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View Full Version : Which states give the most power to security officers?



caguard
02-05-2010, 07:30 PM
Just wondering which states give the most power to security officers? I know some states give special powers of arrest in some states for certain places (hosp, gov places, etc) which states do these and what are the requirements? Also is there any states that give security officers arrest authority above the average citizen?



Thanks!

Lawson
02-05-2010, 07:58 PM
Im going to go with the state w/ my favorite security laws, Virginia. I wish we could be more like them.

In VA, armed guards have arrest authority beyond that of a regular citizen, and if that's not enough for you, you can get "Special Conservator of the Peace" status which is essentially a private police force.

In VA the state has essentially given the people and merchants the ability to choose the level of protection that they want, all the way from unarmed O&R only guard to a full private police officer.

Execpro_Sequal
02-05-2010, 08:01 PM
I've heard South Carolina gives SO's alot of authority, but I'm not sure if that granted authority is really exercised.

Lawson
02-05-2010, 08:06 PM
I've heard South Carolina gives SO's alot of authority, but I'm not sure if that granted authority is really exercised.

IIRC, SC grants S/Os the powers of a deputy sheriff, but the client can restrict and regulate what you can and cannot do (obviously).

I imagine that "legally" you can exercise any authority the law grants you, but it can cost you your job.

HotelSecurity
02-05-2010, 09:20 PM
Canada unlike the US has a country-wide criminal code. Under it the owner of property or his agent can arrest anyone they find committing any crimina1 offense on or in re1ation to the property. A regu1ar citizen can on1y arrest for Indictab1e Offenses (fe1onies) that they witness. So here Security officers have more powers than a regu1ar citizebn.

caguard
02-05-2010, 09:22 PM
IIRC, SC grants S/Os the powers of a deputy sheriff, but the client can restrict and regulate what you can and cannot do (obviously).

I imagine that "legally" you can exercise any authority the law grants you, but it can cost you your job.

:eek: Wow! Look at this link Letter from SC State attorney general (http://www.scattorneygeneral.org/opinions/pdf/2009/knotts%20j%20m%20jr%20os-8845%208-10-09%20arrest%20powers%20of%20security%20guards.PDF)

FireEMSPolice
02-06-2010, 01:25 AM
Ohio can give a crap less.

Im loving the letter from the SC AG's office.

Reverend Red
02-08-2010, 10:20 AM
I do security audits around the country and I really like the authority California gives its private persons.

Basically you have full arrest authority in California as a private person, which of course includes security officers. You can arrest for any misdemeanor commuted, or attempted, in your presence and for any felony. You can even request assistance, break into a house to effect an arrest, and use limited force.

Of course CA LEO's have much, much, more protection than private persons.

caguard
02-08-2010, 09:35 PM
I do security audits around the country and I really like the authority California gives its private persons.

Basically you have full arrest authority in California as a private person, which of course includes security officers. You can arrest for any misdemeanor commuted, or attempted, in your presence and for any felony. You can even request assistance, break into a house to effect an arrest, and use limited force.

Of course CA LEO's have much, much, more protection than private persons.

Personally I work in California, and even though California does give arrest authority to private persons I find that the majority of the law enforcement community really dosen't care. We have excellent reputation as a security company within our region however most officers really don't care because if they can brush it off they will, of course they catch them. What I hate about California is we do not have powers of detainment, which as you know if you go to keep someone against their will and they set them free then it exposes you to alot of liability including criminal charges of false imprisonment. One example I can give you is I hooked a 647F subject on a city account because the person was a danger to them self, was walking into traffic being a total adam henry. Pd got there and put him in a cab. Second a person was 647F in a vehicle vomited on themselves, had let themselves into someone else's vehicle and passed out. I didn't even wake the subject but called for medical to respond as well. Turned out this person was barely conscious but of course they put her into a taxi.

GRRRRRR!!!!!

Jedi
02-09-2010, 05:29 PM
What I hate about California is we do not have powers of detainment, which as you know if you go to keep someone against their will and they set them free then it exposes you to alot of liability including criminal charges of false imprisonment.

I must agree that the lack of a detention ability is a major hindrance in California. Creative language only goes so far when you are trying to "encourage" a suspect to remain at the scene while an investigation is performed. This problem is exasperated by the high call volume of metropolitan LEO and, as a result, extended delays in LEO response.

As an example, security is called to a disturbance. On arrival, they are informed that a battery (misdemeanor) has occurred and that the suspect just left the area. If there are other responding security, they can not detain the suspect, even long enough for the victim to travel to the area of the suspect and make a private person's arrest.

jtwestern
02-10-2010, 10:17 AM
Jedi,

That's why SO's in CA are Observe and Report. Be a great witness, we appreciate that. There are reasons we don't want SO's doing detentions. Way too many detained for minor level things, lengthy detentions turn into an arrest and then out hands are tied by the SO's (good faith) actions, etc.

While this may frustrate some, it saves on the liability issues down the road.

N. A. Corbier
02-12-2010, 03:05 PM
I just have one question.

How does committing a terry stop or detention protect the life and property of the client you are guarding? You're not there to enforce laws, they're there for force and property protection.

You arrest someone because they're doing something that places the safety of the client or its invitees in jeapordy, or it causes harm to the property, or it causes tortious interference.

If someone is a threat to the property and hasn't committed a criminal act that's arrestable, then remove them as a trespasser. If they're on public property, they're not your problem, they're the police's problem.

