The Rangers are a manned guarding service that was originally set up by flexible Work Space provider TOG (The Office Group) to deliver enhanced building security for their platform of nearly 50 buildings in the UK. After being operational for two years, the team at TOG approached Opem Security thanks to their long-standing relationship and security expertise to manage the delivery of this service – keeping their workplaces, clients and members safe and secure.
Today we sat down with gentle giant and head of the Rangers, Terry Jawahall to find out more about the vital role that the Rangers play in ensuring the safety of its tenants and their assets.
Tell me about your background
I have worked in the security industry for 25 years, predominantly in supervisory and managerial roles. My background includes working for reputable companies like the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studios, BBC, Getty Images, as well as various concert halls and TV studios, to name a few.
What attracted you to working as a Ranger?
I was the Rangers’ first hire. Originally, I was introduced to the company as an out of hours office facility coordinator. At the time it seemed like a unique opportunity. It was a new role for me and included some elements of security, so I went for it.
How would you describe the Rangers and what they do?
The role evolved over time, but I would say that we are building security support officers with an edge.
We are here to attend emergencies of any kind, including minor or major break-ins, floods, fires and so on. We are here to protect people from anything that could be dangerous or pose a threat to our client’s safety. Our primary objective is to keep the building safe and secure on a day-to-day basis.
I am the one who is responsible for making that happen.
We have different types of Rangers that are in place to manage every eventuality. We have both static and roaming guards. The roamers, as we call them, are employed to offer flexibility across the expanse of the portfolio and are first responders in the event of an emergency.
With 44+ Locations to manage, how do you stay on top of things?
It takes a lot of strategising, but then I thrive on the challenge. I am a very organised person who likes to keep one step ahead all the time. I am always prepared for the unexpected, through careful planning and procedures and I train my team to work and think in the same way.
Why were you drawn to working in security and what do you find exciting about it?
I liked making people feel safe. I do not know why, maybe it is just my personality, but I enjoy the responsibility of doing the right thing. It is not really an exciting thing for other people, but for me, I like things done properly. For example, if there is a break-in, I’m overjoyed when people are caught. I am just interested in justice. I like superheroes and I like the aspect of being one or coming close to one at work.
What are the Rangers USP’S
People make great companies, and I would say that it is our ability to deal with high risk and high-pressure situations. We are required to have perfect communication skills and possess the attributes of being personable, proactive, professional, and self-motivated.
What has been your career highlights since working as a ranger?
That is easy. It was winning the Manager of the Year award 2019. It had been a really difficult year in the sense that everything was constantly being thrown at us. TOG had acquired the Waterloo site, Scott House. So, we had to hire and train staff. There is a lot to organise with building security and new sites, and it just kept coming. It was an incredibly challenging year, but when December rolled around and Mr Pelham (Opem Founder and CEO) presented me with the award, I really felt that I had worked hard and earned it and the recognition just made it feel like it was all worth it.
I have achieved accolades in the past but when you are presented with an award it makes it much more official and shows such an appreciation for your work. Just knowing that I had really earned it was a really good feeling. I am smiling now thinking about it.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part is taking on random occurrences and solving them quickly. I also enjoy checking in with the team. Showing that you care about the team both professionally and personally helps to build a bond. It is important to have that bond with each individual as we go through so much together. They are great guys and make the Rangers what they are today.
What is your biggest challenge?
Hiring the right people as it takes a lot to formulate a team like ours. It takes someone special, who is smart, competent, articulate, and does not think with their fists at the first sign of trouble.
There is a misconception that guarding is all about resolving situations though physical altercation. If anything, that is the opposite of what we do. We are here to support, deter, and raise the alarm.
Recently we hired a Ranger who had a background in door supervision and all he ever knew was being physical. So, it was a steep learning curve to move away from that approach. It is especially important that you do not put yourself in danger. You never know if someone is armed and it is not worth your life.
What is the biggest lesson that you've learned since joining the Rangers?
Expected the unexpected. Do not ever think everything is going to be the same. Be organised. Do not let your guard down. If you are faced with something unexpected keep your cool and do not panic.
What advice would you give to someone looking to make a career in the security industry?
I think it boils down to deciding what sector you want to go into as there are lots of industries that security encompasses. Once you have decided, focus on it entirely, and make sure it is the right decision for you. Then give the best performance that you can. That was my journey anyway.