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10 Secrets Security Guards Won’t Tell You

Security guards share the rules about this surprisingly demanding job.

Young Male Security Guard In Black Uniform Using Walkie-TalkieAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Armed guards go through some intense training

Whether it is in the armed car industry or the armed protective service industry (that protects jewelry stores), these guards have to complete annual testing and they must pass it to carry a firearm, explains Steve Davies, president of the security company, Focus One. There are even schools that specifically cater to future security guards. These are secrets your locksmith won’t tell you.

video monitoring surveillance security systemDmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

We can monitor up to 24 cameras at a time

There are normally anywhere between 10 to 24 cameras in the average bank of security monitors (screens will be split into 4, 8, 12, or 16 cameras), says Davies—and guards know how to watch them all at once!

TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 2ND 2016. Tokyo Metro subway police standing watch. Tokyo Metro subway is a popular mode of transportation in Tokyo for people to commute.MAHATHIR MOHD YASIN/Shutterstock

We are instructed on who to look out for

Davies says that security officers working in public places, such as shopping malls or railway stations, will be instructed to take particular interest in certain people. For example, if an area has seen an uptick crime by a certain group, like a specific gang, a security guard will be more inclined to pay attention to those people.

CCTV camera or surveillance installed on wallRawiz/Shutterstock

Some cameras have face recognition

One thing that most shoplifters forget about is the security cameras, says Scott Samuels, a smart home security specialist at Vivint Source. “Current technology can use face-recognition to identify shoplifters. Stores will take a photograph of every shopper as they walk into the store to get evidence of their face and clothing, which makes it very easy to find and charge any shoplifter after the fact… maybe even weeks later.”

Woman stealing a dressNomad_Soul/Shutterstock

We usually can’t chase a shoplifter

“Security guards are often not allowed to chase after a shoplifter if they run,” says Samuels. “The quicker the shoplifter the more likely they won’t get caught.” “Hot pursuit” rules depends on the state and store as some have stricter protocol or laws.

Young woman looking at store windows when shopping in a shopping mall/centerl i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock

But it’s easy to pick out shoplifters

Security guards know what to look for, according to Samuels. “Shoplifting clues include over-sized jackets, overly large purses, and looking around a lot while shopping.” Potential shoplifters might pick up items and put them often down almost as if to gauge what would be an easy theft. Don’t miss these 13 things mall cops won’t tell you.

Back view of the arrested bandit from the ghetto against the background of the painted walls. The criminal was detained and his hands were handcuffed. The concept of combating crimeMehaniq/Shutterstock

There are strict rules against detaining a shoplifter

Before we can legally detain a shoplifter, security guards must have visual proof. We must see them conceal the merchandise, watch them the entire time to make sure they don’t dump the merchandise, and wait for them to exit the store with the merchandise still concealed on them or in their personal belongings.

WASHINGTON, USA - SEP 24, 2015: Interior of the National Gallery of Art, a national art museum in Washington, D.C., National Mall, between 3rd and 9th Streets, at Constitution Avenue NW.Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

The level of attention depends on the job

While all security guards must be alert, some places require even higher levels of vigilance. “In places like the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the goal is to protect the art. There are billions in artwork at that location,” says security expert Zurriane Bennett. He adds following the art, the priority is protecting the staff and guests. Read more about how not to get hacked online.

Over The Shoulder Footage of Female IT Engineer Working in Monitoring Room. She Works with Multiple Displays.Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

You may never know how secure a place really is

It’s impossible to tell which stores are using the latest smart security camera technology no matter how big or small the company is, explains Samuels. “Smart technology is so readily available that it’s no longer just the huge department stores or malls that have top-of-the-line security.” These are things you never knew about home safety.

Portrait Of Young Male Security Guard Standing At The EntranceAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

We come from all walks of life

Many security guards vary in the areas of experience, from individuals with little education in fair physical condition to highly educated individuals in great physical condition, says Bennett. “In the federal government, many are former or retired members of the military personnel.” Don’t miss these 20 secrets a home security installer won’t tell you.