Friday, May 06, 2005

Unarmed security guards are useless

An opinion piece in the San Antonio Lightning has so many quotable quotes that I can only recommend reading the whole thing, but it boils down to this one quote:
There is a simple lesson here. Unarmed security officers can't protect themselves let alone others from armed killers.
I spent a very brief time as a security guard at the Texas Department of Child Welfare Services in San Antonio. There were usually 3 or 4 guards on duty, as well as one armed police officer. As you can imagine, a place that looks out for child welfare often involves protecting that child from his/her biological parents. I saw a lot of scumbags coming through that door. But get this: the guards were at the front entrance, supervising the entry of every single person (employees and "clients") into that building. The armed officer was about 100 feet down the main hallway, closer to the center of the ground floor. Due to the "security" design of the entrance, there was basically no way to escape if a violent person had come in through that front door. On the other hand, the officer on duty would have been easily able to hear the gunshots that would be dispatching us and be able to react in some way. It wouldn't have done us, or the receptionists, one bit of good. We would all be deadmeat.

Fortunately during my time there, we had no such people come through the door. I couldn't even get away with carrying concealed, because the security guards had to be scanned in as well. I couldn't even keep my Swiss Army Knife on me while on the job. My personal defensive weapon was safely (and distantly) stowed in my vehicle, which may have given me a chance if I happened to be the one patrolling the parking lot when something went down. I fully understand where this commentor is coming from.



  1. Unarmed security is about as useful as a pot of decaff.

  2. I work in this field inside a mall where theft as well as violence can be a problem. I have some background training in Police training and martial arts. Our client and company does not want us to intervene yet everyone's eyes are on you when something happens. I hate this job and can't wait to find something better. Of course we are unarmed, have no tools at our disposal and no vests or cuffs. What the hell do they expect us to do in any situation needing physical intervention? I'll hold the culprits down with my strength for 10-15 minutes until the Police arrives? Get real.