Private security officers, or security guards, protect individuals and property from crime, fire, or other hazards. Private security officers work with police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical services personnel when problems arise. Some private security officers are armed.
Employers of private security officers include:
- Private homes + estates
- Department stores + other shopping centers
- Theaters & museums
- Sports stadiums
Responsibilities of a Security Officer
Private security officers are assigned static or stationary positions. Static positions usually require officers to stay in one location for a certain length of time. They monitor alarms and closed-circuit TV cameras and learn close details about the property and the people associated with it. Stationary officers are assigned mobile patrol or walk from one location to another to maintain security in an assigned area.
Whether static or stationary, private security officers may detain or arrest criminal suspects, answer service calls involving criminal activity, or serve traffic violations.
Private Security Officer Training
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while many employers require no more than a high school diploma, some require higher education to be considered for private security officer jobs.
A degree in police science or criminal justice could be beneficial here. Individual courses that could help prepare you for a career as a private security officer include:
- Weapons retention
- Self defense
- First aid
- Laws involving the use of force
- Alarm system and electronic security equipment operation
With the right training and a strong desire to protect, you could begin a fulfilling new career as a private security officer.
How to Become a Public Safety Officer
If you become a public safety officer you would effectively take on the role of community policing within a designated area. A large part of your role would be to make people aware that you are in the community and keeping an eye on things.
You would have a “beat” with which you would familiarize yourself. You might look for a number of things ranging from the seemingly small up to major crime problems. It is often the case that minor crime such as vandalism and graffiti, if repaired or removed quickly, will deter people from committing more serious crime such as arson. Residents often say they feel safer knowing that there is a familiar face keeping an eye on their neighborhood.
If you become a public safety officer you may be surprised at just how effective this type of policing is. By having an intimate knowledge of your beat, and being a well known face, you would be in an ideal position to spot anything which is out of place such as activity in someone’s home if you know they are on vacation. You could also be the first port of call for any other community related issue such as fire or an emergency. You could find work on college campuses or shopping malls.
The education required to become a public safety officer varies according to state. Some require college education such as a criminal justice degree, others provide on the job training.