Hiring Security Guards? Make Sure You Know the Pros and Cons

Strong security requires a combination of people, processes and technology - but does that include employing physical security guards?

The oldest approach to security is still one of the most popular – hiring a security guard to protect your property. It’s easy to understand why so many companies take this route.

Having a security guard onsite makes many business owners – and their employees and customers – feel, well, secure. Security guards present a deterrent to would-be thieves.

And, in the event a crime does occur, security guards are onsite to handle incidents directly and quickly, providing business owners with peace of mind.

But while physical security guards may have been the best option in years’ past, video surveillance technology has advanced so much in recent years that it is now a stronger physical security strategy – providing many of the benefits of onsite guards, without the associated liabilities and shortcomings.  

Security Guard Liabilities 

The ideal security outcome for any business is employing a security guard that is never called into action.

The guard’s presence alone would deter all crime, so there would never be a need to engage a suspect. But we know this isn’t reality.

For many reasons, crime occurs when the security guard is on watch, and this is where legal liability come into play.

For example, your company could be liable if:

  • A security guard causes physical harm to a perpetrator by using excessive or otherwise inappropriate force.

  • A security guard discharges a weapon on your property.

  • A security guard or criminal is injured in an onsite confrontation.

  • Personal property is damaged during an onsite altercation between a security guard and criminal. 

  • A security guard arrests or detains an innocent party. 

  • A security guard sees an incident, such as a physical altercation happening onsite, but fails to intervene, and an injury or property damage occurs.

All these scenarios can create serious legal consequences for your business – not to mention, they can put your security guard and other people onsite at risk. 

The good news is that, thanks to recent advancements in video technology, live remote video monitoring services (RVMS) can provide companies with many of the benefits physical security guards provide, without the associated legal liabilities and risk.

RVMS, including Pro-Vigil’s, offer live “virtual guards” providing comprehensive surveillance, deterrence and site security just like physical guards do – they just operate out of remote operations centers rather than onsite.

Because they don’t have a physical presence on your property, all those liability scenarios we just outlined are no longer a risk.

We realize that using remote guards means there’s no onsite physical presence to prevent crime, but this is okay, because you don’t need a live body onsite to deter crime and capture criminals.

Virtual guards can remotely trigger audio and visual elements, such as flashing lights and pre-recorded verbal warnings, to scare off would-be criminals. And, when necessary, they can notify business owners or the authorities right away. Often, virtual guards can take action just as fast as – if not faster than – those onsite. 

Technology Overcomes Human Shortcomings

hiring security guards

Legal liabilities aside, there are some other things to consider when deciding between a physical security guard or RVMS with virtual guards.

When you hire a physical security guard, you’ll always have to contend with the human element.

Security guards get sick, have bad days, make mistakes, and even fall asleep on duty. 

Beyond these risks, consider this: Time.com reports that “Microsoft found that since the year 2000 (or about when the mobile revolution began) the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds.”

There is no reason to expect security guards would have markedly better attention spans than anyone else. They get distracted by their mobile devices, additional job responsibilities and other things that prevent them from providing full-time surveillance and deterrence.  

What is Enterprise Security Management?

These are all human vulnerabilities that businesses simply cannot control, and that criminals can spot and exploit. 

On the other hand, RVMS minimizes these risks by combining people with technology and processes. Technology never takes a sick day, falls asleep or gets distracted.

Virtual guards have a supervisor present at all times who ensures security specialists remain focused on your business and nothing else. And, virtual guards working at a remote facility with colleagues are much less likely to fall asleep or get distracted than a solo guard sitting on a chair at the front of your property.

Last but not least, it’s worth noting that while security guards are only as effective as their line of sight, RVMS security cameras provide 24×7, 360-degree surveillance – and they can record and save HD footage to the cloud, so it is always available when needed.

For example, if a theft, vandalism or other crime incident does happen on your property, with RVMS, you can easily find and access the incident in question to get the details you need to report the incident and potentially catch the suspect.

Reviewing stored footage can also help you see what went wrong, so you can fill any holes in your security strategy.

Pro-Vigil Provides Peace of Mind

rising material costs

Strong physical security requires a combination of people, processes and technology, and when employing physical security guards, you’re missing the last component in the trifecta.

Pro-Vigils’s RVMS allows you to outsource security to a team of experts who pair human intelligence with modern technology and processes.

Our services are unmatched, combining best-of-breed video technology with virtual guards who use advanced surveillance training, special software and onsite deterrents to respond to any situation.

This powerful combination allows us to detect a potential threat within 18 seconds and deter crime incidents within 30 seconds.

Contact us today to find out how you can use Pro-Vigil to successfully deter crime on your property without having to worry about liability concerns and other security risks.

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