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Security Guards – Do They Have Any Legal Power?

Private factory guard

Private factory guard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are a security guard or you are working on becoming a security guard, it is a good idea to learn about the kind of legal power that you hold. The legal power of a security guard will not be the same in every state but there are some guidelines that will remain the same for security guard jobs.

People in general are more familiar with their legal rights and that is good because it allows them to protect themselves. But since the general population is more familiar with their legal rights it becomes even more important for security guards to understand what rights they have and what kind of power they have at their disposal.

In your training as a security guard you will learn what you are allowed to do and what rights you have. You absolutely must pay attention to these things to prevent you from having legal action taken against you. Be aware that these legal powers might change over time so keep up to date with the laws.

Above all, you must remember that you are not a police officer – you are a security guard. The legal powers that you hold are likely to be quite different from that of a police officer. In fact, you legal powers might not be that much different than regular citizens, depending on what kind of security guard job you hold. You may have the right to make an arrest and you have the right to protect yourself. You may not have the right to use a weapon or to forcibly restrain someone. Restraining someone and detaining someone is not the same thing so be careful and be informed so that you do not break the law. If you detail someone and it turns out that they are not guilty you may have charges pressed against you if you used force beyond what is acceptable by the law.

Security guard jobs do give you some legal power and the legal powers that you hold are meant to help you do your job. Always ask yourself if you need to wield a specific power in order to protect either a person or property. If there is a simpler, less intrusive way to do so, always choose that.

Be familiar with the policies of the company you work for, too. Every company will have policies and protocols for different situations and these can help you decide what the most appropriate action to take is. They will help you choose a course of action that may or may not include making use of the legal powers that you have at your disposal.

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