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The Evolution of Nightclub Security: What Has Changed?

When I began my career in nightclub security nearly a decade ago, the job was very different then it is today. The job was simple enough anyone could do it. Check ID's for proper age. Break up fights. Don't get arrested. That was as simple as it could get. Nowadays, the job has evolved, for the better, due to the ever changing world we live in.

Q: What do you consider a skilled bouncer, host, guard, security staffer, etc?

Is it someone trained in: customer service, identifying fake/borrowed ID's, deescalation techniques, verbal/mental Judo, situational awareness, ability to communicate effectively AND efficiently, limiting liabilities to the bar, proactively recognizing and preventing fights before they occur?

That's what today's bouncers should excel at. We can no longer drag a customer outside, teach them street justice, clean up the mess, and go on with our shift like nothing happened. Somebody is always watching, and you can bet they're taking a video and posting about what they witnessed on social media.

Everyone is looking for that payday. Any chance someone has to sue you or the company you represent, they will take that opportunity. Liability prevention is a major focus for security staffers, and business owners. If it's not, it should be. Staffers must seek out private training to become better at the job. Not only will training show you're proficient at the trade, its a necessity if you want to protect your actions in a court room. Whether you pay for it, or your employer, I highly recommend seeking out different training courses that focus on the skills of the position.

Q: What skills transition into the 'real world'?

All of them. No matter what career you seek full time, the skills you learn in nightclub security will stay with you for the rest of your life. Make an invest in your future.

Society has changed a lot since I started working security in nightclubs. Not only has the dangers of weapons being involved increased, so have the club narcotics being used. Bouncers are being shot, and stabbed all over the country every week. Some have lost their lives in the process. For what? Refusing entry to a guest for a fake ID, or a customer not being in proper dress code? It's a risk we take every night we stand at the door, or roam the floor.

We are responsible for the safety of every guest, and coworker nightly. Be aware of the risks that come with the job. "The threat is always evolving, therefore we must adapt."

Zachary L. Rugen, Owner and Instructor, Nightclub Security Services

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