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View Full Version : Security Guards Badge


xvxmatthewxvx
02-29-08, 05:20 PM
:)

Hello my name is Matthew from Toronto, Canada.

I wanted to ask something about American security guards. Security guard powers as you may know in Canada are extremely limited. In fact they have no more power than a civilian here. They can not carry firearms at all. Their shirts must have "Security Guard" on them plainly visible. No striped pants, no hats, no badges, etc. Many of them do stupid work like delivering papers in office buildings and I've even seen some shovelling snow.

I always see in American movies security guards with badges. What is the purpose of these badges? I tried searching but I couldn't find anything.

I'm curious cause I was a former security guard here and (thank god) just quit yesterday. I worked for the scammers/jokers at Securitas Canada.

Thanks alot! :D


fairclothdi
02-29-08, 05:24 PM
:)

Hello my name is Matthew from Toronto, Canada.

I wanted to ask something about American security guards. Security guard powers as you may know in Canada are extremely limited. In fact they have no more power than a civilian here. They can not carry firearms at all. Their shirts must have "Security Guard" on them plainly visible. No striped pants, no hats, no badges, etc. Many of them do stupid work like delivering papers in office buildings and I've even seen some shovelling snow.

I always see in American movies security guards with badges. What is the purpose of these badges? I tried searching but I couldn't find anything.

I'm curious cause I was a former security guard here and (thank god) just quit yesterday. I worked for the scammers/jokers at Securitas Canada.

Thanks alot! :D

Often as a sign of authority or to give them a "official look".... An identifier and also in many cases so that young people will associate that and hopefully go to those guys in a mall if they are lost...

In some places such as South Carolina, Armed Security Guards are Class II law Enforcement with power to cite and the power to arrest.... I guess that has something to do with it there..

xvxmatthewxvx
02-29-08, 05:32 PM
Thanks alot for the information!

Also I am curious, do security guards have any power at all in the US? Do they have more power than an average civilian?

Here, you can only do a citizen's arrest. Nothing more. Also you can give out a "tresspass to property" ticket to someone. Thats about it.

Is it the same in the US? Thanks! :D


Lawson
02-29-08, 05:44 PM
Generally security guards in the U.S. don't have any government vested authority more than that of the average citizen. There are of course a few exceptions where guards do have full or limited law enforcement authority.

A guard is typically hired as an "agent of the owner" of whatever property they may be assigned. They have the internal authority of whatever the property owner grants them. For instance, a guard may not be able to issue a State issued uniform traffic citation that can go to warrant if unpaid, but they may be able to issue a private property traffic citation that can go to collections if unpaid.

In some states they have the authority for investigative detentions in the same regard as law enforcement while on their assigned property.

From what I have seen most states allow for a Merchant to formally arrest and charge a shoplifter.

So basically, it depends from state to state, site to site, company to company, on what authority a guard may have. Some of them have no more authority than the guy who cleans your windshield at the corner of 13th and Mulberry, while others have fully vested law enforcement authority.

fairclothdi
02-29-08, 05:51 PM
Thanks alot for the information!

Also I am curious, do security guards have any power at all in the US? Do they have more power than an average civilian?

Here, you can only do a citizen's arrest. Nothing more. Also you can give out a "tresspass to property" ticket to someone. Thats about it.

Is it the same in the US? Thanks! :D


Power of security Guards vary state by state... Though most states security guards do not have powers of arrest, but any as agents of the property can issue tresspass notices and instruct one to leave the property... In any state security officers can be armed but this is through certain guidelines and qualifications set forth by each state.

Like I said earlier though some states do allow security to make arrest... South Carolina defines SLED certified security guards as CLASS 2 Law Enforcement Officers and that empowers them to make and arrest and issue citations....

I am a Special Police Officer in North Carolina, here security does not have arrest powers, but as a Special Police Officer (company or private Police Officer) we can as we are full service police officers with the same power as any other law enforcement officer (our vehicles can be marked or unmarked though the marked ones do read the words SPECIAL POLICE)... We go through the same training however like all other police officers in the state and are sworn by the Attorney General of the State Of North Carolina.. We can chase suspects and work anywhere in the state though our powers are limited to the areas we are contracted... We are also armed and failure to yeld for us brings the same charge as failure to yield to emergency vehicle. Even still a City Police officer in the state of north carolina have no powers outside the city limits, so i guess no real difference... That authority extends statewide as long as we are in hot pursuit (yes we run blue lights and sirens)...

