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Security Guard Users Taser and Fans Raise Money for New Equipment

In February, security guard Darien Long was forced to pull out a taser and use it on a woman in front of her children.  Not teenagers, but young children.  The children had been yelling, screaming, and misbehaving in front of a strip mall, while the mothers weren’t paying attention.  The moms didn’t like it very much when they figured out what was going on.

At first their attack was only verbal. They cursed at Long and called him names and then the kids got in on it, too.  They weren’t afraid to call out racial slurs (even though they were all the same race) and other names like “gay”.

The confrontation got more serious when one of the moms got physical and started pushing him.  He warned her to back off several times and she continued.  He pulled his taser and she was forced backwards.

The whole thing was captured on video via the camera that was embedded into Long’s bulletproof vest and was posted on Reddit.  Reddit users started a campaign to take in donations to contribute to better equipment and gear for Long.

Watch the video before we consider some important questions (WARNING – graphic language):

As a security guard, one of your roles is to control situations.  Is there anything that this security guard could have done differently?  Well, consider this: if you ask any mother if they would be ok with someone else yelling at their children when they were present, what would most moms say.  I think most moms would say that they would not be ok with that.  Perhaps he could have spoken directly to the parents first and asked them to quiet their children.

Assuming that did not make a difference could his language and attitude have affected the outcome?  Possibly.  She repeatedly said, “Back off!” in an aggressive tone that may have aggravated the situation.  What if he had said, “Ma’am please back up,” in an assertive but non-aggressive manner.  Or maybe if he had asked her to take her children and leave and then stood firm saying nothing she would have not felt threatened and left on her own will.  Aggressive language often leads to more aggressive behaviors.

This is not to excuse the behavior of the mothers or of the children.  However, calmness is boring and gives nothing to fight back against.  It is possible that the taser might never have been needed.


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How to Handle Yourself as a Security Guard Under Pressure

Every security guard comes under pressure at some point in time.  It might be pressure to do better at your job, to get a raise, or to eliminate behaviors at the job site.  No matter what kind of pressure you are under, you need to learn how to manage it so that it does not affect how well you do your job.

There are 5 things you can do to handle yourself when you are under pressure:

1.  Visualize

It may seem corny but visualization is a great exercise to prepare yourself for high pressure situations.  Visualize the environment.  Hear the noise.  Notice the people that are surrounding you.  Now see yourself doing exactly what you know you should do.  See every movement, hear every word, and anticipate how you might feel.  If you are really concentrating, you might even feel your heart beat quicken.  Then you’ll know you are doing a great job.  When and if the actual situation comes around, you will remember what you have visualized and it will be so much easier to do what you are supposed to do.

English: Security guard outside Manchester Sci...

English: Security guard outside Manchester Scientology centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2.  Keep Control

Sometimes when you are under pressure you might be faced with emotions you didn’t expect.  These things can cloud your judgment and make you feel out of control.  One of the best ways to avoid losing control is to feel comfortable dealing with emotions. Put yourself into situations where you experience fear, confusion, or any other emotions that you are not used to – just make sure you do it in a controlled and safe environment.  Try to turn those emotions into energy that you will need to deal with whatever situation is at hand.

3.  Evaluate

Before you jump in to be the hero, make sure you take a minute to evaluation the situation.  Who is there?  Are there potential dangers anywhere?  What exactly is happening?  When did it start?  Where is everyone involved located?  Ask questions like these in your head so that you are prepare to take the actions that are necessary.

4.  Have a Plan

If you’re familiar with the possible situations at your job and you know your environment you should be able to have a plan.  Your policy and procedures guide can help you with this.

5.  No Plan? No Problem

What if you don’t have a plan?  Then just take these steps:

  • Figure out the details of the situation – who, what, where, when, why, and how.
  • Decide how critical it is.  The more critical it is the faster your action will have to be.
  • Based on the first two things you have figure out, plan out a few steps in your head.
  • Move!
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How to be a Respected Security Guard

Cover of

Cover of Paul Blart: Mall Cop [Blu-ray]

Security guards have had to fight against the stereotypes that have been presented in movies.  In the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Kevin James plays a security guard that really wanted to be a police officer and his awkward ways did nothing to change the stereotypes.   So, what can security guards do to combat those misconceptions?

