Thinking About Security

I saw an armored truck near the building where I work this morning, and I was reminded of an encounter I had with two security guards at Millennium station.

This was maybe a month or so ago. I was walking out of the station, and fell behind two armed, security guards. One of them was holding a bag of money, and the other was at his side. They were walking out to what I assumed was a waiting armored truck, transporting money from one place to another (probably a bank).

Immediately behind them, I noticed both of them were armed, a gun holstered on their belts. And then I noticed that all they had was the firearm. No handcuffs.

After a few steps, it dawned on me – well of course they don’t have handcuffs. These aren’t cops, they’re guarding money. And so they care very little about arresting someone. They’re more concerned with keeping the money (and themselves) safe, and I guess that means shooting the other guy.

As someone who’s a front end dev, it got me thinking a lot about tooling. And how some assumptions about the tools needed for a job may not always be correct, depending on context. It was an interesting revelation, walking there behind these two guys with guns.

So back to today – walking to work, there’s an armored car waiting outside the building. As I neared it, I wondered: is it unlucky to stand near an armored truck? Do my chances of being shot or injured increase, the closer I get to it?

I then wondered – well, is it risky or unlucky to go into a bank? There’s a chance someone would rob it too. And I guess the answer to both is: yes, but just a tiny, little yes.

I’m no statistician, but I feel like the presence of an armored car increases the possibility (however slightly) of there being a robbery, or gunplay. Perhaps it’s a negligible amount.

As I was wondering all this, I looked up and saw a security guard walking out of the building towards the truck. I didn’t see if he carried anything (or if he had handcuffs) because I was distracted. Distracted by the fact that he was wearing a short-sleeve shirt and had tattoos running up and down both arms.

And that got me wondering: do tattoos on a security guard increase or decrease the perception of security/safety? The guy looked like he should have been in a band, instead of guarding money. But at the same time, with all those tattoos, he did look pretty tough.

At the end of the day, I think it’s pretty clear – I’d make a terrible security guard. My mind wanders and bops around enough, I’d be prone to distraction. And probably a security risk, no matter how many handcuffs or tattoos I had on me.

[CC photo via Michelle Ress]

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