Security officers are a force to reckon with in society. At malls, outside nightclubs, in jewelry stores or banks, outside residential homes, or at any other place, they’re there to defend and protect. Security officers’ focus is on safeguarding products, property, or even people from various threats. When additional protection is required, people bring in security officers.
If you require extra safety and assurance for your business, family, or even yourself, you may need to employ security guards. These security guards are categorized into two: unarmed and armed guards. And even though they fall under different categories, they both provide protective services. But why would you hire an unarmed and not armed guard? We look at what’s involved in hiring unarmed security guards and their benefits over armed officers.
First Things First: Why Would You Need a Guard in the First Place?
Perhaps you have installed a surveillance system and require additional security. Perhaps you are in charge of a trade show or short-term event security. It could be that your job or business has experienced sudden security risks recently, and you need a budget-friendly on-site security option for the first time but aren’t sure what to choose.
Unarmed and Armed Guards: What Is the Difference?
An armed security guard is a professional officer who has undergone training in both carrying and handling weapons. They provide protection and defense for your needs and can use deadly force should the situation demand it. Most businesses, like jewelry stores and banks, have highly valuable services and products. Therefore, the apparent presence of deadly force can deter criminals. Armed officers aren’t always subtle, and criminals notice weapons straight away.
At times, it’s necessary to employ armed security. Most situations require the use of lethal force and powerful weapons. However, you may be uncomfortable with the idea of weapons being used in your premises, particularly if you deal with customers. For some cases, having armed security guards close offers protection against potential threats and peace of mind. You can pay less attention to self-defense methods and focus more on the tasks at hand.
When it comes to armed security, the officers themselves are individuals you can bank on to defend your life. The sight of a gun is, in itself, puts off criminals. Seeing a firearm at an officer’s hip can be sufficient to persuade a criminal that his/her plan isn’t worth risking his/her life or health. If criminals try using violence to obtain what they came for, you can rest assured that your armed security guard will apprehend them and ensure the situation is under control. This is thanks to the extra implication of their gun.
On the other hand, unarmed security guards are professionals that protect you, your business, or your family without carrying weapons. Whereas unarmed security officers won’t use a firearm or any other high-impact weapons, they carry duty belt and may have the following items:
- Pepper spray (OC spray)
- A baton
- Heavy-duty cleaning gloves
- A tactical flashlight
- A multi-tool
- Based on the security company, a pen combo, and smartphone with heavy-duty NFC tokens
These tools are designed to make the security officer’s job safer and easier. It is a prevalent misconception that armed security officers are automatically highly effective since they have weapons. However, you may be shocked to learn that, more frequently than you would think, unarmed security officers are equally more efficient and can give value to your money.
What an Unarmed Security Officer Can Do for You
The primary duty of an unarmed security officer is monitoring and protecting properties against criminal attack and damage. They have to be alert, respond to any emergencies, and patrol the premises. Additionally, they monitor video surveillance cameras and alarm systems. In cases where there’s a security breach, they’re supposed to alert the police. Here are typical tasks an unarmed security guard is likely to do in his/her role.
- Help guard assign command post, distributing info requested by convention center visitors, demonstrating successful written and verbal communication.
- Ensure maximum communication levels with visitors and clients and provide all the required information.
- Control how people come and exit the premises, check identification, direct visitors, and enforce security company and client regulations.
- Replenish ATMs, remove money and paper jams, and ensure the ATMs are functioning correctly.
- Patrol the premises and monitor CCTV screens to prevent damage, vandalism, assault, trespassing, and theft on that property.
- Perform ATM deposit pulls, balancing and cash replenishment, first-line maintenance to make sure there’s maximum operation time.
- Directing traffic at the business parking booth and providing coverage in all parking lots and CCTV monitors.
- Dispatch another security guard to any individual or alarms in the wrong place for which they don’t have clearance.
- Provide security clearance for public events and VIPs.
