security officer standing next to bike

Proprietary versus Contract Officers

Billy Gordon Green, Jr. M.Ed., CPP, CHS Contract Security Officer/Guard, Security Program Development


security officer standing next to bike

The human component of an integrated security plan can be in one or more of several forms. These forms become choices that need to be addressed depending on the mission, environment, culture, population, and security philosophy of the organization and specifically the site to be protected.

Basically, there are only two organizational relationships for the security officer. A proprietary officer is an employee of the entity that is being protected. As such, the general operational details such as recruiting, training, scheduling, administration of wages and benefits, discipline, and promotion are the responsibility of the company or institution. Usually, proprietary forces enjoy longer tenure and less turnover, though they are more expensive to operate. The intangible factors such as loyalty, organizational identification, ownership of the roles are thought to be stronger also. Discipline and termination are more tedious in proprietary forces, as the security officers generally have the same employment protection as other employees.

Contract forces are thought to be somewhat less expensive and easier to administer. Most security companies assign a project manager to a contract site to handle liaison, scheduling, discipline and wage/benefit administration. The contracting entity or facility need only communicate with the contracting company regarding post requirements, role performance, standards, and expectations. The contractor is responsible for filling the roster, staffing posts and patrols, evaluating personnel, and effecting discipline and terminations where required. In most cases, the protected entity has a right-of-refusal for contract security officers assigned to their site.

What are the other decisions that must be made?

Armed or Unarmed

Uniformed versus Non-uniformed

Proprietary or Contract

Sworn or Non-sworn

Full-time or Part-time


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