NON-CCW Security Situation (What would you have done)

This is a discussion on NON-CCW Security Situation (What would you have done) within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I sometimes earn a little extra money as a security guard at a non-profit organization that I used to work for as a teen. You ...

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Thread: NON-CCW Security Situation (What would you have done)

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    Member Array JeffLrrp's Avatar
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    NON-CCW Security Situation (What would you have done)

    I sometimes earn a little extra money as a security guard at a non-profit organization that I used to work for as a teen. You see, every Satuarday night, this organization has teen nights for those 10-15 to do activities instead of getting into mischief unsupervised. This past Saturday night was no different then any other. I suited up for work (casual clothes for the uniform ), grabbed my Maglite, and pocketed my Surefire 6PD and Spyderco Native and OC spray, just in case.

    Bout halfway through the night, a group of heavyset kids decided to bully a group of smaller kids. These heavyset youngsters were pretty big for teens. Two of them were almost 6 foot, and all of them were wider then me (three of them had to be over 200 lbs). It was hard to believe they were just 14-15. I was keeping an eye out for this, and had a good chat with the heavy guys, telling them they couldnt be bullying, or roughhousing, or using profanity, or else we ask them to leave or call the cops. They seemed to agree. For the most of the night after I talked to them, they seemed ok.

    About ten minutes before we're supposed to close the place down, the leader of the trouble group decides he's had enough of the smaller kids "disrespecting him" and he bodyslams one of the younger kids against the wall. He kept yelling that he was going to "kill the so and so". I saw him do it and interspersed myself between the two (the smaller kid didnt even fight back) and the big guy backs off, flanked by his enormous buddies. Im pissed at this time, Im yelling at them, telling them to back off or Im calling the cops. They take the smart way out and decide to leave at that time. After checking with the bruised kid, I go talk to the parents of the big guys, and let them know that they are no longer welcome at the Teen Program any more. I logged down everything in the security journal, and went on my way. So all ended well and good.

    Heres the scenario that (thank God it didn't but) could have occurred, and the one that I discussed with the supervisor that runs the program. Had the heavy kid been joined by his buddies (they seemed to be ready before I stepped in) and started whaling on the little one, and I (unsuccessfully) tried to stop them from hurting the kid, I flat out told the supervisor that I would have had someone call the police and then after repeated warnings would have used the OC spray on them.

    She was horrified, telling me that I couldnt do that to the "children" (hell these guys were huge). I simply told her that since I was not a police officer and could not physically grab the youngsters (if I had they would have probably would have thrown a punch, and then its on ! ). If they were beating the kid pretty badily I would have taken it upon myself to dose them with OC spray to try and alleviate the situation.

    What would you have done?

    Postscript: I also talked to the admin about adding one or two more security type people to the event. That evening there were nine of us working: the supervisor, me (the singular guard), a pregnant lady taking tickets, another woman at the front desk, and 4-5 lifeguards for our pool. Normally we dont have many kids attend (norm is 30-45), but on this night we got 100. I was the only guard.
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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Get whoever runs this program to clearly define your use of force rules and put it in writing on official letterhead, signed by whoever runs the program.

    Also have them include a promise to indemnify you should you have to use force to maintain order.

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    sounds like the parents need to get a reality check

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I wouldn't do anything different...I would have prepared to hit'em with OC if it escalated.

    Best to use a command voice and not react to their crap.

    200lbs teenagers? Yeah...if they start swinging it on like Donkey Kong. I've seen what "children" at 200lbs can do...and it's no different than adults who weigh 200lbs, except some adults know when to stop.

