Security guards are everywhere; they are employed everywhere. Companies, individuals, establishments, etc., employ the services of a security guard or security agency. They are private security forces, different from public peace officers; but, they still deal with the public.

Even small venues would need security personnel – banks, museums, and restaurants, for example – also would employ their services.

There those who are armed and there are also those who are unarmed. The armed officers are those with the more risky and hands-on approach positions while the unarmed are more of observation and monitoring plus reporting tasks.

No matter what their assignment and where they are assigned to, these men are professionals employed and who are tasked to ensure the safety of certain venues, establishments, areas, groups of people or individuals.

Before hiring these professionals, it is best that you understand the different options.

Armed and Unarmed Security Personnel

This is the major distinction between security officers is whether or not they are armed.

  • Armed – they carry guns or other lethal weapons. They are important in settings where there is a high risk of violence. Often these would entail a good understanding of operating firearms, training, and military or law-enforcement background.
  • Unarmed – not all guards are armed because not all situations require lethal force. Unarmed ones may carry non-lethal weapons with them though such as pepper sprays, batons or tasers. On the other hand, they are trained to combat and restrain assailants whenever necessary.

Plainclothes and Uniformed

In common setups, a guard is uniformed to be properly identified from the rest. Everyone will know that he is a security officer performing his duties and tasks. However, there are situations where they need to blend with the crowd so they could perform their tasks efficiently. Having both types is an advantage or a must.

  • Uniformed – everybody would know that he is from security by the uniform he is wearing. Just like the police, a uniformed officer will serve as a warning for perpetrators not to attempt any tactics as an authority is present or nearby.
  • Plainclothes – in some situations, the officers need to blend with the crowd. Monitoring activities are best performed when an officer is in plainclothes.  In some cases, a non-uniformed officer will make the people feel comfortable, will not raise any alarm; in some venues, plainclothes officers are more effective in performing what needs to be done.

Contract and Propriety

The manner of hiring a security service also determines the category the personnel belong – either he is a contract guard or a proprietary guard.

  • Contract – this approach is when a guard is hired by an agency. It is termed as “contract guards” because the establishments who hired them contracts with the agency they are affiliated with. The agency takes care of administrative and human resource issues. The establishment pays the agency and the agency takes care of the guard’s payroll. For more information on contract guards, you can visit sites like
  • Proprietary – a proprietary arrangement is when an officer is hired by a company directly. Training and overseeing his skills, capabilities, and performance is the responsibility of the hiring end of the company that hired him. He is included in the company payroll. This arrangement is favorable to companies who would want complete control over their security personnel. If this is the arrangement preferred, the company must ensure that an appropriate point person has a good understanding of security as a whole and the ins and outs of the business so that the guards can be directed and supervised appropriately.

Stationary and Patrol

Security guards can be either in a stationary post or on patrol.

  • Stationary – this is when officers are assigned in critical posts in the establishment, points of entry and points of exit, for example. The control room is also a critical post where you can see a stationary guard assigned, and entryways to VIPs are also posted.
  • Patrol – these kind moves around his assigned area. During his entire shift, he moves around his assigned location to ensure that no perpetrators are in the area and to keep the area safe. The patrol officers can go on foot or in vehicles provided to them.

There are also different types of security personnel identified based on their assignments:

  • Personal – personal security personnel or commonly known as bodyguards are employed to give protection to specific individuals. Executive bodyguards as some would call it, most often are employed by celebrities, dignitaries, VIPs, and other important people. Oftentimes, a bodyguard is always on the go between venues and destinations; where their clients need to be, they need to be also. It is often not impossible for the bodyguard and the client to build a relationship on a personal level because they are the ones who are together all the time, and a relationship of trust is very important.
  • Residential – security personnel can also be employed in private residences. In some cases, they are employed in individual private homes, sometimes in residential subdivisions. They are tasked to roam around the location and patrol on a regular basis to ensure that there is no looming danger or no suspicious personalities are near the homes of their clients. They must monitor the activities of the area, be watchful of doors and windows of the homes; they sometimes are positioned in gate areas of gated mansions.

Business guards can also be broken down into categories:

  • Corporate – stationed in offices and office complexes, business headquarters. They are positioned in areas such as control rooms, entries and exits, and other critical areas.
  • Warehouse – those officers that are assigned in warehouses to keep watch on inventories and other employees.
  • Government – government facilities and offices may hire professional security officers to monitor movement and activities on the premises.
  • Establishment – establishments open to public or large groups of people employ the services of security personnel to ensure the safety of the people, to monitor and property in the area. These posts will include but are not limited to, as follows: schools, universities, stores, malls, hospitals, apartment buildings, banks, bars, hotels, museums, malls, etc.