Hiring Qualified Security Guards

Man standing on a road in a city with his back turned to camera with the word SECURITY on his sweatshirt

Written by: Bob Penney, Copper Penney Training

Hiring Qualified Security Guards from Local Licensed Security Companies

There are many benefits that come with hiring qualified security guards. For example, hiring security guards from a licensed security company can offer invaluable services that help to ward off people with bad intentions, and to keep your employees or attendees feeling safer. 

Just like police officers, good security guards are there to help protect you, but have various levels of training and legal authority when it comes to important matters like making arrests and the use of physical force. Knowing these differences will help you make better-informed decisions when hiring the services of a licensed security company. 

Differences between Police Officers & Security Guards

A qualified police officer is licensed by the state they work in and are empowered by law to make arrests for crimes and use a level of force against others that a security guard cannot.

A security guard has the same arrest powers as every other citizen. When a professionally trained guard makes a lawful citizen’s arrest, the security guard must immediately turn the arrested person over to a police officer. The only time security guards can use reasonable force is when they are making a lawful citizen’s arrest, or when protecting themselves or others against imminent bodily harm. These are complicated matters, so it is highly recommended that you consult with your licensed security provider and attorney for guidance. 

Typically, unarmed security guards are best employed to monitor property/events, lawfully enforce the rules of the account holder (i.e., hotels, private functions), and supplement law enforcement when the circumstances do not require a police officer’s powers and authority.

The level of training and skills a security guard possesses can vary a great deal. Depending on the expertise and services provided by the licensed security company, a security guard will at a minimum meet the background and training standards set by your states licensing agency. Licensed security and protective agent companies may offer personnel that possess a combination of high-level security, law enforcement, and military training and experience. 

There may be times when the best decision is to try and hire an off-duty police officer that is contracted out by the police department they work for. However, this is often difficult, and will find that a licensed security company can provide the appropriate level of protection you need for the length of time you need it. It is okay to not be an expert and not know exactly what you need. Licensed security companies are skilled at assessing your needs and producing the right combination of guarding solutions. 

Evaluate Your Security Needs

A licensed provider will help evaluate your security needs and partner with you to select the type of security and protective services you should employ. A licensed provider may suggest unarmed guards that carry non-lethal tools and/or armed guards that carry firearms. If you are looking for a guard to monitor an area, control access, or fill more of a concierge-type role, then an unarmed guard may be the ideal. If your level of needed security involves public contact in higher crime areas or enforcement of rules where some conflict is likely, your license provider may suggest several personnel and/or armed security guards. The level of risk or needed expertise will affect the price of the service  

The best way to find the right fit is to start by hiring a local, licensed security provider that possesses the experience needed to evaluate the level of security you need and then put the right plan and guarding resources together.

It has been said that at various times and locations that up to 50% of the guarding services that people hire are delivered by unlicensed providers. It is essential that you make sure that whoever you hire is properly licensed by your states licensing authority. Proper licensing means your provider can legally offer the services they are advertising and that their security guards have completed the state’s mandated background and minimum training requirements. Meeting these standards allows them to lawfully perform the duties you are hiring them for. 

It also helps to know what a security company’s background and expertise is regarding the services they prefer to specialize in, and the level and type of training they provide to their security guards. Some licensed companies may train more heavily on the skills needed for effective armed protection, while others will emphasize training in customer service. Ask many questions and feel comfortable in detailing the types of skills and attributes you are looking for. Your licensed provider wants you to be happy and will work hard to meet your needs.

FlashlightNOW’s Protection On Demand

To make it easy to find the right security for you, create your free account with FlashlightNOW to easily find, hire, and do business with the best-licensed security, private investigative, and training and consulting companies. Download FlashlightNOW Protection On Demand. The first mobile app that gives you the power to immediately summon security guards to your personal or secondary location. All responding security guards are qualified employees of local licensed security companies. Available for IOS and Android. 

Don’t see a licensed provider or service you need in your area?  No problem! send us an email at hello@flashlightNOW.com and we will help connect you for free!


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