, behave more professionally, and are ready for the most scenarios possible. At Joffe, we take pride in giving our guards everything they need to succeed on any campus. Read on to learn some of the equipment we consider necessary for school security guards.
Culture-Appropriate Uniform: Perhaps the security company you partner with outfits guards in a company-wide uniform that just doesn’t fit your campus culture. As the client, it is absolutely your right to ask that what guards wear make sense for your community. Instead of a sort of police-style uniform, maybe a better fit for your school is something like a dark polo and dark pants.
Belts (Of All Kinds): Believe it or not, a fully-equipped security guard may wear multiple belts...at the same time! A simple black (or matching color) belt holds the pants up. On top of that, many guards wear a duty belt. This holds accessories (a flashlight and flashlight holder, for example, would go on a duty belt) and keeps gear easily accessible for quick usage.
Radios: All guards will probably have a cell phone on them, because guards are people too and who doesn’t carry a smartphone anymore? Regardless, on-job communication is simplest and most professional through radios. In an emergency, cell service may be interrupted, and having multiple channels available for discrete communicate will be crucial. Insisting on radio communication also limits the reasons guards may be on their phone, minimizing potential distraction from duty.
Caution Vests: If you’d like your guards to direct traffic, or serve as a crossing guard, it’s imperative that they have some sort of bright fluorescent vest or windbreaker to put on. You may need other equipment like stop/slow signs, but this sort of marked vest is a worthy and relatively inexpensive investment for your school. There are a variety of uses even beyond security!(By the way, if we haven't sold you on the vest, yet, it's also state law that anyone working on or near the street must be in one. Check your local OSHA Code to learn more about the specifics of which vest).
Flashlight: Plan on having guards on campus after dismissal for sports games and other events? Would you like those guards to be able to see and patrol every spot on campus just as they do during the day? Sounds like you’ll need flashlights!
Key Holders and Other Accouterments: Radio holders, key holders, flashlight holders, etc. For most everything on this list you’ll want your guards to have, they’ll need some way to hold it. Your school may require additional accessories depending on the environment. For example, if your campus has lots of foliage or natural spaces, guards may want to carry gloves and glove holders in case they need to access those sorts of areas.
Belt Keepers: Unbelievably, there’s yet another belt-related accessory for guards. Belt keepers stabilize all of the things held on the duty belt, so that in a situation that calls for active guards, they can grab whatever they need without worrying that the belt will slip or lose items.
Badges and Name Plates: Depending on your school’s environment and personal preference, you may want guards to have a large insignia or logo on the side of their uniform visibly marking them as on-campus security. You may not! Smart schools, however, will make sure their guards are outfitted with their names. This helps connect guards to their community, and we know from experience as well as being people ourselves that you get the best reaction from those you address by name. As opposed to shouting “SECURITY” whenever their services are needed.
Hats and Boots: These are more optional, preference-based equipment choices. Of the two, boots are the clearer necessity for security guards. They look professional, fit in all terrains, and putting on boots every morning is a subtle reminder to guards that they are heading to work, not play. Hats are less critical, but can be a good way to clearly identify guards from distance, as well as a way to provide shade for a job that is predominantly outside.
Uniformity: All of these things separately are important. More important than the individual equipment, however, is that every guard consistently have the same look. If one team member wears black boots and another white sneakers, that undercuts the vision of your security team as a sharp and cohesive unit. So whether you use some of our equipment suggestions or none at all, make sure that all your guards have all of the required materials (and are always equipped in them while at work).
If you're interested in reading more about school security, check out some of our other articles below!