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Message gets across with armed guard

Had lunch recently with a good friend, a plain-clothes detective for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

We sat side by side at the counter, shooting the breeze and enjoying our cheeseburgers, so it wasn’t until it was time to go I noticed it.

The holstered weapon on his right hip.

It wasn’t a surprise. I’ve known the man for years.

Seeing the weapon was reassuring.

A deterrent to others, too.

What brings it to mind was the recent switch in private security agencies by some subdivisions in Lakewood Ranch.

The previous one, Wackenhut, had armed guards.

The present one, Allegiance Security Group, does not.

The change represented a substantial savings for the subdivisions — Greenbrook and Summerfield/Riverwalk.

It also means a distinct shift in philosophy by subdivision supervisors overseeing security.

No more guns.

A safety issue, they said.

Potential lawsuits.

Guards aren’t allowed to use guns anyway, they said.

Be that as it may, I believe properly trained security guards don’t have to use their weapons to be effective.

You see an armed guard on duty, it’s preventative.

If the man in the armored truck arrives at a business to pick up cash and I happen to be there, I give that man and his holstered weapon space.

I just keep on moving.

Same thing with a private community.

Especially a high-priced subdivision in Lakewood Ranch.

It’s implicit you respect it as a visitor.

Even more so if there’s an armed guard.

His job is protection of property.

Take away the weapon and what have you got?

As one resident, unhappy with his subdivision’s change in security agencies, said in Tuesday’s Herald, “We just have a body in a car.”

Observe and report.

That’s what they’re there for.

Let MSO do its job.

Fine.

Yet what’s the point of having a security agency?

Project security.

A weapon worn by a trained professional gets the message across.

Mannix About Manatee, by columnist Vin Mannix, is about people and issues in Manatee Count. Please call Vin Mannix at 745-7055, write him at Bradenton Herald, P.O. Box 921, Bradenton, FL 34206 or e-mail him at vmannix@bradenton.com. Please include a phone number for verification purposes.

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