How Protected Are We

So I’m out at a club the other night tryin’ to get my groove on when my attention naturally turns to the security guard. I say “naturally” because A) I wasn’t getting into the club until or unless I came in direct contact with the security guard and B) he was the largest human within a 500 yard radius, so he was hard to miss. But throughout the night, I continued to notice him more and more, and my mind began to wander. And wonder. Does he know what he’s doing? Is he truly qualified? Yes, he serves an often annoying presence for potential partiers. He forces people to comply with often arbitrary club rules while delivering the scowl of a man caught somewhere between mild apathy and supreme annoyance. But he and his comrades serve a vital purpose. Defending against the dreaded “what if.” What if something were to happen? What if things were to “go down?” Would he know what to do? Would he be able to help? Does he know how to handle whatever concealed weapon he may have (or his not-so-concealed biceps)? Like a lot of people, I tend to take Security Guards for granted. I don’t think about it when I go out to a club, or to the mall, or to my bank. But the fact is that Security Guards are ubiquitous. According to J.R. Roberts Security Strategies, private security guards in the U.S. outnumber police officers by a ratio of 3 to 1. Not only are they prevalent in just about every social environment, but even in the workplace. And that’s kind of scary. It’s kind of scary to think that it only takes one incident at one of those locations to endanger your life. Or, at the very least, seriously cramp your style. The fact is that depending on what state you live in – and what state the guard is certified to work – standards and requirements may be fairly lax. A guy with limited previous experience – or just someone who interviews well (and is presumably of a larger-than-normal size) – may become a security guard. Steve Amitay, executive director/general counsel for the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO) wrote, “For decades NASCO has worked to raise the standards for security companies and officers and supported and sponsored state and local legislation that would establish or increase company and officer requirements.” “From a citizen’s point-of-view, the security guards’ image can be enhanced through professionalism, which can only be facilitated through state mandated minimum standards,” concluded Mahesh Nalla, Professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. Thankfully I live in a state that does require their Security Guards to be certified with what they plainly refer to as a “Guard Card,” and requires them to update it annually (no doubt to keep up with the latest in changes “ruffian behaviors”). And the good news for wannabe security guards is that, if you know where to look, you can find affordable courses that are delivered to you online and don’t require a major time commitment. This means I can rest assured that my man-hulk has my back while adhering to professional requirements, and has obtained proper certification. So while I’m “workin’ it,” he’s workin’ it. If you are interested in getting your California Guard Card, click on the following link to check out our 8 Hour Guard Card Course.
J.R. Roberts Security Strategies, “Security Expert Witness.” (Date accessed: 11/12/14) Michigan State University, “Security Guard Industry Lacks Standards, Training.” (Date accessed: 11/12/14) Security Info Watch, “Study: Guard industry lacks uniform standards, training requirements.” (Date: 6/11/14) Security Info Watch, “Study: Guard industry lacks uniform standards, training requirements.” (Date: 6/11/14)

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