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General Guidance for Documentation

The quality of documentation reflects on the security officer's professionalism and credibility within a company. All documents written by security officers should follow these basic requirements:


  • Be clear and concise. Vague or unclear language could be misinterpreted by those reading the documentation at a later date.

  • Be in plain English.

  • Contain only facts.

  • Use "I" instead of "The Undersigned", "Officer (Your Name)", or "This Security Officer" to improve readability. However, an officer's employer may require the use of "This Officer" instead of "I." Ask your supervisor if you are unsure as to your employer's preferred report writing style.

  • Contain no assumptions, judgments or opinions from witnesses, victims or the security officer.

  • Be legible. If no one can read your handwriting, print the documentation. If no one can read your printing, type the documentation.

  • Report information in chronological order as this makes it easier for readers to follow the report.

  • Contain no statements obtained through a 3rd party. If information is obtained through a 3rd party, the security officer should verify the information from the original party. The information could have been recited by the 3rd party inaccurately either from not remembering correctly / completely or an attempt to mislead the officer.

  • Contain names, titles, department and phone numbers of employees involved in an incident.

  • Contain names, addresses, phone numbers and, if possible, social security numbers, of non-employees involved in an incident.

  • Use the 24:00 time format. Round time at most to the nearest 5 minutes; 1 minute is preferred.

  • Make an entry at least once an hour to prove you were on duty and that nothing unusual has happened.

  • Write in ink (black ink is best).

  • Do not doodle, draw or write phone numbers and messages not related to security.

  • Do not write personal notes in your field notebook or on other forms.

  • Do not use abbreviations or ditto marks.

  • If you make an error in a log book, correct the error and initial the change; DO NOT erase or white out any entries.

  • Keep report clean and unwrinkled. Re-write a report that you spill food or drinks on, gets wrinkled or creased, you drop in dirt or gets rained /snowed on.

Types of Security Reports




Most security departments use a variety of reports including the following:


  • Shift Logs or Daily Logs

  • Vehicle Logs

  • Visitor/Contractor Logs

  • Material Control Passes/Logs

  • Incident Reports



These may cover a wide variety of events such as fire, theft, injury, safety hazard, maintenance or housekeeping item, etc.

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