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Is having unarmed security on a site immoral?

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  • Is having unarmed security on a site immoral?

    Had an interesting discussion with a co-worker. I'll boil it down to the basic points. My co-worker feels that clients make security appear to be first responders, and often times we are the first to see or deal with a situation. To not arm and train security officers so they can respond to any emergency, including mass shooters, is to put their employees at risk and deceive their workers about safety. (We had a brief discussion about how modern America has essentially put "legal violence" only in the hands of agents of the state, but that's a whole other conversation.)

    I agreed with him up to the point where he said, in so many words, that unarmed security is useless and a deception. I tried to explain that risk mitigation is a scale - I can deal with all kinds of problems big and small on my own or with other staff, and that has value. The uniform is both a deterrent to lazy criminals and a means to quickly identify me, but I don't see it as a "false promise" of 100% safety. As a trained observer, I can still do a lot of good just by relaying accurate and timely information to police / fire / EMT.

    Anyways, it was one of those things that had me thinking the rest of the night. Kept me awake and flexed some out of shape brain muscle.

  • #2
    I don't think that unarmed security is in itself immoral; unarmed security can protect people, property and information against numerous threats. What I DO think is immoral is when a client/company/etc presents its security guard as willing and able to offer a certain level of protection that they do not. That's part of why I disagree with security guards wearing uniforms that are similar to the police; we have out own roles, but we cannot offer people the same protection against certain threats that the police can, and that should be clear.

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    • #3
      I don't know if immortal.is right word but it's certainly a waste of time. I mean if you're an unarmed guard working unarmed site you know or you should know what you're getting into

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      • #4
        Most Security has nothing to do due with in anyway opposing/confronting criminals.

        I'm normally armed and I wont do it. I'll call the cops or notify client, but that is it. I'm not paid nearly enough and I'll get another job easy enough, and even if I was paid alot, you can't spend the money in jail or the graveyard, and Worker's Comp don't pay squat for loss of eyeball, or limb, or severed tendon, or missing teeth.

        I wont even do gigs where is supposed to be my job to "deal with" people the receptionist doesn't feel comfortable dealing with.

        I wont even tell people "you can't part there" unless there are other spots open.

        I'm not ripping off any clients, I'll add value in making good recommendations that will solve the problem rather than just keep dealing with a problem "because its my job" like most guard will, and with my toys such as Drive Way Alarm motion detectors, "bugging" doors, Infrared heat sensing smartphone attachment, spotlight and bullhorn. I'm working on getting a Drone, and some Game-Trail cams (OK, I'm mostly waiting for price to come down, or for a gig where I really want them to happen).

        At my very first training in the 1980s by a retired FBI agent for big corp account, he said "every other employee can see someone else steal something and do nothing with a clear conscious". Not sure I agree, but point is the one and only thing we are really paid for is to tell the client the truth and be on his side.

        Mostly the uniform is just to signal that we are "the person to ask (or tell)" and not just some random guy waiting to pick up his wife.
        Last edited by Squid; 02-26-2019, 05:58 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lunch Meat View Post
          I don't know if immortal.is right word but it's certainly a waste of time. I mean if you're an unarmed guard working unarmed site you know or you should know what you're getting into
          One of my pet peeves (which maybe I should just STFU about) is that in CA if the PPO (company) is licensed by BSIS for Armed Guards, then NO MATTER WHAT THAT PPO SAYS, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SIGN, etc if you are also licensed to be Armed, then if you are GTO as far as legally being Armed at any post.

          I'd have though a PPO might get a certain number of "medallions" that they are fully insured for, and you'd have to have one on you to be Armed, like you DL when driving or something, but I guess not.

          If you are walking around strapped on an "Unarmed Only" site that is just a mix-up between you and dispatch. And I've had that happen a few times. I've had them say "I'm not sure, but be there and I'll try to find out".

          In other words, if the "site is unarmed" but your PPO has "armed" on file, then you can legally bring your piece, just in case.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Squid View Post

            One of my pet peeves (which maybe I should just STFU about) is that in CA if the PPO (company) is licensed by BSIS for Armed Guards, then NO MATTER WHAT THAT PPO SAYS, NO MATTER WHAT YOU SIGN, etc if you are also licensed to be Armed, then if you are GTO as far as legally being Armed at any post.

            I'd have though a PPO might get a certain number of "medallions" that they are fully insured for, and you'd have to have one on you to be Armed, like you DL when driving or something, but I guess not.

            If you are walking around strapped on an "Unarmed Only" site that is just a mix-up between you and dispatch. And I've had that happen a few times. I've had them say "I'm not sure, but be there and I'll try to find out".

