What Does a Loss Prevention Supervisor Do?

B. Turner

A loss prevention supervisor is responsible for protecting store property from theft and robbery. He guards against both internal and external threats, including cash or inventory theft by employees and shoplifting by the public. The loss prevention supervisor monitors store operations to spot potential security risks, then develops comprehensive plans to help reduce these risks. As the leader of the store security team, he is also responsible for managing other loss prevention staff, and training other employees in proper loss prevention and safety techniques.

A loss prevention supervisor must deal with shoplifting situations.
A loss prevention supervisor must deal with shoplifting situations.

One of the primary jobs of any loss prevention supervisor is to manage store security personnel. The supervisor hires an trains new loss prevention workers, and also oversees scheduling and payroll for these employees. He may develop written training manuals for loss prevention staff or all workers to help reduce property loss and maximize safety. These types of personnel tasks require a great deal of paperwork and record keeping, which often requires the loss prevention supervisor to use special computer programs or software.

Loss prevention supervisors should enact plans to prevent robberies.
Loss prevention supervisors should enact plans to prevent robberies.

These professionals also oversee surveillance systems in and around the store. The loss prevention supervisor and his staff help set up and maintain closed-circuit security cameras, and monitor the images from these cameras from a central security office. He may also be assigned to manage investigations related to potential employee thefts, missing cash or inventory audits.

Retail work experience may be necessary to become a loss prevention supervisor.
Retail work experience may be necessary to become a loss prevention supervisor.

Like all security personnel, the loss prevention supervisor is expected to act with the highest level of professionalism and confidentiality. He must deal with potential shoplifters and other problem customers with courtesy and in accordance with the law. He should also be prepared for threats from customers and employees, and must be trained to diffuse physically dangerous situations.

The loss prevention supervisor is often responsible for developing and maintaining the store's overall loss prevention plan. This includes spotting opportunities for trouble and enacting a plan to prevent this type of incident from occurring. Some stores have local police or law enforcement agents tour the store and advise the loss prevention team on potential dangers. Once a strategy has been developed, the loss prevention team must then train the entire staff on this strategy.

Store security personnel must be aware of both internal and external threats. Internal threats may come from employees who steal cash or merchandise, or who help friends or family members steal from the store. Robberies are another major threat, while shoplifting can be a frequent occurrence in some stores. Loss prevention supervisors should also enact plans to prevent vandalism and other damage inside and outside the store.

A loss prevention supervisor should be skilled at dealing with combative customers.
A loss prevention supervisor should be skilled at dealing with combative customers.

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