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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Massachusetts Security Officer laws?

    Hello everyone, first post here . I currently live in Florida and I'm licensed to be an unarmed S/O, however I plan on moving to Massachusetts (where I'm originally from) soon and I have some questions regarding the laws there.

    First of all, where the hell are they? As far as I can tell, Security Guards/Officers don't exist in MA statues. Coming from Florida, where they are clearly defined within the laws, this comes as sort of a surprise.

    MA. is a 'duty to retreat' state, meaning that even if you're in a place that you have a legal right to be, you still must retreat before using force. The Citizen's Arrest law in MA also states that if the arrestee isn't convicted of the felony you arrest them for, you could be liable for damages. This makes me question what Security is like there.

    What sort of tools do they carry? OC Spray? Cuffs? ASPs? Flashlights?

    TASERs are are completely illegal in MA (aside from LE), so that's obviously off the table.

    What sort of use of force policies do the security companies employ there? I made an account just to ask these questions, because they are nigh impossible to find via Google.

    As of now, it seems as though Massachusetts ties its citizen's hands behind their backs.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2006
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    I googled - massachusetts security guard laws and found a ton of info, including the section of Mass. law that covers security guards and requirements.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Security guards and agencies are regulated through the State Police.

    Here is a link to the laws: http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/Ge...r147/Section22

    Keep clicking "Next" Section, and keep reading up to Section 30, I believe.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    Security guards and agencies are regulated through the State Police.

    Here is a link to the laws (Massachusetts general laws - Chapter 147, Sections 22 to 30): http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/Ge...r147/Section22

    Keep clicking "Next" Section (above the text of the law), and continue reading through Section 30.

    I could not find anything on the State Police website regarding security, but didn't have time to search thoroughly.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  5. #5
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    Aug 2005
    Location
    Rivet City, Capitol Wasteland
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDoD View Post
    Hello everyone, first post here . I currently live in Florida and I'm licensed to be an unarmed S/O, however I plan on moving to Massachusetts (where I'm originally from) soon and I have some questions regarding the laws there.

    First of all, where the hell are they? As far as I can tell, Security Guards/Officers don't exist in MA statues. Coming from Florida, where they are clearly defined within the laws, this comes as sort of a surprise.

    MA. is a 'duty to retreat' state, meaning that even if you're in a place that you have a legal right to be, you still must retreat before using force. The Citizen's Arrest law in MA also states that if the arrestee isn't convicted of the felony you arrest them for, you could be liable for damages. This makes me question what Security is like there.

    What sort of tools do they carry? OC Spray? Cuffs? ASPs? Flashlights?

    TASERs are are completely illegal in MA (aside from LE), so that's obviously off the table.

    What sort of use of force policies do the security companies employ there? I made an account just to ask these questions, because they are nigh impossible to find via Google.

    As of now, it seems as though Massachusetts ties its citizen's hands behind their backs.

    Thank you.
    You understand, as far as arrest powers, its actually "better" than Florida. Florida doesn't have codified arrest powers for private persons, and you have 100% liability if you make an arrest off common law.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    MA
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    1,603

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    I live and work in MA and have been with numerous companies in different roles(lp, hands on/off uniform). The only real laws about security here apply if you want to operate a company, if you work moat hospital/university gigs or anything else state/fed or if you want limited police power. Overall this state doesnt really regulate guards. If you want to do armed you need a licence to carry either class a or b. Boston companies have a role called spo which is special police officer, securoty with limited police power. Hospitals like boston medical center have spo and sspo(special state police officer) which is set up like a real police academy and they tend to work universities and colleges. If you just want to be a guard, unarmed no felony convictions and somewhat decent credit. speaking/understanding english isnt really a requirement anymore. Any more questions feel free to ask them here or pm me.


    As for use of force, the company I'm with now has a decent use of force policy which allows you to act in self defense of yourself or others if needed. Arrests are frowned upon by companies unless you had the training I mentioned above, detaining is another story. Some companies issue cuffs(along with path training) and oc only if you have a fid firearms I'd.
    Last edited by zm88; 08-14-2011 at 04:00 AM.
    Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Hey, let's be careful out there.."

    THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    It always makes me shudder to think about security people making arrests if they haven't been trained in the elements that constitute the various crimes. It's easy to think that you know what constitutes theft, for instance, but even a "simple" crime like that can be tricky (for instance, was there truly a "carrying away", with "intent to deprive", etc. - and can you prove it?) Every element has to be present, or you don't have the crime. I've seen more than one prosecution fail simply because one or more of the elements of a very simple crime couldn't be proven - OR because the arresting officer jumped the gun and interrupted the crime prematurely and in doing so blew his own case out of the water.

    Example: The thief was just putting the company's gear in his trunk at lunch, and you jumped him instead of waiting for him to shut the trunk, get in his car and at least start the engine. (You might have had to maintain surveillance on the vehicle until after the thief got off work to be sure he didn't take the stuff back inside.) So in court, he claims that he never intended to take the stuff - he has some other stupid explanation. Then, we say he got off on a "technicality", but that's not quite accurate. He got off because you made sure this crime was stillborn before it could take its first breath.

    Now, AS A SECURITY OFFICER, there's nothing wrong with interrupting this crime when you did, and perhaps that's exactly what you should have done - providing you don't intend to formally charge this person with a crime. You can still make the case internally that this employee was stealing company property - and he can even be dismissed for theft. Why? Because the level of proof required for an employment action does NOT rise to the level of proof required for a criminal conviction. The "elements of a crime" are just that - elements of a crime, not the elements required to demonstrate employee misconduct. Each individual company is relatively at liberty to decide what proof is required to show various types of misconduct (theft, harassment, malingering, etc).

    For instance, merely showing that a janitor had hidden company property in his janitorial closet might be considered sufficient evidence of theft for a company to dismiss the janitor - but you'd never convict him of the crime of theft if that was all you could prove in court. You would need to let the crime "ripen" until the janitor had performed all of the elements of the crime by carrying the property away, etc.

    In any case, my point here is that even the crimes that we think are very simple can be not quite so simple. Anyone who is expected to make arrests in the course of their duties must be trained in exactly what elements constitute the crime(s), and what those elements mean in practical terms of what has to be proven to make the charge stick. If not, you're leaving yourself wide open to various kinds of liability.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 08-14-2011 at 09:50 AM.
    A man who will not lie to his wife has no regard for her feelings. - Anon.

    My school was so tough we had our own coroner. - Lenny Bruce

    In my neighborhood, you could walk 10 blocks in any direction and never leave the scene of a crime. - Charlie Callas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montreal borough of Verdun, Quebec, Canada
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    5,980

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    For the most part do the people who hire us want us to make arrests? Or do they just want there to be no crime in/to their property?
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    MA
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    Sec trainer, you dont have power of arrest here unless you go thru one of the two programs i mentioned above. And Neil, it varies by company and client. Some want you to use that power some dont, but again the only ones making arrests are the guys certified.
    Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Hey, let's be careful out there.."

    THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS WEBSITE/BLOG ARE MINE ALONE AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF MY EMPLOYER.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by zm88 View Post
    Sec trainer, you dont have power of arrest here unless you go thru one of the two programs i mentioned above. And Neil, it varies by company and client. Some want you to use that power some dont, but again the only ones making arrests are the guys certified.
    Now, as your State does have Citizens Arrest laws, it would seem that a security professional who is not certified to make arrests, would still be "allowed" to in some circumstances. Am I correct?

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