As travelers are often easy targets for crime, it is the job of the hotel's security team to create a safe and secure environment.
The Security Department, often referred to as Loss Prevention, can range from one security guard to a team of many with specified duties. Each hotel has its own security protocols based upon the type of property it is and the types of guests they have visiting. Their job is to prevent security and safety issues before they happen, and when an issue does arise, to take appropriate measures to ensure guest safety. All along, maintaining the delicate balance between providing security while not interfering with the enjoyment of the guest's stay.
Members of the Security Department will patrol the lobby, public space, guest room floors and monitor hotel security cameras. When the hotel is hosting a large banquet event, there will typically be increased security staff to ensure the safety of the attendees. The Security Department may also house the lost and found section, where items left in guestrooms or found elsewhere in the hotel, are kept for the return to their owners.
The day to day of a security officer can range from dealing with small guest annoyances to dealing with urgent, hotel-wide emergencies. In recent years, many hotel Security Departments have become trained in terrorism awareness and action plans in the event of a threat.
As the security of hotel is a 24-hour operation, the job includes shift work during nights and weekends. It is important that at the end of each shift, an incident report is passed along to those working the next shift so they are fully abreast of any hotel issues.
No formal education is required to be a hotel security guard; however, many hotels require their security guards to at least have a high school diploma or a G.E.D. As security guards have a lot of interaction with guests, it is important that they communicate clearly, as well keep cool under pressure. Additionally, being physically fit to cope with emergencies and having a clear criminal record is essential.