Liability in Private Security Should be Considered When Choosing Your Tools

Private Security ToolsPrivate security firms have a challenging mandate. They are tasked by the building or business owner with the safety of building occupants and property. But their ability to respond to potentially dangerous situations is limited in several ways, including limitations established by the customer. And the tools they might use all present various drawbacks.

In a perfect world, private security would be an “eyes and ears only” solution. They would secure a facility well enough to observe and report potential threats and leave any active engagement of the threats to law enforcement.

The Distinct Line Between Former and Current Police Officers in Private Security Tools

While many guards in private security are former police, they are not currently police. They do not have the resources, nor the legal standing, of active-duty police. Therefore, they must be careful that anytime they are required to use force on the job that their response is reasonable, within the law, and strictly following their company’s procedures.

A Guard’s Tool Belt

Private security firms train their guards that the tools on their duty belts are their last resort. Of course, there are those outlying scenarios when disengagement is not an option, and devices may be deployed, especially defensively.

Yet the security firm opens itself to liability issues when any of these tools are used.

Liabilities with Private Security Tools

One of the most common results of these confrontations is allegations of assault and battery. Security guards are generally required to use the minimum force necessary to handle a potentially violent situation. But state and local laws vary widely in their interpretation of what constitutes reasonable versus excessive force.

Using hard weapons like a baton makes this potential liability worse. The defendants could claim that even carrying a baton is evidence of premeditation for conflict (if the baton is deployed quickly enough).

Even if there’s no threat of legal liability, it’s terrible optics to use a baton on an unarmed civilian. Every security firm’s worst nightmare is to have a video circulating on social media of their personnel beating someone with a stick.

Previously Available Private Security Tools Present Costly Challenges

Consider the other tools that a security guard might have at their disposal. Other advanced threat-control tools are usually expensive or require expensive training and remain largely ineffective. And we are well familiar with the shortcomings of pepper spray – we’ve written extensively on the drawbacks of OC or CS gas.

Ultimately, the choice of security devices will affect a firm’s profits and losses. This is because the tools on a guard’s duty belt can affect how much the business must pay for liability insurance.

While policies and procedures are different, each insurance provider, when quoting premiums, will consider what a security guard is likely to do or not on the job. It’s generally expected that firms whose guards carry and are likely to deploy more extreme threat-control tools will pay a higher premium than those who don’t.

The question for security firms is simple: which tools do you feel comfortable with your guards carrying, knowing that they might need to be deployed, that present a solution to the potential problem while not inviting further liability issues?

A Better Private Security Tool

Private Security firms report the higher liability associated with pepper spray as one of the main reasons they are switching to REPULS. REPULS offers security guards a proportionate response to a threat that has backed the guards into a defensive situation. This solution is easy to use, effective in stopping a threat, easy to mitigate, and less expensive than other security solutions.

It can be used in a hospital or other medical facility because it is direct target specific and not an aerosol. The chemical irritant will not be carried throughout a ventilation system. It will not contaminate the user or the deployed space.

“Crotega changed the game, in my opinion,” says Austin Seman of Fairline Security Services. “I tell everyone about them when I can.”

Crotega Security Solutions can provide you with information to help with your risk analysis.  Contact them today to set up a product demonstration or training.