Security Guards

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by mzmtg, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    What levels of authority do different secrity guards have in GA?

    I'm wondering about everyone from the receipt checkers at Wal-mart all the way to the armed "Certified Protection Officers" in my office building.

    Can they detain you, cuff you, arrest you, disarm you?
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not a security guard, and yet I can detain you, cuff you, arrest you, and disarm you.
     

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Most security guards have instructions not to touch you because of liability concerns. The reason is that only police officers have immunity from suit when they make an arrest based on reasonable grounds but later turn out to be wrong. For everybody else, including you and security guards, you better darn well turn out to be right.

    Aside from the different outcome of a civil lawsuit for false arrest, there is virtually no difference between the "arrest powers" of a police officer and a non-police officer. Off the top of my head, the only differences are:

    (1) Traffic - police officers can arrest for traffic offenses - you cannot.

    (2) Warrants - police officers can serve warrants - you cannot.

    That is it.

    Next time you hear a police officer bragging about his "powers of arrest," just keep in mind that you have the same powers outside of traffic and warrants. :wink:

    There are several reported cases where police officers let their POST certification lapse (due to failure to get the required annual training), and criminal defendants challenge their arrest on the ground that the officer had no "power of arrest." The courts invariably uphold the arrest, ruling that since a non-police officer could have made the arrest, the arrest would be valid anyway as a "citizen's arrest."
     
  4. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    So, for everyone from grandad-the-greeter to the guy with a badge and a gun in front of the office, I can tell them to piss off if they want to stop me for any reason...

    I'm not comfortable being detained or questioned for any reason while I'm armed, unless it's by a police officer.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, that depends. I mean, you can tell a police officer to "piss off," too, if he has no cause to stop you.

    If you just shoplifted from the store, I would not suggest punching the old greeter guy and knocking him to the ground, breaking his hip, then running out the door.
     
  6. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    Well...

    I dont stop for receipt checks. Unless the sensormatic goes off, then I'll let them check it.

    I'm not trying to be a total dick, but I'm not going to be treated like a criminal for no reason, either.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, well, I guess you aren't breaking any laws by refusing to stop for the receipt check.

    Just don't come crying to us if that old greeter guy turns out to be tougher than he looks and tackles you and kicks your hiney!

    :shattered:
     
  8. wwomack

    wwomack New Member

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    I don't stop for the greeter/receipt checker either. Once I've bought something it is my property and they have no right to stop me and inspect it. I understand their desire to protect their property and prevent theft but treating me like a criminal only harms the store/customer relationship and causes me not to want to return.

    Also, if I'm tackled by this little old man I would be within my rights to defend myself from an illegal arrest/assault. I probably shouldn't use lethal force as no reasonable man would fear for his life but they have no right to lay hands upon you (unless you've committed a crime against them).
     
  9. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    :rotfl:

    I was told recently by a tech at one of the boss' other stores who was fixing a copier at a Walmart near Carrollton and asked them what kind of theft they had, and the manager enthusiastically said it was down this quarter to $750,000, last year it averaged about a million a quarter. :shock:

    This was just 1 Walmart Supercenter.
     
  10. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Criminal Trespass Warning

    If you don't voluntarily comply with the in-house security procedures of the national chain store, even if they cannot legally detain you or search you, they CAN ban you from the store, and issue you a warning not to ever come back. If you come back, it would be criminal trespass.

    I assume that the manager or security agent for one particular store has authority to ban you from the entire chain of stores nationwide, not just that one particular location. But I don't know this for sure.

    And I don't know if they can effectively identify you and officially give you your trespass "warning" if you don't voluntarily stop and talk to them and answer their questions, show your I.D., and sign that you received a copy of your trespass notice. It could be that they could only complete this process either with your cooperation or by them using force to detain you-- not to detain you for shoplifting, but to detain you to issue their warning to you. Is that permissible? I don't think so. It SHOULDN'T be.

    I have in the past walked right past some of the receipt-checkers at Wally World, but now I will not because I don't want to risk being banned from the place. I like cheap Chinese-made stuff, and I love stores that are open until midnight, if not 24/7.
     
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, in Georgia, you are within your rights to resist an unlawful arrest even by a police officer, but you better be sure it is an unlawful arrest!

    As for defending yourself, well, are you sure that old guy can't take you? :shattered:
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Criminal Trespass Warning

    I can see even now that little old guy chasing wwomack and mzmtg across the parking lot waving the criminal trespass forms . . .

    :D
     
  13. wwomack

    wwomack New Member

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    He probably could. :wink: As I've never been in a fight in my life it's possible he could take me. I would enjoy taking him to court after my bruises heal though. Or, I may not take him to court because of embaressment over being beat up by an old onearmed receipt checker. :oops:
     
  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    There is a case regarding the alarm going off - stating it constitutes cause to reasonable detain you and check out what made the alarm go off.
     
  15. foshizzle

    foshizzle New Member

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    They may be able to detain me, but I doubt any employee at Target can legally search me based on their shoplifting sensors going off. I'll wait for the cops. If the rentacop at Target tries to pat me down, it's on. I doubt a jury in GA would say it was justified if I was otherwise just sitting there waiting for the cops to arrive.
     
  16. Warp

    Warp New Member

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    There was a case here in Indiana not too long ago at a Best Buy. Loss prevention officer saw a man with a bulge under his shirt that he believed was stolen merchandise. It was actually a poorly concealed and legally carried handgun. The loss prevention/security officer confronted the man as he went to exit the store and ended up grabbing for the bulge/gun and getting into it a little with the armed citizen. Citizen maintained control of hs gun and they ended up waiting for the police to come, which is what the citizen wanted to do rather than screw with 'security'. Security guard was fired, there was a lawsuit and money involved, etc. Not sure on details.

    It does happen.
     
  17. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    I'd like to hear more details about that.

    The security guy at the Target I work at while on break errors too much on the wannabe cop side.
     
  18. GeorgiaGlocker

    GeorgiaGlocker Romans 1:16

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    I agree. I always have my receipt in hand when I am leaving the Wal-Mart check out area. Usually will the buggy overflowing. (I have discussed this with my wife). All they do is look at the receipt. How on earth can they tell if I have stolen something? They can't! And what's with the magic marker mark that they put on your receipt? What ups with that? And then there are some Wal-Marts that don't even check our receipts when we leave. Go figure........
     
  19. Tinkerhell

    Tinkerhell Active Member

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    I think the marker on the reciept is to keep people from buying stuff, taking it out, then walking back in with the reciept, grabbing the same items again & just walking back out with them.
     
  20. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Kroger puts stickers on items that are not placed in bags.
    (orange that say "thanks for shopping at Kroger")