Security Guards: A Dangerous Profession

security guards keep us all safe

The view of security guards in popular culture is not always a positive one. They are often portrayed as over weight, lazy and even sleeping while on duty. The reality, though is much different.

Security Guards: A Dangerous Profession

While many security guards might have quiet postings, many more put their lives at risk everyday guarding people and property.   The following news stories from the last five weeks illustrate just how dangerous the job of a security guard can be.

     December 31, 2017

Two Las Vegas security guards were shot and killed after responding to a disturbance in one of the rooms at Arizona Charlie’s Casino.

     January 21, 2018

After a retail theft at a Kmart store, a Rockford, Illinois security guard was seriously injured. The robbery suspect carjacked the guard’s vehicle, dragging him before the guard fell away.

     January 26, 2018

An ex-soldier was sentenced to life in prison after he shot and killed 56-year-old Scott Von Lanken, a Denver transit security guard.

     February 4, 2018

49-year-old Shawn Patilla was fatally shot while working at a Columbus, Ohio bar as a security guard.   When police arrived, Patilla was lying on the floor still alive. He later died at a nearby hospital.

A Very Stressful Job

Security guards perform a mix of tasks and often find themselves in stressful situations. You can find guards working in bars and clubs trying to keep the peace. When a fight breaks out, it is the security guard that must break it up and protect others.

You will also see guards working at retail stores observing shoppers and looking for thieves.

Guards work at sporting events and concerts to help control crowds, and they protect employees at businesses, as well.

They can also be on the receiving end of harsh comments from the public, like those Joseph Hernandez dealt with while he was working a conference in California last June. reported that after dealing with a separate physical altercation, Hernandez was asked to guard a door temporarily and keep conference goers from entering. That’s when an attendee who wanted in the room began to verbally assault him. “You’re blue collar as f*ck,” the attendee said, “You should kill yourself.” To his credit, Hernandez stood there and took the abuse quietly and did not make a difficult situation worse.

The Bottom Line

Today’s security guards are working in an angry world that seems to get angrier everyday. They deal with more assaults, both verbal and physical, than ever before. Based on the news stories above, it is accurate to say that guards risk their lives when they go to work.

The next time you see a security guard, you don’t have to thank that person or say anything special. But a smile and a “Hello” would certainly mean a lot.

If you have questions about protecting your employees and business, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

Professional Security: Facing Danger Everyday

professional security faces an angry world

You may have noticed that sometimes a negative story appears in the news media about a security guard. When it happens, it’s unfortunate. It can cause those outside of professional security to think less of the industry and those that work in it. But that view doesn’t take into account everything guards face today.

The popular image of a security guard is someone who works in a quiet warehouse or building overnight. That image isn’t a true one. Today security guards face circumstances that didn’t exist just ten or fifteen years ago.

Professional Security in an Angry World

Protests seem to break out with little provocation and can turn violent. Opiate addiction is on the rise in many of our urban areas causing crime and aggressive behavior. People’s tempers are on edge for any number of reasons that include their views on politics to racial tensions.

The world has become an angrier place and the potential for violence is on the rise.

To make mattes worse, police are stretched thin in many of our urban areas and are unable to respond quickly. That leaves just the onsite security guard. Often, they are often put into situations that were previously handled by law enforcement. But because of the rise in bad behavior guards are forced to step in to try and control the situation.

When that happens, there is a risk that things might not go well.

Security Guard Shootings

In the last week, two shooting incidents occurred that involved professional security. The first happened at a casino in Arizona on December 30. Two guards were shot when they responded to a disturbance in a guest room. Philip Archuleta, age 28 and 50-year-old Latosha White both died from their wounds.

The suspected shooter shot himself in the head after police trapped him in a nearby house.

The second incident happened in Canton, Ohio on December 3. Russel Hazel, a 33-year-old security guard, was shot in the neck during a confrontation at the nightclub where he worked. The suspected shooter fled the scene but was later arrested by U.S. Marshals.