- Report any irregular incidents such as emergencies, possible losses, violations of procedures and customer policy, and property damage.
More Crucial Questions
Choosing a security guard ought to be conducted with extreme carefulness. Therefore, ask yourself the following questions before opting between unarmed and armed security guards:
- Is possible deadly force required?
- What’s the possibility of the need to apprehend dangerous and armed citizens?
If the chances of using lethal weapons are slim or none, unarmed security guards may be an ideal option. There are many reasons why unarmed security guards may be an ideal choice.
Why You Should Hire Unarmed Security Guards
You may be wondering why you would go for an unarmed security officer to protect you, your family, or your business when an armed security guard provides an added advantage of carrying a firearm. Whereas some situations warrant armed security, unarmed officers could be an ideal choice for most of your protection needs. For instance, they come in handy if:
You’re in a Gun-Sensitive Environment
You hire a security officer to improve safety. However, you may not have realized that an armed security guard could have the opposite impact. The presence of a gun can be highly unsettling for some people, particularly with the common nature of recent shootings in the United States and tensions concerning gun laws.
Even though the purpose of an armed security officer is to enhance safety, the mere sight of a firearm could make people tense and cause more upset than what’s otherwise necessary. Places you may want to prevent a display of guns include schools and other places where there might be children, libraries, corporate workplaces, and theaters.
You Want to Minimize Liability
Various risks come with using deadly force. If you or your business have a low tolerance of liability and aren’t ready to handle the outcome of a situation using deadly force, it is probably best that you avoid armed guards.
If you employ an armed guard, you take up accountability for if a person were to be killed or injured at the spot you are protecting because of the armed guard you hired. If this were to be the case, you would be held responsible for the victim’s death or injury and related settlements and legal fees. This could be an overwhelming blow emotionally, financially, and for your company’s reputation.
If it is not required, keeping deadly force far away from your event or business could protect it and increase your peace of mind. In case a situation where lethal force is required arises, your security guard will be capable of calling on police officers to deal with it.
You Are on a Tight Budget
In most cases, unarmed security officers can provide equal protection for you and your company for much lower charges upfront. Employing unarmed security officers will save you cash. In contrast, armed officers cost considerably higher and can strain your budget because of several factors such as added training, insurance, on-the-job risks, and licensing.
Per the data from Thumbtack, the pay per hour for security officer services ranges from as low as fifteen dollars for basic unarmed guards to up to sixty to a hundred dollars for law enforcement-trained armed security officers. Whereas this might not reflect the correct pricing for your needs in your specific area, it shows the amount of money you can save by opting for unarmed security guards. If you are concerned about sacrificing high quality for the price, you shouldn’t worry anymore.
There is no need to think that unarmed security guards will not perform equally as the armed ones. The fact is, unarmed security officers have to satisfy all licensing requirements and undergo rigorous training before they can be employed. Your professional unarmed security officer will be capable of helping you to achieve enhanced security in lower-risk scenarios without the complications and added cost of armed security guards.
You Face Low-Security Threat
Except if facing higher-risk threats such as violent conflict, armed robbery, etc., armed guards may provide much more security than what’s necessary. Most events and businesses face a lower security risk and can benefit by simply retaining unarmed security guards. Scenarios that generally constitute a low-security threat level are:
- A corporate security setting
- Retail loss prevention
- General surveillance
- Entry access
- Traffic control
In many of these situations on any day, an unarmed security guard will satisfy your needs for safety and enhanced order more sufficiently.
The Bottom Line: Unarmed Security Guards Are as Effective as Armed Officers
When it comes to deterring crimes and enhancing security, unarmed professional security officers are as efficient as armed security officers. Consider this scenario: if a person intending to steal sees a guard, first they do not know if the guard has a weapon, and they are likely not to hang around to find that out.
Any person out to vandalize, trespass, or burglarize on your property is mainly concerned with not being found out— they will not risk being caught just to find out whether your security officer has a firearm or not.
