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Can A Security Guard Detain Or Arrest Someone?

Can a security guard arrest or detain someone? This is a question people in the security industry get a lot. The short answer is yes. In Colorado for example, arrest and detainment laws actually fall under citizen arrest laws. The CRS code for this law is 18-1-707. This is what it states:

(7) A private person acting on his own account is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to effect an arrest, or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person who has committed an offense in his presence; but he is justified in using deadly physical force for the purpose only when he reasonably believes it necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force. -Source

Colorado doesn’t have any laws that are specific for Security guards or Officers, nor is it regulated by DORA. Therefore while a security guard is on duty, all of their arrest powers fall under citizen arrest laws along with use of force. Though the arrest powers of a security guard are very limited due to the fact that a crime has to be committed in their presence. This can be any crime in Colorado, which only applies in this state. In some other states, the citizen arrest law only falls under serious misdemeanors and felonies.

In Texas, it is a different story. The Texas Department Of Safety regulates security officers and companies. Texas has non-commissioned and commissioned security officers. Commissioned security officers do have some police type of powers that security guards in Colorado don’t have. Impersonating a Security Officer in Texas is actually against the law, such as impersonating a Police Officer.

In conclusion, a security guard can arrest and/or detain a person. The powers of a security guard or officer vary state to state. This all depends on the laws, regulations and rules of a particular state.

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