Nightlife Security & Nightlife Staff Training – What’s Required & What Makes Sense?

As we remember the Pulse Nightclub shooting that took place on June 12, 2016, we remember the importance of training security officers to respond to extreme attacks. Currently, the security guard who was on site at Pulse is part of a federal lawsuit filed by victims and families. The suit claims the officer remained outside during the shooting, doing nothing to prevent the offender, “to ensure his own safety.”

AEGIS Security & Investigations understands both sides of the issue in the Pulse Nightclub lawsuit. While active shooter trainings, including our own, fixate on the run, hide, fight model, it is the role of security professionals to ensure the safety of the venue. Having experience in Los Angeles nightlife, AEGIS has found that the security officer hiring practices must be followed by intensive training from the company and for the client.

Staffing your nightlife venue is the most important element of ensuring your patrons are satisfied at the end of the night. In terms of security officers, you want to ensure you are hiring the right people for the job.

Security officers, whether they’re doormen, bouncers or rovers, need to be trained for your situation. While they should be customer-service oriented, they should be trained in various topics. At AEGIS, we know that it is critical to our clients that they feel their assets are protected. We also know that the best way to ensure our guards’ safety is to have them be trained and alert for any possible situation. These are a few of our nightlife-specific training topics:

  • Radio communication: Knowing the codes for the venue is a must. Officers need to be able to communicate clearly and quickly about incidents to which they are responding. Having radios ensures your officers, who will be stationed throughout the site, can move themselves and patrons to secure sites or out of the venue if needed, such as in an active shooter situation.
  • Verbal deescalation: “Verbal Judo” is a consistently taught subject in the physical security world, and it is a primary tool guards should have to prevent fights or threats from worsening. The ability of an officer to talk someone down is the mark of a professional.
  • Active shooter training: Officers need to know their expected role from both the company and the client. At AEGIS, our officers are empowered to make decisions that give them and those around them a fighting chance of survival. This includes the concept known as run, hide, fight, but goes further suggest that the police should be called as soon as it’s safe to do so. Once out of the venue, security should work with responding officers assist in managing the response from a safe location. For more on our active shooter training program, click here.

Another important area of training is certification. Security officers in California are required to have their guard card. Working with officers or companies that do not hold or enforce the requirement should not be used, especially for nightlife venues. Because the training security guards are required to go through covers an array of topics including basic security law and observing and reporting suspicious activity and incidents, it is critical that you have bouncers who are knowledgeable and law compliant.

Additionally, your customer service team should also be Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) compliant. The Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training Program is the California liquor industry’s standard in essential information servers and bartenders must know in order to avoid criminal, civil and administrative actions within the scope of their employment.

As a boutique security operation, we provide top-notch service at affordable prices. Because we value both our guards and our clients, we aim to meet in the middle on pricing while ensuring that all parties are satisfied and cared for well. In all, you will want to go with a professional security team that provides you with the best service to meet your needs.

ABC has been known to look favorably on establishments and servers who utilize best practices received through RBS training. In order for licensees to be eligible to receive mitigated penalties, they must provide proof of successful completion of a certified RBS training program by the involved server/seller at the time of Notification of Violation interview. Such training must have been successfully completed prior to the date of violation(s). Otherwise, liquor licenses can be suspended for as little at 5 days for first time violations and as much as revoked for habitual offenders. RBS Training covers material designed to avoid unnecessary exposure to liability.

Becoming a responsible beverage server doesn’t only help avoid the establishment being subjected to suspensions, but it also helps servers avoid crimes related to liquor service as well as civil litigation. These misdemeanors include underage liquor service and service to someone who is overly intoxicated, among other crimes. The civil litigation avoided by an effective RBS training program includes lawsuits by patrons, local law enforcement, and from other employees/staff as well as the venue.

Get your ABC RBS Training today!

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 and Jeff Zisner