security guards aren't always the brightest in the bunch


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wallysparx
April 9, 2006, 01:51 PM
so last night, i was having dinner with the family at a local mom and pop burger joint. about halfway into our meal, there's some commotion and yelling outside the window. next thing i know, a security guard (not for the restaurant, just another patron) had his gun drawn on some guy who was trying to get into a car. more yelling between the two, and at some point someone called the sheriffs and afforementioned security guard is disarmed and hauled away.

turns out security guard thought someone was stealing his car. but, the car only happned to be the same make and model and color as his (not knowing the car right outside of the window wasn't his own, when most normal people know where they park is the first sign of his superior intelligence).

now, my question is, do security guards have any sort of authority to be barking orders at anyone when not protecting whatever it is they're protected to contract, much less pull a gun on someone? and if you were in such a situation, is that any different from defending yourself from any other person aiming a weapon at you?

it's definitely a problem when we're societally indoctrinated to listen to somone in a LEO-esque uniform, and when said person person in a LEO-esque uniform believes in that authority themelseves, whether on the job or not.

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c_yeager
April 9, 2006, 02:26 PM
This guy was clearly a moron, but you dont need some kind of magical state-granted authority to keep someone from stealing your car.

1 old 0311
April 9, 2006, 02:49 PM
My 12 year old daughter was injured on the School Bus. I called the Police, and because it was school related they sent the School Security ( rent a cop ) out for a report. The gear this clown was carrying was more than a SWAT TEAM has. This is a Middle School in the suburbs, and they send a Rambo wantabee:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Kevin

Lupinus
April 9, 2006, 02:51 PM
Security guards don't have any authority when they aren't on duty at the location they are employeed. And even then they legaly only have so much authority to do things like order or detain you.

Though I don't think him being a security guard had anything to do with anything. Any idiot can develope a god complex and while security guards aren't always the brightist bunch neither are cops, lawyers, or doctors, and all these professions and more often have those withen them who have developed a god complex.

TallPine
April 9, 2006, 02:53 PM
you dont need some kind of magical state-granted authority to keep someone from stealing your car
Yeah, but it might be advisable to first make sure that it really is your car that is being "stolen" ;)


In my own case, I'm not sure why anybody would want to steal any of my vehicles, although they are pretty distinctive - what with the dents and rust patterns and mud :p

c_yeager
April 9, 2006, 02:59 PM
Security guards don't have any authority when they aren't on duty at the location they are employeed. And even then they legaly only have so much authority to do things like order or detain you.


The rule of thumb is that security guards, while on the property of their employer can have as much authority as the person who owns the propery. Their purpose is to act as stewards of the property. This amount of authority can be limited by the owner. Basically, a security guard cant really do anything that a property owner couldnt do on their property. Essentially you cannot be detained if you havent been witnessed commiting a crime, you can be ejected from the property for any reason at all. Really, thats about it. They can arrest a person under the same conditions that anyone else could arrest someone.

Devonai
April 9, 2006, 03:03 PM
Security guards, unless granted the status of Special Police Officer, have no more legal authority than a private citizen. The process of becoming a SPO (or whatever your jurisdiction calls them) is similar to becoming a cop, and the legal authority of a SPO is exactly and specifically described in the contract. The contract will say something like "The SPO is authorized to inforce RSA 13.4-13.6, 15.1-15.9," etc, and the SPO may only enforce those specific laws.

As a non-SPO armed security guard, I have the same legal authority as a private citizen. My duty is to observe and report, and to inform any trespassers that they are on private property. If a person decides to ignore me, I call the cops. If they're hauling away some of my client's property, for example, I can tell them to stop but not actually force them to stop.

Power perceived is power achieved. If a trespasser thinks I have the authority to detain, they might listen to me. My responsibility is to make sure I don't say "you're under arrest" or anything else that might make the person think that they are not free to go. If they say, "F you, you're just a security guard," I do nothing but hope the cops show up quickly.

Now if my life is threatened, that's a whole 'nother story.

Clearly the security guard at the restaurant deserved exactly what happened to him. The lesson is to make sure any security guard you hire has good references (commanding officers in the military, for example :) ).

Tory
April 9, 2006, 03:04 PM
"This guy was clearly a moron, but you dont need some kind of magical state-granted authority to keep someone from stealing your car."

You do if you employ deadly force in the process.

As the ostensible "defender" was NOT in it at the time, nor were any members of his family, it is not a carjacking. Therefore, the car is just property. Offhand, the only state I can think of that lets a citizen employ deadly force to protect mere property is Texas (there may be a couple of others.

