Any security guard company can provide licensed security guards. The important question is, how do you know that the guards are really doing their job? Patrol tracking is the best way to know that the security guards at your location are completing their duties to the fullest. The best security companies invest in patrol tracking technology.
What is security patrol tracking?
Security patrol tracking is a technology that monitors the activity of security guards while they are on duty. There are several different companies that offer patrol tracking. However, most of them operate base on the same basic principle. Checkpoints are placed at various places along the officer’s patrol route. The officers scan those checkpoints during their patrols. That information is then stored and can be used to generate a report. The report lists which checkpoints were checked, where they were located and when they were checked. Patrol tracking are also called guard tour patrol systems.
Security guards do a better job when they are monitored
People tend to pay attention to the things that they know are being watched. With patrol tracking, officers know that their activity is being monitored. As a result, officers tend to a more comprehensive job. They pay attention to the details, because they know that the details are being watched.
Patrol tracking eliminates handwritten reports
Unfortunately, handwriting is not included in anyone’s security training program. As a result, most handwritten reports are hard to read at best. In the worse case, handwritten reports are illegible.
Patrol tracking provides proof of job performance
The patrol reports show exactly where the officers was during their patrols. No one wants to pay for a security guard who sleeps on the job or sits around their entire shift. When you hire a private security guard, you want to be confident that they are patrolling in required intervals.
Types of Patrol Tracking Systems
Wand based patrol tracking
Wand based systems are the oldest forms of patrol tracking. These systems use handheld data logging devices or RFID sensors. These systems are rudimentary. They only recorded checkpoint name, date, and time of the checkpoint scan. The information is then manually uploaded at the end of the shift by the officer themselves or a manager. That information is then exported into a spreadsheet.
Advantages of Wand Based Systems
- Lower cost
- Easy to use
- Wands are waterproof
Disadvantages of Wand Based Systems
- Incident reports must be handwritten
- Does not use GPS to verify the location
- Data must manually be uploaded
- Cannot report activity in real-time
- Officers cannot add any narrative to their reports
- Wands can be damaged
Phone Based Tracking Systems
Instead of a wand, mobile phone-based patrol tracking systems use a cell phone app. There are various approaches to collecting data. Some use RFID others use Near Field Communication (NFC) or Bluetooth. Regardless of the scanning technology, all mobile patrol tracking systems generate the same information.
Like wand based systems, phone based tracking systems store the data as the checkpoints are scanned. However, phone based systems use cellular networks or WIFI to instantly upload the data in real-time. They also provide the added benefit of creating different types of reports like incident reports. When used to their fullest, mobile patrol tracking systems eliminate the need for handwritten reports. The best security companies use mobile based systems.
Advantages of Phone Based Systems
- Uploads report information in real-time
- Data is stored in the cloud
- Detailed reporting
- Managers and officers are not needed to upload information
- Can generate other types of reports
- Officers can add narrative to reports
Disadvantages of Phone-Based Systems
- Must have a cell phone
- Higher cost than wand based systems
- Phones can be damaged
When you are looking to hire a security company, be sure to ask about patrol tracking. It is the only way to ensure that you get proper service. It is also evidence that the company cares about providing quality service. Every company will say they are going to do a good job. Companies that use patrol tracking demonstrate that they are willing to invest company resources to accomplish that goal.