How to Decide Between Armed and Unarmed Guards for Your Business

If you own a business, you have likely thought about hiring guards to protect your employees and property. Although the decision may seem straightforward, have you considered whether you need armed guards or unarmed guards? Many business owners are unsure which option is right for their business. 

While it might appear that armed guards are the better choice because of the added protection they provide, that is not always the case. In fact, unarmed guards can offer many businesses more than adequate protection while still being cost effective. To aid in making this important decision, we encourage customers to consider certain factors including level of threat, current vulnerabilities, security goals and budget. 

Read on to explore these considerations in more detail. If you are still unsure whether your business needs armed guards or unarmed guards, contact the security specialists at Off Duty Officers today. Our team can help you gain a better understanding of your security needs and suggest the right solutions for you. 

Armed Guards vs. Unarmed Guards: Which Should You Choose?

No matter which option you ultimately go with, the first step is doing a complete assessment of your business and your security risks. A professional security company can assist you with this if you do not have the time, knowledge or manpower to do it on your own. A thorough assessment can indicate what level of security you require and the types of services you need to cover your vulnerabilities. 

Unarmed Guards

Unarmed guards do not carry firearms, but may possess non-lethal weapons for protection. Non-lethal weapons may include pepper spray, batons or tasers. Businesses who hire unarmed guards typically face low to medium risk and are assigned at locations such as retail establishments and residential communities. They are effective in deterring theft, vandalism and responding to suspicious behavior, among many other things. Because they do not carry a firearm and therefore do not require liability insurance, they are less intimidating than an armed guard but still provide peace of mind to employees and customers. 

Unarmed guards might be the right choice for your business if: 

  • You operate in a relatively low-risk setting such as a religious establishment, park, community center, museum, retail or grocery store.
  • You care about providing a safe but intimidation-free environment for your employees, customers and guests. 
  • You have a smaller budget but still require security protection. 
  • You would benefit from services such as access control, customer assistance, mobile patrols, escorting employees after hours and monitoring for suspicious behavior and vehicles. 

Armed Guards

Armed guards are authorized to carry a deadly weapon. In order to carry a firearm, they are required to have specialized training and licensure. Because of these additional certifications, armed guards are generally more expensive than unarmed guards. Armed guards are usually assigned to customers with a higher risk of threat including banks or other businesses with valuable assets as well as businesses that operate in high-crime areas. The sight of a weapon on a guard can put people on edge or give the perception that your business is unsafe. As a business owner, you must consider how an armed guard would look to your employees, visitors and the general public. 

Armed guards might be the right choice for your business if: 

  • You handle or transport large quantities of money, expensive jewelry and equipment or other valuable merchandise. 
  • You operate popular events that draw very large crowds, VIPs and media attention. 
  • You understand the added costs of licensure and training and have the budget to pay more per hour for protection. 
  • Your require increased protection because you work in a high-crime neighborhood or operate during off-hours. 

Make the Right Choice for Your Business 

Choosing the right level of security can be a challenge. By taking a good look at the security threats that your business faces, you can get a better idea of your needs. 

If you need help making the right decision for your business, call the experts at Off Duty Officers. We have been trusted for over 25 years by businesses across all industries who need the best security guard services in the nation. Our team is proud to be the leading provider of highly-trained and experienced armed and unarmed security guards in the country. Work with us by calling our office today. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.

Coronavirus: Keeping Your Organization Secure

As news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to dominate the media and the minds of people across the country, businesses are faced with new and changing security concerns. The fear and uncertainty that the pandemic brings has created novel security threats for business owners and customers alike. As an owner or operator who is responsible for a business, security during this time is vital for the safety of your employees, customers and clients. 

Whether you operate a healthcare facility, retail store, business organization, restaurant or place of worship, security guards are valuable assets when circumstances require additional assistance to keep people and resources safe and secure. Many organizations are choosing temporary security guard services to help them maintain order, enforce social distancing and provide peace of mind. 

