One of the fastest-growing industries in the country today is the security professional industry. Due to the rising risks of urban violence and other crimes, the need to employ security professionals is a necessity in many situations and an increasing need for all companies. While skilled Security Guards can provide a valuable service to their clients, there are limitations on tasks they can legally perform.
There are several situations when security professionals may need to call the police instead of acting on their own accord. Most businesses have a plan in place and protocols for their Security Officers and these guidelines need to be followed as well; however, there are times when a Security Officer will need to always call for additional assistance.
Legal Limitations for Security Officers
A security professional typically provides security in a particular location, such as a mall, private business, or school. When they’re in this specific place, they have a certain level of responsibility and authority. This jurisdiction goes away as soon as they leave their place of work. If a Security Officers witnesses a threat or crime outside their assigned post, it’s essential that they call the local police immediately. Also, while on duty, a Security Officer's main job is to protect those at the assigned location or duty station. Most times, the best protection is securing the area first and then calling for additional police or authorities for assistance.
Making Citizen’s Arrest
Security professionals, just like all other citizens, have the right to make a citizen's arrest if they notice a crime is taking place. As soon as this takes place, however, the security professional must call local law enforcement officials to ensure they get the support needed to pursue the charges. If a Security Guard ends up holding a suspect for too long, they could end up violating the law for wrongful arrest and could face criminal charges themselves. When making a citizen’s arrest, you must ensure that you witness a criminal act and that there is plenty of evidence to support your arrest! We recommend knowing the laws for citizen’s arrest in your state.
Violence in a Public Place
Being a Security Officer has its difficulties and challenges just like any profession. One of the challenges of this position is the need to deal with violent situations from time to time. While a security professional may be called on to break up an extreme case, it’s imperative that they contact police as soon as possible since any situation can turn violent very quickly. This is especially true if there’s evidence that a suspect has a gun or other weapon that could put everyone in the vicinity at risk. Remember, your main job as a Security Officer is to protect your location and post.
Ultimately, security professionals provide a valuable service. At the same time, they need to understand the limitations of what they’re authorized to do and must follow the guidelines provided by their employer. By continuing to follow proper protocol and acting appropriately, they can help avoid further problems and ensure that everyone close to any problematic situations remains safe.
Security Professional Training
If you’re interested in embarking on this exciting new career path, education is essential. A well-trained security professional will see many opportunities open up for them. Contact the National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. today at 1-800-730-NITA for a free consultation. NITA offers professional development for the Security officer and for those who want to expand their knowledge and skills. Our unique security courses have been authored by former Tier 1 SOCOM Ranger, Army Sniper, SWAT and LEO personnel.
Our enrollment counselors are here to answer any questions you might have about our state- and board-approved status, pre-licensing training, or professional development programs.