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What Are The Different Types Of Security Guards?

security officer in the lobby of a building

When you’re in need of security guard services, it’s important to understand the exact types of security guards you may need. In reality, there are various types of security guards you can employ, and you need to know the differences in order to make the right decision for your safety. Here’s a quick overview to help.

Armed Security Guard / Commissioned Officer

Perhaps the type of security guard most people think of is a Commissioner Officer or an Armed Security Guard. This is an individual trained and licensed to carry a gun as part of their protection plan for you. They must complete a mandated 47 hours of training as per NYS law and pass extensive exams before being employed by any security company. They must also show their proficiency in their weapon of choice and their ability to use it in the field.

In order to minimize the risk associated with having an armed security guard, ask if the security company you’re hiring employs individuals with a background in government, military or law enforcement. Hiring Armed Guards with these types of backgrounds will ensure you’re getting the best of the best.

It’s important to note that armed guards aren’t always necessary. In fact, they can sometimes hinder your work, especially if you travel, visit, or work in an environment where guns and other weapons may be banned or restricted. In these situations, an unarmed guard may be the best choice.

Unarmed Security Guard / Non-Commissioned Officer

An unarmed security guard still goes through extensive training, although they don’t carry a weapon. This often makes them more versatile as they can easily travel onto public and private property, across state lines (within states they are licensed in), and across international borders, with minimal screening since they do not need licenses or certifications for weapon carrying.

It’s important to note that unarmed guards are no less effective than armed guards in most situations. Whether armed or unarmed, all professional security officers receive extensive training and spend many hours working on their physical and mental acuity so that they can protect you. This should certainly add to your confidence when hiring a security guard.

Related: Armed vs unarmed security: which one is right for your business?

Bodyguard / Personal Protection Officer

Bodyguards & personal protection officers may or may not be armed, depending on their certifications and the clients’ needs. Most agencies employ a number of personal protection officers, all of whom specialize in protecting individuals. The hiring process for a personal protection officer is different from the process of hiring a person or team for a company or location. That’s because personal protection officers tend to work on a very personal level with clients, which requires interviewing to ensure the client and officer will work well together.

Typically, personal security officers will stay with a client on a long-term basis or work with the same clients repeatedly as needed. This helps ensure the client gets the best protection necessary. Personal protection officers can also work as a team when it is required. Personal protection officers are flexible and typically able to guard property, secure transportation and locations, and even accompany clients on trips abroad to ensure their safety in any setting.

Uniformed Security Personnel

In many situations, individuals and companies seek uniformed security personnel as the simple visual of a security presence can help deter would-be perpetrators. Almost every security officer has experience working both in uniformed and casual settings, allowing them to be as subtle or present as the client calls for.

Security agencies are able to provide traditional security uniforms along with more flexible options that can better fit into your environment. For instance, you may request officers in executive security attire (i.e suit and tie), which allows them to both welcome and protect employees and clients without being overbearing. Uniformed officers may also wear business casual clothing, which can also help them fit into the environment more while still being in security uniforms.

Remote CCTV Monitor

If you have a CCTV system setup for your property or business, you should hire a remote CCTV monitor who can watch the cameras around-the-clock. Failing to monitor your CCTV system practically negates its purpose, which is why most businesses hire a monitor in conjunction with a security team. If the monitor detects anything suspicious, they can alert on-site security officers or the police directly, allowing for a prompt response.

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