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Reply #44: Trying to break up a teen-age fight is dangerous. [View All]

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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-11-10 08:33 PM
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44. Trying to break up a teen-age fight is dangerous.
Teens are full of rage and emotion, short on sense, and doubly so if they are in a peer group. If the guard tries to restrain the girl, he will likely get jumped by one of her boyfriends. You needs backup and tools, such as strong pepper spray to try that.

And when it is over, the parent's lawyers will be all over you for adult-on-youth violence. And the parents of the daughters will be on you because in the struggle you touched part of the girl that you aren't supposed to. Try restraining a struggling, kicking, squirming 15 year old girl without making momentary contact with an intimate part.

And since you were acting outside the scope of your employment, neither your employer nor their client will not stand behind you.

A long time ago, when I worked as an armed security guard at an apartment complex, I intervened in a teen situation. That was back before cell-phones, so I had to act on my own. Today, if in the same situation, I would call 911. In the situation, it was about 7PM in winter, temperature was 35 degrees. A 15 yr old girl was supposed to be taking care of a 3 yr old, but she wanted to be with her boyfriends. So she had the toddler with her at the tennis court. The toddler was dressed in only a flimsy sheer nightgown, and was crying terribly from the cold. (Small children, due to small body mass, can lose body heat quickly, and go into hypothermia.) She tried to argue with me, but I cut her short, angrily saying that if she didn't take the baby inside immediately I would call police and report her for child abuse. I was lucky, and she obeyed. There was some complaining later that I had been mean to the teen, but the parents of the baby got involved and they were really angry with the teen.

Another time, as a guard (I don't remember if I was armed or not.) I attempted to break up a teen-age boy group fight. A pile of about ten 17 years swinging. How could they tell who was on who's side, or did they even care? All that happened was that I got included in the mess.They didn't hit me, but just shoved me out of the way. Since there about ten of them, they were able to do that. The fight wound down and they scattered. My employer let me know that I had exceeded my responsibilities, but as nothing came of the fight, I wasn't disciplined.

Nowadays, guard companies are much stricter on their guards. Yet the clients and the general public expect guards to be almost-cops.

Pay for basic, unarmed guards in the Dallas area is about 1.5X to 2X minimum wage. Training consists of one day, if that, and is combined with filling out the new-hire paperwork and company orientation. Some positions are dangerous. Some companies will fire a guard if they find that he is wearing body armor, as they believe that he is planning to go into dangerous situations.
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