Stay Ahead of COVID-19 Security Issues 

Professional security guards can take precautionary steps to help you stay in front of potential security issues that can compromise your business and your reputation. The COVID-19 outbreak has put increasing responsibilities on managers and employees to enforce the new health and safety protocols, all while still fulfilling their job descriptions. The presence of security guards on site can alleviate that pressure and help businesses continue to be functional and profitable.  

Preventative security measures go a long way in avoiding safety and security related issues. It is in your best interest, and that of your employees and customers, to take action now instead of waiting until a safety or security issue arises. 


Short or long term nationwide security guard services, reliably, affordable, and carefully tailored to your precise needs.

COVID-19 Security Guards to Enforce Safety Protocols

One of the greatest challenges faced by retail establishments and commercial businesses is how to conduct normal business operations while ensuring that COVID-19 safety protocols are adhered to by those entering the premises. Owners can alleviate this strain by hiring COVID-19 security guards to enforce these protocols, including:  

  • Social distancing enforcement
  • Ensuring masks are being worn by those entering facilities/stores
  • Temperature scans for employees

Our trained and qualified security guards take an active role in keeping your business, employees and customers safe. With state-of-the-art training, guards from Off Duty Officers understand the importance of enforcing COVID-19 health and safety protocols for your business. They will ensure everyone entering the premises follows the protocols, and will do so with reliability, respect and professionalism. 

At Off Duty Officers, we care about the health of our guards. We ensure that our security specialists are healthy and equipped with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for their assignments. For customers who have advanced PPE requirements, our guards will gladly utilize your equipment to ensure that they are always in compliance with the requirements of your business. 


Retail businesses have faced unique challenges over recent months. From customers hoarding basic supplies such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer to disgruntled customers getting into viral altercations with store employees, businesses must take security more seriously than ever before. It is a trying time for all, and many retail establishments are bearing the brunt of people’s fear, uncertainty and anxiety.    

Professional, uniformed retail security guards are an effective solution for mitigating situations like those described above. The presence of a guard in uniform will often deter people from creating a scene. If an event does occur, trained security officers are ready to monitor volatile situations and take action to safeguard your store and protect employees and customers. Trained guards ensure that people remain calm and order is maintained. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.


Panic may drive an unprecedented number of people to hospitals, emergency rooms and urgent care facilities, believing they must get tested for the Coronavirus. As cases rise in states across the country, many healthcare facilities are finding themselves at maximum capacity. Concerned family and friends want desperately to provide support to their loved ones, despite the fact that they are not allowed to visit or even be on the premises.  

An upsurge in people coming into healthcare facilities has led to a disturbance in regular protocols, which can endanger patients as well as staff. Temporary security guards have proven to be vital partners for hospitals, emergency rooms and urgent care facilities. Professional security officers from Off Duty Officers are trained in crowd control measures and have the skills to maintain peace and order in the event of a volatile situation. With qualified guards monitoring your healthcare facility, operators can feel confident that they are taking the proper precautions to assure the safety and security of medical staff and patients.


It is an unfortunate reality that long term healthcare facilities have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak. The older adult population is at an increased risk of contracting the virus due to the presence of pre-existing conditions and residents living in close quarters, among other factors. Long term healthcare facilities have rapidly needed to create new health and safety protocols to ensure that their residents are protected from the virus. 

One of the most effective methods for protecting residents is to screen all people who enter the facility. A professional, uniformed security guard can effectively monitor those entering the facility and enforce the necessary security protocols. Protocols may include:

  • Logging all who enter and exit the premises
  • Use of a thermal scanner to take the temperature of all visitors, staff and residents
  • Denying access to those who are not authorized at the facility or who are displaying signs of the virus
  • Enforcing social distancing protocols

elder care coronavirus security


At Off Duty Officers, we understand that these are trying times for many business owners. We hope that your business and your customers stay safe during this time of uncertainty. However, business owners can take steps to stay ahead of the virus by taking preventative security measures. 

