09 Jul A Security Guard is a Security Guard is a Security Guard – Nope!
‘A security guard is a security guard is a security guard’ – not true! There are different types of security guards with different levels of experience that will be best suited based on the site needs and level of criminal activity. For example, you wouldn’t put a brand new guard that has never been trained in handcuffing or baton at a high risk site where gang members and high crimes are likely to occur. Likewise, you wouldn’t put a guard with years of physical security experience and self-defence training and experience at a condominium – that’s somewhat like hiring a high tech software developer to wait tables at a restaurant.
In order for the right type of guard to be selected for the right site, security companies will ask both the client and a potential employee a myriad of questions to ensure a proper match.
There are two main levels of guards that would be needed for a site:
Low profile security:
Low profile security guards are typically used in low to mid crime areas such as condominium concierge or hotels where customers and tenants are greeted in a less intimidating way. Guards here are mostly seen conducting work such as access control, and accepting mail packages for onsite staff or tenants of the building. Their main job functions would be maintenance checks to ensure communications are sent to the maintenance staff in order for the building to be kept up to standards, ensure the property is well lit and hazard free, and for general crime deterrence.
Low profile guards can come trained in hospitality and tourism or simply just with Ministry and Provincially required security training. This helps clients decide the right type of security guard they need for their business.
Security guards hired for construction sites would also fall under this category as well, as their main task is access and traffic control and checking inventory of all on site equipment.
Low profile guards are also hired for fire watches when a site is live and partially ready with no alarm detection yet in place to be monitored.
High Profile Guards:
High profile guards can be seen working in areas like malls where pedestrian traffic can be heavy and at times risky when guards may need to attend to medical calls, theft, arguments and lost person calls. This is combined with their regular day to day patrols to ensure safety of persons on site, clients and assets.
Private investigators would also be considered high profile as they are primarily conducting undercover surveillance on persons committing fraud or infidelity. This can be risky as it is very easy to be spotted if not done correctly. Each undercover personnel would need to keep a safe and good enough distance to obtain information that is necessary and most relevant to the case. They need to have a high level of knowledge, experience and judgement to ensure they don’t commit an illegal act – such as picking garbage from a persons’ trash which is not authorized by the local city.
Bodyguards are hired to keep the client safe at all times and to ensure there aren’t any threats anywhere near them. Sometimes there are as many as five to ten bodyguards protecting the client due to the level of the threat that they may be in. A formation would be done by these guards to ensure there is enough distance for the safety of the client and to handle the threat before it becomes worse.
Mobile patrol guards typically conduct vehicle spot checks on sites that clients may be in areas of more frequent criminal activity. Typically these sites will experience vandalism or trespassing off business hours.
Mobile patrol guards must also be ready for alarm response calls – panic alarms at a site where immediate assistance needed, break and enter alarms, motion detection and false passcode alarms. Each alarm would be handled differently and quickly using a high level of judgement and safety procedures to ensure no further damage is done and the guard is safe.
Armed guards are mostly seen doing money transfer, gold, diamonds, or even simply high risk client protection. Each guard would have to be licensed under the FAC (Fire Arms Certification) and approved by the Canadian Mounted Police after an extensive criminal background check. A security guard license is also required, and a separate background check is done to ensure the person carrying such license has no criminal history. The Security Agency with armed guards would also need to do their company mandated background check and testing to ensure this type of service is conducted in a professional and ethical manor.
These are just a few examples of high versus low profile guards. When researching for an employer or a Security Agency be sure to understand your needs and limitations and be prepared. High profile guard services are often much more expensive than low given the level of experience and risk.