Responsibilities of the Security Officer

A security officer is assigned to protect specific people and property. This may include detecting some of the same offenses that would cause a peace officer (police officer) to act, such as fight or burglary. However, it would not include other offenses such as vehicle violations or prostitution.
For example, if you were on duty at a plant gate and you saw two teenagers having an auto race down a public road, you would not try to arrest them. You may decide to report it to the police if a telephone is nearby. Remember, you were hired to protect the plant- not lo arrest speeders.

In fact you should be suspicious of any activity that may draw you away from your post. It could be a plan to draw your attention away from your duties.

Peace officers are law enforcement officers, their duty is to enforce the law and preserve the public peace. If a law is violated, peace officers are required to pursue and apprehend the person responsible. This is not required or expected of a security officer!

REMEMBER, a peace officer’s responsibilities are different from a security officer’s responsibilities.

  • SECURITY OFFICERS only protect specific people and property.
  • POLICE (PEAECE OFFICER) protect people and property and enforce laws.

A security officer may also be responsible for maintaining certain company policies. These could include:

  • Requiring employees to show badges when entering the property; or
  • Recording license plate numbers of vehicles entering or leaving; or
  • Monitoring safety standards and reporting hazards: blocking exits, fire, safety, slippery floors, etc.

Prevention is the Key For example, if you spotted some young people trying to climb a fence to private property you could shout at them or turn on the lights. Do anything lawful that would discourage their trespassing: don’t wait until they cross the fence so that you can confront them.

Another typical situation might be: A person intends to steal from a store but sees a uniformed officer on patrol. The person leaves the store without stealing anything. The officer, simply by being there in uniform (command presence), has prevented a crime.

Observe and Report! Observe and Report! Observe and Report! Observe and Report!

If you can’t prevent an incident, the proper action is to observe and report. You should:

  • Observe carefully and take accurate notes.
  • Report immediately to the local law enforcement, and/or your supervisor.