Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nightclub Guards

Almost every week I read a headline that says “Security Guard Killed.” Invariably the second half of the headline will say “In Local Nightclub.” Security guards working at nightclubs face special dangers and are seldom prepared for those dangers. The first problem is they are seldom licensed, screened, trained or equipped for the job. Often they are just some big guy with a flashlight hired to keep the kids out of the drinking establishment. As a secondary role he breaks up fights and tosses people out.

Guards working nightclubs should be trained to deal with the most frequent problem, patrons who are drunk. They need basic communication skills and the ability to de-escalate problems. Too often the guard will simply manhandle people and literally toss them out the door. Too often that person will go to their car and return with a gun. Since most nightclub guards are unarmed and not wearing armor, they have little chance against a drunken, armed attacker.

While I think it is okay to have a large bouncer at the door to check identification and to escort rowdy drunks out the door, security functions should be performed by trained, professional, uniformed security guards. They should wear body armor and be armed. Their screening should include a criminal history and employment background check. Their training should include reasonable use of force and dealing with intoxicated persons. A busy nightclub might need more than one guard to deal with the crowds. The uniformed guards should spend most of their shift in the parking lot creating a show of security at the location to deter troublemakers; that’s what the SGT Says.


Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with your point. But I'm curious about one thing. What do you think about off-duty law enforcement officers performing these duties as a secondary job? Also, I've noticed that the local police department often walks around the club/bars around the time that people would be going home, maybe as an extra incentive that people behave. Your thoughts?

Bunkermeister said...

Cops should be paid enough that they should not have to work as guards. If they do then they are underpaid or can't control their spending. Cops that hang out in bars too much end up with loose women and drinking too much. Both will kill a career.