1.  Learn to Communicate Well

Communications is not a skill that comes naturally to everyone. It’s a learned skill that takes practice to develop.  Most people think they communicate just fine so they don’t actively go out of their way to improve their communication skills.

One thing that will help improve communication skills and make people in authority more respected is to practice assertive communications. There are three main types of communications: aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive.

Aggressive communication is pretty easy to recognize. The voice is louder and the language may be more graphic.  The body stance is more rigid and the communicator may use finger pointing or hand waving gestures to get the point across.  This type of communication generally makes the listener feel small or unsafe or even threatened.  It does not command respect, although the communicator might think it does.

Passive-aggressive communication is usually associated with the person who can’t or won’t stand up for themselves or they don’t say what they mean.  They try to keep people happy but when they don’t communicate their needs it becomes frustrating and they may target their frustrations on someone or something that has nothing to do with the original situation.

Assertive communicators are confident.  They say what they mean but they make sure to do it in a way that is not hurtful to others.   When you use assertive communications, the person that you are talking to will walk away feeling like you had their best interest in mind and will be happy that they worked with you to solve a problem.

2.  Show Respect

In order to get respect you need to show respect.  That applies to security guards, too.  You can show respect in the language that you use, in the way that you respect people’s space, and in the way you talk to people.  If you were confronting a woman that you suspected of shoplifting you would get no respect at all if you called her by a negative name like, “broad”, “chick”, or “hey, lady”.

3.  Be Consistent

You’ll get no respect as a security guard if you only follow the rules when you know your boss is on the floor or when you’re trying to get a raise.  Be consistent so that people know what to expect from you.  If you are a security guard in a museum, the staff and people visiting should not think that if they take a chance that this is one of the time you will look the other way.

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Four Reasons you Should Continue Your Training to Become an Armed Guard?

Some people are happy when they fulfill the requirements to become a security guard, that they do not continue their education. Additional training and education is available so that you can further your career. Why not try to excel in your career?

Becoming an armed guard carries a few perks in the field of security. Guards that will continue their training so that they can carry a firearm will find it was worth the extra work. There are a few benefits for becoming and armed guard.

Higher Pay

Money is always an ardent reason to go for additional training. Do not let yourself get stuck in a career dead-end. Many companies that hire security guards will not pay more than a certain amount of money unless they are an armed guard. If you are already employed you can speak to your boss and ask if they will pay more money if you carry a gun. Some bosses may, but there may be a higher insurance premium they will have to pay to allow you to work as an armed guard.


When you carry a gun, you open up a world of job opportunities. You will have a larger range of types of jobs that are available to you.


When you are an armed guard, you will be respected more. People tend to respect a guard that is holding a gun in their holster as opposed to a guard that is not. People also tend to feel more at ease having an armed guard around as well. You will need to, not only protect other people, but you must consider the reality that you need to protect yourself. It can be dangerous if someone takes your gun and tries to use it on you.

English: Antigua Guatemala: armed guard stands...

English: Antigua Guatemala: armed guard stands at the entrance of a jewelry store. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Becoming an armed guard can save you from many risks you may take as a security guard. On the other hand it also has its risks. You will be carrying a gun, so there is a chance you may be forced to use it. Due to your training to become an armed guard, you will be trained how to minimize those occurrences or when it is truly necessary to do so. You will be better protected if you are holding a gun.

Always take your training serious. It is vital to understand the risks and benefits when you are carrying a gun. You will want to pay particular attention on how to react in different situations. You are carrying a dangerous weapon, and there could be many people counting on you to make the correct decision. Carrying a gun could have massive benefits and perks as long as you understand the risks and are well trained to respond in any situation. Your response could save your life, as well as other people’s lives.

What’s the Point of a Security Guard Furthering their Education?

