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How to Become a Mall Cop

All shopping malls have some forms of security, including extensive burglar alarm and video surveillance systems, and most hire live security guards to patrol the premises. Mall security guards can come from many different backgrounds, from plainclothes, off-duty police officers to retirees or recent high school grads working for a security service as uniformed guards for the mall. Some malls hire their own private security guards, but most contract with large security service firms to provide security personnel.

Inquire about the security guard personnel structure at the malls you are interested in working for. If they hire their own security guards as employees of the mall, then you will apply for a security guard position directly through the human resources department at the mall. If they have a contract with a private security firm, get the name of the firm so you can apply there.

Fill out an application for a mall security guard position at the appropriate human resources department. Provide all required identification and other documentation.

Complete all application procedures. Almost all states require that security guards pass a criminal history check and a credit history check to be licensed, and some have additional requirements, including drug and polygraph tests. Most mall security guards are unarmed, and becoming an armed security guard requires additional training and licensing.


Any kind of military or law enforcement experience is generally a big plus when looking for work as a security guard, so make sure to highlight all relevant experience in your application.


Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.