In short, the glib assertion above is an invitation to disaster. :scrutiny:

tulsamal
April 9, 2006, 04:54 PM
The security guard screwed up in every direction. (And I type this while sitting at my post as a security guard in Oklahoma!) If you are an armed security guard in Oklahoma, you can only carry that gun while actually at your post or in transit. While in transit, you are not authorized by the State of OK to act like a cop. You are a private citizen. You can't go to the gas station and pump gas while carrying. You can't run into the convenience store for a magazine while carrying. If this guy was eating or buying something while wearing his gun, he was outside of the law. OK is very serious about this. They didn't want people getting the armed security guard license as a way to walk around wearing a gun.

And, as was already said, an armed security guard actually ON the client's property STILL doesn't have the powers of a cop. He is a private citizen who was asked by the owner of the property to "keep an eye on it." He is only authorized to use his sidearm if deadly force would be justified for a civilian with a CCW in the exact same situation. Not to hold somebody for the cops or anything like that. You fear for your life or the lives of others. Period. If somebody isn't right on the verge of getting killed then you have no business drawing your weapon.

Gregg

gunsmith
April 9, 2006, 07:17 PM
and yeah, I met some idiots on the job.

In CA you are allowed to go straight home and straight to work while you are open carrying.

Due to budget restraints there is only one inspector for the entire state of CA, which means that unless they do something really stupid like this guy, S/O's will carry all the time because no one enforces the law.

I was stopped by a cop on my way to work by a sargent in the SFPD while I was getting on the bus to go to work. He thought it was illegal for me to open carry, I told him it was legal, but if he could get me a CCW I would carry concealed:D

He gave me a ride and got me to work on time because he made me miss my bus.

Beren
April 9, 2006, 08:24 PM
A better title for this thread might be "people who stereotype an entire industry based on a sample of one aren't always the brightest in the bunch."

But then, I've been called to the carpet for not appropriately naming some of my threads, too.

wallysparx
April 9, 2006, 09:27 PM
my apologies to any security guards, didn't mean to offend the entire industry because of what i witnessed of one individual. in fact i have a friend who's a security guard (but he's not the brightest in the bunch either)! but really, it takes some cojones to take on such an occupation and still get stiffed by the moneybags that be who do what they can to keep from paying benefits.

but really, this guy was a piece of work. hard to take someone seriously when talk real tough but look like drew carey. definitely not the occupation that i look down upon, but the types who do carry such a dangerous attitude to go along with it.

Devonai
April 9, 2006, 09:45 PM
Go to Blackwater's website and ask yourself if they hire anybody who's not "the brightest in the bunch" or offer a good benefits package.

SAG0282
April 10, 2006, 12:00 AM
My 12 year old daughter was injured on the School Bus. I called the Police, and because it was school related they sent the School Security ( rent a cop ) out for a report. The gear this clown was carrying was more than a SWAT TEAM has. This is a Middle School in the suburbs, and they send a Rambo wantabee

Kevin

Not sure about where you're from, but here school officers are either city or county officers working OT or School Patrol, which are fully commissioned law enforcement officers who have attended the same academy as their "traditional" breathren.

rms/pa
April 10, 2006, 12:36 AM
c yeager has it spot on,

in PA we are considered an agent for the property owner and speak with his voice.

one oddity , some of our armed contracts have us riding with an LEO. actions preformed under the diredtion of an LEO in PA have the same protections as the police.

as for the nerfball you observed, in PA one may only be armed and in uniform to/ from the job site and on the job. for my LTCF to be valid i may not have ANY logo uniform parts on. otherwise i must be act235 and on an armed contract.

security is the most pay for the least amount of work i have been on, aside from the occasional chance of being shot or beaten up.

rms/pa

Mark in California
April 10, 2006, 02:04 AM
First off, the guard was just stupid for thinking it was his car that someone was getting into. His actions are simply an Assualt With a Deadly Weapon.

According to California laws and regulations:

The security officer might have been legally open carrying his weapon. It depends on: was he detailed to work an armed shift; did he have the required guard and firearms registrations, was he was going directly to work, directly home from work OR was he on lunch break.

In the state of California there are only two powers of arrest: Police Powers of Arrest, and Citizen Arrest. If you are not police officer, then you can perform only a citizenís arrest.

A security officer's actual powers on private property can in some cases be greater than law enforcement. It depends on what the client/landowner will allow on to or off their property and how much power they will entrust to the security company/security officer to enforce it.

