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What is the point of a security guard?

  1. Apr 5, 2013 #1
    Apparently, security are just citizens. So what's the point if they're powerless?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2013 #2

    Evo

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    In the US, security guards are hired professionals, usuallly armed, that can shoot to kill if warranted.

    What on earth are you talking about?
     
  4. Apr 5, 2013 #3

    BobG

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    Actually, most security guards are unarmed. They're just a way of keeping at least one person on the premises to call the police if anyone tries to break in to the building. Having someone around also reduces the chance of someone trying to break in in the first place.

    And, no, lying in wait to ambush the security guard never works, because he has to hit various electronic checkpoints, or at least call in at the end of each round, or else the police and/or armed security guards show up.

    You could do the same with a perfect electronic intrusion detection system, but those don't exist. False alarms mean expensive responses (armed security/police showing up), while failing to detect intrusions means theft. So it's usually a choice between paying a security guard, buying a cheap system but incurring expensive extras, or buying an expensive system that has a very low probability of false alarms/failed alarms, or paying extra for insurance for having no alarm system.

    But, places that are seen as especially attractive to burglars do have armed security, since it's seen as needing a little extra discouragement to prevent break ins/robberies/etc. They still operate on the same general principle as the unarmed security guards, though.

    Security guard is actually a very good job for a student needing to make money to pay some of their expenses. Students doing homework have a tendency to meet the primary qualification for security guard - staying awake all night in an empty building.
     
  5. Apr 5, 2013 #4

    Evo

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    At my last place of enployment, they were unarmed, the desk security were elderly, obese and handicapped but they could give you a nasty look.

    But they could call for a higher level of armed security on premise if needed.
     
  6. Apr 5, 2013 #5
    Somebody in my family used to be security guard. He never actively prevented a buglary or any act of violence but he was around to extinghuish a beginning fire once and the other way around, to alert plumbers of a broken water supply line, preventing a little disaster.
     
  7. Apr 5, 2013 #6
    Wow BobG, thanks!
     
  8. Apr 5, 2013 #7

    berkeman

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    But they also have a special ability to deal with intruders/tresspassers. Working for the people who own the property (either directly or through their Guard agency), they have the legal right to "tresspass" the intruder. That is, they can legally arrest the intruder for tresspassing, where a general citizen cannot. This may vary in different states here in the US (and I have no knowledge about the rest of the world), but the "tresspass" power is a real key to making Security Guards useful:

    http://www.ifpo.org/articlebank/dealing_with_trespassers.html [Broken]

    As mentioned in the link, the laws vary state-to-state, and it may be company policy to call the police for the actual physical arrest.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  9. Apr 5, 2013 #8
    Andre has said it well here.

    My father works as a guard in his retirement. They are not there to stop robberies as much as assist with things workers should not be expected to do.

    Like at my local bank branch, they are not armed but they are there to remove the drunk homeless guys who go into the bank to yell about.
     
  10. Apr 5, 2013 #9

    Drakkith

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    My buddy was a security guard at the local mall for a number of years. He chased down plenty of people and detained them until the police arrived. He wasn't armed with a gun, but he had a taser.
     
  11. Apr 5, 2013 #10

    Evo

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    Security guards at my last office. One behind the desk, one on a segway, we had others in cars or golf carts, and armed ones for sensitive areas.

    segwayguardrqb0.jpg
     
  12. Apr 5, 2013 #11

    lisab

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    Wow. Evo's industry is so high-tech they've engineered guards without faces. That would frighten away all but the hardest criminals - very clever.
     
  13. Apr 5, 2013 #12

    Borg

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    lol. I had to do a double take because it looked like there was a cardboard cutout behind the desk.
     
  14. Apr 5, 2013 #13

    BobG

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    I worked as a security guard for a while. During the summer, I patrolled the fence of an outdoor concert facility catching and/or deterring fence jumpers. The concert facility was surrounded by woods.

    I even snuck into a few concerts there while in high school, which I felt prepared me very well for my summer patrolling the fence. (That isn't a good way to take your date to a concert, though - or if you do, at least tell her how the two of you are getting in before you pick her up.)

    I was really good at it (both sneaking in and patrolling the fence). I knew all the good places to sneak in and would just wait nearby. Actually, I was disappointed by how quickly the quality of juvenile delinquents had seemed to decrease. Just about everyone I caught gave up without a whimper as soon as I jumped out of the bushes to accost them. For crying out loud, couldn't the youth of America run any more?!

    In fact, over half of the fence jumpers had seemingly never ventured out of the city, had never tried to sneak silently through the woods in pitch black darkness, and had never been deep in the woods filled with swarms of mosquitoes. You could hear them clumping around, tripping and falling repeatedly, and, most of all, you could hear them swatting their mosquito bites and cursing.

    And then would come the realization that they couldn't find their way out of the forest in the dark! They'd have to slink dejectedly up to the fence, explain that they couldn't find their way out of the woods, and ask if they could just climb over the fence and turn themselves in. Geez! They were embarassing to the human race!

    There was only one fence jumper that gave any hope for humanity. Just like all the rest, he gave up when I confronted him and meekly trudged off to the guard shack in front of me. Then suddenly, he spun, ran directly into me to throw me off balance, and took off full speed behind me. Ingenious! Being off balance and having turn all the way around before I could even start running, I had no hope of catching up to him before he lost himself in the crowd! That was so cool! That was even better than anything I'd ever done when sneaking in!

    As far as weaponry, we had a billy club and a can of mace. I never used either, although my club did look pretty scary. I could throw that club up 20 feet in the air, spinning it as fast as I could, and could always catch it back in my hand. But I put a lot of dents and dings in the club learning how to do that. Maybe the fence jumpers I caught were afraid the dents and dings were from what I'd done to other fence jumpers.

    As to the mace, one of the other security guards learned an important lesson. Don't shoot mace at someone you're chasing. The mace hangs in the air and the chaser winds up running right through the cloud as well. It wasn't a very pleasant night for him. But the rest of us did appreciate him teaching us that lesson before we had to learn it on our own.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  15. Apr 5, 2013 #14

    berkeman

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    :rofl:

    Oh crap Bob! I'm in tears here!
     
  16. Apr 5, 2013 #15

    lisab

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    I agree. And that kid who turned and ran behind him back into the crowd...I bet he's a lawyer now!
     
  17. Apr 5, 2013 #16

    OmCheeto

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    hmm.... I'm not in tears, but this does remind me of a conversation from about a month ago;

    Om; "I'm afraid of all the crazys. I want a gun for home defense. Should I get a shot gun, or a pistol?"
    A foreign national that I work with; "All you need, is a **** ************."
    Om; "Really?"
    AfntIww; "Yes."

    -------------------------
    He knows more about guns than anyone I have ever talked to.
    I mentioned the "Raindrop" thread, and he said; "You and your PF friends, need to get a life...."

    He's a hoot.
    -------------------------


    Oh good god, I might be off topic..... :eek:

    ummm..... Home Security!

    The secret to security, is never letting on what weapons of intimidation and mass destruction that you have at your disposal.
     
  18. Apr 12, 2013 #17
    Only to keep the honest people honest my boy... think purpose of a bike lock.
     
  19. Apr 12, 2013 #18

    Drakkith

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    My dad always said that about all locks. They only exist to keep honest people honest.
     
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