What Does a Commissioned Security Officer Do?

Kenneth W. Michael Wills

In some states and jurisdictions, a commissioned security officer is a security guard who is commissioned by the state or jurisdiction to carry out some law enforcement duties in the course of protecting private property. Commissioned security officers will usually carry a firearm and non-lethal weapons in the course of his or her duty and will often have the authority to not only detain, but also arrest suspects encroaching on or causing problems within the private property he or she protects. Additionally, the role may also use such security officers as reserves to law enforcement officers in the event of an emergency. Aside from the additional powers and authority granted in the event of a disturbance at the property he or she protects, the commissioned security officer performs the same duties expected of a non-commissioned security guard, whether armed or unarmed.

Commissioned security officers often carry a firearm and other weapons in the course of duty.
Commissioned security officers often carry a firearm and other weapons in the course of duty.

On foot, or in a vehicle, a commissioned security officer will patrol the area he or she is assigned in order to keep all property, people and equipment in that assigned area secure. During such patrols, he or she will usually check all alarms, locks, doors, gates and windows to make sure they are secured. He or she will observe and monitor the area to detect unauthorized entry or watch for escalating disputes among those who already have authorized entrance. This may also include monitoring and detecting internal staff for theft.

Commissioned security officers have the right to arrest suspects causing problems on private property.
Commissioned security officers have the right to arrest suspects causing problems on private property.

When faced with a situation of unauthorized entry or internal personnel breaking security related rules, the commissioned security officer will inform the individuals regarding such infractions and escort them from the premise when required. This process works a little differently for a security officer with a commission. Instead of only being limited to escorting individuals from the premise, in the event of resistance, he or she can arrest the suspect and bring charges. Such action, however, must also be approved by the employer in most cases. If not, the security guard will need to call in law enforcement to handle the escalation.

Commissioned security officers typically receive training on how to handle and fire hand guns.
Commissioned security officers typically receive training on how to handle and fire hand guns.

Other important duties will involve detecting irregularities or changes in the environment for which he or she is responsible. Included in this detection are security breaches, safety concerns, hazards presented by the facilities, and responding to emergency situations. Checking equipment to ensure safety might also be part of the job as well as reporting any malfunctions. Another duty of the job is writing and preparing security reports, which is usually done during each shift and submitted at the end of the shift upon relief.

Commissioned security officers may be hired to work specific events.
Commissioned security officers may be hired to work specific events.

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