It is legal to open carry, but the weapon must be unloaded in any area that you can not legally discharge the weapon. Legal carry or not, the police will more than likely arrest you for creating a disturbance.

If you are not in car or on a road and you are in a location where it would be legal to discharge a firearm at your present location, then you may open carry a loaded firearm. However, the police could be confused if they are called.

One round of ammo on your person will allow you to also be arrest for having a loaded weapon in public, unless you have some other permit allowing you to carrying a loaded weapon in public.

A firearm carryed openly on your belt, is by law not concealed.

losangeles
April 10, 2006, 02:41 AM
That guard had it all wrong with the weapon. Under no circumstance is a guard allowed legally to draw (brandish) the firearm unless it's a life-threatening situation. In fact, as has been stated already, the guard doesn't have any powers beyond that of an ordinary citizen with respect to the use of the gun. His ability to call out an intruder is the same as that of the owner of the property, within that property, so long as the owner has conferred him that right, but nothing more than that.

Plus, the whole brouhaha about thinking his car was stolen sounds like all-bonehead. And he got busted for it. Good!

However, I agree that the whole class of guards shouldn't be branded. Yeah, you'll get your share of boneheads, just like any occupation. The educational levels and demographics of guards are definitely low-end. That's not to be pejorative, it's reality. I was a part-time guard in college to help pay the bills, so I know how it is. There're a lot of poor folk there trying to make ends meet and I feel sorry for them. But it keeps them employed. In fact, there was an article in the LA Times this weekend about an old grandma doing the work, making $8.50/hour and scraping by; very sad. It's tough; you put your life at risk (in some places) for peanuts.

orangeninja
April 10, 2006, 03:41 AM
The biggest problem with the security industry is that the qulifications and standards for guards vary so much from state to state. There should be federal guidelines on security since we as a nation rely on them so much.

Molon Labe
April 10, 2006, 09:08 AM
The biggest problem with the security industry is that the qulifications and standards for guards vary so much from state to state. There should be federal guidelines on security since we as a nation rely on them so much.So the states canít be trusted to come up with their own rules? :rolleyes:

jcs271
April 10, 2006, 01:13 PM
That was a CLASSIC example of security guard behavior. As an industry they should all be embarassed, no training, little regulation and a cop wannabe attitude are a dangerous combination.

Most "security guards" should not be trusted with a flashlight, let alone a gun!

Keep them all away from me.

And before you bash my reply, I have a tremendous amount of interaction with a variey of these "security professionals" and 99% of them are cop wannabe LOSERS!

orangeninja
April 10, 2006, 02:34 PM
"So the states canít be trusted to come up with their own rules?"


Right, the states cannot be trusted to come up with their own rules because:

1.) If a terror attack occurs within a state affecting the infrastructure of the U.S. etc., the FEDERAL Government is who will be called upon to clean up the mess. Just look at N.O. So it kind of makes sense that the Feds would have oversite into protecting national intrest assets.... i.e. the ones that they have to fix when it breaks.

2.) Some states have no regulations concerning security, others over regulate. For instance in some states private security cannot be armed without the blessings of the local P.D. regardless of what they are protecting, such as a nuclear power plant, center for medical research (read bio-terror) or power grid.

3.) Standardization will allow the customers to know what they are getting when purchasing a security contract, other than a wanna be Barney Fife with a death wish. It may also professionalize the industry and raise the wages.

4.) Private security failed the U.S. once, and the Feds had to replace it. You may remember a little event we refer to as 9/11?

That's just a couple of reasons but I could go all day.

2lucky
April 10, 2006, 06:37 PM
>>Offhand, the only state I can think of that lets a citizen employ deadly force to protect mere property is Texas (there may be a couple of others).<<

While there is some case law in Texas that supports the right of a citizen to defend their property at night with the use of deadly force, it is by no means a given. I believe that it's nescessary that a person reasonably be in fear of their life before shooting someone in the act of theft. It's typically left to the Grand Jury to decide whether to prosecute and often the Assistant DA will make a recommendation to the Grand Jury based on his assesment of what is "in the interest of justice".

I'm no attorney, but have some experience in this area of law.

Sorry. Didn't mean to hijack the thread.

TexasRifleman
April 10, 2006, 06:44 PM
While there is some case law in Texas that supports the right of a citizen to defend their property at night with the use of deadly force, it is by no means a given. I believe that it's nescessary that a person reasonably be in fear of their life before shooting someone in the act of theft.

