Guards vs. Police: What’s the Difference?

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Security guard at parade facing crowd

Guards vs. Police: What’s the Difference?


Should you hire private security guards or police officers for your event or location?

Without knowing the differences in uniforms, responsibilities, and duties it may be hard to differentiate between security guards and police officers. However, both have their place and work for the people but in very different capacities. Do you need assistance making a decision regarding your event or location security needs? Here’s a brief explanation of the major difference between private security and police officers.

Law enforcement operates in the “criminal realm”

Typically police or law enforcement officers work in what is known as the “criminal realm.” Furthermore, these officers represent their municipality or government and are limited to guidelines set forth by the Constitution. These guidelines strictly limit what they can/cannot do on private property. On the other hand, private security is a commercial business and these guards report to and are committed to their agency or requests of the client. In addition, they have ‘Agent of the Owner’ powers through their contract or agreement with the client.


The difference is between the duties

With ‘Agent of the Owner’ power private guards may interact with anyone about anything at any time as a representative of a private party (client) rather than of the law. Law enforcement officers focus primarily on public areas of a town or community. As a result, when thin on resources, they will usually avoid matters that could cause a legal or civil issue for them. Security guards have the authority and responsibility to keep private property and people safe from criminal, natural, or emergency hazards. The biggest difference between security guards and police officers is their duties – either enforcing the law or protecting private property.

Armed vs. unarmed security guards

Security guards may carry firearms or may not subject to the discretion of their employer. In either case, they will receive appropriate training. Professional security guards can protect life and property with modern threat detection capabilities. They also offer effective decision-making and quick response time. In any situation, the hope is that a guard never has to fire his/her gun and that security and safety will be maintained without the use of force or need to exercise powers of arrest.


We only hire the best

If you’re still wondering whether or not your event or location needs the help of private security guards, give Rubicon Protection a call. We are happy to discuss your security needs or a strategy for the safety and protection of your event or location.
Rubicon Protection is proud to serve these Arizona cities:
  • Phoenix
  • Scottsdale
  • Glendale
  • Sun City
  • Tucson
  • and more!

We are very selective in our hiring efforts and recruit highly professional staff with military and law enforcement backgrounds. In addition to hiring people who can hit the ground running, but we are also capable of handling security needs of all sizes and types of locations. For a brand you can trust, call Rubicon Protection today.