Important Details to Note
Negligence and law violations by a Security Officer may cause the employer and the client to be CIVILLY responsible.
A Security Officer is NOT OBLIGATED by law to make an arrest. When he or she does make an arrest it is known as an arrest by a private person or citizens (Penal Code 837)
A misdemeanor is generally a crime for which the offender can be fined and/or sentenced to a county jail for a period not to exceed one year. In order for a Security Officer to make a proper misdemeanor arrest, it is necessary that the Security Officer to actually see or witness the misdemeanor offense committed or attempted in his presence.
An arrested person is called a SUSPECT until the court finds him/her innocent or guilty.
A Security Officer making a citizen’s arrest must tell the suspect of the INTENTION to arrest, the CAUSE for the arrest, and the Security Officer’s AUTHORITY to make an arrest. (Penal Code 841)
REASONABLE FORCE in an arrest situation is a degree of force needed to detain an individual and to protect oneself (People V. Garcia. (1969) 78 Cal.Rptr. 775)
If a suspect does not feel free to walk away because of a Security Officers statements and actions, he may claim to be under arrest.
A Security Officer should never touch a suspect except when they are protecting a citizen, protecting their employers property, in self defense, or when necessary to use reasonable force in effecting an arrest.
Upon arrest, a Security Officer may search for WEAPONS ONLY and may search only search only when they have cause to believe that the arrested person is armed. This decision is at the discretion of the Security Officer’s employer.
If contraband or stolen items are discovered while searching for weapons, those items should be left on suspect,unless there is a likelihood the suspect will dispose of them. When the suspect is turned over to the peace officer, he should be notified of the discovered items. The decision regarding this statement would be at the direction of the employer. The employer may prohibit certain items from entering their business or function.
If a private citizen has made a lawful arrest, the peace officer by law MAY take custody of the suspect.
The Person/ Suspect/ Security Officer who makes an arrest will be recorded as the arresting party.