Can A Security Guard Detain You? 

With a uniform and weapon in hand, a security guard might look just like a police officer and you might think they have all the authority similar to a policeman. So is it true? Can a security guard detain you? 

Let’s discuss all these questions related to the security guard rules to understand the authority of a security guard in a better way. 

Can a Security Guard Detain You in California? 

According to California law, an unarmed security guard has the authority to detain a person if they are found guilty. If a security guard notices a person who is causing harm to your property or people, then the security guard can detain that person and call the police for legal action. 

But this right of detention doesn’t mean that a security guard enjoys all the authority similar to a police officer. Surely, security guards can detain a person but ONLY if they have solid evidence, and then they have to hand over the person to the police, as they don’t have the authority to take action against criminals or crime. 

Also Read: Code Of Conduct Of Security Guard

Let’s discuss the authority of security guards and the things that they can and can’t do. 

What Authority Do Security Guards Have? 

Although security guards wear uniforms, their rights are similar to that of a common citizen. The reason is that they aren’t Government employees and don’t belong to any law enforcement agencies. They are hired by private businesses through private security companies. 

But, security guards do have some authority as they have to maintain peace. And for this, they can take some actions that deter crimes such as theft and burglary. Here we will look into the authority of different types of security guards who are performing with regard to performing their duties in different sectors.

Can a Mall Security Guard Detain You?

The mall security guards can detain you and have the authority to check your bags and request for a physical search if there is some serious issue that can damage the assets. 

Mall security guards in san Diego can also detain a person if they’re found guilty of a crime. They also have a right to prevent a person from entering premises, based on that person’s susceptible behavior or if the person is found guilty of theft. 

Hospital Security 

Hospital security guards have the authority to physically detain a person if they are found doing something illegal or under medical recommendation. They can detain a violent psychiatric patient as well. 

But they should have enough evidence before detaining a person. After detaining them, the security guard should call the hospital authorities for further action. 

Hire the top Hospital Security Guards in California at Professional Security Guard Company.

Casino Security

If anyone does criminal activity in a casino then the security guards can detain that person and call the police right away for further action. The casino security guards can’t detain anyone based on suspicion only. They should have solid evidence for the detention. 

Private Security 

Can a security guard detain you? Providing private event services, security guards working in residential or commercial areas can also detain a person if they’re found guilty. So, the security guards have enough authority to help maintain safety by all means. But they can’t do legal actions. For this, they have to call the police that will take further action. 

What Security Guards Can and Can’t Do?

Now let’s look into what a security guard can do, irrespective of in which sector they’re working. 

Property and People Protection 

Security guards are hired to deter crime. They have to maintain peace and safeguard people and their assets diligently. That’s why they need to take a few actions that help protect your site effectively. 

In this matter, they are authorized to check people and take appropriate steps before calling the police. 

Make a Citizen’s Arrest 

Yes, a security guard can make a citizen rest if they witness a crime and they suspect that the person will damage property or cause harm to the public. 

After this arrest, they have to call the police right away. They can detain a person for a long and carry out investigations by themselves. 

They can handcuff that criminal as well. And then hand them over to the police. 

Check Your Bag 

A security guard has the authority to check your bag if you’re entering a public place. If you’re entering a business center then they can request you to check the bag if they smell something suspicious or if it’s absolutely necessary.  

Check You Physically 

A security guard can’t check anyone physically until absolutely necessary. They can request a physical check if the person is unconscious and needs help for identification.

A security guard can check a shoplifter physically but only if they allow them to do so. If they don’t allow it, then the security guard has the right to detain that person until police arrive. This helps maintain the safety of other people and property as well. 

Carry a weapon 

The armed Security guards can carry weapons in California if they are trained and licensed to do so. On the other hand if they are not licensed (Unarmed security guards) can not to so.

They can carry weapons publically or hide them to make everyone feel secure without panicking. 

Armed security guards get the proper training to use weapons (if and when required) and license. Professional and well-trained security guards know when they have to use weapons in an appropriate way. 

Duties of armed security guards include:

  • Checking every individual entering the premises
  • Maintaining security by preventing any harmful acts and keeping away suspects with prominent visibility
  • Ensuring the safety of everyone by performing security access control services on vehicles and individuals 
  • Foot patrolling the area if necessary
  • Educating the individuals to follow security checks so they should have good communication skills 
  • Monitoring alarm systems and CCTVs and taking prompt action when needed 
  • Investigating, recording, and informing about suspicious activities to the concerned officials 
  • Going through the security plan and informing about the flaws 
  • Performing maintenance checks on security systems and equipment professionally 
  • Keeping a log to record every important activity 
  • Knowing and adhering to the security department regulations

Refuse Entry or Exit 

A security guard can refuse entry or exit of a susceptible person. If a person is suspected or guilty or a shoplifter then the security can refuse that person’s exit and detain them. 

Similarly, if someone is found to cause problems and harm to people, a security guard can refuse that person’s entry for the safety of other people. 

Every state has its legal laws applied to security guards which means both security guards and the public are obliged to follow them.

Have a Look at this: Facts about Security Guards

Hire Security Guards Who Work Within Their Legal Scope In California

We hope you got the answer to your query__ “can a security guard detain you?” Theft and criminal activities are common in business centers, commercial areas, residential sectors, etc. The increased number of thefts calls for professional security to deter crime in an efficient way. Loss prevention security is needed not only to keep away suspects and criminals but to also keep an eye on the employees to make sure your business is safe. 

We, at Professional security Guard Inc. , deal with a full range of security services, and our security guards are aware of their authority and legal issues as well. If you’re an owner of a well-known firm or just a startup, contact us to keep your assets safe from all sorts of security hazards. 

We have been providing exceptional security guard services in san Diego for more than a decade now. With an ideal combination of skill, experience, and dedication, we’re able to meet any contingency. Our team consists of skilled security guards who work under their legal scope, equipped with modern security systems to make your place safe and secure. So, why wait? 

Don’t take risks. Attain peace of mind with the Professional security Guard Inc. 


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