Security guards don’t just protect property. Sometimes they save lives. Robert Owusu, a security guard in the north London neighborhood of Clerkenwell, saved the lives of two teenagers this spring.

On April 17, 2015, two young men staggered into a Budgens store. They had been attacked by four masked men. They were bleeding; they collapsed to the floor of the store. Because of England’s strict gun control laws, Mr. Owusu is an unarmed security guard. Therefore, he did not try to engage the assailants, but concentrated on protecting the victims and the store’s customers from them. He locked the store door and prevented anyone from entering until the ambulance arrived. Other staff members at the store gave first aid to the two young men while Mr. Owusu made sure the attackers could not return.

Not every security guard can be a hero, but having a security guard on site makes customers and employees safer. Although licensing rules vary from state to state, many security guards have specialized training: CPR, first aid,CERT. Many have police or military backgrounds. Security guards are often the first ambassador of a business or mall. In addition to preventing theft or vandalism, security guards answer questions, give directions, and comfort lost and frightened children.

Security guards are a visible deterrent, who by their very presence convince thieves that somewhere else would be a better place to rob. Security guards make employees feel safer, which makes it easier for them to concentrate on their jobs. Employees who aren’t worried about being mugged on the way into or out of work are more productive and have a higher retention rate. This cuts employee training costs. On-site security guards demonstrate to customers and clients that their safety is important to you. Security guards reduce shoplifting, which reduces the costs of your business. Not every guard can save lives like Robert Owusu, but security guards can save your business.

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