Relations with Local Police or Law Enforcement

Your job is made easier if you have a good working relationship with the local peace officers.

  • NEVER play “cop.” You don’t have the training for it and you don’t have the legal authority to do the same things a peace officer can do. Also, playing “cop” may antagonize the local law enforcement and hurt your company’s working relations with them. Impersonating a peace officer is a felony.


  • DON’T MISLEAD PEOPLE. Because of your uniform, badge, hat or other gear, some people may think you are a peace officer. DON’T do anything to encourage this false idea. Whenever the opportunity arises, make it a point to let them know that you are NOT a peace officer, but a security guard/proprietary private security officer.
  • DURING AN EMERGENCY, you may not interfere with peace officers who may be on the scene even if they are on the private property of your employer or client. You must cooperate to the extent possible with these peace officers or you may be subject to arrest. However, if called upon by a peace officer to provide assistance, you should do so. Penal Code Section 150 requires that any able-bodied individual over the age of 18 to aid and assist a peace officer in the taking or arrest of any person if called upon to do so by a peace officer. Failure to render the requested aid or assistance may result in the issuance of a fine. This requirement is legally referred to as “posse comitatus” or “power of the county.”
  • REMEMBER: Your roles are different! A peace officer is charged with the enforcement of laws in a city or county. A security guard/proprietary private security officer is responsible for protecting only the specific people or property he is hired to protect.

A SECURITY GUARD/PROPRIETARY PRIVATE SECURITY OFFICER’S LAWFUL AUTHORITY IS THE SAME AS THAT OF A PEACE OFFICER.