What Does a Physical Security Specialist Do?

Nick Mann

A career as a physical security specialist is ideal for a person who wants to protect the public and has an eye for detail. Some common places a physical security specialist might work in would be government institutions, museums, warehouses and hospitals. While an individual can work in a variety of settings, the essential job duties are basically the same. These include monitoring surveillance cameras, routinely patrolling an area, assessing security risks and stopping intruders or other security threats.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

A major job duty of a physical security specialist is continually monitoring surveillance cameras. During this time, an individual will keep an eye out for anything that seems out of place or abnormal. The technology and his vantage point often allow a specialist to keep track of who is coming and going and will show him locations to investigate if problems arise. Consequently, he will need to stay alert at all times and be able to spot even the most minute disturbance.

Another large part of the job is routinely patrolling an area. In some locations, this can be done on foot, while other locations with large areas are often patrolled in a vehicle. Usually, there is a particular route the physical security specialist will take during each shift to ensure that all necessary areas are checked and secured. He may perform actions like checking locks and verifying the credentials of individuals on the property. Doing so is an important part of keeping an establishment running smoothly and keeping personnel safe.

Assessing security risks and ensuring compliance with regulations is also a common job duty. In order to keep a facility and its workers safe, it's important to consistently perform actions like maintaining locks and checking emergency escape routes. It's also critical for a physical security specialist to keep personnel up to date on changes in security policies.

In addition, a physical security specialist is responsible for stopping intruders and dealing with other security threats. For example, if the specialist sees an unverified individual engaging in questionable behavior, it's up to him to handle the situation. He would then approach the individual according to security protocol and remove him or her from the premises. If the specialist runs into an escalated confrontation, he is likely to call for either additional security back up or contact the local police department for back up. As a result, some security specialists are required to carry some type of weapon, such as a gun or night stick, in case of a physical threat.

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