Hiring security guards can go a long way towards the prevention of unnecessary disturbances. At Off Duty Officers, our security guards are ready to assist your organization with any security guard services you may need to keep your business or institution running smoothly. 

Good security is good business. Contact Off Duty Officers today to learn more about our COVID-19 security guard services available nationwide. 

Does Your Business Need Armed Security Guards?

Businesses are much more than the services or products they provide. They hold valuable resources such as financial data, costly equipment and technology and priceless human assets like employees and consumers. A business has the responsibility to keep these resources safe and secure in the course of day-to-day activities or in the event of a security or logistical challenge.

In truth, most businesses could benefit from some type of professional security including armed or unarmed guards, plainclothes or uniformed guards and stationary or patrol guards. Over the past few years, many industries have been taking advantage of the security services provided by commercial security companies like those at Off Duty Officers, Inc. to keep their most valuable assets and personnel protected. The industry has been growing steadily as more and more business owners see the need for increased security protection.

What is an Armed Guard?

Armed security guards in particular play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of critical assets. Armed security guards deter those who might wish to your business harm. Today, businesses from all industries recognize the need for professional, armed protection to combat potential dangers.

Armed guards are professionals who carry a firearm or other weapon. These guards have extensive experience in the use of such weapons and have received specialized training in their operation. At Off Duty Officers, our armed guards are highly trained and experienced off-duty police officers, retired police officers or military professionals. Armed guards provide a high level of security and act as the maximum defense for some of the most challenging business or creative events, properties, workplaces or personnel operations.

Businesses That Need Armed Security Guards

Although most industries these days may be able to benefit from an unarmed security guard presence at some level, some industries may best be served by professional armed security guards. Today, many industries have been ramping up their security while others are just now realizing the importance of a security presence on-site.

Some of the top businesses and industries
that benefit from armed security guards include:

Financial Institutions

Banks and other financial institutions hold not just financial and intellectual property but also human assets like employees and customers. Armed security like those found at Off Duty Officers can prevent robbery or workplace violence and protect those working and doing business there.

Construction Site Security

Construction sites are home to expensive equipment that is often left unattended after hours, leaving it vulnerable to vandals. On-site, armed security guards will deter those who wish to steal or mar valuable property.

Security for Academic Institutions

Unfortunately, we hear of far too many violent incidents occurring at educational institutions in this country. Armed security personnel can safeguard students, teachers, and other staff while deterring violence from those who wish to do harm.

Residential Community Security

Feeling safe and secure in your home is critical. Residential communities are often the targets of vandals, thieves and trespassers. Armed security guards can monitor access to the property and provide a strong line of defense against these kinds of crimes.

Security Services for Hospitals and Healthcare Institutions

Busy healthcare institutions like hospitals see hundreds of people in and out throughout the day. Off Duty Officers can provide these organizations with professional and trained security guards to monitor access and take the proper steps in the event of a security challenge.

Retail Stores Security Services

A common target of theft, retailers benefit from a security guard presence to keep thieves at bay while also protecting customers and employees from any violent or dangerous workplace situations.

Other businesses that should consider armed security guards with Off Duty Officers include:

  • Bars or restaurants that are open late hours
  • Cash-based businesses
  • Businesses who are undertaking large layoffs or terminating a volatile employee
  • Large events in which alcohol will be served
  • Businesses selling controlled substances like alcohol or marijuana

Off Duty Officers: Nationwide Provider of Off-Duty Law Enforcement Officers

Since 1993, Off Duty Officers, Inc. has been an industry leader in providing highly experienced and professional private security personnel. We partner with businesses who want top-notch security services to protect their people, customers and financial and material assets that they’ve worked so hard to build. Off Duty Officers will put together an individualized and highly-effective security detail to meet your needs because we know that security is personal.

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

Off Duty Officers, Inc. provides armed and unarmed, off duty law enforcement and security personnel for both short- and long-term assignments. Contact us for an instant

Our experience means your safety.