The authority of security guards and security companies is extremely limited, which makes it essential to cooperate effectively with local law enforcement. The duties of security officers are mostly limited to preventing crime by being visible and vigilant and to observing and reporting. If a crime is in progress or has been committed it law enforcement should be called immediately with a detailed and specific report. It is not the responsibility of security officers to approach and apprehend perpetrators. It is very important that guard schools, field supervisors and post orders stress that fact. Security guards trying to take on the responsibilities of a police officer will put them into unnecessary danger and increase the security companies and their client’s exposure to liability.
A security company and its security guards must delegate the apprehension and confrontation of criminals to local law enforcement. In many cases security guards work in banks, jewelry stores and other locations where police will quickly respond to reports of crime. In other cases security guards work in shopping centers and residential or residential areas where the crimes committed are less serious like petty theft, panhandling and domestic disturbances. Normally local law enforcement will be hesitant to respond to such crimes immediately, because they are busy and have limited resources. They will respond to lesser crimes when they have the time and resources available and no other more pressing task is imminent. In many cases the police will respond very hesitantly, because panhandling and loitering are so commonplace in some cities that it is impossible to be controlled by the police. If the police really went after each offender they would have no time and resources for anything else.Active Security Enterprises has some nice tips on this.
It is the responsibility of the security consultant and the security company to establish a good relationship with local law enforcement. The first day the security company starts service at a new location local law enforcement should be notified and the security consultant should introduce himself to the commanding officers. That will ensure better communication in the future and the security consultant might gain invaluable information about challenges and risk factors in the area. A good relationship will also improve response times in case the police are called and improve the attention the police officers are giving to a specific property when they are conducting their regular patrols.
A security company should not solely focus on providing well trained and professional security officers, but it should identify risk factors and provide security plan to mitigate such risk factors. Really good security companies will incorporate local partners like the police department, fire department and city hall in their security plan. In most cases people in public service are more than happy to establish relationships and to help by providing their time and resources. Customers hiring a security company should make sure that their company understands the importance of relationship building otherwise they will not be effective providing security services.