Alternatives to Arrest

If you hurt someone while arresting them, you can be held criminally and/or civilly responsible. This is true even if you did not mean to hurt the person. Examples of issues security officers need to consider when making an arrest on an individual include:

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  • Assault
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  • False imprisonment
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  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
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  • Invasion of privacy
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  • Negligence
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  • Trespass
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Security officers are safer and more effective when they use communication skills to their tactical advantage. The goal is to obtain voluntary compliance and resolve a situation without the use of force.

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Company Policy

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Your primary responsibility is to observe and report. As an extension of this you are deterring and potentially preventing crime. Remember, you are not a peace officer. Your right to arrest is the same as any other private citizen. This means that while you can arrest someone in certain circumstances, called a citizenu2019s arrest, you are not obligated to do so. The company/client should advise you of their policy with respect to arrests. The majority of company policies require you to observe and report, rather than arrest.

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Your primary duty is to protect the safety of yourself and others. Remember, if you get hurt attempting to make an arrest, you will not be as effective at protecting others. Your safety is extremely important.

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Questioning

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As situations evolve, try to collect as much information as possible. Continue observing the situation and the environment and communicate with the individual(s) as much as you can until your local law enforcement arrives.

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Note: Remember your main responsibility is to observe and report. If at all possible, leave the arresting up to local law enforcement. Always refer to company policies and procedures.

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When you are asking someone questions, you are not detaining or arresting them. If the person does not want to talk to you, then do not force the issue by physically blocking or restraining them in some manner by physically blocking or restraining them in some manner. There is a lot to consider when deciding to make an arrest. Remember, it is an individualu2019s right to leave at any given time. Ask yourself the question u201cAre you interfering with that right?u201d

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Considerations

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The intent of this training is to ensure you fully understand the totality of the law concerning arrest. This ensured that you know what you can and cannot do under the law and reduces both your individual liability and your companyu2019s liability.

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Before making an arrest, consider the following factors:

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  • Physical Size – Is the suspect bigger or stronger than you? Are they in better physical condition or younger than you?
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  • Weapons – Is the suspect armed? Could they be carrying a weapon? Are there other weapons in the vicinity? Are there objects that could be used as a weapon?
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  • Escape – If you do not make an arrest now, will the suspect escape or continue to commit the act? What are the additional risks if an arrest is not made?
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  • Type of Offense – Is the offense a felony or breach of the peace?
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  • Relation to Your Job – Know your companyu2019s policies and procedures.
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