Resource Center


What is private security and why is it important?

Discover how and why private security services benefit businesses across industries

There are many aspects of running a business you can’t control, but you can still make every effort to pre-emptively mitigate these challenges. Security is one such area where preparation and planning are crucial. Investing in private security can bring peace of mind whether you operate an office building, a healthcare facility or a warehouse. But what is private security and why should executives be concerned about it? We’ve rounded up everything you need to know.

What is private security?

Private security is a service that provides protection to businesses. That often includes having security guards patrol a location, but the best private security firms will also help you map risks, plan for and prevent incidents, monitor your business remotely, incorporate cutting-edge technology and liaise with law enforcement if an incident does occur. 

Private security vs public security

So, what is private security in the context of public safety? A private security service is not a law enforcement agency – it is not funded by a federal, state, or local government. Private security professionals are not sworn police officers and do not assist the general public. Instead, businesses partner with a private company that provides security services, much like they would with any other vendor. 

That said, security pros do need certain credentials for this line of work. A private security guard needs to carry a guard card or another form of certification issued by their state, and armed security guards have to meet additional qualifications.

Why do businesses need private security?

Some businesses, like event venues and large company campuses, are at a higher risk of incidents due to the number of people they attract and the many valuable assets they contain, such as equipment and proprietary technology. Other companies, like healthcare facilities, tend to have more violent incidents because they deal with difficult situations and upset people. Additionally, some retailers, such as jewelry or electronics stores, have a responsibility to be vigilant because their inventories are high-value and expensive to replace. 

Even if your business does not fit into any of these categories, violent incidents – including assault, shootings and robberies – are a concern for businesses across industries, from office parks to factories to research facilities. Whether it’s escorting employees to their cars after dark, patrolling hallways, or monitoring building access, a private security service can make any business feel safer, both by intervening if an incident happens and by implementing prevention measures.  

Benefits of private security services

Incident prevention

The presence of a security officer alone can be enough to stop a potential perpetrator from causing harm to your business or employees, but the best private security services will go further than that. A trained security professional will audit your premises for risks (e.g., weak or broken door locks; unauthorized access points; poorly-lit, unsecured areas) and make recommendations for improvements. Taking preventive measures beforehand can not only save you from an incident down the road but is also much less costly than having to deal with the fallout of a preventable tragedy. 

Intervention and assistance with incident response

You can’t answer the question “What is private security?” without mentioning incident response. A private security officer can intervene in times of emergency, stop a perpetrator and notify law enforcement of an incident. It’s their responsibility to be the first to respond to incidents, whether it’s a downed tree in the parking lot or an intruder in the building. 

Loss prevention

Having a private security service monitor your property may discourage shoplifters and less-than-honest employees from tampering with inventory, preventing loss and waste. Lower inventory shrinkage can boost your profits because products that stay on the shelves don’t need to be replaced until they’re sold to a legitimate customer. 

Incident data management

A private security service will collect and store incident data to help you analyze security vulnerabilities and, ideally will provide suggestions to stop similar incidents from taking place in the future. Managing paperwork and reporting following an incident can be overwhelming, so having a trusted partner take care of evidence trails can be an invaluable resource during a crisis.

What equipment and tech do private security teams use? 

The best private security companies make their officers’ jobs easier by equipping them with modern tools, including body-worn cameras, which can aid in “he said, she said” disputes and serve as evidence to be provided to law enforcement. Cameras like the Axon Body also offer live remote monitoring, which allows supervisors to intervene and send help to a security officer on patrol. Depending on your business needs, de-escalation tools like the Axon TASER can provide security officers with a powerful deterrent that can diffuse tense situations before they turn violent. 

Data management platforms that make it easy to store and manage body-worn camera footage are an equally important tool for security teams who need to conduct internal investigations or share data with law enforcement agencies. Axon offers a set of modern solutions for private security professionals that aid in protecting businesses across industries. To learn more about how Axon elevates private security, reach out to our team.