<img alt="" src="https://secure.enterprise-consortiumoperation.com/792487.png" style="display:none;">

Unarmed Vs Armed Guard - Understanding Your Security Options

We live in an age where physical threats to everyday people are increasing in number. As a daily look at news in the United States will demonstrate, many people fall every day to acts of physical violence, with many of them involving varying types of weapons.

Although the threat of physical violence is clear, many companies still feel comfortable choosing to have their locations protected by unarmed guards. While these guards can be a great first step in security, they simply offer a different level of training and experience than armed personnel offer when they are tasked with protecting an area and the people within it.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between choosing armed security versus the unarmed security solution.

Exploring the Differences Between Armed and Unarmed Personnel

The simplest difference between unarmed and armed security personnel is that one group will carry an array of various weapons while the other will clearly does not. Unarmed guards may carry small deterrents, but they will not carry anything that would be considered a dangerous weapon. Armed security contractors, on the other hand, will carry equipment to combat various level of force that can be used to protect themselves and others in the face of a serious threat.

Let’s explore the differences between these two types of guards that go well beyond whether or not they carry defensive tools.

Quality of Personnel

Working as an armed security contractor is not a small task, and it is one that requires guards to achieve specific standards. Since these individuals are trusted with weapons that can do harm if used incorrectly, they are often screened more extensively in order to ensure a good match.

Since unarmed security guards do not have the additional responsibility of carrying various weapons, they often have minimal requirements when being interviewed and hired. While almost anyone can become an unarmed security guard with minimal, if any, training or experience, armed security personnel are more likely to be screened for certain skills and abilities.

Extensive Training

Every great security contractor will offer training to its security guards. However, the level of training between unarmed and armed security guards is often substantial. While unarmed security guards may learn to follow specific routes and identify suspicious behavior, their training often ends there.

Armed security personnel, on the other hand, often undergo more training. They are taught to perform higher physical security functions. Since this is the case, they are often trained in all the ways of unarmed guards, but they also build upon this with training pertaining to basic, safe handling, use of weapons to neutralize a threat.

Visible Presence

In today’s world, it is common to take notes when you are in the presence of a visible weapon. Armed security guards do not just protect by responding to threats—they protect by deterring them. When criminals are faced with the clear presence of trained personnel equipped with weapons, they will feel less confident in their decision to carry out a crime.

A quick look at society’s references to “mall cops” throughout the years will show that guards do not inherently warrant respect or deter crimes. Many people look down on guards that do not have the proper presence. A well-dressed security guard with a visible weapon creates an entirely different presence that people are more likely to respect. They can stop crimes before they are committed.


When a criminal decides to act—be it attempting to steal or to harm others—they will continuously reevaluate what is happening throughout the interaction. If they see an unarmed guard and they are armed, they are unlikely to see that guard as a valid threat.

A criminal acting and being met with an armed response is a very different scenario. The presence of armed security can act as a deterrent and lead criminals to back down before causing more harm. These security contractors make it clear there will be a less likely chance for the criminal to achieve success.

Ability to Respond to Escalating Situations

An unarmed guard can help by bringing authority to a situation, managing minor encounters, and calling in the police. However, that is the extent of what unarmed guards offer. While some may bring unique skills, without weapons, they can only respond to so many situations.

With their extensive training and weapons capabilities, armed security guards are more likely to be able to effectively respond to escalating situations. Their training will prepare them for responding to more dangerous situations and will cover how to appropriately escalate through the needed levels of force. Although armed security guards will also alert the authorities when something happens, they are also trained to effectively navigate these dangerous situations individually or as a team to provide the best possible level of protection.

Greater Support

As a whole, unarmed security and armed security offer vastly different levels of support to the spaces they protect. While unarmed security personnel can act as an effective barrier in minor situations, armed guards can make a life-saving difference in situations that escalate into truly dangerous events.

The difference between the support offered by these two groups really comes down to training and resources. Armed guards often have more extensive training, and they are given more resources to effectively navigate a wider range of situations. When a property is faced with an armed assailant or practiced group of criminals, it takes more training and adaptable force to correctly manage the situation. Armed security can meet this need.

Protecting Property and People

Physical security is essential in a world that is introducing more and more physical threats. As public and private spaces are increasingly infiltrated by criminals wishing to do harm, it is becoming more important than ever to provide an appropriate security response.

There are many instances where unarmed security personnel can provide support, but the reality is that armed security is quickly becoming essential in many cases. Creating the right level of defense in advance can save lives and deter potential criminal activity.

To learn more about how to protect your property using trained experts, explore our offerings at Valentis today.

Contact Valentis Today