The Truth About Guard Card Training Classes
If you’re not familiar with the in’s and out’s of security guard training, you may already have a few ideas about what it involves. You might think you’ll learn techniques to incapacitate a suspect, the proper way to handcuff someone, or how to spot suspicious activity during a patrol, all of which sounds pretty exciting…
But that’s not what guard card classes are about.
The State-mandated courses you have to complete to get your guard card generally have nothing to do with physical training. Rather they’re designed to:
- Give you a “big picture” overview of what it means to be a security guard, and
- Teach you the rules and regulations you have to follow on the job.
The roll of security guards in public safety
Right from the beginning, guard card classes make it clear that professional security guards are NOT peace officers. You don’t have the same legal powers as members of law enforcement. You also don’t have the same extreme responsibilities.
Your primary duties are to observe and report. You’re the first line of defense, a deterrent to criminal activity and the one to light the signal flare when something goes wrong. You collect all the information law enforcement agents need to deliver justice and keep the peace when they arrive on the scene.
Of course, you have to do all of this within the limits of the law, and that’s really what guard card classes are meant to teach you.
Laying a foundation with laws
The laws that govern professional security guards are designed to protect the general public, your employer, and you while you’re on the job. They establish a basic set of rules so everybody understands what they can and can’t do. That’s what makes learning them so important.
Nearly all basic guard card training includes classes that cover the legal aspects of the power to arrest, the ethical obligations of security guards, and issues of public relations. But the classes aren’t application-based. They’re theoretical.
It’s kind of like learning math in school. The teacher shows you how to add and subtract. Then you take what you learned into the real world. You discover that with addition and subtraction you can figure out whether a cashier gave you the right amount of change or how long you have to wait before the next movie starts at the theatre.
Guard card classes teach you the theory. You learn to apply that theory on the job.
A common starting point
Guard card classes ensure that every professional security guard comes to the job with a basic level of knowledge. They’re not exciting or action packed. But they teach you what you need to know to start your career.
You can and should look to improve your skills. It’s the fastest way to increase your earning potential and find the most fulfilling guard job possible. Just remember that everything else you learn will build on the foundation that was established through your basic guard card training. Don’t take it for granted.