The Bottom Line

These incidents demonstrate the potential danger that professional security guards face when they report to work. Guards are filling a void, stepping in to keep the peace and keep others safe while getting very little thanks for it.

So, to all the security guards who stand ready at their posts, we just wanted to say “Thanks.

If you have questions about how security can protect your property and employees, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.

We’re Hiring Security Guards Now

security guards are needed

American Security Force is hiring both full-time and part-time security guards.  These are for postings around the Los Angeles Metro area and hours are to be determined based on the specific posting

Overview for Security Guards

Quality Security

The professionals at American Security Force are highly trained and effective in their role. We want to make sure our clients are aware that we only work with the most experienced and capable individuals.

-What you can expect from our security guards?
-Thoroughly vetted for background and ability.
-Licensed security professionals.
-Extensive experience and knowledge specific to their role.
-Required extensive training and ongoing education.

We have something the others don’t; commitment. We don’t just have a commitment to the process of providing quality security. We have a commitment to you, our client. Your safety and security matter to us. When American Security Force has a presence at your office, business or wherever else you need us to be, we want you to know that your property, assets and YOU are safe.

Job Skills / Requirements

Job functions will generally vary from post to post. Each post will require a security officer to perform some or all of the following essential duties, responsibilities, functions, and may require some of the following physical requirements.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities:
-Maintain foot patrol in accordance with instructions.
-Walk the perimeter of client premises, using prescribed schedules.
-Record rounds on in Daily Activity Reports.
-Observe all activity occurring during each scheduled shift.
-Listen for all unusual sounds.
-Identify any unusual odors.
-Open and close gates and/or doors, and lock them, as required.
-Respond to all problem situations encountered, as appropriate.
-Report any suspicious activities to clients staff, your supervisor, or emergency personnel.
-Perform safety check-in procedures.
-Use safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, as required.
-Communicate with supervisors, clients, and any responsible person on-site, as required
-Prepare written Daily Activity Reports and Incident Reports.
-Maintain communication with the public, contractors, vendors and clients to assure satisfaction with ASFs services.

Education Requirements (Any)


Certification Requirements (All)

Valid State Driver’s License

This job reports to the OPERATIONS MANAGER at American Security Force. Hours for these positions will be determined by the specific posting.

You can apply for either a full-time or part-time security guard by clicking HERE.


American Security Force is an equal-opportunity employer.

School Security: Attack Happened When No Guard Was Present

school security might have protected a girl on a Dayton playgroundLast Friday a seven-year-old girl was stabbed while playing on a school playground. It happened at the World of Wonder Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio. The attacker walked onto the grounds, stabbed the girl and ran off on foot.  Inadequate school security could be to blame.

On Monday of this week, the little girl was released from the hospital, but the attacker had not yet been arrested.

Yesterday, the family of the little girl asked the Dayton Public Schools to make security changes. reports that they wanted assurances that the school would be safe before they allowed the girl to return. They also wanted to know what happened? Were there security lapses that led to the attack?

No School Security Present

CBS News reports that there is a typically a security guard posted at the school. However, on the day of the attack, the officer was not on duty because of illness.

The report notes that the district’s policy calls for a “liaison with the district” is to fill in when there is a security guard vacancy. The challenge that the school faced last week, though, was that no one was available on the day of the stabbing. So, there was no guard on duty.

Deterrent Power

While it might not be reasonable to say that the absence of the security guard led to the attack, the reverse could be argued: Had the guard been on duty, the attack might never have occurred. That’s because of the deterrent power of a security guard.

When attackers see a guard, they know they’re not going to get away with whatever it is they were planning to do. So they abandon their plans. It is very likely to assume that if a guard had been on duty at the World of Wonder playground last Friday, the attack never would have happened.

That’s the power of having a security guard on-site, whether it is a school, business, or property.

For more information about how American Security Force can protect your property or business, call us today at 877-722-8585.

