Commercial office buildings often store expensive equipment, materials and tools that are left unattended when employees and contractors have left for the day. These sites are highly vulnerable to thieves and unauthorized persons, particularly when they are situated in an office park or similar area with many buildings close together.
Loss is a major concern for many organizations; having a 24-hour security team monitoring the property deters theft and vandalism. In addition to surveillance cameras and secure fencing, a site’s security plan often includes security officers, who have the authority to maintain security and safety on the site by observation, deterrence and reporting of suspicious activity.
One of the decisions that business and commercial building owners or managers must make when enlisting security services is whether to hire armed or unarmed security officers. Although the services of armed officers may be initially more expensive, the premium protection they provide may prove to be invaluable.
What Is An Armed Security Officer?
An armed security officer is a professional officer who carries a firearm or other type of weapon. These officers complete extensive training for the appropriate and accurate use of their weapons and provide a higher degree of security than their unarmed counterparts. In some cases, they may be off-duty or retired police officers or military professionals who have many years of experience handling weapons.
Unarmed officers do not carry any types of weapons, including non-lethal ones. Armed officers, in contrast, carry firearms as well as non-lethal tools such as batons, tasers, stun guns and handcuffs.
A well-trained armed security team will defuse situations before they escalate and ensure everyone remains safe. Although they are carrying weapons, the use of force will be their last resort and is never considered if nobody’s life is in immediate danger.
When Should Armed Security Officers Be Considered?
There are many instances where armed security officers should be considered. One of which includes when the building is under construction, as the building may expose several openings and expensive materials. Outlined below are some other scenarios in which armed security officers are preferable to unarmed officers.
Greater Security Is Needed
All types of security officers create a more secure site. The mere presence of a security officer on the grounds is often enough to deter those who intend to steal or vandalize the site.
However, armed security officers provide a higher degree of security, which is useful when the value of items stored on the site, and in view of passers-by, may make it an attractive target for thieves. Higher-value items typically require greater protection as criminals may be willing to resort to violence to gain access. Armed officers provide an appropriate level of defense for bold thieves.
The Site Is In A High-Crime Area
For an office that is situated in an area that is known for high crime rates, armed security officers provide an extra layer of protection. Criminals can create a lot of damage in the time that it takes to call and wait for police to arrive; armed security officers respond better to these situations due to their immediate access and working knowledge of the site. Should external authorities be required for a situation, security staff will work in conjunction with them to relay all relevant information based on their training and experience.
Highly Vetted Officers Are Needed
All security officers undergo background checks before being hired by private security companies. However, armed officers must go through a more extensive background check because they will be carrying weapons. This includes fingerprint checks to ensure they are legally allowed to carry a gun, as well as an FBI background check.
They must also complete training to assess and prevent violent crimes. This provides the organization with a peace of mind, even in cases where an officer is not expected to need to use their weapon.
Neighboring Sites Use Armed Officers
If the surrounding businesses have hired armed officers, it is wise to adopt the same approach. Otherwise, the site is more likely than its neighbors to be targeted because of the lower security. If neighboring sites have found it necessary to hire armed officers, following their lead is advisable.
Armed security officers can reduce crime rates by showing those who pass by the site that theft and other types of criminal activity will not be tolerated. It also makes those working within the site feel safer. Trespassers or thieves who are under the influence of drugs or other substances may behave unpredictably; knowing security is in place to prevent criminal activity gives everyone on the site the ability to focus on their respective jobs.
It is possible to use a combination of unarmed officers during lower-risk hours and armed officers at more vulnerable times to reduce concerns regarding budget. In some cases, a commercial building might only need armed officers at night.
Reach Out To The Armed Security Guards Experts
If you are seeking trained professionals who will respond swiftly and effectively to any situation that might arise on your commercial building site, get in touch with the armed security guards at American Protective Group. Our team will assess your office building and provide valuable guidance on the best solutions for protecting its assets and personnel.