California is governed by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS), which regulates individuals aspiring to become security officers, guards, or protection agents. Licensing through BSIS is a mandatory process for all individuals entering these roles, with various levels of security agents and training tailored to their job responsibilities.

For instance, unarmed security officers assigned to tasks such as overseeing sporting events or patrolling shopping malls are required to obtain a security guard card. While some may undergo additional first aid training for potential medical emergencies, this is typically optional. The primary role of an unarmed security guard is limited to observation and reporting. Consequently, they lack the authority to intervene in criminal activities, including theft or assault, and can only monitor incidents, subsequently notifying the police.

Compounding this situation are ongoing budget cuts to police and sheriff departments, resulting in extended response times to crime scenes. Even if a security guard promptly alerts authorities to a crime in progress, the delayed police response may allow the perpetrator to escape before law enforcement arrives. Furthermore, pro-criminal legislation serves as an additional disincentive for officers to conduct thorough investigations, allowing numerous crimes to go unnoticed and unpunished. Instances of customers being assaulted in public spaces with unarmed security guards present underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reforms in our current security and law enforcement systems.

Read: Law Enforcement Standards vs Armed Private Security Standards

High Cost of Employing Unarmed Security

More and more frequently, stores are facing looting, with both customers and employees encountering threats. Los Angeles is the nation’s leader in retail theft. Unarmed security personnel can only observe and report to their supervisors or the police. Consequently, business owners endure significant profit losses, and customers are increasingly hesitant to venture into public or busy areas.

Regrettably, relying on the police is no longer a dependable option. They face severe underfunding and a shortage of personnel, resulting in prolonged response times. Additionally, many crimes go unrecorded because the state chooses not to prosecute.

Opting for unarmed security inevitably exposes businesses and customers to risks, leaving them unsafe and unprotected.

Choosing Trained Armed Security

Instead, businesses should invest in properly trained and licensed armed security.

In California, extensive training is required to reach this level. A security guard needs forty hours of training, fourteen additional hours for carrying a firearm and obtaining an exposed firearm permit, eight hours for baton training, two hours for pepper spray training, and eight hours for CPR and first aid training. Many armed security personnel in California come from a background in the military or law enforcement, adding to their extensive training.

Moreover, a high-quality security and protection company ensures their agents receive additional training to refine their skills and instincts. This includes training in handcuff usage, defensive tactics, and even basic martial arts, with some achieving a black belt level. Thorough training equips agents with essential skills and a proactive mindset to protect the client.

For instance, if an armed security agent is tasked with preventing looting or ransacking in a store, they are in a position to do so. They can physically intervene and utilize other force tools like a baton or pepper spray. In the event of a violent attack on the agent or a customer, the agent can use a firearm, justified under California’s use of force and deadly force laws and the security company’s policies.

private security also allows for the execution of a citizen’s arrest. In this scenario, the agent apprehends a criminal, places them in handcuffs, and informs the arriving police that a citizen’s arrest has been conducted on the suspect.

Being armed security is not just about carrying a firearm; it’s equally crucial for armed security guards to possess other tools such as a baton or pepper spray. This provides flexibility in response levels, ensuring that deadly force is only employed when facing a violent or perilous threat to human life.

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