Rules regarding violence when you are a bouncer or security guard?

Discussion in 'Security and Bouncers' started by wingchun100, May 15, 2014.

  1. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I know nothing about this topic, so I am asking those of you who have more experience. As a bouncer/security guard, what are the rules about getting physical with people? I don't mean just restraints...I mean what if you punched someone? Where I live, it seems like bouncers can get away with an awful lot. I read a story about some guy who was found on the sidewalk with a bloody face and bruises on his body: the bouncers had punched him, thrown him out, and apparently kicked him while he was down. But it was barely a blip on the radar. Now if COPS had done that to the guy, it would have been all over the news...people screaming police brutality...grand jury convened...the whole she-bang.

    I'm sure laws vary depending on where you live/work, but I just wanted to hear some experiences that people had dealt with.
     
  2. ballen0351

    ballen0351 Sr. Grandmaster

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    As you said it depends on where you live. Here Bouncers cant use force unless in self defense. They cant punch kick push pull unless they are defending themselves. How it works here is they normally "escort" people outside usually by walking into the person and kind of pushing them with there body arms out almost like herding someone. Once you leave the building however they have zero authority. So it normally happens they get the people outside then call the police to deal with it. If the person wont leave or is causing a problem inside they call the police and we remove them
     
  3. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Like they said above - depends on where. I've worked as a bouncer and as a cop (not in the same eras, or areas). Several of my childhood friends have, or had, owned night clubs. The last things a business owner wants is trouble, police coming in, someone getting hurt and law suits.

    Busy nightclubs have three main ingredients: Glass, liquor and young people. That can be a volatile mix. If it's a large, crowded, rowdy, party place the bouncers have to know how to work it - as trouble, once it starts, usually escalates and gets out of control. The bouncers have to be aware of "brewing problems". Places like this usually have a whole team of bouncers and the head bouncer better know basic law as it applies to their situation and has to know the various personalities of his bouncer crew. If an owner doesn't know and trust his head bouncer, it usually doesn't end well. It also helps tremndously if the head bouncer has a good rapport with the local police.

    If it's a quieter club it's much easier to see trouble coming because loud behavior sticks out from the norm.

    As a police officer you know the bars/clubs in your area and probably know something about the owner and his workers. If a place gets the cops called a lot you kinda know what your going to when the call comes. If it's a place with little or no history of police action you don't know squat going in. But calls to those places are usually easier to deal with.

    As far as the rules of force dealing with bouncers - I would like to believe it would be the same as with any position in the security industry. But I don't think it is. I don't know if any place actually trains bouncers, except for other bouncers telling them what's what. Maybe it's different now, maybe there's all sorts of training. I don't know.

    One thing I always did as a patron - if I see a bouncer sneaking a drink - I am out of there right quick.
     
  4. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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  5. sfs982000

    sfs982000 Master Black Belt

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    I've done both bouncing and security and as far as use of force standards we could only use force to actually defend ourselves. For the most part we were there as a presence and if something was to happen we would try to de-escalate it and get them off property if at all possible. I personally didn't have too many instances that I had to resort to getting physical, but when I did it got ugly.
     
  6. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Generally speaking, a security guard or bouncer has no more authority or right to use force than a "private" citizen in the same situation. Most employers (whether contracted or proprietary) are more restrictive, and really do not want their security staff or bouncers going hands-on except under the most extreme circumstances. The liabilities are too great... Some states may have passed statutes giving some private security more authority -- but again, the company rules are generally more restrictive. One example is a shopkeeper's law, which actually authorizes a shopkeeper and/or his agents to detain shoplifters, forcibly if necessary, in order to summon the police. However, as I said, most larger businesses discourage this. Sears used to use an example of a stolen baseball cap where the loss prevention agents were too aggressive in making a stop, and when they tackled the fleeing shoplifter, he was seriously injured, causing some permanent injuries. I don't recall at the moment if he was paralyzed, or just severely injured -- but it ended up costing Sears big time. Over a baseball cap that, at cost, was less than $10. Obviously -- the point was that few shoplifters are worth the cost of going hands-on just to detain them.
     