Continuing your education no matter what your career of choice is is always a smart move. Education plays a monumental role in our society today, and there are many advantages to having a degree. One day you may choose to leave the field of security guard all together. You will have something to take with you if you do.

Security guards in most areas do not need any kind of degree. Some can start with just a high school diploma, but the more education you have, the better job opportunities you will qualify for. Once you become a security guard it is best to continue your education by pursuing your ability to Bare arms. Becoming an armed guard will also open up new opportunities for you, and the pay will increase.

If you have an associate’s degree, you will be eligible for more jobs in different areas of security work. Some people would love to work for the federal government in homeland security. There are some job opportunities to people who have an associate’s degree in homeland security. Making sure that the immigration laws are enforced and that the people coming and leaving the country are not a threat to the rest of the citizens. Obtaining an associate’s degree will also be a brilliant idea in case you want to go into law enforcement. In order to be a surveillance officer, or obtain a position in management you must hold an associate’s degree.

Security guards that continue their education to get their bachelor’s degrees are also broadening their spectrum of job opportunities! As a security guard with a bachelor’s degree, not only will the opportunities increase but so will the salary. Many security guards go on to different areas within the security field. Some may seek employment in investigations, while others may prefer to go into law enforcement. When you complete your bachelor’s degree your employment opportunities are unlimited.

Other opportunities for security guards, who hold a degree, are jobs within corrections, immigration, customs agents and the police force. Salaries can double depending upon what area of security you would like to continue in. The opportunities for security guards change with the level of education, and that is why it is crucial to always continue your education.

The ideal career path as a security guard would start with seeking the ability to Bare arms. Follow through with any security clearance you will need, as well as the required hours needed of training in order to Bare arms. Then you should go onto your associate’s degree. Once you have your associates degree you will know whether or not getting your bachelor’s degree is for you. Some people do go further and seek their masters in criminal justice. Furthering one’s education will only open more doors and create a pathway for where you might want to go in your career as a security guard.

What Qualities are Best to Have as a Security Guard

Not All Personalities are Suited to Become Security Guards

Not all personalities will make a great security guard. A good example of a personality that would not make a decent security guard is someone who is never serious. A person who makes a joke out of anything and everything they do would not make a cogent security guard. The job as a security guard is a serious position. It can be an intensely dangerous job, so a person must take everything serious and not let their job be made into a joke.

Must be Attentive

A person who does not pay attention to what they are doing is not someone who would make an excellent security guard. A job in security requires someone to be smart, but most importantly have common sense. If someone is only book smart they could have a tough time when they have a day that is not a typical day. They may not know what to do, or how to react. That can be dangerous if a security guard reacts the wrong way. No book can tell you everything you will need to know about working in security. Many issues that a security guard has to deal with requires common sense and critical thinking.

English: Female security guard in Narayangarh,...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not too Friendly

Personable people are needed to become security guards. It is vital that the person does not strive to be everyone’s friend, but they have to be personable. There are times in a security guard’s job in which they will need to make someone feel safe. Talking to the person and helping them to understand that they are ok, is important. Maybe it is a child who wandered off and cannot find their parent, or even an adult who has been through trauma. There needs to be a balance of being friendly but not overly friendly. A security guard does not want to be too nice that they are deceived by a bad person.

Physically Fit

Someone who takes fitness seriously is a valued trait in a security guard. There could be times where the security guard will need to run, or chase someone. It is crucial that they are fit enough to do such things. At the same time, balance again is notable because if someone is too fit or buff a lot of times they carry a hefty ego which can also hurt their performance as a security guard. If they are too into themselves, they may not be as into their jobs.

Takes Job Seriously

A security job holds a vast responsibility no matter what they are guarding. They are holding everyone’s safety in the palm of their hands, so if they are not the right person to do the job they could be putting a lot of people at risk. It is vital that security guards do their jobs carefully and thorough.

As mentioned, a person’s personality can affect the ability for a security guard to do their job correctly. To become a security guard is not for everybody. Only certain people can handle such responsibility and risk.

