Many business owners know what to look for in security companies in VA. However, many have difficulty choosing between hiring off duty police or hiring a Virginia security guard company? We recently had a customer from Arlington, VA that was making this choice. The right decision depends more on the type of threat and/or risk that you are trying to reduce or eliminate. Private security officers in Virginia have unique powers when compared to many other states like Maryland and Washington DC. For example, armed security officers in Virginia have arrest authority that is written in the state constitution. Some security guard companies refer to that arrest authority in attempts to understate the differences between police and security guards. However, there several important differences between what private security officers and police officers have to offer to protect businesses in Virginia. Below is a helpful guide detailing situations and which option if best for Virginia.
Solution =Security Guards
Many security officers function as security concierges. A significant part of the job requires customer service duties. Though police are public servants, they may lack the necessary skills to handle customer service. This is especially true in situations where the customer is attempting to file a complaint. It’s important to remember that police officers consider the law first. They are not trained to consider the affect their actions may have on private businesses. Most security academies include customer service as part of the training process of becoming a licensed security officer in VA. Professional security guard in Virginia see customer service as a standard part of their jobs. They know that a mishandled customer complaint can cost them their jobs.
The customers may also feel uncomfortable voicing complaints directly to police officers. As a result, they may turn to the web and leave a litany of bad reviews for something that could have been easily handled by a security guard. When it comes to dealing with customers, security is a better option than an off-duty officer.
Drugs are Being Sold
Solution = Police Officers
The drug trade is a treacherous business. Security guards are ideal for eliminating small threats, but situations involving active ongoing drug activity are best dealt with by the police. Police have the training to deal with the life or death situations that can occur when encountering drug dealers and/or addicts. Police officers also have built in backup of the other police officers in the area. Private security companies in Virginia tend not to have the ability to dispatch officers to back their guards up the way a police officer has.
Solution = Security Guards
Vandalism is a non-violent nuisance crime. The presence of professional security officers alone is a very effective deterrent. Would be vandals see the security guard and decide to go somewhere else. Police Officers can fulfill this duty. However, the high cost of hiring police officers makes security guards a better option.
Solution = Security Guards
Theft is the most common type of crime affecting businesses. Property crime is responsible for millions of dollars in losses for businesses across the nation. Using private security officers to protect businesses from theft can be traced back to the days of the wild west when security guards were hired to protect stage coaches and trains. There are plenty of businesses that fail to protect themselves. As a result, the visible presence of security is an effective deterrent. This also applies to armed robbery. An armed security guard in Virginia has all the authority necessary to protect business, make arrests and even use lethal force.
Deciding between Police and Private security companies in Virginia is dependent upon their duties. Security guards are the best option for customer service situations, vandalism or theft. Police are the best solution for businesses that are experiencing high levels of ongoing drug activity. Police and security guards both have their purposes. Fortunately, business owners have many options at their disposal. Contact your local police department to hire off duty police officers. If you choose to hire a security company, we recommend this one.