Extreme alertness in security


Full Registered User
I have been doing security now for the past four years. In this time I have grinded and scratched my way to getting better. It's taken a long time to get to a certain skill level and I like to always go beyond the criteria.

I wondered if anyone else has developed this weird side effect of working hard in security. I seem to have this extreme alertness. I remember in my first security job, whenever my attention was broken a member of staff would snap their fingers at me. It got to a point where I had to report them although it never seized. This happened for about two years non stop..

I then started noticing something.. my alertness was getting very extreme. I've reached a point now where I can look at an area for about two hours without ever breaking concentration. In this time I can pin point potential shoplifters, profiling people who have a high potential to commit crime. People tell me that I have this weird stare when I look..it's hard to describe.. its almost like im looking far away but im able to see whats infront of me as well. I seem to zone out.

I used to hate it when my old employers did this but honestly looking back I am so thankful that they did it. Because of this im usually the first person to call up multiple potential incidents (which then happen) and my performance is now very high..

Wondered if anyone else developed this weird skillset when working in security?

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Longterm Registered User
Your eye has two types of visual receptors - centre is for colour and detail (what you're looking directly at) and surrounding picks up movement best so your 'static gaze' is just the most efficient way to 'take it all in'.

Think it comes to us all mate and the stage after this is where you notice everything without zoning out - you do normal stuff and talk to people but still take in everything around you.
I can never switch off - on a night out with mates even after a load of beer we enter a new pub and I notice layout, exits, fire extinguishers, where the staff/DS are, notice what they're doing/routines, dodgy-looking punters, those who look like they might attract trouble or cause it...

You notice stuff out shopping with the wife, sat in traffic, can't sit in a restaurant with your back to the room in case you miss something starting..


Full Registered User
It's an actual condition called Hyper vigilance, its great for work and keeping yourself safe etc, but a shrink once told me it's not a good thing never to switch off and be totally relaxed, problem is once you have it it doesn't just go away and there here is no off switch


Full Registered User
Good to know that you have improved. That’s true. Proper training can make anyone a professional in their own industry.
Hypervigilance is only useful in certain circumstances and the rest of the time it is a waste and harmful to the health and well-being. In psychology, it is a bad sign indicating the anxiety disorder because your brain and bodies are not in a good condition. Sometimes, the hyper vigilance can cause wide thinking and imagination that you might feel something wrong even if nothing wrong there. So it is not appreciated to develop a mindset of hypervigilance.
If you wish to excel in your career, it is good to invest some time in upgrading your skills through the security guard training programs. That will help you to showcase your smartness and abilities. Also, the training and certifications will help you to open up more career opportunities.


Full Registered User
I don't know.. I spent the last five years trying to improve and do better. Had to go back to the drawing board 1000s of times. Clawing my way to improvement, trying to stay 'hyper vigilent' for any impending terrorist attack on our centre. Walking around until my bones ache and went home in pain. Using knowledge as a weapon. Learning from those who know... treating new ''improvements'' as gold dust. I'll admit, I pushed the boat out a little too far... thinking I was something I wasn't... at the end of the day, I am just a joke mall cop who is there for tax purposes. Lacking the education and background to be trusted to do anything better or more meaningful.. my hard work goes into rich corporates pockets.

I did some stupid things... helping the police take down known criminals, running into the train station to make a stop while everyone looked on, stopping and getting 100s of thieves arrested.. or not arrested depending on the police mood, i spent my entire years going above and beyond to save someone else. I don't know why i care so much... i often ask myself that.. pretty much every day coming home. But in reality, i am just a joke mall cop who thinks he is something special. The police think it, the public think it and i bet the client thinks it. Lacking the education/background to be trusted to do something meaningful.

I don't know.. maybe its time i stop trying to improve or trying at all and just either do it for the pay check or change careers. I think its time i step back and let the others sail ahead. ive been rejected from any establishment who meant anything, laughed at by co-workers for trying so hard. Just a regular Paul Blart tbh. I think its time I give up and fade into the background.. stop trying to be smart and just be a scarecrow because that is what we are.
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Full Registered User
On a more positive note, we managed to prevent a suicide attempt before christmas(with praise from the Police). We took down a large group of shoplifters and recovered a large amount of money for the retail stores. I feel that preventing that guy from hanging himself saved a lot of nightmares and catching the large amount of shoplifters that we did was a good achievement. We were nominated for security team of the year.

I feel now that any role you play in this type of position is as important as you make it. You can be the guy who plays on his phone and just doing it for a pay check, or be the guy who is proactive and actively playing a supporting role in making the community safe. It really doesn't matter if you're guarding an office block, a supermarket or shopping centre -- what matters is doing our individual part and working together in making our world safer is definitely something to fight for.

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