Security Matters

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Security Guard Training: Armed Officers

At BOS Security, our Officers are highly trained to assess and handle any situation they may face while on patrol. Becoming an armed security officer, however, requires more intensive training. To ensure a high quality of service and protection for our clients, BOS Security has its own in-house Training Manager, Bill Hildebrand, who conducts all classroom and field training for BOS Security Officers.  

Bill has over twenty years of experience as a law enforcement professional with the Atlanta Police Department as a uniformed patrol officer in the Field Operations Division. Additionally, he also served as an Investigator with the Narcotics Unit, Guns/Violent Crime Unit, and the Homeland Security/Intelligence Unit within the Criminal Investigations Division. Bill also spent time as an Adjunct Instructor at a regional police academy in Georgia before coming to work at BOS Security. His law enforcement experience gives him the expertise to train our officers on firearms, the Use of Deadly Force Policy, state policies and regulations, and more. 

Our armed officers undergo more comprehensive firearm training than our competitors to ensure that our officers are improving safety and not creating a bigger risk. To be qualified to carry a firearm, the officer is held to the same marksmanship standards as law enforcement personnel and must be requalified annually. Keep reading to learn more about our firearm training and certification for armed security officers. 

Firearm Certification
The firearm training and certification process for armed officers at BOS Security involves several steps and processes. To qualify for an armed officer position, the candidate must first pass a background check and pre-employment drug screening and be at least 21 years old. BOS Security armed officers must complete 24 hours of mandatory firearms training as well as pass a qualification examination. Our officers must also pass an independent psychological evaluation before being qualified. 
 Once those steps are completed, if they have no prior experience with firearms, they will do a session with the TI Training Firearms Simulator System. 

Firearms Simulator System
In 2020, BOS Security began implementing firearm simulator training. This method is safe, cost-effective, and mobile, which allows us to take it to our officers on-site. The system implements immersive video simulations with basic marksmanship training. The Training Manager can choose from a wide range of simulated experiences to prepare our officers for dangerous situations that require quick action.  
Using the simulator to introduce new officers to weapon safety and operation allows the Training Manager to evaluate their handling of a weapon and reaction to simulated threats. A key feature of this system is the laser weapons. Reconstructed out of a gutted firearm, the simulator weapon can be loaded with carbon dioxide cartridges to simulate the recoil that happens when firing a real weapon. By giving an officer in training a more realistic shooting experience before they even hold a live firearm, they can be coached on their handling technique and aim in a neutral space. If Bill Hildebrand decides the candidate would be a good fit for an armed position, they begin official training.  

Classroom Training
After passing an interview round and trying out the firearms simulator, candidates will complete 16 hours of classroom training. This phase will review de-escalation techniques, relevant regulations and state laws, proper firearm etiquette and maintenance, Use of Deadly Force policy, and more. Over two days, the Training Manager will give hands-on presentations to a small group. Small class sizes allow our officers to get individualized help and instruction so that they are confident and capable when moving to the firing range. 

Firing Range Practice and Certification
The final stage of the armed officer training process is an 8-hour session at the firing range. During this time, Bill Hildebrand, who is also a certified firearms training instructor, demonstrates how to pull the weapon from the holster, how to load, insert, and discharge cartridges, and the proper stance and technique to hold and fire the firearm. The candidates will practice giving verbal demands and firing at the same targets used by state law enforcement. After familiarizing themselves with the weapon and training procedure, they will practice firing under the direction of the Training Manager. At the end of the session, each candidate will go through the certification course. To pass, they must score a minimum of 80% based on form, accuracy, and following safety procedures.  
After completing the certification course, the candidates’ scores will be sent to the state office to verify the results and officially certify the officer. Then the officer will be assigned to a post and complete any additional training and instruction needed for the specific client and location. There is also additional training required for all BOS Security officers, including de-escalation techniques, emergency response, and more. 

De-escalation Training
One of the most important parts of being trained to use a weapon is being trained in how to avoid using it if possible. De-escalation training at BOS Security is about using problem solving skills in dealing with a tense situation or hostile persons. Situations where de-escalation is necessary include times when an officer is dealing with emotionally disturbed persons, homeless people who have become agitated, domestic situations that arise, hostile employees, and more. If possible, armed and unarmed officers should avoid progressing a volatile situation by trying to calm any aggressor or calling law enforcement for further help. 

Additional Training
BOS Security Armed Officers complete foundational training in addition to learning how to handle firearms. The required courses include: 
Access Control Procedures for both people and baggage 
Assessing Risks of Situations or Individuals 
Awareness of Relevant Regulations and Laws 
Conflict Resolution and De-Escalation Techniques 
Crowd Control 
Emergency Procedures: evacuation, fire safety, first aid, CPR 
Maintaining Visual Presence to Deter Illegal Behavior 
Making Quick Decisions and Prioritizing Duties 
Monitoring and Controlling Traffic Movement 
Observable Signs of Substance Usage or Intoxication 
Observing and Identifying Hazards 
Operating Surveillance Equipment 
Security Technology Training 

These courses are required for all BOS Security Officers. Should a post or client require additional specialized training, the officer will complete this after being assigned to the post. 

Continuous Training
Even after completing armed officer training and certification, our officers undergo continuous training to ensure that they are following all policies and procedures. The Training Manager will conduct regular firearm simulator check-ins with the officers so that he can evaluate their technique and accuracy to ensure they are up to standard. Bill Hildebrand will also conduct random weapon checks to see that the officer is carrying and maintaining the weapon properly and to perform regular firearm maintenance.  
Additionally, all armed officers will be required to complete the firearm certification course and exam annually. 
At BOS Security, we require our officers, both armed and unarmed, to complete extensive training to deliver our clients the best quality of service and security possible. By establishing in-house training aligned with state security agency standards, we prepare our officers for any situation they may encounter. As an armed officer, they must approach any volatile situation with careful attention, observation, and quick action to de-escalate rather than aggravate. We are confident in our officer training and ability to keep your property or people safe.  

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