Does an Armed Security Officer Have the Right To Arrest You?

We all share a common concept about the Armed Security Officer and police officers- They can arrest any individual when reported doing something suspicious. 

This confusion arises after watching the movies where guards are seen throwing folks out of the building and arresting them. But is the situation the same in real life?

Can armed security guards arrest you?

In real life, the situation is the opposite. Depending on which rank they belong to, the armed security officer can arrest you. There are three ranks of the armed officers;

Private Security Guard

This rank is the lowest of all. Private armed security guards have the same right as any other citizen. The premium duty of these guards is to protect the property they are hired for, prevent things from being stolen, and make the environment safe.

A private armed security officer can not arrest any citizen. However, he has the right to use force. For instance, the bank’s private guards can kick out any person when reported but can not arrest them even after the order of the organization. 

Special Authorized Power Security Guards

This rank is higher than the private armed officer. Local government authorizations specially appoint these officers. Talking about their power to arrest citizens, it depends on which department they belong to.

If their department has high authority, then they may be able to arrest citizens. The high authority local government departments include banks, hospitals, and other private sectors. 

Law Enforcement Security Officer

Law enforcement armed security officer is the highest rank of all. These security officers have the same rank and rights as the police officers. They can use weapons, arrest, search, and take other legal actions when needed.

Other Powers An Armed Security Officer Holds

Aforementioned, the private armed security guards can not arrest citizens even when needed. However, he still has some rights, which are as following;

1) Use of Weapon

As the name says, armed security officers have the right to hold and use weapons. Usually, they are granted a firearm by the department for two purposes;

  • Action:

The first purpose of holding the firearm for an armed officer is to protect his surroundings. Unlike unarmed security guards, they can not stand still by holding a baton only. They have to take efficient and quick actions to protect the surroundings.

  • Self-Defence:

The second purpose of the weapon for the armed security officer is to protect themselves. Of course, the attackers can even attack them to knock them. Having a firearm protects them from such sudden attacks. 

2) Jurisdiction On Private Property

Suppose you hire an armed security officer to patrol your property. What exactly will you expect from him? Of course, to patrol the property, keep spectators away, and prevent attacks. That is what the officer exactly does.

An armed security guard has jurisdiction only on the property he is hired for. However, he can use the weapon to prevent individuals from prohibiting the property & in case of an attack on the property, the armed officer can report to the police department to arrest the person.

3) Search

Before talking about this particular power, there is one thing to be cleared. Searching for an individual is highly restricted in some regions as it spoils the privacy of the person. Therefore, official police officers can search a person only when there is some suspicious activity.

An armed security guard may or may not search a person depending on its state’s rules. If the state allows the armed guard to search an individual, then he can. But if not, then this power is restricted for him.

Do not assume results after watching movies. Everything is not the same as we see in the movies. Similarly, armed security guards can not arrest you unless they have the highest rank.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to do if a private armed guard arrests you?

First of all, a private armed guard can not arrest you because he doesn’t have the right. But if he does, then you can fight against him because you have the right.

What will happen after you get arrested?

Initially, the police department will take you into custody for investigation. Then, any high-ranked officer will search for shreds of evidence. If you are suspected, they will keep you in custody, but you will be released if not.

How to become an armed security officer?

To be an armed officer, you have to complete your higher education, firearm training, guard training, get a license, then apply for open positions. Those companies that are in search of armed officers will contact you for an interview. After passing the interview, you can join the company and perform your duty.

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