When people talk "security" I am always amazed at their understanding of what it is and what it takes to achieve it. In fact, after analyzing all the reasons people/companies hire security to begin with, it becomes abundantly clear the ones who hire unarmed security personnel have been sold a bogus bill of goods. An unarmed security plan is a fallacy catered to provide individuals with virtually no security at all while giving them the false sense that they, their employees and property are protected.
To help demonstrate my point, let's get into the "protection levels" of an unarmed security guard. The typical unarmed security guard is uniformed, which allows an individual to readily identify them. The guard may have pouches on their belt which may contain things such as a flashlight, rubber gloves and even a radio. Depending on the guards gender, size, age and physique it may actually be a deterrent of criminal activity-to a five year old. In the event of a violent activity the guard will have to rely on his physical ability to defend himself, others and property against an attack. And although he may have the ability to call for help on his radio, it provides absolutely no level protection during a violent attack.
Now, let's analyze the same guard from a criminal's point of view who is intending on creating a level of violence. Like anyone else, a criminal can quickly locate and analyze a uniformed security guard. Within seconds they can determine where the guard is, what capabilities he/she may have calling for assistance and their ability to thwart a violent act by determining if the guard is armed or not. Because the greatest factor in creating violence is the time to perform a violent act, the unarmed security guard has just moved from being a deterrent to being the first target to be eliminated. Once the "security" has been eliminated from the picture, a criminal has just created the time he/she needs to do catastrophic damage.
Now let's look at it again from the criminal's point of view, but this time with an armed guard. The criminal can quickly identify the guard by their uniform and determine the guard's location. During the assessment of the guard, the criminal notes that the guard has a semi-automatic handgun with two spare magazines-for a total of three including the one in the firearm. The criminal then considers the guard has been trained in the use of said firearm and has the ability to defend himself/herself with at least 30 rounds of ammunition. The criminal also notes the radio the guard has and determined the guard has the ability to summon more help, more than likely armed, while putting the 30 rounds of ammunition in play. The criminal now knows that he/she must be willing to die to achieve their violent attack.
Simply put, in today's climate, there is absolutely no reason to have unarmed security personnel. It would be just as effective as hanging a sign that says "this is a gun free-violence free zone" and calling it "security." Unarmed security personnel should only be used as information officers and not protection assets.
A good security program is an investment in you, your people and your organization and should not be taken lightly. Realizing security companies who provide unarmed security guard services are not providing "security," but are providing a way to redirect your security funds under the guise of protection is the first step of getting your security program on the right track.
Stay safe out there.