Frequently Asked Questions

 

The cost of purchasing and maintaining alarm monitoring equipment and dispatch centers is extremely high. In business terms, they are known as “cost centers”…in and of themselves, they do not produce revenue but require it to operate. Someone pays this operating cost….of course it is factored into the client’s cost of service. We’re in the business of providing alarm response and patrol. We are dispatched directly by the alarm monitoring service. In almost all cases, these are large, national companies, charging nominal monthly service fee for monitoring. These fees are almost always much lower than a smaller, more local company can provide. Additionally, these national companies have the state-of-the-art technology resources you need. Quite frankly, we believe they are better suited to monitor your system, while we focus on providing the effective, timely response to mitigate loss.

 

 

Only if you are comparing them to an ill-equipped, less-than-professional, poorly run organization. A fact of our industry is this: To provide maximum service to a client, patrol routes must not exceed a certain client-to-officer ratio; otherwise service commitments may be compromised. To provide maximum value, the ratio cannot drop below a certain level or clients will pay more. Companies must keep a constant and watchful eye on this service-value balance so that they do not fail to deliver service level, nor run themselves out of business. At the “end of the day”, whether the company has 20 cars out per night, or only 3 or 4, a client contracts to be on a patrol route, supported by the officer responsible for that route during the specified time. We’re aware that some companies proudly state that several officers will respond to an alarm call. We would ask the questions “Why?” and “How does this help the clients on other routes?” Our officers are charged with making the independent assessment (based on education, training and experience) as to what to do next or when warranted contacting a supervisor. If outside involvement is necessary, law enforcement is called or for information, the client in certain cases. We accept the difficult decision and won’t seek consensus at the expense of clients on a different patrol route. We’d say it is not the size of the company that matters most, but the organization and its leadership’s awareness of and attention to details. In fact, many clients feel that a smaller company is easier to work with because of the ease of access to company leadership, speed of decisions, and the ability to work one-on-one to achieve effective security solutions.

 

 

We don’t take a “cookie-cutter” approach to the application of strategies that will work for you. We need to define goals together, identify security weaknesses, and mitigation strategies. We can guide you as to how we are handling other similar businesses but at the end of the day, we need to determine what works for you. A good example might be Vacation Checks. Generally, these are more applicable to a residential client. However, you may be shutting down your business for a week and want to add Day Patrol for a week. We’ll work with you to ensure you get the extra service you need. Our leadership is hands-on, creative, and responsive. However, we’ll never take anything on that we can’t do exceptionally well or that compromises our reputation as a leader in private security solutions.

 

 

When you're hired, we know that you'll have the state mandated training, and any training &experience gained working within the industry. We'll take that training and refine it so that it works for you and us. We'll build upon it by providing periodic, ongoing training to augment your skill base. Our association with ACCJT and other organizations should provide a network of opportunities, many of which will be paid by Oregon Patrol Service. We expect you to demonstrate ownership of your training as well, keeping an eye on opportunities for career enhancement and skill building. We will invest somewhere between 75-100 hours hands-on, ride-along training with a supervisor at FTO level or higher to ensure you are capable of delivering patrol services at the level our clients have come to expect. When you're cleared for release to a solo unit, you'll be ready. A field supervisor will be just a radio call away!

 

 

First, congratulations! You're taking the first step towards a career in security versus a "job". Rank structure plays an important role on a number of levels. The short answer is that the higher the rank, the more people under your supervision. However, it's also a vital means of recognizing things like tenure, achievement, training, and job mastery. When we talk about careers at OPS, we realize we have to give our teams a bulls-eye, a career target. Rank Structure helps provide the target.

 

 

Our professional relationship with law enforcement is of utmost concern to us... we need to know they trust our officers' discretion and decision-making when the "rubber meets the road" and that they'll respond quickly when we need their help. To that end, we provide our local precincts, stations and sub-stations information on the company and our service philosophy. We want them to understand that we understand the legal limits of our authority. We certainly want them to know we have immense respect for the job they do! We meet with station commanders to ensure we know "how things work" locally and how we can help them to help us. We're building a solid reputation based on mutual respect, trust, and cooperation.

 

 

At Oregon Patrol Service, we don't just tell you we'll do the job - we'll show you. Proof-of-Service is exactly that: you have the ability to see when we've been to your property. Using state-of-the-art RFID(radio frequency identification) technology, our officers track their patrol route. A handheld reader scans RFID tags placed at various locations throughout the premises. The information is uploaded into patrol management software to record;

 

     1) Patrol Officer responding

     2) Site arrival time

     3) anomalies found

     4) locations checked. Anomalies may include unsecured doors or windows, light bulbs not functional, etc.

 

For more serious problems, we may contact you directly. If necessary, local law enforcement will be contacted. Proof-of-Service is sent to client accounts weekly and become part of the client service record.

 

 

Vacation Checks are generally an element of a Residential Patrol package. A Vacation Check (VC) provides perimeter & door checks, as well as a close-up property inspection during the resident's absence. Services may include mail and newspaper pick-up, additional patrols, and generally keeping a watchful eye on behalf of the resident to ensure the property remains safe and secure.