What is the Difference of How a Security Guard is Hired?

Many things will vary depending on how a security guard is hired. A security guard can be hired by an agency that specifically represents security guards, directly by a business, hired through a government agency or another organization. Depending how they are hired, they could earn more or less and carry less benefits.

Security Guard Agencies

Agencies that employ security guards and then place them in different businesses often are the lowest paying jobs in security. Agencies often offer lower wages, fewer benefits, and more responsibility. The benefits of going through a security guard agency when looking for a job is that it is common that they have several vacancies. There are agencies that are in charge of screening and hiring perspective security guards for businesses. Businesses like using agencies so that they do not have to screen new employees or conduct background checks on them. Agencies will perform security clearance, and possible drug testing on their employees to make sure their clients get a decent security guard. Security guards justify the lower wages when working through an agency because they are often found jobs quicker than if they had done it on their own.

English: Cash transport van with guards in Gua...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Direct Hire

If a security guard is hired directly by a business they will usually receive higher earnings, and more benefits than if they had been hired by a security agency. Businesses hire security guards all the time, so it is possible to be hired by a business. There are some different factors that a business might look for, that an agency does not. An agency is seeking to hire as many guards as possible and get them working quickly. Whether or not their personality fits in the business, most agencies would not know because they do not work in those businesses. When being hired directly by a company often there are several applicants for one job, so the security guards are up against many people.

Government Agency

Being hired through a government agency is another way a security guard could be hired. Government jobs often require an applicant to take a written test as well as have specific qualifications. A governmental job will have a comprehensive security clearance that an applicant will need to pass. Many times a government role will pay higher and offer more benefits than businesses.

Other Organizations

Other organizations could hire security guards. Other organizations might include private colleges or universities, churches, to protect a person, or apartment complexes. These organizations can often be competitive in wages and benefits as other direct hires. Jobs become available all the time in all different types of organizations.

Typical Job Duties of a Security Guard Hired to Guard a Business Establishment

Most jobs in the security business have similar job duties because their main goal is to guard something. That something could be a person, a business, property, or even an item of value. Here are some of the most common job duties a security guard will be asked to perform.

Access Control

A security guard’s job may be to make sure that whomever goes in and out of the establishment has the proper authorization. A security guard may need to issue a pass, or check that their pass is valid. Directing people to the proper location is another job duty that might be expected of a security guard.

Theft Guard

Patrolling specific areas may be a part of a security guards job duty. It is indispensable to make sure nobody is stealing merchandise. They may patrol in a security vehicle or on foot.

RIA Novosti archive, image #778338 / Vitaliy Ankov / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


Having a security guard in appropriate areas to reduce or rid businesses of vandalism or fire. Some areas are more prone to vandalism and arson; therefore, they might place a security guard in that location to deter such actions.


Checking identification of a person might be apart of a security job. Whether the person is of age, is crucial. Making sure they are who they say they are, or are supposed to be there.

Avoid Chaos

Enforcing the rules of the business in order to avoid chaos is another job duty. This is essential to maintain order and reduce conflicts.

Monitor Security Cameras

Surveillance cameras might be in several different places, and it is the job of the security officer to monitor them. They will need to act on any suspicious activity.

Security Checks

Depending on the business whether it is the entrance to an event or nightclub or even an airport, a security guard may need to provide physical security checks to insure nobody is getting in with a gun or weapon.

Ensure Public Safety

Perform safety and emergency procedures that the business has requested by responding to any bomb threats, emergencies, or fire alarms. Keeping people calm and under control is a part of the duties as a security guard. It is crucial to keep everyone from panicking as much as possible. Be prepared to follow any emergency procedures that the company has created in case of unplanned disasters.

These are just some of the most popular job duties of a security guard hired to protect a business. There are many different jobs within the security guard realm, but these are the most common job duties that you may be asked to perform. When working in security, it is necessary to be ready for anything, at anytime.

Will There Always be Jobs for Security Guards?

Will Technology Affect the Future in Security Jobs?

