Armed vs Unarmed Security Guards: What’s the Difference?

Armed vs Unarmed Security Guards: What’s the Difference?

armed vs unarmed security guards

 

What’s the Difference Between Armed and Unarmed Security Guards?

If you’ve been to a bank, museum, or mall lately, you’ve probably seen a security guard walking around. Did you know there are armed and unarmed guards and each has specific criteria for things they can and can’t do? This article compares armed vs unarmed security guards, as the differences go beyond simple weapons certification.

Armed Security Guards

Armed security guards work protecting the public, and they may work for private companies, armored car companies, retail businesses, or security firms. This is an excellent opportunity for retired military personnel or retired police officers. Many times if you’re one of those groups you can forgo the training requirements.

Requirements
If you’re brand new to the armed security guard job, there are several requirements and training you have to meet and go through. The basic requirements are you must be over 18, have a high school diploma, and have a clean criminal record. Many employers might also require you to have a degree in either criminal justice or police science.

Training
There is a wide variety of training programs available for this profession. You can attend programs by your employer, community colleges, or through a private organization. The core competencies you will learn in these programs are:

  • Appropriate Response to Emergency Situations
  • Crime Prevention
  • Law Enforcement
  • Firearm Training and Gun Laws
  • Proper Operation of Security Equipment
  • Report Writing
  • Using Non-Lethal Weapons like Chemical Sprays, Batons, and Stun Guns Weapons Law

You may also have to complete simulations that mimic situations like security breaches, crowd control, and vandalism.

Certifications
After you complete your security guard training, many states require you to get certification and licensure. You’ll have to pass both a background check and a drug test. There are classroom courses like criminal retention and various property rights. In many states, a security officer isn’t allowed actually to arrest anyone without a specialized police officer certification. You may also require having CPR/AED and First Aid Training as well.

Licensure
In addition to the security guard certification and license, you’ll also need to have a permit to carry a firearm. This permit can be for either concealed or unconcealed firearm. Check to see if you need your own gun and permit to take a gun licensing and training course. The rules and regulations vary state to state, so always check with your state department. Some states require that any armed security guard is certified and trained to carry a baton, stun gun, or chemical spray before they before they get their final certification.

Unarmed Security Guards

An unarmed security guard is a person who is hired to protect property or people. An unarmed security guard usually applies for a job at a security company who hires them out to various jobs. An unarmed security guard acts as a line of defense to deter a situation from escalating to needing police involvement.

Requirements
The basic demands of an unarmed security guard are to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass a criminal background check. Most states also require any unarmed security guard to obtain a security guard certificate. You will also have to go through roughly 40 hours of training, but you can begin working after the initial 8 hours. You have around six months to complete the other 32 hours of training to get your unarmed security guard certification.

Training
Any unarmed security guard will enroll and go through 40 hours of training at a community college or through a private company. This training includes:

  • Appropriate Response to Emergency Situations
  • Crime Prevention
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Relations
  • Report Writing
  • Using Non-Lethal Weapons like Chemical Sprays, Batons, and Stun Guns Weapons Law

You will also cover a course called ‘powers to arrest.’ An unarmed security guard does have the authority to detain a person that is a danger to themselves or others. One of the first things that are covered in the training course is how to safely and properly restrain and detain a person.

Certifications
Once you have completed your training course, you will receive an unarmed security guard certification. You may also be required to be trained and certified in AED/CPR and general First Aid techniques as well.

If you’re looking for an interesting and different type of job, a security officer could be the correct fit for you. It can be a fast paced career with plenty of room for advancement. The job outlook is also very strong, and it is projected to grow more over the next decade.

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