In Many States, Security Guards Get Scant Training, Oversight

Source: Jenni Bergal, Stateline, November 10, 2015

….About 90 bills were introduced in state legislatures this year dealing with the licensing and training of security officers or requirements for security companies, according to Steve Amitay, director of the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO), an industry group. In recent years, similar numbers of measures have been proposed. None of this year’s bills that would have substantially toughened state requirements was enacted, Amitay said….

….In Connecticut, a bill that would have required security guards to get more training died in the Senate. In Washington state, a measure that would have mandated FBI criminal background checks for all applicants never made it to the House floor.

In California, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have made bouncers and plainclothes guards subject to the same licensing requirements that apply to private security officers.

Forty-one states, plus the District of Columbia, license security officers, but requirements vary greatly from state to state. Alaska, for example, mandates 48 hours of training initially, plus another eight hours in firearms training for armed guards. South Carolina requires four hours of training and an additional four for those who carry a gun.

While nine states—Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming—do not license security officers at the state level, some cities within them do, according to NASCO. Mississippi does require that guards get a separate permit to carry a gun. And 22 states have no training requirements for unarmed security guards; 15 of those have none for armed guards, either…..