Security Officers Murdered in 2021

Through June 18th, it was reported that there have been 42 security officers murdered to-date in 2021. A total of 123 had been shot in that same period of time.  Compared to last year (2020) where 40 security officers were murdered in the line of duty. So right now, the number of security officers killed so far in 2021 exceeds the total number of security officers killed in all of last year.[1]

Homicide Risks for Security Officers

Make no mistake, the risks are real, and the numbers prove the seriousness of the problem. What we do not know is if any of the security officer’s deaths were a result of them being mistaken as police officers. We also do not know in many cases is if those officers killed in the line of duty were professionally trained, were armed themselves, or were they targeted. The fact of the matter is the risks are present and we must consider them and mitigate them whenever possible.

Security Officer Training

One of those common findings in many cases where is a security officer is shot and/or killed in the line of duty is that in many cases it was discovered that those officers had extraordinarily little training or no professional training. We also found that in many cases that finding was common with regards to contract security officers.

What appears to be the case is that the contract security officers get the least amount of professional training, as compared to proprietary security officers, and in most cases that training is only addressing the state’s training requirements. But what about those security officers that work in states that do not require professionally certified training?

Let us take for example California. In California, the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) firearms training for security officers is minimal, as compared to police officer training. Please check out the BSIS Firearm Training Manual to see what I mean. For example, when it comes to actual range training, there is a requirement that the training has 1 hour of classroom instruction on Range Preparations. Yet when it comes to the actual time on the range for “Range Training” the time requirement states, “As Needed”. I guess we can assume that if it only takes 30 minutes then that is acceptable?

For those states that have minimal or no training requirements for security officers, security companies or proprietary security operations should still require professional and certified training to the security officers, and if those officers are going to be armed with any type of weapons, they need to have additional training. Remember this, it all comes to a reasonable standard and the definition of Reasonable will be determined by a judge or jury at trial.

In closing, if you are not 100% certain that your training for security officers can pass the “reasonable” standard test, it is time for you to get an unbiased assessment of that training and the qualifications of the trainers.


[1] Private Officer International

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