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  • Drawing Firearms, Private Security

    I have read over all the recent posts about drawing firearms while on duty as a Police Officer, however I am interested to hear what the LEO's here have to say about private security officers drawing their firearms while in the course of their duty's, but no in immediate danger. I myself work as an armed guard in the Bay Area, more specifically Richmond California. While in the course of my duty's I am required to search un-occupied apartment complex buildings, such as laundry rooms, apartments 1-4 bedrooms, leasing offices, and gyms as well as parking lots. At my particuliar company we always work in pairs, usualy 2 pairs of two, spread out throughout 2 property's. Responding for cover and such to the other property, So my question is, when we are searching buildings found to be un-secure, responding to alarms and other calls, what is your opinion on having members of our industry doing things with firearm in hand? It is noted Police Officers have their firearms out for tons of different reasons, alot of them, security has no need for, but a couple of them touch both sides of the fence.

  • #2
    I think the best response is :"What does your company's policy say?" When it comes down to it you're under the same obligations in deploying your firearm as any police officer & unless you've gone through specific,specialized training, I'd avoid at all costs using your weapon or putting yourself in a position where you MAY have to use it. Police officers are different,being agents of the State, so our response to a vacant building or crime in progress call is mandated by our job description & our oath of office. If you've had no training or your company basically tells you "use your own judgement" I'd go find another job or quit carrying the weapon

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    • #3
      Before I answer, let me state this: I don't know you or you company so this is not meant as a personal attack, just my observations of other security personnell.

      That being said, here goes.

      I have had the "pleasure" of dealing with quite a few security (I'll call them guards for lack of a better word) over my relatively short (8yrs) career. I have yet to see one that I felt comfortable with even carrying a gun in a holster much less drawing it. Due to the low pay and lack of training, security companies around here don't get the most qualified, or reputable people. Around here (SE Texas) you can become an armed security guard in a week. Far as I'm concerned, that's not nearly enough training. Personally I would rather not have back up than an $9.00/hr armed guard.

      I agree with hemicop-"what does your policy say".
      The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
      Ronald Reagan

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MichaelMimiaga
        I have read over all the recent posts about drawing firearms while on duty as a Police Officer, however I am interested to hear what the LEO's here have to say about private security officers drawing their firearms while in the course of their duty's, but no in immediate danger. I myself work as an armed guard in the Bay Area, more specifically Richmond California. While in the course of my duty's I am required to search un-occupied apartment complex buildings, such as laundry rooms, apartments 1-4 bedrooms, leasing offices, and gyms as well as parking lots. At my particuliar company we always work in pairs, usualy 2 pairs of two, spread out throughout 2 property's. Responding for cover and such to the other property, So my question is, when we are searching buildings found to be un-secure, responding to alarms and other calls, what is your opinion on having members of our industry doing things with firearm in hand? It is noted Police Officers have their firearms out for tons of different reasons, alot of them, security has no need for, but a couple of them touch both sides of the fence.
        Agree with the "policy" issue. However, you state that during the course of your duties...."search building, gyms, parking lots..."...what exactly are your duties then? I would presume you mean that you Patrol these facilities, etc and not so much "search" them everytime.

        Keep in mind that if the Police are going to respond to a building that may be unsecure and you are there as well, I would highly advise you to WAIT until they arrive. Do not enter the building, all you need is the Police to hear someone and thinks its a possible suspect and something bad happen...Also again, this would be off of what your "Policy" is.
        "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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        • #5
          For example, we are given a list of apartments that are vacant and we are supposed to check the doors and windows and make sure they are secure, when we find one un-secure, we are to search it and contact the property management company and they have their onsite staff come secure the building, this happens atleast once every other shift, for all practical purposes, the police will not come out for everyone, unless some other reason exits, such as we hear or see someone inside. As for company police, I have reviewed our policy, which is actually very in depth, and of course it states we are not to unholster firearms unless a clear and present danger exists to us or others. Now, lets keep in mind, we have had 5 incidents of people inhabiting these apartments since the 1st of this year. Now, we have had certain Police Officers tell us, that in CA, us simply pulling out our firearms for any situation in which you DIDN'T use it, could constitute brandishing a firearm. What is your opinion on that? Now, to help you get a feel for the company I work for, it is a requirement for our "officers" to have a CA issued POST PC832 certificate (40 hours classroom 24 hours range time) and more pay is offered for further certs. I know this isn't much, but its alot more than 99% of the companies in the Bay Area require, further opinions are greatly appreciated.

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          • #6
            Drawing firearms-private security

            Micheal, thoughts on this subject could fill a New York City phone book. First: Your security company probably is going to treat you like you had the plague if you ever had to use your weapon. You're gonna be very,very much on your own, and you'll experience first hand what it means to be left high, dry, and hanging. You asked for advice, here it is. If you think you've got unauthorized subjects in a vacant apartment etc, you call the real cops. you let them handle it. You observe and report. Also, a word of caution on calling the police/sheriff's dept. Don't become a nuisance. Your reputation could suffer, and response time could be impacted. Don't be the guy who called "wolf" one time too often.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MichaelMimiaga
              For example, we are given a list of apartments that are vacant and we are supposed to check the doors and windows and make sure they are secure, when we find one un-secure, we are to search it and contact the property management company and they have their onsite staff come secure the building, this happens atleast once every other shift, for all practical purposes, the police will not come out for everyone, unless some other reason exits, such as we hear or see someone inside. As for company police, I have reviewed our policy, which is actually very in depth, and of course it states we are not to unholster firearms unless a clear and present danger exists to us or others. Now, lets keep in mind, we have had 5 incidents of people inhabiting these apartments since the 1st of this year. Now, we have had certain Police Officers tell us, that in CA, us simply pulling out our firearms for any situation in which you DIDN'T use it, could constitute brandishing a firearm. What is your opinion on that? Now, to help you get a feel for the company I work for, it is a requirement for our "officers" to have a CA issued POST PC832 certificate (40 hours classroom 24 hours range time) and more pay is offered for further certs. I know this isn't much, but its alot more than 99% of the companies in the Bay Area require, further opinions are greatly appreciated.
              Philip pretty much summed it up for you. Now your department Policy states that you are to draw your firearm only when a "clear and present danger exists"...what if you do Unholster your weapon for some reason and your Supervisor shows up at that same exact time and then they fire you for "unholstering" your weapon. Do you really want to work for a company like this?
              "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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              • #8
                On the other hand, I will assume here, for a moment, that you and your partners are reasonably intelligent adults. You have been issued a firearm for the protection of you an your clients. I feel comfortable assuming that a forced entry in a dwelling might constitute a clear and present danger to the responding officer (guard or police). Either you safely check it or stand down and call the police.
                Jerry
                "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the info guys.

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                  • #10
                    The first rule is:

                    You go home at the end of shift.
                    Kelly

                    We are the thin blue line
                    between you
                    and all the money in the world.

                    And no you can't have any.

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                    • #11
                      Firearms and private security mix about as well as Jack Daniels and car keys.

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                      • #12
                        I got no problem with private security drawing weapons as long as they color them too.

                        Seriously, when I was in college I worked for a security company and we had a armed contract....and 30 minute "training" I had was freaking scary.
                        "We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered." - Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

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                        • #13
                          I'm with KY PO on this one. How good an artist are you?
                          The wicked flee when no man pursueth...
                          -Proverbs 28:1

                          ...but they run a lot faster when I'm behind them!

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