Workplace Violence 2: The Impact on Business

A graphic that resembles a stamp that reads Workplace ViolenceLast week we wrote the growing trend of workplace violence. This week, let’s explore its effect on business.

The Impact of Workplace Violence

The impact of these types of confrontations can be wide spread within an organization. For example, there is a real cost associated with these incidents. In a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 37% of the businesses reported a loss of productivity, while 34% of the companies noted staff replacement costs as a result of the clash.

Over half of the businesses claimed that there was an additional cost associated with these events in the form of management time and expenses.

Violent episodes also affect other employees. Of those businesses that participated in the survey, 29% stated that morale decreased as a result of these clashes and 28% received complaints about employees feeling less safe and secure. The same number of companies also cited a drop in productivity and less trust amongst employees.

Company size does not seem to be a determining factor either, though larger companies do have a higher rate of workplace violence. For example, 33% of small businesses with 100 to 499 employees reported an incident. For larger companies, 91% of them with a staff of 25,000 or more experienced some type of violent skirmish!

What’s Being Done?

These numbers are already staggering to consider and nearly half of the organizations surveyed are taking these threats seriously. Forty-seven percent report that they have a Zero-Tolerance policy in place when it comes to these types of incidents, resulting in immediate termination.  However, that means 53% of business don’t have a policy in place, or aren’t sure how to proceed.

One of the ways businesses can reduce workplace violence is with onsite security. The professional security offices with American Security Force are trained to deal with threats and violence in the workplace. Often their presence alone is enough to deter most incidents from taking place. But when they do, our security guards can make sure those involved are isolated from the rest of the workforce and escorted from the property if needed.

For more information about how American Security force can keep your workplace safe and secure, call us at 877-722-8585.

Workplace Violence 1: The Scope of the Problem


A graphic that resembles a stamp that reads Workplace ViolenceRegrettably, workplace threats and violence are real concerns for all businesses today. According to a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, over one-third of all businesses have reported an incident.

SHRM defines workplace violence as:

Assaults and other violent acts or threats that occur in or are related to the workplace and entail a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to individuals or damage to company resources or capabilities. Workplace violence may involve employees, clients and vendors of the affected organization as well as those who do not have a relationship with the organization but who may know the intended victims.

Workplace Violence in the U.S.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 403 workplace homicides in the United States in 2014. The Bureau reports, “Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Unfortunately, many more cases go unreported.”

For a business in our country, there is a 1 in 69,000 chance that a workplace violence incident could happen on their property. Those are some pretty long odds, but do you really want to take that risk?

In California

In 2013 there were 397 workplace fatalities due to violence. The State of California reported 43 of those, or roughly 10% of the total in the U.S. that year.

Not every state addresses workplace violence or a safe working environment in their legislation. But California does. California Labor Code 6400 requires every employer to furnish “a place of employment that is safe and healthful for the employees therein.” Thus, to stay compliant with the law, businesses in the state must take steps to maintain a safe workplace.

One of the ways you can do that is by posting a security guard on your property or at your business. The presence of a security guard acts as a deterrent to most workplace violence incidents. If an incident does occur, then the guard can break it up, never allowing that event to turn fatal.

Learn how the highly-trained officers of American Security Force can keep your property and business safe. Call us today at 877-722-8585.

Terrorism: How Do You Secure Your Property?

security guard on site working to prevent terrorismThis week’s attacks in Brussels and the tie to terrorism raises concerns again about how to keep property and businesses safe and secure.

ISIS immediately claimed credit for the attacks that killed 31 and wounded more than 180. Today Fox News reports that one of the terrorists killed at Zaventem Airport outside of Brussles also made explosives for November’s attacks in Paris.

Terrorism In the U.S.

While these attacks happened in Europe, residents of Southern California learned the hard way that terror can strike here as well. Last December 14 people were killed and 22 injured when terrorists struck a holiday party in San Bernardino.

It appears that the ideology that fuels this brand or terror is present in the United States.

What Can Citizens Do?

