In this article, we’ll look at why law enforcement officers make better security guards and how you can best protect your business as a result.
They Have the Training
Law enforcement officers have significantly more training than security guards. It takes up to 20 hours of training to get certified as a civilian security guard. That means it’s relatively easy to do so and opens the door to a wide variety of people becoming security guard officers.
On the other hand, police officers require extensive training. They can spend up to a year in the academy and have weeks of on-the-job training to boot. Training isn’t just longer, it is much more intensive and covers a wide variety of situations, making them a more versatile option as a security guard.
They Have Experience
Certified and professional law enforcement officers are highly trained and have experienced almost every scenario possible. A standard security guard will have witnessed their fair share of drama and will know how to deal with most scenarios. But their experience still pales in comparison to a former law enforcement offer with decades of experience. They know when the right time to diffuse a situation is and have the authoritative tone to achieve the best outcome. They know when to take action and escalate matters, too.
They Know the Law
Part of being a good security guard is knowing your rights with regard to the law. While this is covered in training to some degree, most civilian security guards will have to learn as they go. Former law enforcement officers, on the other hand, will know the law inside out and understand exactly where they stand in any given situation. This makes them a much more authoritative and reliable presence at your office or event.
Don’t Rely on Law Enforcement
By this point, you might be thinking why bother with security guards in the first place if law enforcement officers are better. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. On private property, private security guards have more authority than the police because they represent the owner and not the city, state or general public.
A security guard can also be available at short notice and act without having to wait for backup. The same can’t always be said of police officers. Finally, security officers can be flexible in appearance. There may be times when you want your guards to blend in at events. Police officers are almost always required to wear uniforms, but security guards (even ones with law enforcement experience) can wear whatever they want.
Choosing a security guard rather than the police is almost always the best bet. But try to choose a security guard with a background in law enforcement. Ultimately, any law enforcement officer could become a security guard if they wish. But no security guard could become a law enforcement officer without significantly more training. It’s why the vast majority of Echelon’s security guards have law enforcement experience. Contact us today to find out more.