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A private security officer's responsibility is protecting their client from a variety of hazards (usually in the form of criminal acts).Security personnel enforce company rules and can act to protect lives and property, and they often have a contractual obligation to provide these actions.
Security officers are hired by a range of organizations, including businesses, government departments and agencies and not-for-profit organizations (e.g., churches and charitable organizations).Often these patrols are logged by use of a guard tour patrol system, which require regular patrols.Until recently the most commonly used form used to be mechanical clock systems that required a key for manual punching of a number to a strip of paper inside with the time pre-printed on it.Until the 1980s, the term watchman was more commonly applied to this function, a usage dating back to at least the Middle Ages in Europe where there was no form of law enforcement (other than it being a private matter).This term was carried over to North America where it was interchangeable with night-watchman [e.g.Security officers are generally uniformed to represent their lawful authority to protect private property.
Security guards are generally governed by legal regulations, which set out the requirements for eligibility (e.g., a criminal record check) and the permitted authorities of a security guard in a given jurisdiction.
Although security officers differ from police officers, military personnel, federal agents/officers, and the like, Australia and the United States have a growing proportion of security personnel that have former police or military experience, including senior management personnel.
On the other hand, some security officers, young people in particular, use the job as practical experience to use in applying to law enforcement agencies.
Random patrols are easily programmed into electronic systems, allowing greater freedom of movement and unpredictability.
Global positioning systems are beginning to be used because they are a more effective means of tracking officers' movements and behavior.
But recently, electronic systems have risen in popularity due to their light weight, ease of use, and downloadable logging capabilities.