Prevention Is the Key

The security guard/proprietary private security officer’s primary role should be to protect persons and prevent damage or destruction to property. PREVENTION is the key word.

For example, if you spotted some 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 arrest them.

Another typical situation might be, a person intends to steal from a store, but suddenly sees a uniformed security guard/proprietary private security officer on patrol. The person leaves the store without stealing anything. The security guard/proprietary private security officer, simply by being in uniform, has prevented a crime.

Observe and Report

If you can’t prevent an incident, the proper action should be to observe and report. You should:

  • Observe carefully and
  • Report immediately to the local law enforcement and/or your supervisor.

Security Guard/Proprietary Private Security Officer’s Role

  • BEFORE the incident: PREVENTION
  • DURING OR AFTER the incident: OBSERVE AND REPORT and Notify law enforcement

The above direction is a suggestion and is at the discretion of the employer. Some employers may want their security personnel to be more proactive as long as they stay within the parameters of what is lawful regarding private persons (citizen’s) arrest.