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Hiring Security at Schools and Public Facilities: What You Need to Know

Hiring Security at Schools and Public Facilities: What You Need to Know

Headlines are forcing many of us to re-think our position on hiring guards, and armed guards, in public buildings to protect our families:


Gunman Shoots Bus Driver, Takes Child as Hostage

Police: 20 Children Among 26 Victims of Connecticut School Shooting

California Doctor Shot by Patient in Exam Room

Decorated Navy Seal Killed in Double Shooting at Gun Range

LAPD: Ex-Cop a ‘Domestic Terrorist’

Armed Guard Disarmed Teen in Atlanta School Shooting

Algerian Gas Facility Did Not Have Armed Guards


The debate goes on in America about the individual citizens’ rights and process to own and bear arms, as both a political and a public safety debate. But equally critical is the discussion of hiring security at public facilities, and whether those guards should be armed. Security officers act as both a deterrent to crime and the first response in case an emergency situation does arise. If your local school, church, mall, sports arena, theatre, or other public building is considering hiring guards there are commonsense, responsible considerations for hiring armed and unarmed, uniformed or plain-clothed security.

Tips for Hiring Security Guards: Armed or Unarmed, Uniformed or Plain-Clothed

  • Training and Skills: The State of Illinois requires 20 hours of training to license an unarmed security guard, and just 20 hours more to work armed with a firearm; SDC Security Officers have at least 400 hours of law enforcement training.
  • Insurance and Liability Protection: Insured, licensed, bonded security guards provide the best protection of your facility in case of damage or litigation. Ask for proof of insurance, and understand what is covered – and what isn’t.
  • Wages: Of course the bottom line – the budget – is a factor in hiring security guards. Consider your options: In an emergency are you satisfied with a minimum wage, minimally trained guard – often referred to as a rent-a-cop – to provide security for your family, or do you want a trained security professional with a salary that is commensurate with their skills and training. Responsible security services provide security consulting to identify the right level of protection, at the right price.
  • Monitoring and Supervision: All workers need to be supervised, and if a situation arises you need to understand the chain of command, and what happens when the security offices are closed.
  • References and Recommendations: Ask for a client list, and ask about what went wrong with former clients.
  • Hiring In-House v Hiring a Security Company: Hiring security guards in-house could appear to save money in the short-term. Hiring in-house security guards requires understanding of required training and skills, back-up security staff in case of illness or emergency, extra liability coverage, criminal background checks and possibly credit checks, and screening for qualities that can’t easily be measured such as reactions under pressure and in emergency situations. A professional security company should already have procedures in place to screen, train and evaluate their security professionals.
  • Maintenance and Management of Security Equipment: Many facilities require security equipment to adequately secure their property. This may be security cameras, security locks, alarms, scanners, motion detectors, or guard houses; not to mention the security guard’s guns, badges, uniforms, radios and vests. Who provides this equipment, and makes sure it is always in good working condition?
  • Training Facility Team in Security Procedures: Hiring a security guard is only one step in providing security for a public facility. Procedures need to be written to determine appropriate actions in the event of an emergency, staff needs to be trained, and a system must be put in place to re-evaluate procedures on a regular basis and post-emergency. Who will determine those procedures, and provide the training to your facility?

At Security Dynamics Corp our #1 priority is your safety. Contact us for a free quote for armed and unarmed, uniformed or plain-clothed security officers who have the training and skills to identify and manage an emergency situation, and take appropriate actions.

Looking for a security officer in Chicago for protection?  Our team is comprised of off duty and retired police officers committed to your safety.  Compare the differences when you hire trained security professionals.

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