Many police officers currently employed by law enforcement agencies are available to work security jobs during their off-hours. There are times security needs may warrant hiring an off-duty police officer as opposed to a regular security guard, but there are also times a regular guard or protection officer may be the more adequate solution. A company or business’s decision to hire an off-duty police officer can usually be determined by assessing the level of risk involved.
Differences Between Off-Duty Police Officers and Security Guards
Whether a police officer is on-duty or off-duty, they still have full law enforcement authority including full arrest power. While a security officer has some authority, it is more limited than that of a police officer. In a circumstance where an arrest needs to be made or substantial force must be used to pacify a threat, a security guard may need to call in law enforcement to initiate such measures.
Additionally, while some security guards are armed, their weapons training may not be as extensive as that of an armed off-duty police officer. They are also not experienced with the level of on-the-job training that a cop encounters on their daily rounds. For this reason, a police officer may have a better understanding of the law and how it is applied beyond the context of the job at hand.
A police officer may have more authority to stop and question would-be assailants, detain suspects with probable cause, and expedite reinforcement from law enforcement and emergency services if necessary.
Assessing the Level of Risk to Determine Security Needs
Off-duty police officers may be hired to carry out any job a regular security officer may do, such as executive or event security services, or security guard presence in retail spaces, industrial facilities or financial institutions. They may also carry out on-foot or vehicle patrols, or direct traffic. Security officers often provide adequate enforcement in environments where there is relatively low risk, for instance, at an apartment complex or intersection.
In a scenario where the level of risk is expected to be higher or more criminal activity is likely, a company, business or individual would benefit from hiring an off-duty officer as opposed to a security officer. When you have the option of hiring an off-duty police officer in uniform, their visibility alone can deter criminal activity.
How to Hire an Off-Duty Police Officer
If it is determined the level of risk is high enough to warrant hiring an off-duty law enforcement officer, it is imperative to know you are working with the most experienced and extensively-trained officers available. At IGS we believe that real police officers’ top priority is safety and protection. For this reason, we work with commissioned active duty police officers who are able to respond quickly in high-pressure situations. Whether it’s for a one-time event or for a continuous assignment, organizations seeking to hire off-duty officers can trust IGS to provide the very best in active duty law enforcement to protect lives and livelihoods.