This question has been asked time and time again, and the answer is: Yes, security officers can make arrests. Through our training school, Texas Certified Training Academy, we cover extensively all the laws that pertain to this.
The arrest a security officer makes is stated under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures (Art 14.01) – the same as any citizen can make (citizen’s arrest). In fact, that law states “any person” and uses the word “arrest,” not detain.
Once done under OCC 14.06, you are then required to turn the suspect over to law enforcement without delay (which prevents “catch and release” on your own). This can expose you and your company to liability, so please ensure you are educated here and taught by a professional school such as our training academy.
There are a few companies and even schools that make unsupported claims that security officers cannot make arrests; we welcome them to attend our courses while we study & discuss the Penal code, Case law, Code of Criminal procedures, and many other areas.
Every citizen in the State of Texas has the right to make or affect a “citizen’s arrest;” as a security officer/guard, you are a private citizen, so this applies to you and more so being the “agent of the owner” under contract at the properties you serve.
Your client’s or company’s procedures may state “do nothing,” but just know what the law says and that you do have the right as allowed and protected by law to do more than “observe and report.”
But Keep In Mind:
Being able to make an arrest doesn’t give security officers the right to illegally detain someone, so be sure you are fully aware of your legal rights as a guard and the legal rights of citizens. Being armed with knowledge. and training can save guard companies and security guards tremendously.
Guard Arrested #1
Bank security guard tried to prevent a man suspected of attempted forgery from exiting a bank by blocking the doorway. The suspect tried to walk past the guard, a struggle between the two ensued; the security officer then stabbed the suspect to keep him from exiting the bank.
The suspect was charged with misdemeanor Forgery in the Fourth Degree; the security guard was charged with a felony, Aggravated Assault. Courtesy of Kevin Rowson
Guard Arrested #2
Security officer charged with second-degree assault with a weapon and criminal possession of a weapon for assaulting a concert goer at a music festival he was providing security for. The security officer kicked the concert goer in the face and struck him with a blunt object. Courtesy of Amanda Purcell
The above stories are just a couple of examples of what ignorance can do to guards. It’s imperative to get trained and understand what you as a security officer can legally do.
We provide you with “what if” scenarios and stipulations, use of force, Detention vs. Arrest, and much more.