Course:4: Housing Your Collections
Lesson:Lesson 2: Security Planning
Topic:Responding to Security Problems


Responding to Security Problems 

Put Someone In Charge

Appoint someone on your staff to be in charge of security issues. This person should be responsible for conducting assessments of existing security measures and making recommendations for changes that need to be made. Your security manager should also create guidelines for responding to security incidents. This person should work with the local police department on how to handle security incidents. 

Train Staff

Staff should be trained in dealing with security incidents.  Be sure to contact your local police department, who can help you understand the legal parameters of dealing with security incidents. You must clearly understand what your staff can lawfully do when security incidents occur. Some basic guidelines are below:

  • Staff should not take any action unless the incident was witnessed or material is proven missing. (If the materials being used were inspected before AND after patron use and materials were undoubtedly missing after use by this specific patron.)
  • Invite the patron into an office or another area, with a second staff member present.
  •  Donít provoke, touch, or coerce the patron.
  •  If the patron agrees to be detained, contact the local police and await their arrival.
  •  If the patron insists on leaving, one staff person should notify the authorities while a second staff member carefully escorts the patron out of the building (and records the plate number of the patronís automobile!).
  • As soon as the incident is over, document all the pertinent information about the incident.

When You Discover a Loss After the Fact

Most security incidents are noticed after the fact, making it harder to identify the perpetrator. In these cases, you should:

  • Determine exactly what is missing.
  • Contact the police.
  • Contact your insurance company.
  • Document all your actions thoroughly. 

Manager training staff
Appoint a Security Manager and be sure to train the staff.

 Training session
Teach staff how to deal with security incidents

 Woman on phone taking notes
Call the police!