When you’re researching top security guard companies in Houston, you are of course looking for highly-trained security professionals who can keep your people and your property safe. But what, exactly, does that entail? There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what private security guards can and cannot legally do.
So, we wanted to briefly answer some of the most common questions we hear about the legal powers of private guards.
Can security guards act as “bouncers”?
Yes, absolutely. This is one of their primary roles. They carry the same power to order someone to leave that you, as the owner, would have. So, they can intervene on your behalf and legally eject people from your premises.
By and large, a security guard is primarily there to act as a deterrent. They have other powers, but fundamentally, your guard is looking for ways to prevent crimes or conflicts from happening in the first place.
Can a security guard arrest people?
Yes and no. While they lack the official arrest powers of the police, they still retain the power to make a “citizen’s arrest,” that is, detaining someone who has committed a crime until the actual police show up.
However, the key words here are “someone who has committed a crime.” The guard, or those who hired the guard, must have genuine proof of a crime – such as video footage. Your security guard cannot detain someone based merely on suspicion alone. Without proof, all they could do is eject the person from your property.
Can an armed security guard shoot people?
Yes, but only with solid justification. They must have a genuine reason to believe that lives are in danger – i.e., there must be a clear and present threat brandishing a deadly weapon. Again, any sort of suspicion isn’t enough. They cannot make the first move but can only respond to an escalation in potential violence.
Of course, even unarmed guards will still usually have some sort of weapon, such as a baton. These can also be utilized, when the situation calls for it.
One other thing to consider: while an armed security guard will definitely be a deterrent to potential threats, they can also make your guests/customers uneasy. Having armed guards suggests to bystanders that violence could happen. Generally, most top security guard companies in Houston will advise against using armed guards unless you have a real reason to believe there’s a high likelihood of violence.
Keep Yourself Safe with MP Security!
MP Security Guard & Patrol is a top Houston security guard company with a combined century of experience keeping people and property secure. We offer multiple types of monitoring and surveillance, along with both armed and unarmed guards. Whatever you need to protect, contact us to keep it safe.