Employ armed officers if need be. Do not compromise a higher-risk site. However, if you are not facing a high-risk level or looking for access control, perimeter security, or crime prevention, an unarmed security officer is the right option for you.
What to Look for When Hiring an Unarmed Guard
Ideally, you should consider a professional security company that offers a carefully selected team of 24-hour security personnel who are bonded, insured, and licensed. Here are important things you should remember when employing unarmed security guards:
Formal proposal— before hiring security services, first, request a formal proposal from the company. The proposal is an excellent means to fulfill your company’s expectations since it defines its services and must have a pricing plan.
The property manager or Homeowner’s Association (HOA) should conduct an in-depth examination of the proposal to ensure it suits the community’s needs. You might also need to request to meet with the security company’s representative, who will help clarify the terms of the proposal.
Customized services— it isn’t uncommon for security service providers to offer individualized services based on their client’s needs. This is because every building has a varying number of units, needs, residents, or businesses. Additionally, every location has its safety profile that differs from the other, depending on the level of criminal activity in the area. Therefore, a company may need to deliver a 24-hour patrol service in one area and only a one-night patrol service in another.
Mostly, security risks happen in locations like parking lots and garages, but these locations only turn to be dangerous after hours in certain areas.
Response— the only way a security operation can succeed is by having a fast response time. The most significant way of measuring this is by examining its documents and figuring out the average response period of its security guards.
Nowadays, it is easier for property managers and security companies to monitor security guards because of guard tour patrol technology. This enables you to monitor incident reports and patrols in real-time and from wherever you are.
Liability insurance— when it comes to insurance, you can’t be too careful when managing the safety of people entering or exiting your business or residential property. You want to make sure the security provider you partner with has liability insurance, and your building or business premises are listed as additional insured on the company’s insurance binder.
Many security providers take out liability insurance of one to two million per client. The insurance provides a significant safety net against suits.
Licenses— employing an independent or unlicensed security officer is the quickest way to lawsuits. This is because anything might happen on the job, and you’ll need a qualified guard who can keep any kind of situation under control.
The advantage of partnering with a security company with licensed security officers is that these officers are always insured and trained. For the best outcome, we recommend that you ask the security company’s representative to give you a copy of the company’s proof of insurance and operating license.
Training— Apart from the general training security guards undergo, an unarmed security officer is also trained to be the eyes and ears of the property manager and HOA. Usually, they have specific instructions regarding how to handle situations such as emergencies, fires, floods, and crimes. Although, they do not, in the real sense, work similarly as security officers hired for banks and jewelry stores.
Unarmed security officers are also taught to be familiar and a friendly face that makes residents or customers feel secure and safe whenever they enter and exit the building. Because of their uniform, unarmed security officers are also effective in deterring criminals and other threats to the community.
They are also trained to monitor and record whoever enters and exits the building. This way, should anything happen, you will access a reliable record of everybody who came in and out of the building.
Formal uniforms – some security companies don’t have a strict uniform policy. However, portraying the appropriate image is a significant part of the job. That is why you must always inquire about the uniform policy the security company has before hiring them. Additionally, ask about what kind of vehicles the company uses for vehicle patrol services.
Find Professional Security Services Near Me
At Green Knight Security, our unarmed security guards are equipped with non-deadly weapons to deter violence and crimes. We have sprays, batons, and tasers that are effective without being deadly. We also boast highly-trained and qualified officers who operate with reliability, responsiveness, expertise, and integrity. We aim at making you feel safe and protected, and our unarmed security guards help us achieve it perfectly.
Each of our security guards has the on-the-job experience, so they’re knowledgeable and prepared for various situations. We deliver the best-quality security at affordable rates. If you need unarmed security for your business or personal use in Los Angeles, CA, contact us right away at 844-457-8326. Reach out to us to learn more about our services. We look forward to serving and protecting you.