On Your Side
Do security guards really keep people safe?
Jennifer Auh talks to a anonymous security guard. He reveals that some guards aren't exactly asked to protect the public. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Security guards are supposed to make many people feel safe. A string of bank robberies, that happened last month in Boise, would seem like a good reminder of why security guards are important.
However, one guard contacted us, and told us sometimes the guards just give people a false sense of security. He didn't want us to reveal his identity, afraid he might be putting his job on the line, so we will simply refer to him, as "J."
He works for Securitas Security Services in Boise. “J” said most security companies don't want the guards to fight back, unless they're the ones being attacked. He said if a suspicious person comes into the bank, they’re asked to stand back and call police.
According to “J,” all Securitas guards in Boise are asked NOT step in, during a dangerous situation, whether they're guarding a bank, a business or special event. He also said no guns are allowed, and Securitas guards in Boise aren't even allowed to carry a baton or a can of mace to protect themselves.
"I feel bad, because even employees and even customers think we’re there to protect and help them, but we're not," said he said.
According to "J," more than half of the guards, who work with him, have the same concerns. He said that’s why he contacted us.
We tried reaching out to the Securitas branch in Boise, but they directed us to the corporate office. Company leaders sent us this response to "J's" concerns.
Securitas Spokeswoman Lynne Glovka said "Actions of officers are dictated by client agreements and contracts we've signed with them."
We also checked the company handbook, and it plainly said that security officers may not possess any device or weapon, not even pepper spray or mace, unless authorized by the branch management.
“J” said he has yet to receive permission. "I don't want to carry a gun, but at least baton or a can of mace,” he said.
Glovka said the company has not received any formal complaints in the Boise area about this issue, but will look into J's concerns.
J said he hopes telling his story will motivate the company to make some changes to its policies. He said all security guards should be able to properly do their jobs with something to protect themselves and others.