Security is a major concern for nightclub owners and their patrons. The ultimate goal of any nightclub security plan is to reduce the risk of violence and theft without sacrificing customer service. A good security team will know how to make a club seem safe without scaring away potential customers.
There’s always debate surrounding how far to go with security, making it important for nightclub owners to weigh armed vs. unarmed guards alongside their site’s security risk. There is also a strong argument that the widespread implementation of more stringent security measures will help protect any venue against a broad range of threats. This guide will explore the positive role of armed security personnel in keeping nightclubs safe.
Why Nightclubs Need Such Tight Security
This is a question easily answered with the application of common sense. Picture an enclosed area full of people in varying states of excitement and with access to intoxicating substances. Put all those people in very close proximity to each other while many of them have impaired judgment, increased hostility, and reduced self-control.
Here’s a closer look at this and other nightclubs security risks:
The Potential for Substance Abuse
Alcohol is often a contributor to aggressive confrontations and violence. A person is legally intoxicated in the U.S. with a blood alcohol level of 0.08%. A single standard social drink can contain from 4.2% to 40% alcohol, and few clubgoers stop at one. Other mood-altering compounds are also rife on the club scene, with the same hazardous social effects.
Easy Pickings for Thieves
Clothing, carry bags, and cloakrooms are full of valuables like cellphones, credit cards, and cash. Not even the parking lot is safe, as criminals hunt for items left behind in vehicles or simply target the vehicle itself.
Active Shooters and Acts of Terrorism
Orlando’s Pulse nightclub massacre made headlines around the world. Such disasters are tragically common. Shooters prefer packed locations like clubs, schools, markets, or workplaces because they allow for maximum harm. The visual and audio chaos of nightclubs, in particular, can make it very easy for attackers to enter and escape.
Proliferation of Guns
Americans are buying more firearms than ever, with the gun rush of 2020 putting a record number of weapons into people’s hands. That greatly increases the chance that anyone at a bar or on a dance floor could be armed. Clubs and their other inherent risk elements can be a deadly combination wherever guns are present.
Taking nightclub security seriously means making big decisions. Armed security personnel is key to monitoring crowds for signs of trouble, controlling and containing incidents, and taking responsible action if an escalated event occurs.
How Armed Security Makes Clubs Safer
The simple sight of an armed guard can be enough of a deterrent to make bad actors think twice. Criminals are sometimes foolhardy, though, so it’s occasionally necessary for security teams to draw or even discharge a weapon. Here’s how the worst is avoided when you hire trained professionals:
Perimeter Security and Access Management
Back doors, fire escapes, and staff entrances are all vulnerable points of potential entry for dangerous people. Maintaining a close watch on these prevents unwanted parties from gaining access. They can just as easily use the front door along with everyone else, making access control essential. Guards can check that patrons meet age and sobriety requirements, that the club doesn’t exceed capacity, and, most importantly, that no one is carrying a weapon.
Maintaining Order Indoors
A sober and agreeable patron upon entry can quickly become a hostile and unruly presence when inside. Improper handling of such volatile individuals can quickly make a bad situation worse. Armed guards are experienced in diffusing or removing aggressive parties long before the need to draw a weapon arises.
Cool, Collected Action
Incidents, where firearms are involved, are incredibly stressful. Terrified crowds, close quarters, and less-than-perfect sensory conditions are a recipe for disaster if security guards aren’t trained to excel under such circumstances. Experienced and armed personnel will stay calm in a crisis and make the best possible decision for the greater good, whether that’s evacuating clubgoers and staff or disabling a shooter.
Coordination With First Responders
Many armed security guards have histories in law enforcement or some form of public protection. This makes them excellent liaisons between the police and other emergency response teams, and experienced contributors to the collection and provision of eyewitness or physical evidence.
Bar Security Guards
Some state laws allow armed security agents to work behind the bar. This status lets the agent keep a close eye on risk elements like excessive drinking, underage drinking, or harassment of patrons. A bar security guard can limit or deny alcohol consumption as the situation dictates and make sure everyone at the bar can enjoy a drink without unwanted attention. Check with your local law enforcement office to see if a bar security guard is allowed under your local laws and regulations.
Many patrons leaving clubs are vulnerable through intoxication or simply being alone in the dark. This makes them easy targets for theft and assault. Armed security can escort individuals safely from the premises to prevent them from coming to harm.
Working with the right security team provides peace of mind to customers and staff. Trained agents can provide a discreet but reassuring presence that projects an air of responsibility and discipline alongside having a good time.
Contact the Experts With Any Questions About Nightclub Security
The founder of SMART Security Pros brings more than 25 years of law enforcement and security experience to a company dedicated to customer protection. Our team consists of highly experienced agents composed of off-duty, retired, and former law enforcement officers who understand how to manage nightclubs security. Protect your club by contacting us today for a fast and free quote