The statute itself does NOT require that you be in fear of your life. It only requires that you believe you could not recover the property by any means other than deadly force.

Probably a good idea to use that one sparingly.

One case in particular here in Ft Worth was no billed by the Grand Jury because the owner of a stolen car had reason to believe his car would be used in a drive by, so he shot the thief.

psychophipps
April 10, 2006, 10:50 PM
This all being said, the local PD probably just tossed him in a cell for a while to put the fear of G-d in him and then commenced with the stern talking to about soap-on-a-rope, Bubba and the lack of a good woman in the nearest Bighouse. If not and they're pressing full charges? Oh well! One less gooferoo out there with a handgun to worry about for at least a few years.

Mark(psycho)Phipps( HAHAHA! )

grampster
April 10, 2006, 10:53 PM
Oh boy, this thread got me remembering a stolen car incident when I was LEO.
It was really, really funny.:D

wallysparx
April 11, 2006, 01:04 AM
Oh boy, this thread got me remembering a stolen car incident when I was LEO.
It was really, really funny.
please do tell!

Big Gay Al
April 11, 2006, 01:34 AM
EVERYONE should remember, when offering your version of what a security guard can or can't do, it all, ALL of it, varies from one state to another. Hardly any two states have the same laws with regards to security guards.

Some require training, some do not. Some require training to work armed, some require training just to work as an unarmed guard. Some, don't require any training at all, but do require guards to have a CCW.

Like I said, it varies a lot. And since security companies hire from the human race, yeah, some of us are morons. The rest of us are just better at hiding that fact better than the unlucky ones. ;)

cubanpimp
April 11, 2006, 07:23 AM
I am now at work... I am a dispatcher for a large security company in Miami, FL.... 70% of security guards are below average when it comes to intelligence! I get the most stupid calls ever from guards! I am also a licensed armed security officer for the county of Dade + army veteran. So I would say most security guards lack a great ammount of common sence.
There are good guards but it is a very easy job to do if you can just stay awake most of the time.:D .

P.S. florida does require training for the sec license and even more training for the g (gun license) + you are required by law in florida to qualify every year by going to the range with an instructor and shoot 40 rounds.

c_yeager
April 12, 2006, 05:56 AM
You do if you employ deadly force in the process.

As the ostensible "defender" was NOT in it at the time, nor were any members of his family, it is not a carjacking. Therefore, the car is just property. Offhand, the only state I can think of that lets a citizen employ deadly force to protect mere property is Texas (there may be a couple of others.

In short, the glib assertion above is an invitation to disaster.

Right, except for the part where the person in question didnt actually use deadly force at any time. FYI pointing a gun at someone is pretty damn low on the force spectrum shooting on the other hand, is at the top. Cops point guns at people on a pretty routine basis, this is *not* deadly force, it is the threat of deadly force, which is not the same thing.

tanksoldier
April 12, 2006, 06:20 AM
So you don't have the right of citizen's arrest in Oklahoma? Or do security guards not have that right while on duty?

<<Not to hold somebody for the cops or anything like that>>

TexasRifleman
April 12, 2006, 09:39 AM
Right, except for the part where the person in question didnt actually use deadly force at any time. FYI pointing a gun at someone is pretty damn low on the force spectrum shooting on the other hand, is at the top.

Don't know about all states but Texas clearly defines pointing a gun as NOT being deadly force as pointed out.

The statutes allow pointing a gun as "threat of deadly force" .

ß 9.04. Threats as Justifiable Force

The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this Chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.

That said, the guy is still an idiot for not remembering where he parked his own car......

Devonai
April 14, 2006, 07:44 AM
I just spent thirty minutes composing a long response, but vB apparently disagreed with my definition of "logged in." :fire:

Big Gay Al
April 14, 2006, 07:56 AM
I hate when that happens. ;)

Almost as bad as composing a long reply, just about to hit the reply button, and the power goes out. :eek:

c_yeager
April 14, 2006, 03:52 PM
I just spent thirty minutes composing a long response, but vB apparently disagreed with my definition of "logged in."


Always highlight your post and right click and hit "copy" before hitting the submit button. That way, if it gets sent to the ether you can just paste it back into the field.

Devonai
April 14, 2006, 05:04 PM
Yeah, I do that on LiveJournal, but THR has never dumped out on me before.

I was just going to relate a story of some guys who I encountered at work last night. They didn't believe me when I told them they were on private property, but they believed the cops when they were pulled over a few minutes later. :D

Hmm, I guess the story had a three minute version, too.

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