  7. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    So I guess the bouncers who punched and kicked that guy were just arrogant A-holes who didn't care if they were operating out of bounds or potentially costing their company big time. Oddly enough, that bar did indeed shut down, although I don't know what it was related to.

    Maybe they figured they could beat the hell out of the guy (who was wasted and out of control) and then, if the police got involved, they would be more likely to believe the bouncer's story? I have no idea, but their actions say one of two things: 1) they didn't care if they got caught, or 2) they knew there would be no consequences anyway.
     
  8. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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  9. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    There is a lot wrong with the industry and don't expect it to get fixed anytime soon.

    The expectation that you can defend punches with wrist locks is unreasonable. And so bouncers become automatically inclined to break the rules.

    Which for the most part they get away with.
     
  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    You asked about the general rules or laws. You got general answers. Each state and each employer will have their own rules -- and sometimes, different rules on different work sites. If you want to opinions on a specific incident, share some details.

    Also -- you have to remember that people don't always follow the rules.
     
  11. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I did provide a specific incident. Look at the link I shared. Originally I thought they got in no trouble over it, but they did. Well, one bouncer did anyway. And I wasn't questioning the answers I got. I was just trying to make sense of what happened in that one scenario I mentioned.

    The link I found goes to an article on the sentencing of the bouncer involved. It doesn't say how that night escalated into the victim being beaten to death.
     
  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Heart attack.
     
  13. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Stemming from the beating.

    Would he have had a heart attack that night if not for the beating? No one will ever say, but I didn't start the thread to get in a semantic argument over that. The purpose of this particular thread is right there in the question in the subject line. That's all. And it was this guy's beating that made me wonder why those bouncers felt it was okay to do that. My guess: they just didn't give a damn. What I have read suggests that is the most likely answer.
     
  14. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Hardly semantic. And. Pretty big difference to being beaten to death.
     
  15. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    And...still not related to why I started the thread.
     
  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    OK. Any time you use force one someone you risk killing them. This is why street fighting at all is unadvisable. A good bouncer will bash someone if he is under a real threat. A bad one will do it for emotional reasons. Almost every single guy I have ever worked with has thrown punches at patrons. It is the reality of fighting.

    You could reduce this by increasing security numbers. Giving security more powers or protections. Better training or equipment to get the job done. But that requires effort or costs money so it is not going to happen.

    Nobody really cares what happens at clubs until someone gets in trouble.
     
  17. donnaTKD

    donnaTKD Master Black Belt

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    i did a door security course --- basically it's all about talking it down and only scrapping as a last resort. and all doorstaff -- they're not called bouncers --- are registered by law and have to take refresher courses every 3 years to make sure that their skills are up to date.

    escorting people off the premises in a quiet and "forceful" manner without the need for violence -- i train in muay thai and have found that the self defense techniques that i've been taught have been very useful but as for actual scrapping we're not allowed.

    if someone takes a swing at you then you can take a swing back BUT if you take it too far then you'll get put in a 10 x 8.

    the bit about taking it too far --- if you have to strike the person and he/she goes down then that's your que to back off - more than likely someone will have already called the cops to take over the scene from you.
     
  18. donnaTKD

    donnaTKD Master Black Belt

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    one other point all doorstaff apart from being registered are "owned" by private security companies and are hired out to the establishments for however long they're needed.

    the owners of the premises don't actually have their own doorstaff --- the security company picks the guys/girls that are going to whatever place and they choose for them and the security company picks the teams based on their own assessments of their staff.

    the owners of the company don't have any say in which staff they get although over time they do ask for certain staff back if they get on well with them :)
     
  19. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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  20. donnaTKD

    donnaTKD Master Black Belt

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    yup that's part of the course that i did - full background checks and then training takes 3 months cos you gotta know the parts of the law that apply to the job you're going to be doing.

    doorstaff are not security guards although their clothing may say security on it.

    security staff are trained to look after commercial / private premises whereas doorstaff are there to look after the premises and to ensure the safety of the people using that establishment.
     

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