In South Carolina I don' t think the class 2 law enforcement Security Officers are allowed to give chase like us, but I think foot chase would be acceptable.... Though some security companies do operate blue lights only on the property but they have special permission.

Additionally many security guards on military installations and nuclear facilities have full powers of arrest on those installations... though they are empowered by federal authority and are well trained unlike your common mall security guard...

xvxmatthewxvx
02-29-08, 05:52 PM
Thanks again!

So pretty much theres no differences at all except for uniform guidelines and the fact we can't issue parking tickets.

I appreciate your responses. Guess I have everything answered now. :)

xvxmatthewxvx
02-29-08, 05:55 PM
Power of security Guards vary state by state... Though most states security guards do not have powers of arrest, but any as agents of the property can issue tresspass notices and instruct one to leave the property... In any state security officers can be armed but this is through certain guidelines and qualifications set forth by each state.

Like I said earlier though some states do allow security to make arrest... South Carolina defines SLED certified security guards as CLASS 2 Law Enforcement Officers and that empowers them to make and arrest and issue citations....

I am a Special Police Officer in North Carolina, here security does not have arrest powers, but as a Special Police Officer (company or private Police Officer) we can as we are full service police officers with the same power as any other law enforcement officer (our vehicles can be marked or unmarked though the marked ones do read the words SPECIAL POLICE)... We go through the same training however like all other police officers in the state and are sworn by the Attorney General of the State Of North Carolina.. We can chase suspects and work anywhere in the state though our powers are limited to the areas we are contracted... We are also armed and failure to yeld for us brings the same charge as failure to yield to emergency vehicle. Even still a City Police officer in the state of north carolina have no powers outside the city limits, so i guess no real difference... That authority extends statewide as long as we are in hot pursuit (yes we run blue lights and sirens)...

In South Carolina I don' t think the class 2 law enforcement Security Officers are allowed to give chase like us, but I think foot chase would be acceptable.... Though some security companies do operate blue lights only on the property but they have special permission.

Additionally many security guards on military installations and nuclear facilities have full powers of arrest on those installations... though they are empowered by federal authority and are well trained unlike your common mall security guard...

Ahh I see! Sounds like the same situation as my dad. He works for the provincial police. But he is a "Special Constable". He has police powers on any provincial government building only as compared to a Constable which has police powers anywhere in the province.

Thanks alot for that very interesting and lengthy reply. I enjoyed reading it.

There seems to be very few differences in the law from here and there.

fairclothdi
02-29-08, 05:56 PM
Thanks again!

So pretty much theres no differences at all except for uniform guidelines and the fact we can't issue parking tickets.

I appreciate your responses. Guess I have everything answered now. :)

No problem, but again security guards in some areas may write even parking tickets... just depends on that state...

Glad we could help.

Cat_Doc
02-29-08, 06:30 PM
In Arizona, a security guard has no other power than a citizen does.

In Arizona, you have to be a POST certified Peace Officer to have sanctioned law enforcement arrest powers.

You mentioned your area having "Special" Constables as opposed to Constable. So, the Constable is the real deal? The “Special” title is secondary?

citcop
02-29-08, 07:17 PM
.....In some places such as South Carolina, Armed Security Guards are Class II law Enforcement with power to cite and the power to arrest....

This is incorrect, at least for SC. State Law Enforcement Division certified armed security officers do have "the same arrest powers as a deputy sheriff "while working on the property they are paid to protect", but they are not Class II LEO's and they have no power to "cite" anything. They are required to attend 8 hours of training and qualify with their weapon.......nothing else. I have never seen a case where a certified security guard has made an actuall arrest. I have seen plenty of detentions until local LEO's arrive, but no arrests. I know this from my experience of being an armed guard at a nuclear power station in SC. We were better armed and better trained than the locals and we had arrest powers while on the property, but were not class II LEOs.........we were security guards with lots of toys and a very loose deadly force policy that included property protection.

