Type: Analysis
Pages: 5 | Words: 1435
Reading Time: 6 Minutes

I chose the article “Is the Security Industry Shooting in the Dark? Lessons from Florida†published in the Security Management magazine by Javier Soto, JD, and Reginald Kornegay. The authors are well experienced in the field of security and hold the appropriate qualifications to write this article on security guards. Javier Soto, JD is a graduate of military, federal and police SWAT schools, and also a retired federal agent. Reginald Kornegay is a former police officer and has been trained on different programs like, sniper tactical programs and SWAT programs. The article comprises of a comprehensive survey on armed security officers in the state of Florida. It constitutes of surveys on the discharge of firearms by security officers in the state, types of confrontations that lead to usage of firearms by the security officers, types of the firearms.

The article analyzes the incidences of firearm discharge by security officers, and reveals that the security officers have insufficient training and experience to make a decision on discharging weapons. The study is broken-down into different cases such as, discharge of firearms by security officers, types of confrontations that lead to usage of firearms by the security officers, types of the firearms used and analysis on careless firearm discharge by security officers.

The article provides us with information concerning the discharge of a weapon by a security officer as filed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS). Most of the discharges take place as a result of confrontation that is about 49% of the total confrontations in an attempt to apprehend the criminals. On the other hand, 38% of the confrontations are the result of accidents meaning negligible discharge of firearms by the security officers that reveals a serious shortcoming on the training of the security officers.

It has been revealed that most of the confrontations that involve firearm discharge are concerned with retail areas and the occurrence is more than a third of all occurring incidences, i.e. 37.54%. Retail security covers areas like warehouses, car lots, supermarkets, departmental stores, restaurants and nightclubs, among other high crime areas.

The second highest affected area in terms of firearm discharges are residential areas with about 20.99%, where out of five incidences of confrontations, one is found to be in residential areas (DACS). Security officers in these areas undertake patrols by foot or car, and involve questioning of suspicious individuals. In case of an incidence security officers engage warning shots to scare the criminals and to stop any physical attack even at instances where the attacker was not armed.

The third area of confrontation is in banks where security officers discharge firearms in an engagement to fight off the robbers, incidences that involve the robbers’ use of handguns to stop the security officers. It has been noted that in most bank robberies, attacker first surveys the bank and later returns armed for a robbery.

Armored cars attack experiences a fourth rank in firearm discharge in a robbery attempt. The attackers distract the security officers using well-timed teamwork avoiding sustainable gunfire to the security officers. The distraction acts as a weapon where the attacker surprises the security officers avoiding fire shooting. However, some of the attackers employ brutal tactics that challenges the security officers and involves a high level of violence.

From the above incidences, it shows that confrontations occurs mainly in urban cities with security officers discharging their firearms as the only force option to apprehend robbers even at instances where the suspect was unarmed.

The major reasons as to why the security officers decide to use their firearms are found to be: being outdated on handgun training, shorter distances between the attackers and the security officers which is estimated to be less than 15 feet. Most of The security officers never wear body armor that helps during physical and knife attacks. According to the article, security officers lack approach tactics like backup, cover and never warned the attacker before discharging a firearm.

Careless shooting is a serious challenge in the security department where security officer discharges a firearm with no target showing low level of training on how to handle firearms and indiscipline among security officers. Accidents occur during the time of loading/unloading as well as during operational tasks which include drawing the gun, when checking their guns, cleaning it, taking the gun apart or when carrying the gun at ready mode. When accidents occur security officers fail to report it in fear of losing their job or losing their gun licenses. Security officers have also been found not to update themselves on firearm trainings, as opposed to the police officers. The training would equip them with skills to handle disputes, confrontations and to manage safety risks.

From the incidences captured in this article, security guards’ shooting at a shoplifter and unarmed teenager, the officers are seen to be as poor decision makers, and displays some of the fundamental problems of security firms that result from poor training. Low level of training of the officers denies their tactics of using a gun and self-defense tactics at the time of incidence. This has brought about unnecessary security risks to, both, the officer and the public at large. Poor training also increases incidences of accidental firearm discharge with carelessness with the officers with poor supervision. Had the security officers received proper and updated training, firearm would be the last option when overpowered by an attacker.

Out of date firearms are a challenge to the security officers facing attackers with automated guns and tactics where they will always face a defeat. Facilitation of proper security training should be mandatory so that the officers are trained on how to operate, take care and  make decisions about discharging a firearm. These points should be the key areas of concern.

The article implies that though security officers play the same role as the police, much has to be done on their skills for them to realize their efficiency. As opposed to the police officers, security officers seem to be negligent in their work showing loosing trust with the public.  The article shows that most of the attack incidences took place in urban areas therefore, more security officers should be employed there to cater for the high demand of security.

From both views, security officers play a vital role in ensuring a safe environment for the public. The course brings concern about quality control, insisting on development by creating security training programs to equip the security officers with skills and experience. The article reveals reckless weapon handing and this calls for state to push on regulation of private security officers on minimum qualification and standard training. The course describes some of the measures in place like hiring of former military and police to fit in positions requiring thorough training on weapons.

In relation to the course, it has also been noted that private security has not standardized its training resulting to hiring of too many unqualified officers. Low level of training has facilitated the use of unnecessary force, false arrests, abuse of authority and misuse of firearms. Security officers are therefore, to abide by the law and rules that govern the private security sectors to make them efficient in their tasks in ensuring security.

The article relates to the course by the fact that, issues with security officers as explained by the course are the same issues that the article emphasizes on and they result from lack of understanding of legal mandates governing professionals in private security companies. Private security operate under excessive forces during arrests while their powers are categorized under the purview of citizens arrest, this is demonstrated in the article when a security officer is trying to apprehend a shoplifter by shooting in the air. Excessive application of force by security officers is also discussed in the course. In both cases, private security has dominated the states with three times as many private security officers as there are public police providing security to most private and public entities. Finally, the course acknowledges attempt to offer quality security by professionalizing security officers. The article helps us to visualize the analysis it captures to enable us to synthesize solutions of challenges facing the private security sectors.

If I were a security guard i would want to be armed at all times in case I have to protect my life or life of other people. A security guard should never display a firearm for anything else than a dangerous felony in progress. The caveat to carrying firearms comes to considerable responsibility and accountability. This would call for more standard training in practice and a thorough knowledge of state and case laws. This would also require higher payment and stricter job requirements.

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