Security Officers vs. Cameras: Which is Better for You?

Many business owners rely heavily on security cameras to protect people and property, but is that really the most effective option? Probably not. Although security cameras may offer a small level of deterrence, they’re really at their most useful after a crime has already happened. Nothing can take the place of a professional security officer. 

Even if the security risk at your business seems low, there are several reasons why having a real person protecting your property creates a higher level of security that can’t be matched by cameras. Here’s why security officers are a much better option for protecting your business.

The Usefulness of Security Cameras is Very Limited

Security cameras can be useful for deterring theft and vandalism after hours. Some criminals may move on to an easier target if the presence of security cameras is prominent.

Security cameras can also provide valuable information after a crime has been committed. Recorded evidence from a security camera can help to catch the criminal and make the charges stick once he’s been caught. 

Unfortunately, criminals continue to get smarter, and they know to wear masks or disguise their appearance in some other way to conceal their identity. Pros may even spray the cameras to disable them. 

Cameras are extremely limited because all they can do is record what’s happening, they can’t do anything to prevent it. There’s nothing worse than watching a video of a masked criminal as he leaves your property with your possessions.

So, what are cameras good for? Cameras can serve as an extension to the eyes and ears of live security officers, but they can never take the place of a professionally trained guard.

Here’s Why Live Security Officers Are a Smarter Choice

Let’s take a look at the ways a professional security guard can outperform cameras and provide the best protection against criminals at your business.

1. Immediate Response Time

Possibly the most significant advantage of having a security officer on the property is that they are on hand to respond to security issues immediately. They can take action in real-time to protect your customers, employees, and your property. 

This immediate response to any threat can mitigate losses by reducing the amount of time a criminal has to engage in criminal activity. In cases of theft or robbery, a security officer can even apprehend the criminal in the act and prevent losses completely.

2. A More Effective Deterrent

While cameras can be somewhat useful for deterring less determined criminals, security officers present a much more effective deterrent for most criminals. A highly visible security guard increases the risk of being caught and will likely be enough to keep most criminals searching for an easier target.

3. Human Intelligence

A security officer has an understanding of what is occurring. Although a camera can provide a recorded account of the details after an incident, a human can tell the story. A security guard has the human intelligence to evaluate the situation and respond to it accordingly, while cameras can’t react in any way. A security guard will also be able to provide additional details and information about things that happened in places where the camera can’t see.

4. The Ability to React as Events are Occurring

Not only can a security officer understand what is happening, but he can also react as the event is occurring. He may be able to prevent an issue from happening in the first place. Whether it’s a simple case of theft, a life-threatening situation, or another problem that presents a legal risk to the business, a security officer can see what is occurring and take immediate steps to get the situation under control and minimize or prevent losses.

5. Crowd Control

In the event an emergency situation does arise, customers and employees may panic and take the situation from bad to worse very quickly. For example, if there’s an armed burglar or some other violent person in the business, everyone in the store is in danger.

Security guards are professionally trained to asses the risk and keep people calm and safe during the event and afterward, when first responders arrive at the scene. Whether there’s a group of people running out of the building, a crowd of curious onlookers, or even media attention, a security officer can step in and take control of the crowd to minimize risk.

6. Professional Training and Experience

Professional security officers undergo extensive and ongoing training in areas like theft prevention, observation, and all areas of emergency management. A security camera cannot provide you with experience or expertise that may prevent loss and reduce risk to people on the property. 

From theft reduction to limiting emergencies on the property, security officers are professionals who can advise you on what steps should be taken to keep people and property safe. When it comes to security, there’s nothing more valuable than preventing the problem from ever occurring in the first place.

7. More Than Just Crime Prevention

A live security officer can assist with property safety as well as preventing crime. During their patrols, they observe possible safety concerns and report them to the property manager promptly. Identifying any safety risks quickly can prevent injuries or even loss of life and reduce the business’s potential liability. Many companies have security officers on the property specifically for this reason.

8. Security Guards Have Authority

Security officers can respond with authority and force if necessary, in the event of criminal activity in your business. Even if the guard does not carry a firearm, he can show authority in other ways. A security officer can use his posture and voice as a show of force. He can also physically stop a criminal from committing the crime or leaving the property before authorities arrive. Cameras can’t do anything to stop a criminal in the act.

Although cameras can play a useful role in a business’s overall security plan, they’ll never be able to replace human security officers. Cameras simply cannot provide the deterrent, immediate response, or reduction in liability that a security guard can. When you factor in the potential for loss of people and property at your business, professional security officers are also the most cost-effective solution.

As a leader in the security industry, GCI Security can offer you a variety of professional security guard services to meet the needs of your business. We can help you protect material, financial, and human assets, no matter what type of business you have. We’ll help you put together a security detail that meets your individual needs.

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