Experts say, Trained Police Officers are better than Armed Guards, also known as, “Civilian Security”

Who Should You Hire? 

Are you considering hiring security personnel for your school, event or business? Do you know the difference between an Armed Guard, also known as Civilian Security vs. an Off-Duty Police Officer or Off Duty Law Enforcement?

-Professionals in the security industry say, “Trained off duty police officers are better than armed guards for high pressure situations such as, employee terminations, workplace threats, executive and dignitary protection scenarios, production security, high-risk cargo protection, domestic violence situations and school safety.”

While security professionals offer protection, it’s critical to understand the difference between the the two.

Armed Guards / Civilian Security Requirements in Illinois: 

  • Must be 21 years or older
  • Complete a 20 hour Firearm Training Session
  • Complete a 20 hour classroom training
  • Provide fingerprints and not have been convicted of a felony

Off Duty Law Enforcement / Off Duty Officers or “ODO”:

  • Spend 6-9 months in an academy with 40+ hours of in-service training every year throughout their career.
  • Their extensive training and significant experience handling critical situations makes them particularly capable of handling high risk scenarios  such as employee terminations, workplace threats, executive and dignitary protection scenarios, cannabis cultivation centers or domestic violence situations and school safety to name a few.

Armed Guards are ideal for low risk situations such as patrols of shopping centers, small events.They are generally more economical due to their minimal training and experience. Off-Duty Police Officers generally come at a higher price because they have extensive training and experience. If your scenario requires their expertise, the cost is well worth it. For example, domestic violence at the work place or an active shooter situation at a school would require an Off-Duty Officer vs an Armed Guard. In cases like these, hiring an Off Duty Officer could save you money in the long run.


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