As individual citizens, we must all be vigilant. That means looking out for and reporting suspicious activities. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is asking for help:

It’s a fact that certain kinds of activities can indicate terrorist plans that are in the works, especially when they occur at or near high profile sites or places where large numbers of people gather—like government buildings, military facilities, utilities, bus or train stations, major public events. If you see or know about suspicious activities, like the ones listed below, please report them immediately to the proper authorities.

What Can Businesses Do?

Take the necessary steps to secure your property or business. If you have not done a risk assessment for your business, plan one soon. If you aren’t sure where to begin, call American Security Force for help. That assessment will identify areas of weakness in your security and also detail steps for taking care of them.

You should also consider onsite security guards for your property or business. Physical security serves as both a deterrent to would-be criminals and also as a means to protecting your employees and customers. After all, the safety and protection of our clientele is our top priority.

Our officers are highly trained at their jobs. They must successfully go through required training by a certified training facility or private patrol operator. They also have to submit to and pass background checks performed by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Finally, our guards receive additional training from our senior training officers here at American Security Force.

Don’t hesitate to do what you can to protect your property and the people at it today. Call American Security Force at 877-722-8585 to see how we can help.

Security Guards In California: A Cut Above

Security guards watching downtown Los reports that a security employee was indicted on misdemeanor assault charges last week.  He was one of many security guards working a championship game in December. He is accused of punching a fan after the University of Houston’s win over Temple.

The Cougar’s win at their home stadium was for the AAC title. Fans rushed the field to celebrate and that’s when Derrick Dewayne Hicks savagely punched a student. The incident was recorded on an attendee’s cell phone. The video clearly captures the crowd booing after they witnessed the assault.

The incident is not a proud one for the security industry. By the very nature of the job, security guards are put into positions of trust. Hicks broke that trust. While this incident might tarnish the reputation of security guards, it does not represent them as a whole. The assault at the University of Houston was an isolated incident and is certainly not indicative of our industry.

Consider this: According to the United States Department of Labor, there are over 1 million security guards working in the U.S. For arguments sake, let’s say that at any given time, there are five stories in the news from across the country about security guards behaving badly. That equates to just .00046% of the total number of guards. That’s a pretty small percentage.

California Security Guards

When it comes to the number of security guards by state, California has the most with 148, 740. When looking a little closer at the number of guards per area, Southern California ranks second after the New York City Metropolitan Area.

California also stands out because of its stringent training standards for security guards. It includes the “Power to Arrest” training, plus an additional 32 hours on top of that and eight hours of continuing training each year to stay licensed. That means our state has some of the best-trained security officers in the nation.

In addition to California’s mandates, officers with American Security Force receive additional classroom instruction and in-field training. We believe our team of security professionals is the best available. Because of that, we compensate our officers above the industry standard. Doing so results in less turnover and more stability for our customers.

So while you might hear stories in the news about security guards behaving badly, remember, these incidents involve a tiny fraction of the total number of guards working in our country. They don’t represent our industry and they certainly don’t represent the guards at American Security Force.


Honoring Our Veterans on Veterans Day

With today being Veterans Day, we here at American Security Force wanted to take this opportunity to say Thank You. We are honored by their service and we are proud employers of those that have served.

There is a natural synergy between veterans and the security industry. While in the service, veterans learn and master skills that naturally translate well. Some veterans have actually performed military assignments that are directly related to security functions.

But there are certain intangible qualities that veterans develop in the service that also make them ideal employees, whether they are in the security field or in some other industry.

The first is that veterans make good leaders. After all, they are coming from what you might consider a “leadership factory.” The U.S. military understands how to teach leadership and mold future leaders. Its rigid structure and chain of command area daily reminders of how leadership functions effectively.

Upon entering civilian life, veterans bring these lessons with them into the workplace. Clear communication, adherence to the chain of command and the ability to get the best out of others makes veterans natural organizational leaders.

