Nightlife Security Best Practices

Just last week, we observed the second anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub terrorist attack. As we move swiftly into the heart of nightclub, concert, festival and events galore for the summer, it is critical as security experts to consider what is needed to keep these nightlife venues safe.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles-based security operation with extensive experience in nightlife — clubs, lounges, bars — and event security. We hire and train bouncers, doormen and professional security officers to work specifically with these venues, ensuring the public safety of guests and the security of our clients.


What is nightlife?

Nightlife is a unique set of clients who are open to guests (usually) 21+ and who are likely to encounter alcohol consumption. Additionally, clients who operate in this category appeal to large groups and often handle at-capacity events. If your operation involves late-night operating hours, access control and alcohol consumption, you are a prime candidate for needed nightlife-trained security professionals.

Because of the elements involved with nightlife clients, AEGIS knows security is a necessity of operation. For lounges, clubs and bars, clients often expect bothy static and temporary security solutions that are flexible enough to adapt to changes in season, entertainment and clientele. As we move into the full swing of summer, nightlife operations are often enhanced, and so security needs should be increased.


How is nightlife security unique?

Doormen, bouncers, security guards — they all have the same basic duties for nightlife work. This particular staff functions as the client’s front-line customer service personnel in addition to serving the security needs of the client. For AEGIS security professionals, maintaining positive relationships and creating new ones with guests on behalf of the client is central to ensuring a strong working relationship between the security and customer service needs of each client.

Often, nightlife security have a certain je ne sais quoi that entails a strong, commanding appearance. When acting in the doorman capacity, the officer is the first encounter for guests. Their ability to determine legitimacy of IDs, adherence to dress code and other client policies, and welcome admitted guests must be well-developed. While they do need to be able to deny admittance of people (for various reasons), they need to be able to use their voice and tone in such a way that ensures all parties that the situation is calm and threats are mitigated.

Interior patrol officers must be trained to look for potential problems. Indicators for over-intoxication and assault need to be understood by nightlife security professionals. At AEGIS, we host frequent trainings with our staff to ensure they respond prevent and respond to potential issues so as to ensure the safety of the involved parties as well as uninvolved guests. The goal is to provide consistent security service while maintaining a high level of customer service and professionalism.


How should you prepare your facility?

  • Evaluate your perimeter security screening – ID checks, dress code checks, metal detecting, and pat down searches. Implement as many additional screening techniques as possible that your customer base will bare. We suggest at a minimum ID checks, dress code, and either metal detecting or a pat down search.
  • Consider your methods of ingress and egress – funneling through only a single entry and exit prohibits guests from getting in to your facility without being screened.
  • Consider your mass communication systems – do you have the ability to notify your team in the event of an emergency and keep them up to date with accurate information?
  • Do you have professional armed security officers or off duty police officers on-site ready to respond to a threat if necessary?

The Pulse Nightclub shooting reminds us to go a step further in our nightlife security considerations. Consider your active shooter plan – do you have one? Is it actionable and robust? How do you train your current team and handle training new team members as your team turns over? AEGIS provides lecture and full scale active shooter training exercises on-site. For details of this training, CLICK HERE.


Why choose AEGIS for your Los Angeles security needs?

We have worked with just about every sector of physical security, and we focus on developing our staff to meet the needs of every client. We recently had a special event in Hollywood where AEGIS was tasked with not only keeping the the nightclub safe and secure but also escorting VIPs, as well as the talent, to and from the event, protecting them from overly ambitious fans. If you have ever been to a Hollywood party, the crowds are outgoing, privileged, and always looking to test the limits. This event was no different.

Upon arrival we were notified that there was not only a second promoter, but a third and fourth, as well. The client was expecting a crowd of over one thousand rather than a few hundred.

AEGIS had staff handling access control, pat downs and guest list check-ins. Our officers were posted on the stage and throughout the venue. Still, there were not enough nightlife officers to effectively handle a crowd of that size.

The client asked us to bring in addition staff as a safety precaution, reducing the ratio of patrons to security from 125:1 to 75:1. Typically, we recommend a 50:1 ratio, but in a matter of an hour and a half, we had fulfilled the extra security guard request.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit


By Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner