A Note About Event SecurityHigh School Event Security

This is a big issue for parents who want to ensure their students are safe throughout the event. In that regard, there has been a question among some as to which is better to use: Police Officers or Licensed Security Personnel.

Based on years of research and experience, West Coast Entertainment believes that Licensed Security Personnel may be the best choice. Here’s why…

Are Police Officers allowed to perform pat-downs on students as they enter a facility? If not, when are they allowed to perform this procedure if at all?

Police Officers are NOT allowed to perform pat-downs unless they have reasonable suspicion of a crime, such as if they notice a weapon, suspect drugs, etc.

Licensed Security Personnel are required by West Coast Entertainment (WCE) to perform pat-downs as each student enters a facility – virtually eliminating the possibility of any illegal substances or items not allowed (such as weapons, drugs, alcohol or cell phones) from entering the venue. WCE provides male and female security personnel at each event to perform the pat-downs in a respectful manner.

In what type of “situation” is a Police Officer allowed to intervene with action? (i.e. when a student is dancing on a table; appearing to be intoxicated; mouthing off to a chaperone, etc.) And, what happens in such instances when a police officer finds it necessary to take action?

A Police Officer may take action only when a crime is being committed (such as if a student were threatening or assaulting someone, defacing or damaging property, or is proven to be intoxicated). In those cases, the Police officer may arrest the student, but most of the time they will release the student to the parent’s custody at the precinct. The arrested students seldom go to jail.

Licensed Security Personnel are present to PREVENT a situation from elevating to the level of damage or injury. If an incident should escalate, a Licensed Security Officer would hold the student in a separate area (just as a Police Officer would) and may release the student directly to a parent’s custody. If arrest is necessary, Security Personnel may call for a Police Officer to take the student to the precinct – However, in WCE’s 30-year history the need for Police Officer back-up has never occurred.

What is the usual ratio of Police Officers to students at a typical school event?

The Police Guild uses a ratio of 1 Police Officer for every 100 students.

The ratio of Licensed Security personnel to students at an event is at the discretion of WCE. The WCE policy is to have a minimum of two Licensed Security Personnel at each event (one male officer and one female), with a security ratio of one Security Officer per 50 students. So, if you had an event with 200 students, there would be at least 4 Licensed Security Officers there.

As a standard, WCE will include Licensed Security personnel for your event. If you want, WCE will gladly add Police Officers to compliment your Security Personnel for a nominal fee.

For more information, please call WCE at 206.938.0569, or e-mail WCE at: info@wcent.com