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  • Title: Security Guard or Security Officer

    Personally, I prefer security guard. Officer should be reserved for cops. Also helps the public to see the difference between security and law enforcement. How do you feel?
    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

  • #2
    i prefer security officer. in ur view any person with the word officer in their title should have to be law enforcement?
    Last edited by bigdog; 11-05-2005, 04:54 AM.
    "Get yourself a shovel cause your in deep Sh*t"

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    • #3
      I prefer Security Guard which is a lot better than being called a Watchman.

      In my opinion the word Officer relates to a person who holds a position of authority within a government organisation.

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      • #4
        Like my first post. Titles, names and window dressing. There have been times in my experience during communication with others that got confused when S/O John Doe called, or did this or that (S/O in Florida is used to represent the Sheirff's Office in various instances). And Officer is rarley heard in public here for the exception of those that are police, state and so on. Even fellow workers call each other guard. I do it too when I do the work (part time). Except maybe a few over zealous types. I think TSA uniforms are called security associates? It might be printed (Officer) on the state license but I think it's another way to "polish" the title of another job in the cheap labor market to give it more zig. Yea, right. People still use guard. Like: "Tell the guard over there", "Call the guard shack", "The guard left this for you". It does not bother me any. I think until standards change for the uniform security worker he/she will always be a guard in the eyes of the public.

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        • #5
          I prefer officer for a few reasons. First off in my opinion a guard is some one who stands a post at a gate or at a factory and just checks id's. Also i feel that the term officer is more professional. In addition to the previous and Officer is not always Law Enforcement. In the military officers are persons with higher then normal responsibility. In addition to that i am not a guard. I Respond to medical emergencies(i am a EMT/Firefighter normally) , Calls for help, take reports and work well with the police. I would be more inclined to call what we do at my part time agency as Private Police. We also work well with local police and they realise our value in helping to reduce there call load by handling calls that would other wise take up time for nothing. Now i do feel that we do need higher requirements to become a security officer. I would actually like to see two levels of security service (kind of like medical) I would like to see guard ( persons at gates or factory entrances etc.. trained specifically for that) and Officer (respond to calls for help on property more like private police). Well thats just my 2 cents do what you will with it but realise that is just my opinion based on my state. Your area may be different as may your opinion.
          Robert
          Here endith the lesson

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          • #6
            I dislike both, actually, because of the connotation behind "security," and "guard." People automatically lose respect for a uniform they see once they identify it as a "security *." Be it "Guard," or "Officer," they hear the word "Security," and automatically wish to ignore, or in some cases harass, that individual.

            If you notice, alot of larger companies are removing the term "security" from their employee titles, rank structure, and brochures. They use other terms such as "protective services agent," "protection associate," and others because titles do matter - in the eyes of the public.

            You can take two identical, professional looking people, in professional uniforms, and ask the average member of the public what "authority" they have. They will base this off of how professional the employee looks, how professional the uniform looks - most people don't even realize they have or do not have police-type gun belts on. Then, tell the person that the man on the left is a "security officer," and the man on the right is a "protective services agent," and the average person will usually believe that the man on the left has less authority than a private citizen, and the man on the right has more authority than a private citizen.

            The media has carefully shaped the image of a "night watchman" or "security guard," and now "security officer." They are usually protrayed as either: Bumbling idiots, a somewhat professional but destined to fail group (protecting something), or as a highly trained threat advisarial group against the hero (think Rush Hour 2 - Casino Security was trying to stop Chan).

            Since the term is so poisoned, alot of companies are simply moving away from it, to other terms like "protective services," "safety enforcement," "risk management (Which is a different discipline in itself)," "incident response," etc.

            As far as "officer" conveying official authority - this is another symptom of society's expectation on public and private policing. The term "officer" means just that, a person discharging the duties of an office. This term holds no real official authority as vested by the Government or its political subdivisions. There are officers of corporations, officers of clubs, code enforcement officers, animal control officers, etc. In and of itself, the term "officer" has no connotation of official police authority.

            However, combine the connotation with the societal expectation that security companies remain a private police force, as it has since the 1800s, wearing police like uniforms, and performing protective duties for specific clients, and you have the issue "That guy looks like a cop, but he's not, so he can't be an officer."

            Next time you suit up, look at yourself in the mirror. Your probally wearing a tan, navy blue, or white uniform shirt, with a metal or sewn on badge, a nameplate (Required in Wisconsin, and should be in other states), and perhaps some collar brass. You are wearing uniform slacks, and a black belt with silver or brass buckle, matching your badge color (I hope.) You are wearing black uniform shoes, uniform boots, or perhaps black sneakers. You are wearing black socks, or should be by most company policies.

            Now, we look at Tennsix, who is wearing about the same uniform, save for colors, perhaps some more collar brass, a uniform duty rig with firearm.

            There's no real difference in your uniforms. This is because society has demanded and expected private policing services for hundreds of years. They want people who will protect them, and their property, because the police cannot - it is not their job. For some reason, private security has evolved into mirroring police in uniforms and customs.

            Fifty years ago, people disliked the street cop. After all, Barney Fife was a cop, a deputy sheriff. Never was he a security guard. After years of toiling against public perception, the police brotherhoods elevated the position of sworn police officer to a respectable profession. The Barney Fife image no longer applied, so it was shifted to security, which makes no effort to raise the profession beyond what it is today - it cuts into their profit margins.

            Do remember USA Today, DHS, and several senator's questions: Why are security guards so untrained, and so unregulated, when we have these people protecting our homeland?

            Again, societal expectation of doing more than "observation and reporting." They expect private security to police their properties, protecting their clients and the public against terrorist attacks. And they are wondering why the companies aren't providing training to do this, and why the client's aren't paying more money to fund this training.

