There’s a common misconception between security guards and peace officers. Before going into the 6 essential roles and responsibilities of security guards, let me briefly clarify this misconception.
What’s a peace officer?
Peace officers are law enforcement officers provided by the state whose duty is to enforce the law and preserve the public peace. They primarily include; Police officers and their Deputies, Constables, Marshals, and other officers.
If a law is violated, peace officers are required to pursue and apprehend the person responsible. This is not required of a security guard!
What’s a security guard?
Security guards are crime, threat and risk prevention officers assigned to protect specific people and property. This may include detecting some of the same offenses that would cause a peace officer to act, such as a fight or burglary. But it would not include other offenses such as motor vehicle traffic violations or car accident. The security guard’s concern is to protect persons and prevent damage or destruction to property. PREVENTION is the key word.
So fundamentally, the job duties and responsibilities of a security guard are not the same as a peace officer or police officer. Instead, security guards are in the prevention business. It is their job to act as a deterrent to crime, to watch for impending danger and to report crimes they may encounter.
Their roles may seem the same from a far, but essentially their functions differ and here’s why;
SECURITY GUARDS are paid to only protect specific people and property.
POLICE (PEACE OFFICERS) are paid to protect all people and all property and enforce laws.
Besides the different scope of protection offered by security guards and peace officers, the major difference is that one enforces law while the other doesn’t. For instance, when a security guard apprehends a criminal, he has no right whatsoever to arrest the criminal. His duty is to inform the closest police station of the incidence, because it’s only them who can make the arrest.
The 6 Essential Roles And Responsibilities Of Security Guards
Not every security guard is trained to fill the following roles and perform the following responsibilities. You only get this when you hire Damog Guards!
A security guard’s role is to PROTECT people and property of his employer or contracted clients. So, the major responsibility of a security guard is prevention BEFORE an incident/offense occurs. The absence of incidents or offenses (crimes) is one sign that a security guard is doing a good job.
Security guards should remain visible as a deterrent to criminals. Thefts, damage and injuries can be thwarted when the perpetrators see a security guard. So, a security guard should be highly visible. By being seen, the guard may discourage anyone who might be considering theft, damage, or personal injury.
Security guards must remain alert to watch for abnormal activity or hear any unusual sounds. A security guard’s job is PREVENTION. To do the job well, the security guard MUST: Be alert, Listen and Watch. In fact, security guards should be suspicious of any activity that may draw them away from their post. It could be a plan to draw their attention away from their duties.
Observe And Report
A security guard’s responsibility DURING or AFTER an incident/offense has occurred is to OBSERVE and REPORT. If an offense occurs, a guard does not charge in. Instead, the security guard should:
• Stay calm
• Observe and remember events
• Report to the police/or the security guard’s supervisor (follow employer policy).
During dangerous situations, such as robbery, burglary, or assault with a deadly weapon, the security guard will need help to apprehend the suspect. This involves calling the police immediately. Even the police who are trained to apprehend criminals are encouraged to call for help in dangerous situations.
Security guards sometime assume a team player role when he/she is responsible for maintaining certain miscellaneous rules and policies established by the client (company/individual). These could include:
Requiring employees to show their badges when entering the property; or
Inspecting lunch pails as employees leave the plant; or
Monitoring safety standards and reporting hazards; blocked exits, fire safety, slippery floors, etc.