Professional Armed and Unarmed Security Guard Officer License Certification Training Class Nashville TN
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Armed and Unarmed Security License Training Academy | Security Officer Training Center | Instructor Led Training How to get a TN Security License
A security guard (also known as a security officer or protective agent) is a person employed by a public or private party to protect the employing party’s assets (property, people, equipment, money, etc.) from a variety of hazards (such as waste, damaged property, unsafe worker behavior, criminal activity such as theft, etc.) by enforcing preventative measures. Security guards do this by maintaining a high-visibility presence to deter illegal and inappropriate actions, looking (either directly, through patrols, or indirectly, by monitoring alarm systems or video surveillance cameras) for signs of crime or other hazards (such as a fire), taking action to minimize damage (such as warning and escorting trespassers off property), and reporting any incidents to their clients and emergency services (such as the police or paramedics), as appropriate.
Many security firms and proprietary security departments practice the "detect, deter, observe and report" methodology. Security officers are not required to make arrests, but have the authority to make a citizen's arrest, or otherwise act as an agent of law enforcement, for example, at the request of a police officer or sheriff.
A private security officer's responsibility is protecting their client from a variety of hazards (usually in the form of criminal acts). Security personnel enforce company rules and can act to protect lives and property, and they often have a contractual obligation to provide these actions. In addition to basic deterrence, security officers are often trained to perform specialized tasks such as arrest and control (including handcuffing and restraints), operate emergency equipment, perform first aid, CPR, take accurate notes, write detailed reports, and perform other tasks as required by the client they are serving. All security officers are also required to go through additional training mandated by the state for the carrying of weapons such as batons, firearms, and pepper spray.
Security personnel may also perform access control at building entrances and vehicle gates; meaning, they ensure that employees and visitors display proper passes or identification before entering the facility. Security officers are called upon to respond to potential hazards (such as broken lights or doors, disturbances, lost persons, minor injuries, etc.) and to assist in serious emergencies (medicals, fires, crime, etc.) by securing the scene to prevent further loss or damage, summoning emergency responders to the incident, helping to redirect foot traffic to safe locations, and by documenting what happened on an incident report to give their client an idea of how to prevent similar situations from occurring. Armed security officers are frequently contracted to respond as law enforcement until a given situation at a client location is under control and/or public authorities arrive on the scene.
Patrolling is usually a large part of a security officer's duties, as most incidents are prevented by being looked for instead of waiting for them to occur. Often these patrols are logged by use of a guard tour patrol system, which require regular patrols. Until recently the most commonly used form used to be mechanical clock systems that required a key for manual punching of a number to a strip of paper inside with the time pre-printed on it. But recently, electronic systems have risen in popularity due to their light weight, ease of use, and downloadable logging capabilities. Regular patrols are, however, becoming less accepted as an industry standard, as it provides predictability for the would-be criminal, as well as monotony for the security officer on duty. Random patrols are easily programmed into electronic systems, allowing greater freedom of movement and unpredictability. Global positioning systems are beginning to be used because they are a more effective means of tracking officers' movements and behavior.
Security personnel are classified as one of the following:
- "In-house" or "proprietary" (i.e. employed by the same company or organization they protect, such as a mall, theme park, or casino)
- "Contract", working for a private security company which protects many locations.
- "Public Security", a person employed or appointed as an (usually armed) security officer by a government or government agency.
Private security guards have outnumbered police officers since the 1980s, predating the heightened concern about security brought on by the September 11, 2001, attacks. The more than 1 million contract security officers, and an equal number of guards estimated to work directly for U.S. corporations, is much greater than the nearly 700,000 sworn law enforcement officers in the United States.
Security personnel are not police officers, unless they are security police, but are often identified as such due to similar uniforms and behaviors, especially on private property. Security personnel derive their powers from state laws, which allow them a contractual arrangement with clients that give them Agent of the Owner powers. This includes a nearly unlimited power to question with the absence of probable cause requirements that frequently dog public law enforcement officers. In essence, security officers keep private property / persons safe from hazards, whereas police officers protect entire communities by enforcing laws and arresting suspected offenders.