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The Security Officer's Role, Part VII


Back in Part II of this training series we talked about protecting the relationships shared with the five diverse - but common - well recognized, industry- standard priorities of the Security Department. These priorities include the protection of:

  • Employees, insiders and institution-affiliated parties;
  • Customers, vendors and third-party service providers;
  • Facilities that the institution owns, manages, maintains or controls;
  • Assets that are both tangible and intangible; and
  • Records and documents that exist in all forms, paper and electronic.

No one person needs to perform all of the security-related tasks within the institution. But the Security Department is the logical function for coordinating the development, implementation, monitoring and correction of policies, procedures and practices that may affect the entire institution. The Security Department is one of the few functions that simply cannot afford to do the minimum amount of work necessary to "get by". Security is about doing whatever is necessary - and often doing "whatever is necessary" involves extreme efforts from several people.

It is for that reason I have included for discussion the aims and goals of the several areas so that you as the security officer can work with supervisors and staff in each area to determine what is necessary to get the job done and to achieve the most consistent and complete protection for all. I've also included after each sub-heading suggestions on who to invite to your discussions.

Employees, Insiders & Institution Affiliated Parties
(Audit, Human Relations (HR), Personnel, Training, Administration, Law Enforcement)

  • Conducting background investigations - and conducting all investigations concerning events, crimes, potential or suspected conflicts of interest and ethics issues;
  • Developing and delivering training programs that address robbery, burglary and larceny - and preparing a kidnap/hostage/extortion procedure;
  • Hiring guards to protect employees at work who have been threatened or stalked;
  • Supervising an "enforced leave policy" for all employees and insiders.

Customers, Vendors & Third-Party Service Providers
(Audit, Operations, Purchasing, HR/ Personnel, Record Retention Officer, Insurance Officer, Loan Officer, Compliance Officer)

  • Creating a system for maintaining the confidentiality of all customer records;
  • Creating a system for maintaining the confidentiality of all employee records, such as job applications, results of drug screens, and criminal and credit checks;
  • Interacting with your insurance representative in investigating customer-related, non-criminal acts that occur on the institution's premises - such as auto collisions in the parking lot, "slips and falls" in the lobby and breeches of contract; and
  • Conducting background investigations on selected commercial account applicants, vendors and third-party service providers.

Facilities That the Institution Owns, Manages, Maintains or Controls
(Building Maintenance, Purchasing, Law Enforcement, Administration)

  • Contracting with vendors to install, maintain and monitor alarm systems, surveillance cameras and access control devices;
  • Continually investigating and recommending the adoption of contemporary security related technologies, such as "bandit barriers", security portals and biometric scanners;
  • Making recommendations for solutions to facility design problems, using "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design" (CPTED) principles; and
  • Ensuring that all facilities contain appropriate emergency fire, medical and disaster recovery supplies and equipment.

Assets that are Both Tangible & Intangible - Particularly the Institution's Image
(Audit, Administration, Law Enforcement, Training, IT People)

  • Applying for and monitoring of repayment for crime losses as ordered by the local probation department;
  • Developing and implementing counterfeit currency and check practices;
  • Conducting period risk assessments that involve real or perceived risks to each of the five (5) security-related priorities - and that have been identified in the institution's Disaster Recovery Plan; and
  • Working with the IT Manager and Auditor to develop and maintain an electronic inventory control system.

Records & Documents - Both Paper & Electronic
(Records Retention Officer, IT People, Administration, Audit, Training, Compliance Officer)

  • Records & Documents That Exist In All Forms - Both Paper & Electronic
  • Developing and implementing effective safe deposit box security measures;
  • Coordinating the filing of Suspicious Activity Reports with internal security reports and local law enforcement crime reports;
  • Documenting all security training programs and maintaining other appropriate records - including course outlines, lesson plans, workbook materials, training aids and instructor information; and
  • Preparing and delivering a comprehensive Security Program Report to your Board of Directors.

And That's Not All ...
The Security Officer also should become knowledgeable about laws, regulations and practices that logically affect the Security Department. We'll discuss what you should be familiar with in the last training page of this series.

(This series of training pages is for new or experienced Security Officers. Dana Turner is a security practitioner and author of the Financial Institution Security Library. He is a moderator on's Security Forum and a frequent contributor to the Bankers' Hotline. Contact Dana at (830) 535-6500 or at

Copyright © 2005 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 15, No. 2, 4/05

First published on 04/01/2005

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