How Private Security Can Protect You

If you’re looking for maximum safety, and are not confident that your local police will have the resources to provide it when you need it, hiring private security could be your solution. But one question people often ask is: How can private security truly protect me when bad things happen if they don’t have actual government authority?

It’s a good question, but you can be reassured that there are laws in place that give private security personnel sufficient leeway to take the measures necessary to keep you, your people, and your property safe. At GoJoe Patrol, our personnel know exactly how to work within the framework of these laws to provide effective security services to our clients.

Laws That Govern Private Security Services

Generally speaking, security personnel are subject to the same laws as any other private citizen. They don’t have government authority, but they do have training and know-how regarding where the lines are drawn between legal and illegal use of force in protecting both people and property.

In addition, state laws regulate and license private security firms, and those laws impose a number of requirements on how private security personnel must be trained. The result is that private security firms learn to work hand-in-hand with public safety personnel in critical situations without encroaching on people’s rights or otherwise stepping over the line into unlawful conduct or stepping on the toes of public safety officers.

Restraint and Detention

If a private patrol officer directly witnesses someone committing a crime against you or your property, that officer can legally detain the suspect and keep him from leaving the scene. This would be the same right that you would have if you were to witness the same conduct. The difference is that the patrol officer’s job is specifically to carry out this security responsibility. They have been trained in the proper techniques for how to do this, and know the legal parameters of what they can and cannot do. Legally, the standard is one of “reasonableness.” That is, citizens have the legal right to exercise reasonable measures to detain a criminal suspect until law enforcement arrives to take over. 

Reasonable Force

Both detention and defense sometimes necessitate the use of physical force against a suspect. Again, the standard is one of reasonableness. For example, if a suspect is unarmed and relatively submissive, it would be unreasonable to use deadly force to capture or restrain him. Conversely, if a suspect is armed and threatens bodily harm, an armed patrol officer who has a legal permit to carry a weapon may have the right to use his weapon in defense of someone’s life. Patrol officers also often have other less lethal weapons at hand, such as tasers, batons, and pepper spray, which they will deploy when a situation warrants it.

Patrol officers are well-trained in assessing the risks of various situations and in methods of de-escalating them when they believe there is the potential for serious bodily harm to any person. A trained officer will only resort to force if he makes a determination that the risk to you, himself, or anyone else is high.

Limited Search and Seizure

In most cases, a suspect’s rights against search and seizure will prevail until law enforcement is involved. However, one exception to this principle is if the patrol officer has seen a deadly weapon, or has a reasonable suspicion that the suspect possesses such a weapon on his person. In that case, a private patrol officer has the right to search a suspect and disarm him. 


Patrol officers always have the right to use surveillance methods in protecting people and property. When you are not present, these officers can keep an eye on your property through either the use of cameras, or by using foot or vehicle patrols. Surveillance is an extremely useful security measure, especially when patrol officers and their vehicles are visible. In fact, one of the most effective aspects of using a private security firm is their deterrent effect: criminals and vandals will steer clear of areas when they know that patrol officers are keeping a watchful eye out for suspicious activity. 

GoJoe Patrol Security Services

GoJoe Patrol started as a mobile patrol service company providing surveillance of residences and businesses. Today, we continue these basic services, and have now added dispatchers, alarm response personnel, and patrol officers coordinating 24/7 protection of people and property when necessary.

Every GoJoe employee undergoes rigorous training in threat assessment, deterrence, de-escalation, and even hospitality and communication. If you’re considering hiring private security to increase your safety and give you peace of mind, contact GoJoe Patrol for a consultation to find the best way to provide the security services you need to keep you and your property safe. At GoJoe Patrol, we protect people, property, and the planet.

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