    Safest move is to ban them from the property (including the parking lots)
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I wouldn't work for them without proper post orders. You should have a procedure for enforcing policy. Otherwise, you are literally just there to observe and report. Generally, doing something outside of a policy is going to be viewed in court as if you violated policy. Not a good place to be when your butt is on the line. Just my $.02.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Member Array JeffLrrp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    Otherwise, you are literally just there to observe and report. Generally, doing something outside of a policy is going to be viewed in court as if you violated policy. Not a good place to be when your butt is on the line.
    Thats what was going through my head after the incident. It seems that out of all the regular security (and parttime little ole me), Im the only one that seems to come prepared (light, spray, knife), especially for escalating situations. Obviously I know that spraying somebody's kid is an absolute last resort and that it would cost me my job there, but I wouldn't want to just stand around and wait for regular LEOs to get on scene. Normally they're anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes out. Somebody could be battered to death before that. Its better to be judged by twelve then watch someone carried by six.
    Last edited by JeffLrrp; January 15th, 2008 at 01:41 PM.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    You're being hired as a security officer, not a tulip petal polisher. Yet, folks seemed aghast that you considered it kosher to discuss the possible use of pepper spray in the case of aggressive and violent assault.

    These toughs were, technically, children, but in a man's body. Stupidity + strength beyond one's years = bad juju. It's lose-lose, almost with any step you take. Either you're getting hammered by a violent gang of heavies, or you're getting hammered by the folks that hired you if you come out the backside still standing.

    Being the only guard in a situation with a half dozen young toughs is a really rough situation. Badge or not, had they decided to turn their attentions on you, you would likely have had a bad time of it. It was as you characterized it: a violent and ugly situation that could have turned to something much worse in an instant.

    What would I have done? The second-guessing afterwards by folks who were absent would be the biggest challenge, IMO. Otherwise, something similar to what you did is likely the right approach.

    Then again, security and law enforcement isn't my bag. There is much to know, and subtleties I don't appreciate. So, I don't know that my opinion on this holds much water.

    I think you did fine, all things considered. You're still standing. They backed down. Nobody got seriously hurt. You had an opportunity to speak with the parents of some of the kids.

    Near-adults need to understand that violent, man-sized attacks on others, no matter how seemingly justified, can easily end up with man-sized penalties and a lifetime record showing violence. Or, just as easily, a situation like this can, if someone's bringing weapons to the fight, turn deadly. Of course, at 15yrs old, seeing as how they're all invincible, likely none of them really care about all that.
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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    In my state, you have to obtain your own Security Guard license through the Department of Public Safety to legally work in the field. Fingerprinted, background checks, and extra requirements for armed guards. This kinda takes the wannabe's out of the picture. While everyone (including certified LEO's) have a personal liability, if you follow the law, especially with escalation of force issues, you're covered. Not to say you wouldn't get fired...

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    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    add a PDA or cell phone w/ camera to your gear...

    photo the ones you toss

    I would have called 5-0 because you witnessed an assault, when they get that big they can inflict adult damage, and when they are in groups, you will be little more than a speed bump...

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    If they would have killed or seriously injured that younger and smaller kid then guess who would have likely been blamed and sued for NOT doing the job he was hired to do.
    You.
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    Senior Member Array joleary223's Avatar
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    That sounds like a bad situation altogether. I would find a different way to help and have them hire an off duty cop. The last thing I would want is to get sued for hurting "someone's baby".
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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    You're dealing with kids, and by the sound of it, at risk kids.

    Catch 22 for a civilian no matter how you look at it. Do nothing and get sued by the parents of the loser. Intervene and get sued by the parents of the aggressor (and quite possibly by the victim as well). Just as adults, just by touching them it can be considered assault. America the Great, Land of the Lawsuit.

    I agree with having the event coordinator put the policy on paper, and have the local PD come in for a consult on how to handle this kind of a situation.
    Sticks

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    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
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    Member Array crankshop1000's Avatar
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    I hope you realize that you can be sued personally for anything you do on that job.Some times the risk far outweighs the gain.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankshop1000 View Post
    I hope you realize that you can be sued personally for anything you do on that job.Some times the risk far outweighs the gain.
    You can also be sued for anything you don't do but have created a reasonable expectation you would. It works both ways. He needs post orders so that he has clear procedures to support whatever action (or inaction) he takes - provided it is not negligent or unlawful. Everyone at that club had a reasonable expectation of safety and security through the visible presence of a Security Guard.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    If it were me, due to the personal liability involved and what appears to be a lack of written policy, I would seek employment elsewhere.

    If this is a volunteer "gig", my reading comprehension sucks when I first wake up, I'd stop volunteering and advocate that they hire an off duty uniformed LEO for a security "presence".

    Biker

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