Should low paid security personnel be expected to physically engage escaping criminals?

In this articlea very annoyed man describes how various hourly personnel at a gym, and in the mall the gym is within, did not physically challenge and take on a fleeing robber he was chasing out of the gym locker room.

Do service personnel have a duty to physically intercede if a patron has been robbed? For the mall “door guard” what are their typical instructions from the mall administrators re confronting fleeing criminals?

No. “observe and report”. In fact, if they get physical they can be sued or even arrested.

They did right.

ianal, etc

For the minimum wage with no benefits that they’re paying the security guy they’re not entitled to a hero.

If it is part of the original job description and agreed to upon hiring, yes.

(On the other hand, any person who would agree to take a low paid job where they were routinely expected to physically engage escaping criminals is probably not someone you really want doing it.)

Also, most states require private citizen to attempt to retreat. These are private citizens.

I suggest you look at your states licensing and training requirements for security. It’s often illegal for them to do it, thus it would be illegal to require it. ianal, etc

Non-snarky question, I promise: So why are many of them armed if all they are expected to do is observe and report? Or does this apply only to unarmed security personnel?

Four years as a Security Officer, two of that Armed.


Security Officers are NOT Police. We do not have Power of Arrest, nor immunity from prosecution or special privilege. Fact is, if a private security guard manhandles you for anything less than a fight you started, you can and should sue the crap out of them and press as many charges as you can.

That being said, many Security Officers are “tough guys” who are looking for a fight, and will very definitely be given the benefit of the doubt by Police. Hell, in one large event (me ejecting 18 drunk people from a restaurant and them getting slightly violent), one of the cops flippantly advised me to “mace them all, we won’t care.”

I was somewhat unique in that in four years, I only laid hands on one guy, on one occasion - that being to pull a guy off the back of the guy he was choking out.

But again, NO. SO’s are not cops, not protected, not paid to be killed, usually have crap for insurance.

Mostly as a deterrence. But yes, in case of a violent felony where the public safety is in clear and present danger, then certainly a security guard- or any other citizen- can use force.

But a petty theft is not a “clear and present danger”, especially as the alleged thief is running away. Note the word “alleged”, what would happen if the guard tackled someone and it turns out that the other dude telling “Thief!” was the thief?

ianal, etc

I can tell you straight out, as a former armed security officer;

You better damned well never use that weapon.

The truth of it is that it is simply more of a visual deterrent. People will fuck with regular security guards. They seldom mess with armed ones.