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What Is The Difference Between Public Security And Private Security?

Today, more people are looking into different security options for themselves, their businesses, events, and homes than ever before. When researching their options, the last thing that is often considered is understanding the difference between private security and public security. While public and private security serve the same purpose, there are huge differences between each option that may affect your business. Here’s what you need to know about private security and public security to make an informed decision that is best for you.

What is Public Security?

Public security is a service provided by the government that includes police, detectives, federal officials, and other public security officials. The public sector’s main concern is the safety of the general public since they are not funded by a private organization. This also means that public officers must operate within certain governmental standards and restrictions but have the authority to arrest.

What is Private Security?

Private security is a privately owned security service that is hired by specific clients instead of being funded by a government. Private security guards can be armed or unarmed and often have strict training and certification standards. Despite this, they are devoid of power and authority to detain or arrest anyone.

What Type of Security Should My Business Hire?

There are several pros and cons for both private and public security. Let’s take a look at each to understand the key differences.

The Pros and Cons of Public Security Officers

Law enforcement in the public sector requires years of advanced, state/federal training that sometimes cannot be found with private security officers unless they had previous law enforcement training. Public law enforcement agents are authorized to arrest, carry a firearm, and use appropriate force at their discretion. The presence of law enforcement often improves the general public’s perception of safety while also reducing crime in the protected area due to their distinctive uniforms.

Despite these advantages, there are several clear disadvantages to using public security. Public funding from the government often limits law enforcement from utilizing technology like metal detectors or cameras. Additionally, law enforcement is restricted by the laws and policies in the city or state they are protecting. Their main concern is keeping the public safe, not necessarily protecting the interests of your business or event.

The Pros and Cons of Private Security Officers

Private security is not governed by the same standards as public security guards and is completely dedicated to the satisfaction of the business or individual that hired them. Instead of adhering to the same restrictions that law enforcement does, private security can focus on the job at hand and perform the duties required by the client. While training is not required for private security, high-quality private security companies will hire guards with previous military, law enforcement, or government backgrounds and require a standard of training and credentials.

Since there are no governmental standards for private security, there are risks with hiring a company with inexperienced, untrained guards. Having untrained guards increases the risk for businesses and individuals which could lead to legal consequences.

Related: When is private armed security needed?

Making the Right Choice

There are few disadvantages to using a private security company over public security, but it does require due diligence and research to choose a reputable company.

At GISS International, we offer highly trained guards with previous military, law enforcement, and government experience, along with tailored security plans to fit the needs of any business. Get in touch with us today for a free security evaluation and quote.

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