Nowadays there are so many jobs being eliminated by technology. Technology has hit the security guard field as well with security scanners, and surveillance cameras. That has eliminated a few positions along the way, but people will always be needed in security.

There are a lot of things that a security guard does in the place of employment that could never be fulfilled by a computer. Therefore, there is no possibility that security guards will be replaced. There will always be a need for security guards. Computers and electronics are not a threat to a future job in security.

Will Security Jobs be Outsourced Overseas?

Other careers are being jeopardized by being sent overseas, again security guards do not have to worry about this happening to their jobs. People will always need to hire a live person to secure the premises. A security camera can only make the job a little easier, but someone will need to be there to stop whatever is being done such as theft, vandalism, or arson.


How Can I be Sure Becoming a Security Guard will be an Option in the Future?

Investing your time to become a security guard will always be well worth the effort. Jobs will always be available, and security guards always be needed. Whether guarding a specific person, a business establishment, or a single item; a security guard will always need to be a real person.

With new businesses opening up all the time, there is always a need for more security. Security is always a top priority in businesses in which theft, or vandalism can occur. There will always be retail establishments, hotels, apartment buildings, or government facilities that need to be secure and guarded. The jobs for a security guard are such a broad range of diversity, that jobs are endless.

As people retire, more jobs become available for additional security guards all the time. It is forecasted that jobs in security will continue to grow moderately through the next ten years. This shows that the future as a security guard is secure.

If you are a high school student considering a future career in security, or an adult seeking a career change, there is a future with becoming a security guard. Further your education, go onto training, and become a security guard you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. As with any profession, the more training and schooling you have in any particular field will always help you to succeed. Continue your education and training so that you can continue to excel in the field of being a security guard. The more education and training you have, the easier it will become to find employment.

Developing Your Career in Security

So you have done the training and become a fully-fledged Security Guard. But what are the options for career progression within the industry? I actually began my career as a bus boy cleaning the floor i

n a nightclub before working my way up to Security Guard, Supervisor, Manager and I am currently head of the entire security operation in London for one of the largest security companies in the world.

I want to share with you how I did this and hope that I can help you on your journey.

1. Start as you mean to go on

By this I mean, from the day you become a Security Officer you must always maintain the highest possible standards of work. Make sure your appearance is immaculate; you are punctual and maintain a low level of absenteeism. Give you customers the highest possible level of service because as you gain positive written feedback through emails and letters you can use this when it comes the time to ask for a promotion or a pay rise!

Always endeavour to be the best version of yourself when at work. As a Security officer or guard you do not provide anything tangible to your customers, in other words YOU are the product. What you say, how you deal with people and incidents are what will be remembered. If you do these things well, you will be on your way to Supervisory level.


Security guard at Virtual University, Multan C...

Security guard at Virtual University, Multan Campus (Photo credit: liber(the poet);)

2. Be a self-starter

One of the best ways to gain recognition as an innovative and forward thinking employee is to come up with solutions to problems. Showing that you can take the initiative and carry out research to back this up will enable you to stand out from the crowd and your name may be mentioned when an opening in Management comes up.

You may identify a simple problem such as wasted paper in your place of work and suggest your company switched to electronic data capture. You could present to your company the cost as well as environmental and marketing benefits this could have and people will think of you as someone who can work unaided to assist the whole team in being better.

3. Education

It is a fact that a large percentage of people within the Security industry do not have a college education. This does not mean that you cannot learn while you earn. When I worked as a Security Guard on day shift I attended evening classes to earn my IT diploma. When my former employer put me on night shifts I could no longer attend evening classes so guess what? I enrolled in a distance learning university and studied Management, Business, Society and Risk Assessing. I studied all of this at night while I was being paid leaving my days free to enjoy with my family.

4. Confidence

When you apply all of the above I have no doubt that you will achieve any goal you set yourself and you will be equipped with the tools and the resume to make a success of it. Having one of the above or a combination of them may just give you the edge over another candidate applying for the same job you are. Believe in yourself.

All the best and I wish you success in your career.

Jon @