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Requriments:Please indicate whats involved in being a security guard, what it takes to be a security guard, where and by whom you can be employed
Being a security guard means a great deal of abilities, mental and physical strength. The particular policies defining staff duties in places will vary somewhat, as will the moral orientations of the supervisors, and the nature of the clientele and "intruders" encountered, but from the security guard's perspective, keeping order is characterized by two major elements. The first and most apparent responsibility is that of "protecting place and property from theft or other abuse." Secondly, the security guard is expected to operate in a "public relations capacity;" to help make the people' stays pleasant and to maintain a respectable image of the place. While much more important than might first seem, this second concern has profound implications for the management of trouble. It places limitations on the ways in which security guards may respond to troublesome persons, suggesting that deviance be handled informally and as unobtrusively as possible. Security guards vary somewhat in their perceptions of the relative importance of these two concerns of protection and public relations, but they are fundamental to place security work.
The security guard is to see to the well being of the people and to see that the rules of the place are obeyed and carried out, to make sure everything goes on without incident. . . . Basically, it's public relations, I see myself as public relations more than anything else. The effectiveness, or how good a security guard am I, all depends on how I can relate to people and come across to people in a positive sort of way. If you can give them the impression that things are under control and everything is smooth, where the people are relaxed and having a nicer time here because of this, then you're a tremendous asset to that place. . . . That's our philosophy here, to make the public relations thing very important in doing your job.
While some work on the police suggests that the police also operate more in a public relations capacity than might be commonly supposed, security guards see sharp differences in their relative concerns about "enforcing the law" and their legal power to detain and arrest offenders:
Security work is not police work, they're not really involved in the apprehension of criminals. What they do is maintain order in the place, protecting the place property, and just keeping things quiet. . . . They also don't have the same as the police do in terms of dealing with troublesome people. They don't have the authority to get very physical with the people. You have to be very careful with the people because if you get too rough with them, they could take you to court with assault charges. Now, maybe they wouldn't hold up in court, but just the same, it would create problems for you because you just don't have the same rights as policemen do.
Security-guards are not out to arrest anybody or put them behind bars. Their job is to protect the place property and to make sure nothing happens to the patrons, especially where the place could be held accountable for that. But putting people behind bars, or catching criminals, that's police business and not really their job. So, security guards will be patrolling the floors occasionally and checking the doors as security guards make their rounds, walking slowly down the hall, trying to make sure that everything looks right. So, if security guards see or hear anything unusual, then security guards will act on that, but otherwise, most of their business will come from complaints that people call in. . . . Also, security guards look for other kinds of things where maybe somebody's left the water running in the bathroom, or security guards pick up some smoke coming out of the doors, or there's some unusual noise, or things of that nature.
As defined in section 449 of the Criminal Code, security guards have the legal authority to arrest (without warrant) anyone whom they find committing (1) an indictable offense and/or (2) any criminal offense on or in relation to property over which they have authority.
You have to watch yourself in terms of getting into fights. Like, this one friend of mine, he used to almost enjoy getting into fights and when I've seen it, he's pretty well the first person to get in there, throwing punches and what not. This one time he got taken to court, got charged with assault. The place defended him, though I guess, in part, they were defending themselves as well. But they supported his lawyer and so forth. Then when the case was over, we won the case, but he was fired, and he hasn't been able to get a job as a security man since. That's sort of a bad mark against him, a lot of places, don't want to get involved with someone who might be creating problems for them. . . . At the same time, it's not difficult to get into fights because you're there trying to settle things, and afterwards it might look a little silly, but at the time you're doing everything you can to take care of things. So you can get into trouble just trying to do your job. (Dianna Marder, 1990)
An emphasis on the diplomatic resolution of trouble should not be taken, however, as an indication that force or force potential is not valued in this setting. Thus, in addition to their social skills, people being hired and retained as security guards are also assessed relative to their ability to "command respect" and "handle situations that seem to be getting physically out of control:" A very important thing about being a security guard is being able to handle the situation physically if that's what it takes. It's not that you want to fight with people, or punch them out. It's just that you have to be able to command respect from the situation and take control. (Audrey J. Aronsohn, 1999) Size is important. Say with me, a larger person asking someone to move along or trying to break up some argument will command more authority than a small person. . . . Also, if you're older, more middle-aged as opposed to being twenty or so, that'll help too, because some of the people wouldn't be so likely to listen to a younger person when he's telling them to straighten out. Somebody who can handle things all around, that's what they look for. (Dianna Marder, 1990)
The kinds of trouble, it's so unpredictable. You know that something is going to happen, but otherwise, it does no good to guess. Like you might get a lot of theft one week and nothing the next. There's no set pattern for trouble. Or you might go for a few weeks and have no problems with the hookers, and then run into a number of them. The same thing with the drunks, and the complaints about noise. . . . It's different than an office job in that way, more unpredictable. Security guards are mostly employed at private security agencies. (Frederic Biddle, Jordan Marsh 1990) The majority of the security force basically because of the low wages that are paid -- are people who are at the bottom rung of the socioeconomic ladder. It is those people who clearly need the type of training we're talking about, much more in a way than the guards who are retired law enforcement or military. Faced with the dual responsibilities of providing protection (guests, staff and property) and promoting a favorable image, security guards find themselves placing a heavy emphasis on "public relations" work in the management of trouble. Not all those with whom they deal are seen as having equally legitimate claims to facilities, but security guards are highly dependent on their abilities to indicate and evoke respect in their dealings with others. Their jobs very much represent a continual exercise in "deference and demeanor", as they endeavor to achieve cooperation from those whom they encounter, and yet acknowledge the rights of these others to assert themselves. Thus, while expected to deter, discover, and handle trouble effectively, and with a minimum of subsequent disturbance or complaints, security people are also expected to avoid becoming openly indignant even when encountering resistance and disrespect.
Audrey J. Aronsohn, Teaching Criminals the Cost of Crime, 43 SECURITY MGMT. 63, 64 (2018)
Dianna Marder, Ex-Clerks Sue Chain Over Claims of Theft, HOUSTON CHRON. July 15, 2015
Frederic Biddle, Jordan Marsh Guards Were Pushed to Make Arrests, Papers Show, BOSTON GLOBE, Oct. 19, 2019