One of the tasks that you'll often have to contend with when you work security is dealing with members of the homeless community. This isn't an assignment that you'll likely covet, but it's important for maintaining order in the area that you patrol. For example, you may need to clear homeless people away from the entrances or even inside certain buildings. When you approach this task, it's important to not only communicate clearly and be assertive, but to also be empathetic. Here are some tactics that you may wish to employ when dealing with the homeless population.
Give A Verbal Warning First
You'll make things easier on yourself if you approach homeless people who are breaking a particular rule, explain the rule, and ask them to leave. A verbal warning can often get the job done, rather than aggressive techniques that some people may wish to use. Aggression can be met with aggression, which can cause an otherwise simple situation to get out of control. It can be effective to say something such as, "Hey, this is a no-loitering zone, so I'll have to ask you to find somewhere else to sit. I'll be coming past again in about 15 minutes, and I hope you'll be gone by then."
Be Conscious Of Your Own Safety
Unfortunately, members of the homeless community can have health issues that can be contagious. Diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, and even HIV are all health issues that affect the homeless population. You want to always think of your own health and safety when you deal with such individuals. If you anticipate having to touch someone, make sure that you're wearing vinyl gloves to prevent disease exposure to your bare skin. Similarly, wearing heavy gloves can be effective, as some homeless people may carry syringes that could stick you.
Don't Hesitate To Call Backup
Many members of the homeless population suffer from some manner of mental illness, and between this issue and substance abuse, you can never assume how a homeless person will react to you. While many will comply, others will become belligerent or even combative, which can cause a situation to escalate quickly. You shouldn't hesitate to call backup on your radio if you anticipate a problem. A show of force by multiple security officers can be effective. Similarly, if you're having repeated issues, don't be afraid to call the police for some help.
For more information, contact companies like Protection Plus Inc.