Generally speaking, a security guard technically has the same legal powers as a regular citizen. However, the authority that is provided to a security guard can change based on authorized levels of power. There are three levels of power a security guard might have:

A private security guard only has citizen powers. Some security guards are provided with special powers determined by their local governing institutions. There are also security guards who are also police officers.

There are no specific laws regarding private security guards. However, security guards that are privately employed by a professional security company or as a direct employee by a business may be granted certain powers. In these cases, a private security guard can make a citizen’s arrest. In order for this type of arrest to be legal, the security guard must witness a felony taking place. If you are in a public setting and commit a crime, a security guard may “arrest” you in the sense that they can detain you and contact the police to make a real arrest. Restraints can be used to detain a suspect, but the restraint must be reasonable.