-: Oct 15, 2018 / Nick K

Differences Between Private Security Guards & Off-Duty Police

For years, the discussion over whether it’s more beneficial to employ private security guards or off-duty police officers to provide optimum protection services has remained controversial. The debate revolves mainly around the effectiveness, affordability, and legality of these different types of security measures.

It’s important to know that individuals and organizations searching for private security are normally looking to secure property. Police officers possess little or no training when it comes to the protection of property. They’re trained to protect life and liberty. Since these nuances are central to the responsibilities of a police officer, the capacity to perform adequate private security could be compromised. 

Here are some things to consider if you’re choosing between hiring an off-duty police officer or a private security guard.

Halting & Questioning

If a police officer questions or stops someone without cause, it’s a violation of civil rights. For private security guards, this isn’t the case. They can freely question any individual who may be considered suspicious, which is particularly important for monitoring activity in residential districts such as gated housing communities or multifamily residential communities. This level of patrol security, in Chatsworth or any other community, can offer much-needed peace of mind.

Primary Employment vs. Secondary Employment

Private security officers typically don’t hold second jobs, so they’re more likely to stay concentrated and treat their duties with a high level of seriousness. Of course, this isn’t to say an off-duty police officer won’t take the job seriously, but private security responsibilities can be a burden after already working a regular shift at a law enforcement agency. Therefore, police officers might not have the same level of alertness as private guards.

Civil Law vs. Criminal Law

There’s an enormous distinction between civil and criminal law. Police officers handle mostly criminal matters because they hold little expertise in (and are usually prohibited from dealing with) civil situations. Private security officers, on the other hand, are trained to focus on property rights (civil laws) and have little exposure to criminal activity that may arise during the job. Off-duty police officers may be a bit restricted because of their lack of expertise when it comes to managing the day-to-day tasks associated with private-sector duties. Security services provided by off-duty police officers often cost more than private security firms, which usually operate on hourly or contract bases.

Financial Considerations

The question of liability is always a consideration. Private security agencies are obliged to carry both liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, so if a guard is injured, you don’t bear the financial burden. Off-duty police officers aren’t likely to hold such coverage, which could cause issues for clients if civil lawsuits come up. Individuals and organizations looking for ongoing private security may get better results from private armed security guards trained to perform the specific needed services. 

When it comes to choosing the right personnel to meet your security needs, there are several things to consider when you compare off-duty police officers and private agencies. Talk to the people who offer the highest level of professional guard services. In Chatsworth, business owners should contact the experienced professionals at Security Consulting Group for advice on weighing your options and making decisions about all your security needs. Call one of our friendly representatives today at 818-462-3080 to schedule an appointment.   

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