HOW SECURITY GUARDS IN FILMS STACK UP AGAINST REAL SECURITY OFFICERS

HOW SECURITY GUARDS IN FILMS STACK UP AGAINST REAL SECURITY OFFICERS

Security guards are tasked with a wide range of functions, covering crime prevention and minimizing potential threats to life and property, to protecting government facilities. They receive specific training to handle these tasks efficiently, and this well-practiced efficiency coupled with the ability to act decisively according to the situation at hand are at the core of their skill set.

In today’s security-conscious environment, security guards are being asked to go above and beyond their traditional roles. They are now responsible for maintaining order, preventing violence and quashing early signs of trouble to avert a larger crisis. Security guards are tasked with a wide range of functions, covering crime prevention and minimizing potential threats to life and property.

Their very presence on a property serves as a deterrent for criminals and mischief-makers. However, they are also responsible for maintaining order, preventing violence and quashing early signs of trouble to avert a larger crisis. It may seem like their daily routine consists of scheduled patrols, inspections and documenting these tasks, but diligently adhering to this pattern is sound practice for security officers.

Training for Security Jobs

The level of training required depends on the job itself. Some security jobs may require basic training that covers communications, public relations, observation and documentation. Other jobs may require weapons training, crowd management and sessions on evacuation procedures and the legal aspects of private security enforcement. Some security guard positions may require training in new technologies being deployed today to enhance security.

Mall Security

In all cases, the training sessions function as a pre-screening phase, culling out those who are unable to meet basic and more advanced requirements. The specific credentials required for security guards may also depend on state requirements. In some states, applicants must pass a series of background checks based on fingerprint submission and screening process. Compliance with this step means the applicant will be granted a registration card that will certify their eligibility for a security guard position after completing the required training.

In the movie, “Paul Blart, Mall Cop,” the protagonist played by Kevin James is portrayed as a bumbling character who is nonetheless dedicated to his job as part of mall security. The Blart character takes the security guard job because he failed to qualify for the New Jersey State Police. In real life, many of those employed as security guards have law enforcement or military backgrounds, so the movie presents an unfair characterization of the nature of the job. A security guard position is not a last resort option because it takes training, physical and mental ability and a clean record to qualify for this job.

Diligence and Public Relations Skills

In real life, the presence of uniformed security is a proven deterrent to crime. Security guards help to ensure a safe environment by keeping their eyes and ears open for suspicious activity. Blart, the fictional mall security personnel takes this part of his job seriously. He patrols his territory diligently, taking pride in his ability to dispense with his routine tasks and his ability to deal with the public.

Security guards represent building management and safety. As such, they need to have exceptional public relations skills. They are expected to remain calm, cool and unruffled to manage conflicts and crisis situations effectively.

Conforming with Instructions

Security guards must follow certain protocols to perform their jobs efficiently and within the parameters set by building management. In “Night at the Museum,” Ben Stiller plays Larry Daley, a night guard at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. He is armed with nothing but a flashlight and his wits. Although this movie is a fantasy-comedy, it underlines the importance of discipline and the need to perform the job based on given instructions.
Daley was instructed that it was his job to make sure that nothing got in or out of the museum during his shift. He failed at controlling the exhibits as evidence of their nocturnal adventures become evident, leading to his termination.

In most cases, failure to follow protocol is reason enough for security guards to lose their jobs. Upholding regulations and sticking to protocol is critical to effective security measures. Rules and guidelines are in place to minimize property damage and risks to lives, including that of security guards.

Mental and Physical Fitness

Hollywood portrayal of security guards in the two movies mentioned here is hackneyed. Blart misses the cut for state police officers due to a medical condition, so he becomes a security guard. Daley is incompetent when it comes to every job he has ever done, so he ends up working night security.

In reality, mental and physical fitness are basic requirements for a security guard position. Security guards must have the ability to stand for long periods, walk and run long distances and stay alert for their entire shift. These qualities become even more important in higher level security positions.

Security guards are professionals who have undergone training in public relations, communications, documentation and legal aspects of their occupation. They are honed in crowd control, evacuation procedures and basic crisis management. Some of those at the elite level are credentialed in other aspects of the job, including training in weapons and technology-based security strategies.

Sometimes, the movie portrayal of security guards is unfair to the hardworking corp of security guards who are prepared to put their lives at risk to protect the public. The unfair portrayal in movies should not diminish the important role of security guards in today’s environment.

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