Veterans are also very trainable. All military branches have some form of Boot Camp, where those who have recently joined go to learn how to be a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman. After Boot Camp, they then train to do a certain job within their branch of service. Training is a large part of the military experience and the experience helps veterans quickly learn new jobs in the private sector.

Adaptability is another quality that veterans have learned. A popular saying amongst those in the service is “Adapt or Die.” In other words, adjust to the circumstance presented to you and overcome them or you will perish. This is a lesson that veterans understand all too well. Whether the situation was a harsh battlefield, a cramped submarine, or a barracks crowded with strangers, veterans were continually adapting to new situations.

This skill serves veterans well in the ever-changing business world.

For employers, veterans are highly desired employees for their dependability. One of the biggest challenges companies face is hiring dependable employees and having them show up to work and be on time.

This is another quality veterans master in the military. Not showing up is a considered being Absent-Without-Leave (AWOL), something that could get service personnel confined. Being late is also something that is not tolerated in the military. Thus veterans prove to be very dependable employees because of their military experience.

While veterans possess qualities that make them exceptional employees, there’s also another reason American Security Force hires them: It’s the right thing to do. After all, the service that these individuals gave to our country involved sacrifice. They spent many years away from their loved ones, often times in harm’s way. They did it to protect all of us and expected little in return.

So, it only seems natural that we can honor them with the opportunity to earn a living and support their families.

On this Veterans Day, it seems like one of the best ways to say “Thank You.”

Healthcare Security: Partnering on Compliance

ASF-Healthcare-Security-9-16-15Healthcare facilities experience a steady stream of people and patients entering and leaving their buildings. Whether it is a doctor’s office, a building with multiple offices or a hospital, the number of people that pass through each day can be staggering, especially in a large city such as Los Angeles. That amount of people can present multiple types of security risks to doctors, staff, patients and visitors.

With the large amount of people coming and going, the most recognized task that security officers have is access management. Your security team needs to make sure that only visitors with legitimate business at the facility are granted access and that they travel to their destination without straying into secure areas.

Another area of concern is the emotional state of mind of visitors. Because of the nature of a healthcare facility, caring for the sick and dying, many people are already emotionally charged when they arrive. In that state, some allow their emotions to take control and make poor decisions. Experienced security officers need to recognize this potential and understand when it is appropriate to step into a situation.

When you have a population density like that of Southern California, it breeds tension and violence between individuals and groups. Occasionally that can spill over to the medical facility. A trained security team can prevent or minimize that activity and secure the facility until law enforcement arrives.

These are some of the more simple, straight-forward ways experienced security officers service a hospital or medical practice.  Security for healthcare, though, is much more than just managing the access to the facility or reacting to bad behavior. Supplying security services is also about being an active partner with that healthcare provider. Healthcare systems must continually work to meet regulatory compliance. A security partner needs to understand those demands and take an active role in making sure they are met.

For example, experienced security officers need be familiar with HIPPA and the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act. That familiarity can prepare them to be on the lookout for HIPPA violations concerning the protected health information of patients. This might be as simple as making sure patient information is not seen on an unattended computer screen, or that an old box of patient records is not left out near an incinerator or dumpster. Reporting these types of violations is important so that they can be avoided in the future.

Make sure your facility hires the best possible security team available by considering the following:

  • Make sure your security company has experience working with healthcare providers.
  • Ask if they understand the regulations with which healthcare must comply.
  • Be sure your security provider is able to partner with you and identify areas of compliance risk.
  • Once you have selected your security team, include them in all regulatory planning and training.

American Security Force is an experienced provider of security for healthcare facilities. We understand the demands of partnering with these health systems, and welcome the opportunity to be a trusted partner. Through our experience, we have established an effective template from which we can draw the beginnings of an individualized plan. We can create and scale a security team to meet the needs of your facility.

We can also supply Spanish-speaking officers, as well, which has proven to be very helpful in Southern California.

For more information about we can partner with your healthcare system, call American Security Force today at 877-722-8585.