This is why states like North Carolina (Who have company police, who are not security) and South Carolina restrict police powers of security personnel to the property only. They are there to protect the safety of those on the property they are guarding. They complete that mission by enforcing laws of the state of South Carolina on the property.

Det. John Shaft
02-14-2010, 04:33 AM
IIRC, SC grants S/Os the powers of a deputy sheriff, but the client can restrict and regulate what you can and cannot do (obviously).

Yes, the client can tell the company they don't want the police authority, and they are only interested in O&R. At the same time, the client can also request (in writing) to SLED that the vehicles be outfitted with reb and blue warning equipment.


I imagine that "legally" you can exercise any authority the law grants you, but it can cost you your job.

Yes you sure can, and yes you will be in the unemployment line. From what I understand companies have a zero tolerance. You use your powers, and you're done. However, security officers working in Myrtle Beach are mostly allowed to use their powers, because of dealing with the drunks.

caguard
02-14-2010, 04:51 PM
Yes, the client can tell the company they don't want the police authority, and they are only interested in O&R. At the same time, the client can also request (in writing) to SLED that the vehicles be outfitted with reb and blue warning equipment.



Yes you sure can, and yes you will be in the unemployment line. From what I understand companies have a zero tolerance. You use your powers, and you're done. However, security officers working in Myrtle Beach are mostly allowed to use their powers, because of dealing with the drunks.

Is there any training difference in training in SC?

Det. John Shaft
02-15-2010, 06:32 PM
Is there any training difference in training in SC?

It's pretty minimum from what I remember, and that's only one arrest procedures. I'll see if I can dig up my old notes from when I researched it in the past.

Maryland also authorizes full police powers, but the catch is your employer must send you to a police academy for 6 months. :eek:

psycosteve
02-15-2010, 06:44 PM
Maryland also authorizes full police powers, but the catch is your employer must send you to a police academy for 6 months. :eek:

With most of the companies I have worked for that would never happen even with you footing the bill . Most Maryland SPO's usually go through a DC academy then transfer their licenses over to Maryland is the best way to get your arrest powers here in the free state .

Det. John Shaft
02-15-2010, 09:19 PM
With most of the companies I have worked for that would never happen even with you footing the bill . Most Maryland SPO's usually go through a DC academy then transfer their licenses over to Maryland is the best way to get your arrest powers here in the free state .

There is no such thing as transferring your SPO commission, unless it's with Baltimore City who regulates SPO's for the city. You would have to apply, and be sponsored by a Maryland security company, or private business. You don't need to attend an academy for a basic SPO commission.

I could be misunderstanding what you're saying, but as far as I know it's not possible. Plus, the DC SPO academy is totally different than actual police academy.

psycosteve
02-16-2010, 01:59 AM
There is no such thing as transferring your SPO commission, unless it's with Baltimore City who regulates SPO's for the city. You would have to apply, and be sponsored by a Maryland security company, or private business. You don't need to attend an academy for a basic SPO commission.

I could be misunderstanding what you're saying, but as far as I know it's not possible. Plus, the DC SPO academy is totally different than actual police academy.

I could be mistaken as well as the Internet does not always have the most accurate information or maybe I just misunderstood what I read but that was just what I turned up in my research. To my limited knowledge most police departments either have their own academy or they train at Sykesville with the MSP and I have yet to find one that does training with security .

Det. John Shaft
02-16-2010, 02:58 AM
I could be mistaken as well as the Internet does not always have the most accurate information or maybe I just misunderstood what I read but that was just what I turned up in my research. To my limited knowledge most police departments either have their own academy or they train at Sykesville with the MSP and I have yet to find one that does training with security .

If you're referring to the Maryland SPO commission law, yes it is very confusing. The way that it is written, it would seem almost as if you're required to go through the academy. There are actually two levels of SPO's. The first which I call basic SPO, which is you only have the authority to arrest on your property. Full SPO's have gone through an actual police academy and are granted 100% police powers, however only on said property, but you can run traffic to any road that borders your property.

As for police academies, most do have their own academy, but the smaller departments (city, town, etc) will send their recruits to various academies. You will be on the same campus with the MSP recruits, but you won't be training "with" them. Plus, I am sure recruits from other agencies are glad they aren't with the MSP recruits, as they don't walk anywhere. They aren't playing when they say you will run, and when you graduate you will be in the best shape of your life.

PG Municipal's academy had a two week training class for the security officer. I'm not too familiar with it, but I am sure no one will be going to that academy anytime soon with the recent events that has happen there. If you're looking for training, believe it or not some academies have certain training that is open to the security professional. Not often, but every so often they will. I took a class with t altimore County Police on Critical Incident Stress and Peer Support. There were both police officers and security professionals in attendence, and I sometimes get emails offering various training topics.

caguard
02-21-2010, 12:03 PM
This has become a vary interesting thread. Which companies actually use SPO's or in South Carolina actually allow you to use your powers of arrest?

Sierra 1
02-21-2010, 08:50 PM
CAGuard,

All security licensed officers in South Carolina are granted the authority and arrest power of a deputy sheriff (while performing duties on the property). Chapter 73 addresses this even further by requiring security personnel to immediately secure the scene of a crime on (the) protected property and report the crime to LE as soon as reasonably possible.

I have not heard of any company in my area (Columbia) restricting this authority.