There are class II LEO's in the state however. They are officers that attend the academy and only take the legals portion of the studies and upon completion they hold posts such as court house security and such. They have full arrest powers while on duty but no other time.

Hope this clears things up a bit.

Cat_Doc
02-29-08, 07:31 PM
There are class II LEO's in the state however. They are officers that attend the academy and only take the legals portion of the studies and upon completion they hold posts such as court house security and such. They have full arrest powers while on duty but no other time.

So, are Class I LEO's the real deal?

canuckofapeach
02-29-08, 07:38 PM
You mentioned your area having "Special" Constables as opposed to Constable. So, the Constable is the real deal? The “Special” title is secondary?


Special Constables are civilian members who are sworn in as Peace Officers. With respect to the Ontario Provincial Police, it is a designation issued by the province of Ontario and provides members with a limited law enforcement role, geographically-speaking, and restricted to provincial legislation.

Within the OPP, Special Constables' work include Court Security (Court Officer) yet are primarily employed as Offender Transportation Officers and the occasional Traffic duty. They are paid - unlike Auxiliary or Reserve Police.

gringoscott
02-29-08, 07:44 PM
Matthew,
I worked for Securitas US in California. We wore a police-looking uniform (Button up, long sleeve, pockets, epaulets, badge) carried weapons (OC, ASP, mandated Glock 17.:o), and made arrests. That being said, all of our arrests were citizen arrests (must have personally witnessed a misdemeanor or have PC of a felony). While being armed and well trained, we had the same powers of arrest and detention as Joe liquor store owner.

I now work at a very busy restaurant doing security. I wear a polo shirt that says security on the left breast and jeans. I still make citizen arrests. But again, the manager, a server, the busboy, host, or concerned diner could make the same arrests I make.

The only difference between me and the average guy on the street is that I know the citizens arrest law well, and know how to use it to my advantage. Hope that helps. And by the way, if you ever want to have a Securitas *****fest, let me know. The division I was in was great. But man, that company really does know how to pump out useless security guards in large groups.

fairclothdi
02-29-08, 07:59 PM
This is incorrect, at least for SC. State Law Enforcement Division certified armed security officers do have "the same arrest powers as a deputy sheriff "while working on the property they are paid to protect", but they are not Class II LEO's and they have no power to "cite" anything. They are required to attend 8 hours of training and qualify with their weapon.......nothing else. I have never seen a case where a certified security guard has made an actuall arrest. I have seen plenty of detentions until local LEO's arrive, but no arrests. I know this from my experience of being an armed guard at a nuclear power station in SC. We were better armed and better trained than the locals and we had arrest powers while on the property, but were not class II LEOs.........we were security guards with lots of toys and a very loose deadly force policy that included property protection.

There are class II LEO's in the state however. They are officers that attend the academy and only take the legals portion of the studies and upon completion they hold posts such as court house security and such. They have full arrest powers while on duty but no other time.

Hope this clears things up a bit.

They can apply for a citation book and some do issue citations per SLED'S website

mcsap
02-29-08, 09:11 PM
Regular Security in PA has the same authority as Joe Schmoe. They can detain if the situation allows but RARELY do so.

Armed Security requires much more training and although they can detain someone , they can't arrest someone. They have limited authority to use deadly force and mainly are used around money.

citcop
02-29-08, 09:14 PM
They can apply for a citation book and some do issue citations per SLED'S website

But you wont see it. It is possible that you may have some guards at some of the up scale gated communities that possibly issue parking citations, but you wont see them running traffic and issuing UTC's. I'm just giving you my experience as a SC Class I LEO.


So, are Class I LEO's the real deal?

Yea Cat, Class I's are the real deal.

xvxmatthewxvx
02-29-08, 11:16 PM
What another member here said is true.

A constable is a full fledged police officer. We use the term police officer here as well of course. Police officer is the more everyday term.

Constable is the official title.You guys usually say "Officer Johnson" we just say "Constable Johnson" usually.

