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Dressing for security success.

YOU'RE HIRING A FORCE OF SECURITY OFFICERS, AND you're planning to uniform them. But how? Due to the many demands on security officers, three basic styles of uniforms have emerged over the past few years.

Executive. Many corporations want their security officers in the administrative and headquarters offices to be attired in blazers, slacks, and ties. This style is friendly, inviting, and less intimidating than the traditional security officer uniform.

Traditional. Corporations requiring a significant amount of patrolling and access control usually use the traditional uniform, which resembles a police uniform. These feature a stripe down the trouser leg, epaulettes on the shoulders, a badge on the breast pocket, and a police-style cap. This look generally projects authority and commands respect and obedience from the public.

Strike force. During civil disorders or strikes, corporations may require their security officers to be in SWAT team-like jumpsuits, helmets, and combat boots, which provide an intimidating look.

Two other issues should be considered before you choose a specific uniform for your security officers-facility location and company image.

The location of your facility will determine the weight and style of the uniform you select. If security officers are posted inside, the weight of the uniform could be the same whether your facility is in Florida or Alaska. But if officers will patrol outside, obviously the climate will be a major consideration in choosing the uniform. Many fabrics are available in a multitude of weights and blends suitable for any climate.

What image does your company want to project? Think of the colors associated with your company. For example, chocolate manufacturing facilities may uniform their officers in brown, forestry-product manufacturing facilities may uniform their officers in green, and ocean liner companies may choose to uniform their officers in blue-green.

Some companies have their security officers wear blue, normally signifying police. This strategy may be a mistake, misleading employees and the public to believe the officers are police officers.

Developing a positive, identifiable image for your security officers is also an important consideration when choosing their uniforms. If your company has facilities nationwide, you should use the same style and colors in each facility. The chosen style then becomes familiar to employees and the public no matter what the location.

Remember: Your security officers project your company's image. Your company's clients, its employees, and the public see these security officers every day; they do not see the company's executives as often. When a client, an employee, or a member of the public thinks of your company, he or she thinks of the more visible security officer. Make that lasting image as positive and professional as your needs require. About the Author . . . Larry R. Blumenfeld is chief executive officer of Intapol Industries in Jersey City, NJ. SECURITY MANAGEMENT
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:security officers' uniform
Author:Blumenfeld, Larry R.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Mar 1, 1991
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