While a peace officer is responsible for intervening during a criminal act, the responsibilities of a security guard will differ and will not usually involve an intervention. Instead, the security guard is responsible for observing actions and reporting those actions to law officers as quickly as possible. Other responsibilities of a security guard include taking measures to ensure the safety of people and property, as outlined by the guard's employer. He or she is also responsible for preventing crimes before they occur by ensuring he or she is present and others are aware of the guard's presence.
In many cases, the security guard will not carry a firearm. The responsibilities of a security guard do not usually include the use of firearms, as intervention is not the primary job of that guard. Instead, the security guard may carry other weapons such as pepper spray or a baton, which are used primarily for self-defense rather than for attack. The guard may or may not carry handcuffs, though it is not likely. In most settings, part of the responsibilities of a security guard is to dress appropriately; this usually means wearing a uniform with a clearly marked security badge.
When a crime does occur, the responsibilities of the security guard include observing the incident and contacting local law enforcement agencies as quickly as possible. Some guards may be trained to help prevent injury to others or damage to property, but in general, the guard's job is to take note of what is happening and contact the proper authorities. After the event takes place and law enforcement have taken over, the responsibilities of a security guard include writing a report about the incident and cooperating with any police investigations that may take place as a result.
In some settings, the responsibilities of a security guard may include special tasks for which he or she must be trained. Some buildings, for example, require visitors to pass through a metal detector, which means the guard must be trained how to use such devices. Some security guards must be trained how to use other admittance devices, such as vehicle gates, wheel spikes, driver's license scanners, and more. The guard may be responsible for keeping a log of people who pass through security gates and ensuring those people check out when they leave the building or facilities. It may be necessary to operate a vehicle as well, which means he or she may need to pass a driving test.