 

Businesses that close for off-site training and other reasons find this a valuable “add-on” service to a Strategic Random Patrol package. We call this a "Vacancy Check".

 

 

There simply is no substitute for the Ford Crown Victoria P71 Police Interceptor. No other vehicle has anywhere close to the “deterrent value” of the “Crown Vic”. A large percentage of the population identifies this vehicle on sight alone, even without markings, as a potential police vehicle. Traffic slows, drivers become more courteous, etc. While this vehicle does not get the gas mileage of a small 4 cylinder, it does surprisingly well (about 18 city/25 hwy). It is also a spacious tool, easily capable of handling the demands placed on a service vehicle of this type. Finally, it is safe. Oregon Patrol Service will work hard to streamline and contain costs in other areas, fully knowing that additional fuel costs will need to be absorbed if we are to provide the optimal deterrent value our clients are seeking.

 

 

Our proprietary District Patrol Route software program enables our officers to manage vast amounts of client information with ease. Wireless access enables timely reports to our clients on situations that fall outside the norm and/or may need additional clarification, but do not require a late-night phone call. GPS and mapping services can prove extremely helpful. Finally, type-written reporting into our easy-to-review templates ensure legibility and optimal levels of communication between officers and clients/OPS headquarters. Laptops are an indispensable tool to the security and law enforcement communities.

 

 

Probably not. Oregon Patrol Service provides several choices depending on the circumstances. Class A uniforms are generally Olive green or Tan w/Olive trousers. You might see a neck tie with these and you are very likely to see a "trooper" hat... our officers' appearance rivals that of most state agencies, generally considered the neatest and most "squared away" out there. Our Class B uniforms are Olive as well but a little more functional. Finally, you may see Black or Olive Drab BDUs.  These provide the ultimate in comfort and functionality on long shifts when an officer is constantly entering/exiting a vehicle, climbing stairs to check doors, and other various patrol responsibilities.

 

 

Oregon Patrol Service has always believed there are inherent dangers in the job we do. We’ve chosen to provide service beyond simply “observing & reporting” as is the case with many security service providers. Their service philosophy yields very limited results…officers aren’t prepared and criminals know it. We are prepared. We’ve given our highly-skilled officers the tools and training they need to feel safe, which enables them to confidently address situations others will not. In all honesty, we'd be remiss if we didn’t. When we respond to a call, we cannot possibly know in advance who we will encounter and we will not risk out teams’ safety by assuming anything.

 

 

Our patrol vehicles are fully equipped, similar to most police/sheriff’s vehicles you’ll find. While we do not use lights responding to alarms or other calls, overhead lights provide an increased measure safety for our officers illuminating difficult-to-see areas for the officers. Secondly, they provide a clear signal to local agencies responding to call request, making it easier for them to locate our officers. Finally, there is a strong deterrent value to them – at night the silhouette of our vehicle is often enough to cause an unauthorized individual to disperse.

 

 

Yes and no. You are assured police services based on where you live, not whether or not you pay taxes. A portion of your tax goes to ensure a budget for police services exists and in that way you certainly are helping. Remember that many individuals do not pay property taxes, yet receive police services (multi-family housing, low-income, Sec 8, etc.). Although we do not want to over-dramatize the situation, calls for service by these individuals are actually paid for largely by the business, employee, and property taxes of others. Needless to say, this can challenge law enforcement personnel’s availability to service taxpayers, and has resulted in many agencies becoming call-response- oriented versus patrol- oriented, (despite what most police officers would choose). Patrol service ensures specific and timely focus on your security needs. You share resources with other private entities having the same desire to proactively address security concerns….resources which are not shared with the general public.

 

 

The job is quite different than that of the police. However, many of the tools are relevant to both which can give the impression of similarity. Understand that police, sheriff’s deputies, troopers, and other law enforcement personnel are “sworn” officers. The oath they take requires them to act in a certain way under certain circumstances, dictated by state statutes. They have a “duty to act” and failure to do so may be considered dereliction of duty. As a “non-sworn” private security provider, we are also regulated by state statutes, require certification, and in some cases, licensing. However, we have a “right to act” – not a duty. This gives the private security provider tremendous flexibility in handling situations as they arise. In fact, private citizens, have considerable authority to act. However, most individuals are not familiar enough, or educated in the specifics of when they can exercise their authority, resulting in potential problems. We receive the training and education to know when to apply our statutory authority and when we cannot. Our similarity to any law enforcement agency comes from a shared commitment to the safety, security, and welfare of those we serve: Police serve the public, we serve private entities.

 

 

Police services are rendered to anyone within the jurisdictional boundaries of the agency. Those services may be crime response, traffic control, arrest services, etc. Most municipalities provide full law enforcement services, which are both diverse and comprehensive. A patrol service is a contract service provided to private entities that want and/or need specific focus and attention. These services are more proactive than reactive. Patrol services provide a unique opportunity for private businesses and individuals to proactively engage in crime deterrence and mitigation strategies. Alarm response, while “reactive”, is a key part of our business and so our response times are well below a typical police response.