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What Is The Difference Between a Security Guard and Security Officer for Seattle Businesses?

By May 13, 2024 Oatridge Blog

What Is The Difference Between a Security Guard and Security Officer for Seattle Businesses?

If you’re new to the world of security personnel, you may have heard the terms “security guard” and “security officer” and wondered- “are those the same thing?”  The answer is no!  The difference lies in their rank and role; a security guard is your on-the-ground front-line security personnel, and a security officer holds the supervisory, higher level, more managerial role.  Security guards generally report to security officers.

Job Roles of Security Guards and Security Officers

As mentioned, the guards are in a subordinate role to the officers, and both are necessary for an effective and well-maintained security team.  One role is responsible for the planning and oversight, while the other is responsible for the execution.  Knowing the differences between these two roles allows you to better manage your security team and recognize what roles need to be filled.  Depending on the scope and level of security, you may need a different team composition and ratio of guards to officers.  For example, a large venue may need more security guards than a small business.

Both pieces of a security team are often necessary for success.  Without a security officer, there is no planning or oversight for security operations.  This can lead to disorganization, communication errors, and poor area coverage.  There are equally large gaps in security if a team lacks security guards; without guards, on-the-ground response is often delayed or nonexistent, risk management factors such as direct interventions are not covered, and the deterring presence of a guard is lost.

To keep your company’s business assets safe, it’s important to understand the difference between these two roles.  This allows you to be better informed when hiring security services and choosing a setup that will best fit your company.  In the city of Seattle, many companies have become wary due to increased risks to public storefronts and events; the solution to this is to invest in good, well-trained, professional security staff.

Key Differences in Job Training and Personnel Services Between Security Guards and Security Officers

In terms of job training and personnel services, each role offers a different specialization.

Security guards are:

  • managed by security officers.
  • present and visible at events, venues, businesses, etc.
  • intended to deter criminal activity.
  • trained in risk management, awareness, and intervention.
  • assigned to a specific post.
  • keeping watch on-site.
  • focused on small-scope and detail-oriented security duties.
  • responsible for checking bags and IDs, watching for suspicious activity, and securing checkpoints.

Security officers are:

  • responsible for managing guards.
  • in a decision-making role.
  • more experienced, may be former guards.
  • trained in emergency response, operations, management, and oversight.
  • keeping watch over the total operation and may be stationed in control rooms to oversee multiple cameras.
  • focused on holistic, big-picture security.
  • responsible for overall coverage, emergency response planning, and communications.

Choosing The Right Security Personnel For Your Business

Now that you have a better understanding of the key differences between guard and officer duties, you can make an informed decision on the proper security solutions for your business.  Here at Oatridge Security, we help businesses across Seattle and Western Washington with their security management.  If you’re looking for business security that offers top-notch, highly trained, and effective professionals, consider reaching out to us.

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