ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SECURITY GUARD
is important to remember:
are security guards DIFFERENT from peace officers?
guards do not have:
happens when a security guard PRETENDS to be a peace
security guard who pretends or even implies (lets others
think) that he is a peace officer is committing a crime.
A person who is found guilty of impersonating a peace officer
could be punished by a fine or county jail sentence
and his registration may be denied or revoked.
are a security guard�s ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES?
security guard�s role is to PROTECT people and
property of his employer or contracted clients.
security guard�s responsibility BEFORE an
incident/offense has occurred is PREVENTION.
security guard�s responsibility DURING or AFTER an
incident/offense has occurred is to OBSERVE and REPORT.
should security guards PERFORM their job?
major responsibility of a security guard is prevention BEFORE
an incident/offense occurs. Thus, a security guard should be
highly visible. By being seen, the guard may discourage
anyone who might be considering theft, damage, or personal
injury. A security guard�s job is PREVENTION. To do the
job well, the security guard MUST:
is a sign that a security guard is doing a good job?
absence of incidents or offenses (crimes) is one sign that a
security guard is doing a
should a security guard do if an incident/offense does occur?
an offense occurs, a guard does not charge in. Instead,
the security guard should:
IS A SECURITY GUARD�S JOB?
security guard is 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 prostitution.
example, if you were on duty at a plant gate and you observed
two teenagers having an auto race down a public road, you would
not try to arrest them. You may decide to report it to the
police if a telephone is nearby. But you were hired to protect
the plant - not to arrest speeders.
fact, you should be suspicious of any activity that may
draw you away from your post. It could be a plan to draw
your attention away from your duties.)
IS A PEACE OFFICER'S JOB?
officers are law enforcement officers such as Sheriffs and their
Deputies, Constables, Marshals, members of city police forces
and other officers whose duty is to enforce
the law and preserve the public peace. If a law is violated,
peace officers are required to pursue and apprehend the person
responsible. This is not required of a security guard!
a peace officer�s responsibilities are different from a
security guard�s responsibilities.
OTHER DUTIES COULD A SECURITY GUARD HAVE?
security guard may be responsible for maintaining certain company
rules establishedby the client (company). These could
employees to show their badges when entering the
lunch pails as employees leave the plant; or
safety standards and reporting hazards; blocked
exits, fire safety, slippery floors, etc.
guard�s supervisor or the client (company) will give him
instructions on helping employees observe company rules and
IS THE KEY
security guard�s concern is to protect persons and prevent
damage or destruction to property. PREVENTION is the
example, if you spotted some young people trying to climb a fence
to enter private property, you should shout at them or turn on the
lights. Do anything lawful that would discourage their
trespassing, don�t wait until they cross the fence so you can
typical situation might be: A person intends to steal from a
store, but suddenly sees a uniformed security guard on patrol. The
person leaves the store without stealing anything. The guard,
simply by being in uniform, has prevented a crime.
you can�t prevent an incident, the proper action is to observe
and report. You should:
OR AFTER the
a serious offense, such as robbery, burglary, or assault with a
deadly weapon, has been committed, you will need help
to apprehend the suspect.
THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY. Even police who are trained to make
forcible arrests are encouraged to call for help in dangerous
You are patrolling the grounds of a factory at 2:00 a.m. and see
two armed adults entering the stock room. What should you do? (You
should call the police, then observe and
While you are guarding a sporting goods store, a man runs out of
the store. Ten seconds later, the owner runs to you and says
there has been a robbery. What should you do? (Have
the owner call the police, then observe and report.)
You are patrolling a store parking lot. A shopper loads
Christmas gifts into a station wagon parked in the lot and goes
back to do more shopping. The windows of the wagon are open, and
three boys are gathered around the station wagon looking in.
What should you do? (You should try to prevent a possible
theft by making your presence known.)
You are on guard in a jewelry store. An employee showing diamond
rings to a customer is called to the telephone. The customer is
left alone with the display box of diamond rings. What should
you do? (You should try to discourage a theft by making your presence
Source: Power To Arrest, BSIS, November 2005. This is
material to be provided to all California security guards as part
of their guard card training.