Security Guards: Chivalry For The 21st Century

Are you interested in a career in security? It is an adventurous job. Not unlike medieval knights who were responsible for guarding their lords' fields and properties, security guards act to secure and protect places like malls and stadiums. You may have had second thoughts about a security career after the October 2014 attacks in Quebec and Ottawa. However, it's important to remember that security guards are not responsible for combating assailants, but for acting as the venue's eyes and ears. Maybe considering how knights carried out their duties will inspire you to a career in chivalrous protection.

"I spyeth with my wee eye..."

Security guards in Canada are not to be confused with policemen. They are not expected to chase down, capture, and haul off to jail the ne'er-do-wells that cometh--ahem, come--their way. There are two primary duties of a security guard, and the first is to observe.

A medieval knight would always be alert to anyone who crossed the boundaries of his lord's lands. Back before cell phones and iPads, communication to other knights would involve sending a page (a knight in training) off to alert other knights to threats from trespassers. The message would have to include a detailed description of the villain so that the other knights would be able to recognize and confront him.

Likewise, one of your most important functions as a security guard is to be alert for any anomalies in your work environment. You will watch for situations such as people

  • trying to access unauthorized areas
  • asking questions about the business's daily schedule
  • watching staff members' comings and goings
  • making repeated appearances in your patrol area without conducting any real business
  • taking pictures of entrances, exits, or personnel

It is essential that, like a knight, you gather detailed information about suspicious characters. Keeping a log of times, dates, physical descriptions, vehicle license plates, and the like is one of the most important functions you will perform.

"Yonder comes a villain, m'lord!"

The second critical duty of a security guard is to report suspicious behavior. A knight's mission was to make sure that his lord was well informed about all goings-on in his lands. One can imagine the knight leaping from his galloping steed at the castle door, breathless to tell his master of the dastardly rapscallions encroaching on his sanctuary with devilment planned. His report would bring an order from the lord to gather troops and march out to defend his holdings.

Similarly, your vigilance could make all the difference when it comes to preventing an attack. Observing suspicious behavior and keeping detailed information about anomalies in your work area do no good if you do not accurately report them to your supervisor. To this end, you will not only turn in daily written logs but will also contact the police if danger occurs or seems imminent. The saying, "If you see something, say something," is the watchword of these times. Your charge is to make sure your supervisor and the business owner know about any questionable activity.

"Ah-ha, thou art captured!"

Although you are not required to pursue and apprehend wrongdoers, as a security guard you do have the power to arrest if it is necessary. You will receive special training on the proper procedures for a citizen's arrest, as well as the situations in which it is warranted. Medieval knights often engaged in both offensive and defensive action to protect their lords' lands, and any captured miscreants were then handed over to the sheriff for hanging. You will not be expected to put your life on the line for your employer, especially since you will not be armed (with either a gun or a bow/arrow), but there will be times when an arrest is within the scope of your job duties.

Being a security guard is perhaps more like being a medieval knight than society may think. Rest assured that you will be given comprehensive training while you obtain your security guard license so that you can observe and report with confidence. Further, you will learn the necessary guidelines for a citizen's arrest. If chivalry stirs in your blood at the opportunity to protect your community, call security companies about a career in security today.