Imagine this… you’re a residential community manager and one of your luxury apartments just got robbed. Your renter/victim calls you on the phone and is furious. What is the first question the tenant asks (and you wonder the same thing)…. “Where was the security officer and how could this have happened with all the money we pay for the  security service?”

Clearly you cannot cover every possible scenario that could answer “How this could have happened?” but you feel confident you can solve the riddle as to the whereabouts of the security officer.

You go to the pile of papers on your desk, frantically searching for the daily activity report (DAR) he filled out from the night of the incident. Once you find it you heave a sigh of relief only to have it turn to a gasp of exasperation when you read entry after entry of, “all clear, nothing unusual to report”  on the DAR.

It wouldn’t be much of a stretch for anyone accustomed to reading paper reports from unobservant security officers to identify with the above scenario.  The lack of ability to verify rounds with limited reported information has been a frustrating experience for every security client and security operations manager who ever worked with security officers.

To be fair, not all security officer’s reports sink to this level.  But it occurs with enough frequency that the dread that comes with trying to explain poor reporting to angry victims is a one you never forget.

Thankfully the cavalry has arrived just in time to rescue everyone who has been shadowed by the dread of poorly written paper reports. It comes in the form of online incident reporting.

Paperless reporting is available today through companies, like RealtimeDAR, who offer online reporting programs for security officer in the field. Reports that can be viewed from any computer with internet access.

The online reports are created through handheld PDA’s that use text, photos and audio files to report every security issue that the officer observes during their rounds.  All entries are automatically date and time stamped and the information cannot be manipulated or changed. Verification of rounds is finally a reality to anyone who needs to access the information….it gives you proof.

The real online reporting bonus comes with the money that is saved not just in paper, printing, and faxing, but also in time. Time is saved by the security operations who manage the officers in the field and by the clients who receive the service.

By centralizing all the information on websites like RealtimeDAR, it is just a click away to see the security officers movements and reports in real-time by anyone who has access to view it. Unique user names and passwords keep the information secure and the access levels assignable.

So take time to review online incident reporting solutions for your sites that have security personnel.  It won’t always solve the mystery of why things happen, but it will give you peace of mind with verification of rounds and proof of what  security officers are observing and reporting during their shift.

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Bad service from a contract security provider is never a surprise to anyone who has experience with the industry.  Many contract security providers mirror the construction industry when it comes to keeping commitments for delivery of services.  Delays and excuses are common and it seems there is no remorse on the part of the companies who don’t keep their promises.

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What  wears a badge, walks around and is green? No, not Kermit the frog playing the sheriff in a Muppet movie (Ok… that would be a good answer too!). The answer should be your security guard.  Like any business, security providers should be concerned about their eco-footprint and the easiest way to do that is with paperless, online reporting.

Every shift of every day, for every security officers there is a daily activity report that needs to be filled out and traditionally it has been on paper.  That is millions of sheets of paper being used and then stored by security companies and sites across the country every year.

But todays Green Friendly security companies are going to paperless online reporting for their daily activity reports,  patrol drop sheets, incident reports and time keeping.  It eliminates the need for all that paper, makes reporting to the security operations immediate,  and that saves both time and money.

So GO GREEN with a security provider whose paperless online reporting not only saves time and money, but protects the trees!