Security USA

The Difference Between Security Guards and Police Officers

Security guards and police officers may be hard to differentiate without prior knowledge of their differences in duties, uniforms, and responsibilities. Here is a brief outline explaining the main differences between private security guards and police officers.

Security guards are easily mistaken for police officers because of their common uniforms, equipment, and function. However, there are several key differences between private security guards and public police officers. Security guards and personnel have powers given from their designated state.


Security guards are easily mistaken for police officers because of their common uniforms, equipment, and function. However, there are several key differences between private security guards and public police officers. Security guards and personnel have powers given from their designated state/provincial laws. Their powers are defined as ‘Agent of the Owner’ powers through their contract or agreement with the client they work for.

Agent of the Owner Powers give security guards the power to question without a probable cause, being that they are protecting private property, not public. Security guards are authorized and responsible to keep private property and people safe from criminal, natural, or emergency hazards. On the other hand, police officers oversee the protecting of neighborhoods, towns, and communities through law enforcement. The main separator between security guards and police officers are their duty of protecting private property versus enforcing the law.

Some security guards are also police officers and in special instances, they too are obligated to enforce the law in the absence of on-duty police officers, though these circumstances vary state to state.

Security guards could be armed or unarmed depending on their line of duty and qualifications. Special training is required in both instances and qualifications again vary depending on the jurisdiction in charge of defining ‘Agent of the Owner’ responsibilities.

SecurityUSA, Inc, Licensed and Bonded Security Guard Company.
New York: 336 West 37th Street, Suite 450 New York, New York 10018 Tel: 866-GUARD-80, Tel:212-594-4475
Long Island Office: 535 Broadhollow Rd, M-107, Melville NY 11747 ‎ Tel. 631-414-7514
Florida Office: 1945 Ocean Drive, South Miami Beach FL 33139 Tel. 954 456 6097

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