Dedicated Rovers Keep Communities Safer

Stranger. When you hear that word, what immediately comes to mind? For many, it is the advice, “Don’t talk to strangers.” It’s something that has been ingrained in most people from childhood. Lack of familiarity with a person can create an environment of uneasiness, tension and diminished trust.

Within a building or community, it is especially important for managers and staff to know the people that are working at their facility. This presents a real challenge to many security companies because assigned guards may call in sick or have to miss a day at work for one reason or another. The other issue is turnover.

Major Challenges for Security

Absences and high guard turnover can harm the security program. It can also have a negative impact on tenants. As I discussed in my last article, there are many things we do at GSI to address guard turnover. We are able to maintain higher retention through our HR efforts, our culture and through our training and support. What about absences?

Security companies use “rovers” to fill temporary openings. A rover is an officer who is not assigned to a specific post. Their job is to fill openings at multiple posts whenever and wherever they are needed. It’s standard practice and a good arrangement to ensure the obligations of each post are fulfilled. However, there are two major challenges.

First, rovers can be sent to any post. This means that they are not familiar with site specifics. The second is that there are many rovers and a rover is often assigned to a post where no one has ever met him before. This makes the rover a stranger to the community.

Dedicated Rovers Provide a Solution

The dictionary defines a stranger as, a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar, so by definition, a rover is a stranger when he arrives at a new post. To address this issue, GSI only assigns 2-3 rovers to each client’s site, so clients get an officer to fill-in who is familiar to them and has been trained on site specifics.

We refer to these rovers as “Dedicated Rovers”. A dedicated rover is a security officer who is assigned to work for specific clients. Dedicated rovers are cross-trained at the client’s facility. We also provide each client with the opportunity to meet their select group of dedicated rovers during training so they will be recognizable to the customer and appropriate staff members.

Putting the Community at Ease

GSI enforces a higher standard for dedicated rovers. Dedicated rovers receive higher pay (additional cost is not passed on to the client), but it is worth it to have the most professional, polished individuals fill in for regularly assigned guards. Dedicated rovers are well received by tenants and become familiar to them over time.

Tenants feel more comfortable and safer when they know the people around them, especially those charged to ensure security. Dedicated rovers protect the integrity of the security program and are able to perform their jobs better because they are familiar with site specifics and have been trained on the duties that relate to each specific post. That’s important because our primary responsibility is to our clients and the communities we serve.