Hiring a security guard for your business, community event, or private affair can increase safety and lead to less crime. In addition to keeping your employees, visitors, or attendees safe, there are specific things security guards can and cannot do while on the job, including the actions mentioned below. These details can give you the confidence you need when hiring a guard for your organization.

Make a Citizen’s Arrest

One of the most beneficial aspects of hiring a private security guard company is that their trained guards can conduct citizen’s arrests when they witness individuals committing crimes. In many cases, the criminal action should be a felony, but this varies. The citizen’s arrest doesn’t allow a security guard to physically remove the person from the property and take him or her to jail. The guard must wait until police officers or other authorized law enforcement personnel arrive. To detain the criminal or trespasser, a security guard can restrain the individual, as long as the restraint is deemed reasonable.


Security guards have the ability to search a person with the individual’s permission. However, if the person denies the search, it cannot be conducted. Even if the employee or attendee is in possession of stolen property, a security guard cannot look for the items without receiving approval from the suspected thief. Therefore, after the guard has made a citizen’s arrest, the accused person can be held at the building or venue until police arrive to take further legal action.

Guard Off the Property

When you hire a San Diego security guard to monitor or patrol your building or private event, he or she is confined to those specific areas. For example, a guard working for your company cannot legally visit other nearby properties and perform the duties you hired him or her to do unless you have a formal agreement with the other businesses. However, if an individual on your property is behaving in a suspicious or unruly manner, a security guard has the right to ask that person to leave immediately. If the employee or guest refuses to leave, the security guard has the authority to make a citizen’s arrest.

Use Force & Weapons

Many private security guard companies provide businesses and individuals with armed guards. In a dangerous situation, a guard has the right to use force, including weapons, to defend him or herself and others, as long as he or she is acting within legal bounds. For example, a trespasser who isn’t resisting a citizen’s arrest or search shouldn’t be held by force by your armed guard. These actions could result in physical injuries and severe legal consequences for the security guard company and, possibly, your business or organization. The severity of the crime generally determines what type of force security guards are legally permitted to use.

If you’re planning to hire security for your business or event, it’s important to understand what the guards you hire are legally allowed to do to protect your employees, customers, and property. When you need to hire security guards, look no further than the experienced professionals from Eagle Eye Security, a premier security company in San Diego. Give us a call today at (619) 278-9990.