            Oh, I do also note something else. The Marine Corps has a Marine Security Guard Batallion. The Department of Energy and Department of Defense have DOD/DoE Security Guards, and DoD/DoE Police Officers. Both are sworn, both have full arrest powers, only their duties differ. Police provide police services, DOD Security Guards protect static installations and posts. Usually, though, DoD Security Guards will state "I'm a federal police officer," when asked. They know what "security guard" associates them with.
            Last edited by N. A. Corbier; 11-05-2005, 12:01 PM.
            Some Kind of Commando Leader

            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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            • #7
              My company seems to prefer "Officer". Patrons refer to me as "Officer", "guard", and "security guard". I do not mind or prefer any of these names over another.

              I suppose if one were to be proper than "Officer" would be the correct term.

              This is because guarding is the primary function of our job...but it certainly
              isn't the only one. An Officer is defined as one who holds an office of authority or trust in an organization. "Office" is defined as a place in which clerical and professional activities are conducted. For me clerical duties are issuing citations, report writing and submitting, etc. And professional duties are interacting with the public, patrol, deterring, etc.

              By using the term "guard" one is just calling someone by the role of their job. IMHO this is okay. Guard or Officer..either is fine.

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              • #8
                Arff312, I have been following this discussion with much interest. Whether or not you believe in titles, it is what you do with the position that makes the difference. The security guard at a factory gate could be your first line of defense against a myriad of security threats including the recently fired employee who tried to use his ID card to enter the facility. The security guard read his special orders, learned of the recent firing, and stopped that person from entering with three handguns.
                The security officer who goes the extra mile, attends classes on ?workplace violence? able to read certain signs, the harbingers serious trouble. His intervention neutralized the situation.
                Then there are situations where security guards, warm bodies unskilled and unconcerned, caused serious problems in not detecting the fired employee at the gate who managed to murder his former supervisor and a former coworker. The security officer, also unskilled and unconcerned, sensing a potential problem, manages to be on a different floor when violence erupts.
                Yes in military life, commissioned officers do have a great deal of responsibility, commensurate with their rank. Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs), seasoned enlisted personnel, are the backbone of the uniformed services, have a duties and responsibilities to care for their subordinates and carry out lawful orders of NCOs senior to them or their officers.
                Seasoned guards and security officers make the best of all situations. Each day is a new day for learning, be it on a static or roving post. They keep extensive notes on their observations and how to do the job by working smarter, not harder. If, in the field of security or for that matter any field, you have no desire to learn something every day from every assignment, you are not hampered by your innate abilities, but by the choices you make.
                For those who warm chairs or a pair of shoes, with the foreknowledge of both the company and the client both have yet to learn the bitter truth of vicarious liability.
                Enjoy the day,
                Bill

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                • #9
                  My standing on this issue is basically the same as Arff312's.. I would find it offensive to call an armed patrol 'person' a guard... what are they guarding? The driver's seat? Hardly... Officer would be the title of choice, although N.A. Corbier has it correct that this title is also becoming tarnished... Our department no longer goes by the security moniker at all... We are the Crime Prevention department, or Crime Prevention Officers... and surprisingly, simply taking the 'security' out of the title, changes a LOT in the way people perceive and treat you.....

                  //Food for thought..
                  Corbier's Commandos - "Stickin it to the ninjas!"
                  Originally posted by ValleyOne
                  BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
                  Shoulda called in sick.
                  Be safe!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bridgegate
                    My standing on this issue is basically the same as Arff312's.. I would find it offensive to call an armed patrol 'person' a guard... what are they guarding? The driver's seat? Hardly... Officer would be the title of choice, although N.A. Corbier has it correct that this title is also becoming tarnished... Our department no longer goes by the security moniker at all... We are the Crime Prevention department, or Crime Prevention Officers... and surprisingly, simply taking the 'security' out of the title, changes a LOT in the way people perceive and treat you.....

                    //Food for thought..
                    You have to watch about about the term "Crime Prevention," now days, as there are non-sworn "Crime Prevention Specialists" with police departments (Who basically do the same job we do) who have service marked the name "Crime Prevention Specialist," and several others. They have FOP and their own association backing. I haven't seen them going after security companies for having "crime prevention," other than the general advertisements that "only the police can prevent crime."

                    But, yeah, see what I mean? Take out the term security, and people will open up. They don't really know what they're opening up to, but its gotta be better than a security guard.
                    Some Kind of Commando Leader

                    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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                    • #11
                      I perfer Security Officer.
                      Hospital Security Officer

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                      • #12
                        My title is Security Officer. I do like that better than Security Guard. But both are the same. Well i agree some people dont think much when they heard security officer. They dont think a S/O has any authroity of any kind etc. But I wonder what they think after its over and they are in the back of the car on the way to county and it was all because of that S/O who has now authority LOL. To me a title is a title. I dont think that if you have Officer in your title that means you are trying to say you are Sworn LEO. They have job titles that are called Bank Loan Officer. They are not trying to be a LEO. But Security Officer I just think now days just sounds a little more professional. But thats Me.

                        Stay Safe All

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                        • #13
                          I prefer Patrol Officer because that is what I do. Therefor I think that the title should fit what you do.

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                          • #14
                            Is "Mother F*cker" a title? A guy called me that yesterday.
                            I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
                            -Lieutenant Commander Data
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tennsix
                              Is "Mother F*cker" a title? A guy called me that yesterday.
                              I'd have to say, that other than one of the elements of the crime "public disorderly", it would be a compound noun (Is there such a thing? ) instead of a title. I mean, you can have "Mr. Mother F*cker," but "Mother F*ucker Tennsix" dosen't sound right.
                              Some Kind of Commando Leader

                              "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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