Security Officer Concepts for Success at Night
Operating at night takes skill and patience. Regrettably many new security officers without night training are assigned to the night shift, a shift that is viewed as undesirable. Often seniority allows officers with more experience to take the day shift. The more experienced officers need to be working at night. If you have the documented proven ability to do a night security job, this is a very desirable skill to most security organizations.
New individuals who take the job may not realize the major change it is to work at night. Night work is not trivial and it can be extremely dangerous to the unprepared. New officers must be fully aware of complications involved in night shift work. Take our online Night Security Operations Course. I strongly recommend this program because there is a large lack of knowledge about operating at night and dusk hours in our profession.
Making lists of questions to get the thought processes moving is a good start. Write down your questions separately from the ones written below.
Start your “List of Night Questions” from these.
1. Does your security organization have a night policy and emergency plan?
2. Are you equipped to operate at night?
3. Are night weather and sky conditions carefully monitored?
First, having an erratic schedule will kill you. Day to day schedule changes will destroy your internal clock or circadian rhythm and you will become exhausted and unsafe rapidly. Sleep deprivation is used to torture and brainwash people. Don’t hurt yourself. Have a disciplined schedule supporting sleep.
Initially, schedule a sleep deficit for twenty four hours or less to get to a point where you fall asleep for a full sleep period of eight hours on the new schedule. You must give yourself a thirty minute cool down and warm up period around your sleep time. Remove TVs and cell phones from your sleep area. Ensure the sleep area is blacked out. Ambient light will prevent sleep. It is critical to stop using caffeine, sugary drinks, alcohol, fast food and cigarettes. All of these stimulants will screw you up royally in your sleep schedule. It may take two weeks to get comfortable on the new schedule. You must become a professional at sleep management to be safe at night.
Exercise will improve sleep. Mild exercise, low level walking and stretching will help you sleep better. Special breathing exercises will help you go to sleep fast. If you are in good shape, hard physical training can also help you sleep, as long as you do not over train. Hard physical training can only be done early in the awake time period. You must give your body a chance to relax for four hours after strenuous activity to then sleep. Reduce your meal size to help sleep better after exercise.
To transition, do your day workout routine easy at 3 am. You will notice that an easy workout is difficult at 3 am. Imagine being involved in a deadly force incident at 3 am. Imagine being in a drunk like state from lack of sleep in a deadly force situation. Treat sleep like money and manage it.
Buddy teams are an important night and day safety concept. The buddy team is even more important at night because of the environment and the potential for operating in a degraded physical state. You should not accept night jobs where you must operate alone. In New Mexico, as of 2015, nearly anywhere you go has a local history of violent crime. Working alone is suicidal in metro areas. Being armed is another important safety improvement at night. Never ever underestimate what criminals can do or the night environment you are in. This statement holds true for “off duty” as well as “on duty”.
Just as import as having night help right there with your buddy, backup needs to be close too. Periodically, you need to test your responding backup at night. Your backup needs practice in approach skills in relationship to your position. There are night specific communication techniques that have to be added to your plans summoning night response. It could be something as simple as blowing a whistle , honking your patrol vehicle horn or using flashlight signals as an example.
Every day you need to brief your team about the weather and night sky conditions. Moon illumination and phases will be important to night observation and criminal action. Precipitation and wind will affect the night tactical situation. Keep these conditions up dated. You will have to adjust your position and timing based on weather and night sky effects.
Patience is a critical night survival attribute. Patience increases your night sensory ability. Fearful individuals overestimate what they incorrectly visualize in night situations and get killed. Train to have patience, discernment and good judgment. Be systematic and patient on how you observe and operate at night.
There is a lot to learn about operating at night. If you are serious about being in the protective professions, accept the obligation to be prepared for the night shift. Professionals that operate at night carefully accomplish the security mission.
Be careful and prepared for the night shift.
Fred Behnken, Chief Instructor
Chemical Agent in Your Eye
How beneficial is it to have chemical agent put straight into your eyes? This officer lost her job and was injured.
Does it seem common sense not to put things in your eyes? Chemical agents in confrontations are a good use of force tool. Ask your optometrist about inserting chemical agents in your eyes. My optometrist said absolutely not. We do not put chemical agents in our students eyes.
To even remotely risk blinding or causing other equally serious injuries to officers is negligent training. In an organizational setting, possibly with a clean physical and carefully selected agents eye exposure could be done. I have not found any manufacturer endorsing direct exposure to the eyes as a training practice. How insurance companies and workman’s comp claims would adjudicate a claim is also in question.
What is of concern is training based on emotional value, tradition or opinion. For many people who have experience government type training, they think that this “rite of passage” is all part of joining the club. There is an alternative to full exposure. Limited exposure at a distance, smelling or touching the agent does have some value.
Blinding an individual, miscarriages, fatal asthma and medication complications can lead to an incident that could alter a persons life. There is no way a person can be certain to the quality or contents of chemical agent bought at Walmart or Joe’s Tactical Shop.
Opt out of training that is dangerous.
Handgun Shooting History Film
In our program manuals for firearms training we cite multiple sources of evidence for the shooting technique we train you with. Point shooting has multiple sources/ agencies documenting a ninety percent hit rate in gun fights. Regrettably, many programs in New Mexico and Arizona teach recreational target shooting as self defense. NM Department of Public Safety Police and the National Rifle Association Courses, which many other trainers conduct security training with, use a doctrine with less than a documented fifteen percent hit rate.
Imagine being taught to MISS 85 % of the time in real shooting situations. Don’t risk your life with 30 year old outdated training. Use our program that is verified and validated. Avoid opinion based training. Go with the evidence of what works. Train with us.
The simplicity of the point shooting technique instructs you how to shoot while moving and at night with no extra training. This style in particular works well in physical contact range ( inside arms reach) integrated with other type of use of force techniques. Target shooting, not even addressing the danger, leaves the shooter defenseless at this distance. Not to mention a ninety percent hit rate at ranges of ten yards.
There are also associated films on this YouTube location which are useful. This is a historical film the modern point shooting training is improved beyond this World War II training movie. The film gives you a good back ground to this time tested training method. When you attend our training you experience the modern version. The advanced training shooting at night or under our dynamic advanced courses, will give you the proof you need. Enjoy the film!
Prohibited Firearm Carrying Locations in New Mexico
When on duty and contracted to the specific location, a Level 3 Guard may carry under supervision of the security company. Click on the above image for a clear document.