I hear often from professionals who enjoy a Star story about the work they do, but find fault with how journalists misuse terms, especially when it comes to titles.
Reader Eric Prince recently e-mailed me about Star reporter Monica Watrous' story about her visit to the Kansas City Federal Reserve, which is portrayed in the movie "Mad Money." Price thought it was "a good article about a movie that will probably be best rented" (that's funny), but he hitched at the question "How many security guards work here?"
"...we are not security guards," he wrote, but "we are armed and commissioned Federal Law Enforcement Officers with the power of arrest for Federal Offenses. Our authority is derived from the US PATRIOT Act and signified on our badges with the text 'Federal Reserve Law Enforcement' and on our uniform patches that read 'Federal Reserve Police'. I was a municipal Police Officer in the St. Louis Missouri area for eight years prior to working for the Fed so I can assure you the training we receive is of the same or better quality and just as in-depth as that of any street Police Officer."
I've heard similar clarifications from others who work in various public-security capacities. The term "security guard" is usually meant as a general description, much like "baseball player" or "journalist" -- even though shortstops and copy editors might prefer a more specific title. But there's an added layer any time a more vague choice implies a lack of training or professionalism.