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Security Operatives and the Security Director Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 13th, 2022

To simplify and limit the scope of this study, the discussion regarding security must focus on private security. The government can secure facilities and public infrastructures but in this discussion, the importance of security is limited to the work of a private security firm. Therefore, it is imperative to talk about the responsibility of security operatives and their respective security director in terms of loss prevention and investigation. Another critical component of this study is to examine the role of the security director in terms of his or her administrative function and his skill of establishing internal and external networks for the sake of intelligence gathering.

Loss Prevention

Security officers and security operatives serve as deterrents to crime, specifically those pertaining to theft and damage to property. The importance of a security operative inactive loss prevention strategies was summarized through the following remark: “Public policing alone simply cannot fend off the escalating criminality or solely assure the integrity of communities” (Nemeth, 2005, p. 213). The presence of security operatives is the first line of defense against criminals and terrorists.

Loss prevention can be achieved using various strategies. In most cases the security director provides an adequate number of well-trained security officers or operatives. The security director must study the layout of the facility and determine how to secure it from external threats. Appropriate perimeter protection will be one of the first things that the security director will consider. Furthermore, the security director will determine how to manage access levels to the facility especially to critical areas that require protection from unauthorized entry.

Another important feature of any security measure is the effective use of surveillance techniques. Surveillance can be a tool for information gathering but it is primarily a tool for monitoring the activities of people within the premises of a secured area. It is important that security operatives must be one step ahead of terrorists and unscrupulous men determined to breach the perimeter defense established by the security firm. But even with the use of “miles of double and triple fencing” and other security measures, a security director may find these things inadequate to meet the requirements of a client (Amoore & Goede, 2008, p.198). It is time to hire a security director that provides a strategy to keep the client one step ahead of their foes.


The importance of security operatives ineffective law enforcement is clarified through the following statement: “Private security is an indispensable cog in the American machinery of justice … even its harshest, most strident critics realize that without the services of private security, a gaping, colossal protection vacuum would exist in the delivery of justice and related services” (Nemeth, 2005, p. 213). The absence of security firms can easily overwhelm Federal and State law enforcement agencies.

Administrative Functions

The most important characteristic of a security director is leadership skills. He must be able to inspire the people working under him to perform at the highest levels (Fay, 2007, p.345). This is made possible through the director’s exemplary conduct that serves as a model behavior for his subordinates. The security director must also possess administrative skills. An excellent administrator must learn to collect and evaluate information. A skilled administrator is someone who can effectively communicate the expected outcome of a particular mission or assignment in a given area.

Aside from administrative skills, the security director must also possess analytical capabilities such as the effective application of critical thinking skills. The ability to analyze and use critical thinking is crucial when it comes to conducting investigation. In addition, the security director must also be knowledgeable regarding new technologies that can be used to enhance his or her investigation capabilities. These new technologies include various computer software and hardware dubbed as “qualified antiterrorism technologies” (Dempsey, 2011, p.399). These are just some of the skills necessary to efficiently handle the job requirement of a security director.

Importance of Networks

A security director is not only an administrator and an effective leader of people, he must also possess the ability to establish networks within the private security industry. At the same time, it is also crucial that the security director maintains an open line of communication to various members of law enforcement agencies. There is a two-fold purpose to maintain a reliable network composed of leaders and operatives from various levels of law enforcement agencies and security firms. The first reason is to develop a system of communication that can help simplify the investigation of a particular case and the apprehension of criminals and terrorists. The second reason is to develop a system of intelligence gathering that can help the security firm achieve its goals.

There is no need to elaborate the fact that in the private security industry, effective intelligence gathering requires access to reliable information. Intelligence work ensures victory even before the battle has begun. According to one commentary, “there are a variety of definitions of what constitutes intelligence gathering but there is one basic definition that is easy to understand: intelligence is a particular kind of information that helps to inform, instruct, and educate the policy world” (Turner, 2005, p. 12). In a particular investigation or the creation of security policies, information is an important piece of commodity

Investigation, surveillance, and intelligence gathering are important components of private security because in the modern world security firms and their clients are dealing with enemy’s unseen. These new breed of terrorists are described as an evolving threat. According to one commentary:

the modern domestic terrorist threat has adopted advanced organizational and operational techniques that make it increasingly insidious.

…terrorists from various groups have demonstrated an ability to work by themselves or in small groups […] they can operate as ‘leaderless resistance,’ operating from general instructions or directive, perhaps spread via Web sites. Such small cells are difficult to detect and stop (Carafano & Sauter, 2005, p. 129).

It is therefore important to hire the right security firm. It is also imperative to determine if the security director is qualified to do his or her job. The client must realize that a security director does not only provide leadership but also analytical skills and the capability to establish a network required in intelligence gathering.


The purpose of security operatives and a security director is to work as a team in order to initiate loss prevention, investigation, and intelligence gathering on behalf of their client. These people must be qualified to do their job. They must understand that their main goal is to create a deterrence against crime. But after a crime has been committed they work hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies to apprehend lawbreakers and to enforce the law.


Amoore, L., & Goede, M. (2008). Risk and the War on Terror. New York: Routledge.

Carafano, J., & Sauter, M. (2005). Homeland Security. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Dempsey, J. (2011). Introduction to Private Security. CA: Wadsworth.

Fay, J. (2007). Encyclopedia of Security Management. MA: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann

Nemeth, C. (2005). Private Security and the Law. MA: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann

Turner, M. (2005). Why Secret Intelligence Fails. New York: Potomac Books, Inc.

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