Some industries such as chemical plants, cannabis dispensaries, or armament manufacturers are subject to regulated and mandated security procedures and protocols. Others, because of the nature of their products, traditionally opt for stricter security measures by choice.

The vast majority of businesses and commercial enterprises, however, including apartment complexes and construction sites, often fall quite short of providing sufficient security.

For many, secure locks on doors and windows, possibly an alarm system that may or may not be tied to a police dispatcher, and maybe a camera or two, is deemed adequate. And for some it may well be.

If there is little or nothing worth stealing, for example, then it makes little fiscal sense to invest in a more comprehensive security apparatus.

The proverbial “junkyard” dog, for example, is often a real-life example of a minimal yet effective deterrent to would-be thieves. 

And then there are the courtesy patrols and courtesy officers. 

Courtesy Patrols and Courtesy Officers – 20th Century Security Measures

Courtesy patrols and courtesy officers are security measures that are most often found with apartment complexes and other multi-occupant properties. Some sources state that true courtesy officers are simply residents who have volunteered or have been “hired” to fill the role, often in exchange for a reduction in rent.

However, while the consensus seems to be that this is where the practice began, many small businesses and shopping centers make use of courtesy patrols and courtesy officers, as well.

What is a courtesy officer?

One employment site offers this description,

“A courtesy officer is a security professional who provides surveillance and basic protection to the residents and property of an apartment complex or similar housing location. Courtesy officers’ primary function is to keep everyone in the community safe. Often, courtesy officers are former or off-duty law enforcement professionals who already have the necessary skills and training to perform the work.”

The article goes on to note that,

“Courtesy officers and security guards may have different job titles, but the work they perform is often very similar. The primary difference between a courtesy officer and a security guard is their employer:”

And what are courtesy patrols?

According to an apartment living blog,

“Courtesy patrols are becoming increasingly common “amenities” at certain apartment properties. To many renters, the extra safety measure represents a little more peace of mind.”

The role and duties of a courtesy officer or courtesy patrol are somewhat limited. However, many police departments may be understaffed or overworked, resulting in slower response times to emergency calls and giving low priority to non-emergency incidents.

Consequently, many apartment complexes hire courtesy patrols so as to have dedicated help in dealing with security and quality of living issues more immediately.

But, unless the courtesy officer is also an off-duty law enforcement officer, he or she has no real policing authority.

This means that even though many of these guards don’t have the authority to arrest anyone, they can detain criminals until the police arrive. And in addition to helping apartment properties deal with crime, their presence is often enough to help prevent crime.

Effective Security Without the Cost of Courtesy Officers and Patrols

Perhaps the most significant disadvantage of relying solely on courtesy patrols and officers is their limitations when dealing with those committing criminal acts. 

Essentially, any semblance of “police” powers granted to a security guard or courtesy officer is limited to the following:

Detain Suspects

Unlike police officers, courtesy officers must witness an actual crime for an arrest to be legal. More to the point, they must have witnessed a felony. Also, an “arrest” in this case, simply means detaining the suspect. As private citizens, private guards are typically held to the same arrest standards as any other citizen.

Use Force

The use of “reasonable force” courtesy officers and security guards is allowed if needed to eject or detain a person on private property. The use of force should be reasonable based on the severity of the crime being committed and the risk perceived by the guard and other individuals.

While the use of reasonable force is permissible, use of unnecessary force may result in injury and possible legal proceedings.

Exercise Jurisdiction on Private Property

The jurisdiction of a private courtesy officer or security guard is limited to the property they have been engaged to protect. They are authorized to demand that an individual stop performing prohibited acts and require them to leave the private property.

And, If the individual persists in the prohibited behavior, a security guard may arrest that person under a citizen’s arrest.

There are several other disadvantages and limitations to use of courtesy patrols and courtesy officers for security purposes, as well. Among these is the cost that is often associated with hiring professional courtesy patrol services, especially given their limited capabilities.

A far better security solution is to have a comprehensive and advanced video surveillance system that incorporates the benefits of having “eyes on site” without the limitations of security personnel on site.

And this approach to an ideal security solution is possible with a smart, remote monitoring system.

A State-of-the-Art Live Remote Monitoring Security Solution

Making use of live remote monitoring is a smart, interactive security solution that means no longer relying solely on courtesy patrols and onsite security guards. And a “smart” solution means both a high-tech solution and an intelligent solution.

Live remote monitoring from Blue Eye can provide the deterrence and intervention to complement, or even replace, the use of courtesy patrols for an affordable price while providing comprehensive coverage with advanced video technology.

The deterrence and intervention capabilities include the ability to issue audio warnings, which can reduce the risk of false alarms. In addition, our proprietary AI technology reduces the time required for surveillance.

A live remote monitoring solution is a far superior solution compared to only having a courtesy patrol presence or even a traditional security video system. Because these “old school” video systems are simply passive recording devices, many facilities still rely on having onsite security personnel, as well.

However, an optimal solution is a security video system that gives you the best of both worlds without the disadvantages.

Blue Eye offers a video security solution that provides just that.

And we do so at a surprisingly affordable price. Our system uses an AI-empowered managed service platform that requires no up-front capital costs. And we use your own cameras so there are often no additional hardware costs required.

Give us a call at 855.258.3662 or email us at [email protected] and let us design an effective, “modern” security solution for your business!