Anyways yes, special constables are individuals with complete police powers while they are on the property usually. They also have the power to arrest for any crime that actually happened while on the property they work at. Such as an assault that happened on the property but the suspect ran away. But this isn't the norm, but it can happen.

As I said my dad is a special constable for the provincial police. So with what I know he has power on any provincial government buildings. The uniforms are almost the same as normal police except its a blue stripe on the pants instead of red, and the shirt colour is a different shade. They have a cap and badge. Special constables are sworn in peace officers.

Special Constables in the UK have a different meaning. They are volunteer unpaid civilians doing police work. We have the term auxiliary police here. Maybe its the same as in the US I am not sure.

I guess thats all I can say about this topic. I am not a expert, but I just got this information from a few websites and word of mouth. Sounds exactly the same as the american equivalent of "Special Police".

:)

highwayman
02-29-08, 11:32 PM
:)

Hello my name is Matthew from Toronto, Canada.

I wanted to ask something about American security guards. Security guard powers as you may know in Canada are extremely limited. In fact they have no more power than a civilian here. They can not carry firearms at all. Their shirts must have "Security Guard" on them plainly visible. No striped pants, no hats, no badges, etc. Many of them do stupid work like delivering papers in office buildings and I've even seen some shovelling snow.

I always see in American movies security guards with badges. What is the purpose of these badges? I tried searching but I couldn't find anything.

I'm curious cause I was a former security guard here and (thank god) just quit yesterday. I worked for the scammers/jokers at Securitas Canada.

Thanks alot! :D

Matthew,

I 've been burned before by "fly by night" security companies, where you go to pick up your paycheck and the whole place is just gone.
I guess you live and learn.

I don't think I ever liked Securitas very much, it was instant clash ever since they popped up in the industry.
Can't say I trust them very much, but they seem to be very popular so they must be doing something right :rolleyes:

The difference between Police Officers and security guards is that security guards only protect or patrol a specific property or grounds of a particular owner or company, while Police Officers can protect and arrest anybody anywhere even if they are off duty.
A lot of guards have a problem confusing this analogy and cross the line by start acting and behaving like Cops, and that's when things start getting sticky.
Cops just don't like smart@@s know-it-all security guards.

When a guard makes a citizen's arrest the arrestee has to only "feel" that they are not free to go, if they resist arrest and the guard is not authorized to use force to make the arrest and does anyway, he can be arrested by the Police for preventing someone's freedom of movement.

That's why knowing your "detail" as a guard is very important, and also (like "gringoscott" mentioned) to know how to use your authority to your advantage, deterring as much crime as possible wherever you happen to be posted.

xvxmatthewxvx
02-29-08, 11:52 PM
Highwayman I'll send you an PM about my experience in Securitas.

JakeLock
02-29-08, 11:54 PM
And by the way, if you ever want to have a Securitas *****fest, let me know.

Sounds like me and my opinion of the Civilian Guards on military bases when I was one for a very short time. Thank GOD the PD hired me...

gringoscott
03-01-08, 12:52 AM
Securitas is popular with employees because they pay you to get your guard license. They are popular with customers because they provide cheap guards who do nothing, but it allows property owners to get a break on their insurance. Securitas is not, however, the worst company I've ever worked for.

Whitebear
03-01-08, 08:34 AM
Mathew, here is the info that you need for the power of arrest

494. (1) Arrest without a warrant by any person:

(a) a person whom he finds committing an indictible offense; or
(b) a person who, on reasonnable grounds, he believes
(i) has committed a criminal offense, and
(ii) he is escaping from and freshly pursued by persons who have lawful autority to arrest that person

494.(2) Arrest by teh owner, etc, of property

(a) the owner or a person in lawful possession of property, or
(b) a person autorized by the owner or by a person in lawful possession of property,

may arrest without a warrant a person whom he finds committing a criminal offence on or in relation to that property

494.(3)

Any one other than a peace officer who arrests a person withotu a warrant shall forthwith deliver the person to a peace officer.


Also you said about the uniform that strip on teh pants is red for the OPP??? the strip is blue on the constable uniform...

where is your father working?