Inside the Role: Understanding the Duties of a Security Guard

Baltimore Security Guard provides continuous patrols to protect vulnerable areas that aren’t covered by local police resources. They must be alert, honest, and observant to deter crime.

Security Guard

Guards are trained to identify potential security threats, then act accordingly. They follow established protocols for contacting law enforcement or emergency services as needed.

Whether working at a hotel, office building, warehouse, or even a private residence, a security guard patrols the premises to monitor activities and act as a deterrent. They may have the ability to access restricted areas and operate x-ray or metal detector equipment, as well. This role requires the individual to be able to remain calm in the event of an emergency and must have self-defence training and knowledge of how to handle a weapon (if they’re authorized to carry one).

A security guard must also be able to communicate effectively with others, including employees, patrons, clients, visitors, and strangers. They might provide directions, answer questions, and offer assistance when needed, contributing to a safe environment. In addition, they should know basic first aid and CPR, as they might be the first to arrive on the scene of an accident or incident.

As part of their duties, a security guard makes reports on their observations. The details of these observations should be accurate, as it’s important for a security guard to identify any suspicious activity or unauthorized individuals on their property. The report must be submitted to the appropriate person in a timely manner. In some cases, this might include the supervisor or an onsite manager.

Some security guards are responsible for patrolling outside a specific area and monitoring activities from the perimeter. This might include observing parking lots for signs of theft or vandalism, monitoring access control systems to determine who is entering and leaving the premises, checking packages for signs of tampering before they’re delivered, and checking that all doors and windows are locked at night.

The duties of a security guard can vary by industry and employer, but many jobs require that an individual have a high school diploma or equivalent and complete a state-approved training program. This training typically includes topics such as safety protocols, weapons use, customer service skills, CPR/first aid, and patrolling techniques. Some security guards who perform specialized duties, like armed security officer, need additional licensing and certification to work in that capacity. A criminal justice and security services diploma from Bryant & Stratton College can give job seekers the background they need to pursue this field.


As you walk through your neighborhood shopping mall, you may see security guards watching for any suspicious activity. These vigilant figures are often tasked with acting as deterrents, and their keen eyes can catch anything from shoplifting to vandalism. In some cases, security guards are even trained to spot and identify potential threats, relaying the information to law enforcement if necessary.

However, this multibillion-dollar industry is relatively understudied in terms of its impact on crime prevention. The vast majority of security guards are civilian employees with no formal police powers, meaning that they lack the ability to make arrests and are essentially limited to deterrence and reporting to the authorities.

Nonetheless, these non-state policing services may play an important role in supplementing local police forces and are hypothesized to have a positive impact on crime reduction through their high visibility presence in public spaces. Several studies have examined this question with different methods and outcomes, but the evidence is mixed at best.

For example, one study randomly assigned train stations into treatment and control groups, with the treatment trains receiving targeted patrols of locations based on official crime data. The researchers used count-based regression models and estimated marginal means to measure the effect of the patrols on crimes reported to police by victims as well as on new crimes detected by police officers at both specified target locations and entire station complexes. The results indicated that both specific targets and all stations were significantly less prone to crime after the intervention.

Another study compared the effects of police-assisted security guards to unaided civilian security guards at a large shopping center in a suburban township. They found that aided security guards were more effective at reducing vandalism and other crime in the parking lot, but not in the rest of the mall. The authors hypothesized that the differences may have been due to the fact that aided security guards were more aware of their surroundings and were better trained in deterring behavior.

Despite the benefits of surveillance technology, security guards should never search your property without your consent. This can be a violation of your privacy and a possible legal issue. For this reason, it is important to understand the legal landscape and know your security guard’s responsibilities in terms of surveillance.

Emergency Response

In a security guard’s emergency response role, they are responsible for responding to and handling situations that require immediate attention. They are trained to assess the severity of a crisis, make quick decisions, and communicate clear instructions to individuals who may be panicking or confused. This includes directing occupants of a building during an evacuation, as well as providing first aid when appropriate. Security personnel also participate in regular emergency drills and training to prepare for unforeseen circumstances, making them prepared for any situation that might arise on the job.

The responsibilities of a security guard during an emergency include responding to breaches, accidents, or natural disasters. They are typically the first to respond to a security incident, and they often act as liaisons between local law enforcement and those affected by the event. They are also well-versed in the specific emergency protocols for their assigned environments, allowing them to activate these plans quickly and efficiently when necessary.

In addition to assessing the severity of the emergency, security guards are also responsible for promptly notifying authorities. This ensures that emergency services can be dispatched to the scene as soon as possible, minimizing any further harm or injury caused by the situation. Security guards are also trained to provide information to emergency services, including the nature of the incident, its location, and how many people are involved.

Security guards are also tasked with ensuring that the proper safety equipment is readily available in the case of an emergency. This can include items such as fire extinguishers, emergency blankets, medical supplies, and communication devices. Having access to these resources can greatly improve a security team’s ability to respond to a crisis, so it’s important that they understand how these tools work and how to use them effectively. Security guards also document all emergency incidents and their responses to them, as this can be helpful for analyzing and improving future response measures. Ultimately, the effectiveness of security guards in an emergency depends on their knowledge and understanding of emergency response protocols, their ability to remain calm and composed under pressure, and their level of familiarity with the environment they are protecting.


A security guard’s job involves working closely with law enforcement to ensure public safety. This is especially important for a private sector job, such as at schools, hospitals, airports and office/commercial buildings. Security professionals are responsible for patrolling, monitoring surveillance systems and responding to any incidents that occur on property they protect. They also work with police officers to manage crowds during large public events, as well as assisting with investigations.

Security professionals must have an excellent understanding of their industry-specific regulations, policies and protocols in order to serve as effective liaisons with internal and external entities. They must have strong problem-solving and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to maintain confidentiality when necessary. The best liaison officers are comfortable speaking with individuals at all levels within an organization and can effectively communicate and collaborate between departments.

Liaison can be defined as the communication and exchange of information between different groups. In the context of a military unit, liaison can be used to describe a relationship between commanding officers and the personnel they oversee. It can also refer to the connection between different parts of an organization, such as between the IT department and the security department.

In the past, there have been many instances where law enforcement and private security agencies worked against one another rather than in partnership. However, there has been a recent trend towards collaboration and partnerships. This is partly due to the recognition that the protection of individuals and assets requires more than just law enforcement; it also depends on an entire community working together.

It’s important for security professionals to understand the differences between their role and that of law enforcement officers. Security professionals do not have arrest authority and cannot stop or detain people on public property. However, they can assist with investigations on private property by providing a suspect’s name and address to the police or by facilitating an interview with a witness. They can also serve as customer service champions by interacting with the public and helping them navigate any issues they may have at a site.