            In other words, if the "site is unarmed" but your PPO has "armed" on file, then you can legally bring your piece, just in case.
            Where I'm at you have to have an armed license AND it has to be an armed site or you're not covered

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lunch Meat View Post

              Where I'm at you have to have an armed license AND it has to be an armed site or you're not covered
              what state? hard to believe the Govt gets into SITES.

              You saying you need Govt permission to post Armed Guards?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Squid View Post
                what state?
                OPSEC learn it, live it, love it.




                Originally posted by Squid View Post
                You saying you need Govt permission to post Armed Guards?

                I'm not sure what you're asking.

                The client doesn't need government permission to hire armed guard but it's a misdemeanor for a guard to carry without an armed security license and the licence isn't valid on an unarmed site. I'm not saying the cops drive around and check licenses but if you're involved in a UOF incident the will check your license.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lunch Meat View Post

                  OPSEC learn it, live it, love it.







                  I'm not sure what you're asking.

                  The client doesn't need government permission to hire armed guard but it's a misdemeanor for a guard to carry without an armed security license and the licence isn't valid on an unarmed site. I'm not saying the cops drive around and check licenses but if you're involved in a UOF incident the will check your license.

                  so who officially says whether its an unarmed site or not, and how is that info transmitted to the guard?

                  because if its like CA where they can call you on the phone and tell you to go do armed or unarmed at some site, that means that can be misunderstood (and often is).

                  IMO if a client can call Guard Company and say "changed my mind, make it armed" then the Armed License was valid all along.

                  Any CA BSIS "operator" (PPO) lic to have armed guards has a Lic that is valid everywhere in the State, automatically, and any of their lic armed guards can be armed legally whether the PPO approves or not, while working.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Squid View Post
                    so who officially says whether its an unarmed site or not,
                    The client says it when they negotiate the contract.

                    Originally posted by Squid View Post
                    how is that info transmitted to the guard?
                    The program manager tells you when they assign you to the site. Plus when you show up for training you look at the other guards if they're carrying guns you carry a gun.


                    Originally posted by Squid View Post
                    because if its like CA
                    It's not.

                    Originally posted by Squid View Post
                    IMO if a client can call Guard Company and say "changed my mind, make it armed
                    Because contract negotiations work that way?



                    Last edited by Lunch Meat; 02-27-2019, 08:19 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lunch Meat View Post

                      The client says it when they negotiate the contract.



                      The program manager tells you when they assign you to the site. Plus when you show up for training you look at the other guards if they're carrying guns you carry a gun.




                      It's not.



                      Because contract negotiations work that way?


                      sounds like same as CA thus you aren't breaking any LAWS by being armed at an unarmed site if the client/contract COULD'VE been armed.

                      "company policy" or even "contract" got nothing to do with whether its a crime to be armed or not.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Squid View Post

                        sounds like same as CA thus you aren't breaking any LAWS by being armed at an unarmed site if the client/contract COULD'VE been armed.

                        "company policy" or even "contract" got nothing to do with whether its a crime to be armed or not.

                        City ordinance prohibits a guard who doesn't have a Firearms endorsement on his security license from carrying a gun on the clock.

                        If I'm not on the clock I don't even need a permit to carry a gun

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                        • #13
                          Immoral? No. Pointless? Yes. Imagine having a toothless dog to protect you. If the officer protecting the area around me is armed with nothing more than a belt and a collared shirt, I’d rather not have them around at all.

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                          • #14
                            Amateurchef - You and my co-worker are in agreement. I still think it depends on the site. If the primary role is protection from criminals, armed or otherwise, than a standard O&R guard is not worth the money.

                            But if the site has a tier system (responder levels) or is low risk, I see no reason why a night watchman-type guard isn't OK. He answers the phone, responds to alarms and keeps an eye on the place. If he needs help, he call call a higher level S/O or the appropriate agency.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Amateurchef View Post
                              Immoral? No. Pointless? Yes. Imagine having a toothless dog to protect you. If the officer protecting the area around me is armed with nothing more than a belt and a collared shirt, I’d rather not have them around at all.
                              We are supposed to "observe and report". One thing cops do which really impresses me and seems like 'magic', is how they always seem to find even vaguely described suspects even in crowded city. Was working non-security downtown San Jose and some woman reported a smash and grab attack on her car, and get away car was "white sedan, maybe Honda or Toyota or Nissan" and cops found them in about 5 minutes. Also, cops will almost always know exactly who you are talking about, and where they can be found, etc for any local dirtbag you report to them.

                              Statistics show that even un-armed security keeps criminals away.

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