Of the jobs available in the United States today, one that is often overlooked is the position of watchman. This job, at its simplest, mainly involves protecting the property or assets of people. These people can be private individuals or public employers. Because the job skills cut across both sectors of society, employers can be found just about anyplace. The job is not as dangerous as that of a police officer and as a general rule most of the jobs do not require the watchman to be armed, but there are instance where it is required. In the public sector, watchmen are generally employed by many large institutions. These include hospitals to help deter property crimes, and thefts in parking lots and on the hospital grounds. This deterrence is primarily accomplished just by making yourself highly visible while on patrol. These positions do not come with the authority of the state to make arrests, but watchmen can still make a citizens arrest if the circumstances warrant it. |
Many security firms and proprietary departments practice what is called the observe, detect, deter, and report methodology. This method involves a high visibility presence as the means of deterring potential criminal activity and theft. If a crime is observed however, the security guard is to accurately record the observed events and then report them to the proper authorities for further action. Until the 1980s the term watchman was more commonly used in this job description. This term had its original inception in the Middle Ages in Europe. It was then carried over to America and it was here that the term night watchman originated. This term was then mostly replaced with the more universal term of security guard.
Even though their primary duty is to prevent and deter thefts and other crime, a security guard often goes through additional specific training. This additional training can include specific procedures for arrest and the use of restraints, performing first aid, observation techniques and how to write a detailed report. If a watchman is required to carry specific weapons because of a special assignment or service, additional training related to that weapon is mandated by the state. This can cover the aspects of the weapons or devices that the watchman is required to carry, including specific instructions pertaining to a firearm, baton or even a stun gun. In some instances watchmen are required to complete police certifications for special duties. Obviously, the more training and specific instruction, the larger the salary he can hope to earn. The average pay for a security guard nationally is $24,000 a year, but depending on his skills he can earn as much as $42,000 a year or more.
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