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  1. #1

    Default Light colors on security vehicle?

    I know this issue has been brought up before, but I need to get a straight answer. I am a security officer at a large private college in Mississippi (approximately 200+ acres, 3500+ students). We do issue parking tickets, and occassional traffic violations for running stop signs, wreckless driving, etc. At the current time, we do not have any emergency lights on our vehicles. When I stop someone I basically have to flash high beams and honk horn. If the driver is uncooperative or I think there is need for further investigation, I will ask dispatch to call PD to have an officer arrive and assist or take over. Our director is now wanting to put lights on the vehicles. He wants to put red and green lights on the vehicles and wig wags, but others have told me security can only have green, amber, or white. We have an excellent relationship with the local PD, and they even have a detail that patrols our campus at night in addition to our units. A few PD officers have told me that we can put anything but blue on our cars since we are on private property, and the students agree to abide by our rules when they buy a student decal. My boss wants me to find out the legalities, but I can not find anything regarding the issue in MS state statutes. Can anyone be of assistance? It would be greatly appreciated!

    I also wanted to add the color codes for emergency vehicles in Mississippi: blue/blue is law enforcement(some agencies use blue/red; some also have blue/amber). Red/red, red/white, and similar are usually fire and ems. Security is typically amber, green or white. After looking at others posts about their state's strict color codes, it seems that we are very lax here is MS!
    Last edited by Brent311; 01-01-2008 at 08:25 PM. Reason: further information

  2. #2

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    Schedule a meeting with your PD's traffic division commander. They explain the laws pertaining to lights and any authority you have to effect traffic stops.

    In my state, security uses yellow. Volunteer EMS use green, vol FD’s use blue, LE uses red and blue. Only an LEO can conduct traffic stops on (private or municipal property).
    Last edited by Tennsix; 01-01-2008 at 07:39 PM.
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  3. #3

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    In Ohio, being on private property, you can run whatever colors you want. Once you cross into a public roadway, then you are in trouble. The preferred colors of security here are green, clear, amber or a combination of them. Or you can get an LED lightbar that is all clear when off. I agree though, your vehicles should be equipped with lights and sirens for an emergency response on your property.

  4. #4

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    I used to live on the IN/OH line. Ohio volunteer FF/EMS run red lights and siren. Occasionally, a loose cannon would kick on his red lights and siren to stop cars or joy ride on the Indiana side.
    I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
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  5. #5

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    Mississippi does not regulate private security at the state level.

    Mississippi Code and Regulations via LexisNexis...
    § 63-7-17. Use of spot lamps, auxiliary driving lamps, and signal lamps.
    (1) Spot lamps. Any motor vehicle or motorcycle may be equipped with not to exceed one (1) spot lamp. Every lighted spot lamp shall be so aimed and used upon approaching another vehicle that no part of the beam will be directed into the eyes of the approaching driver. Spot lamps may not emit other than either a white or amber light.

    § 63-7-19. Lights on police and emergency vehicles; lights on rural mail carrier vehicles.

    (1) Except as otherwise provided for unmarked vehicles under Section 19-25-15 and Section 25-1-87, every police vehicle shall be marked with blue lights. Every ambulance and special use EMS vehicle as defined in Section 41-59-3 shall be marked with red lights front and back and also may be marked with white and amber lights in addition to red lights. Every emergency management/civil defense vehicle, including emergency response vehicles of the Department of Environmental Quality, shall be marked with blinking, rotating or oscillating red lights. Official vehicles of a 911 Emergency Communications District may be marked with red and white lights. Every wrecker or other vehicle used for emergency work, except vehicles authorized to use blue or red lights, shall be marked with blinking, oscillating or rotating amber colored lights to warn other vehicles to yield the right-of-way, as provided in Section 63-3-809. Only police vehicles used for emergency work may be marked with blinking, oscillating or rotating blue lights to warn other vehicles to yield the right-of-way. Only law enforcement vehicles, fire vehicles, private or department-owned vehicles used by firemen of volunteer fire departments which receive funds pursuant to Section 83-1-39 when responding to calls, emergency management/civil defense vehicles, emergency response vehicles of the Department of Environmental Quality, ambulances used for emergency work, and 911 Emergency Communications District vehicles may be marked with blinking, oscillating or rotating red lights to warn other vehicles to yield the right-of-way. This section shall not apply to school buses carrying lighting devices in accordance with Section 63-7-23.

    (2) Any vehicle referred to in subsection (1) of this section also shall be authorized to use alternating flashing headlights when responding to any emergency.

    (3) Any vehicle operated by a United States rural mail carrier for the purpose of delivering United States mail may be marked with two (2) amber colored lights on front top of the vehicle and two (2) red colored lights on rear top of the vehicle and alternatively or additionally may be marked with a white, flashing strobe light on the roof of the vehicle so as to warn approaching travelers to decrease their speed because of danger of colliding with the mail carrier as he stops and starts along the edge of the road, street or highway.

    § 63-7-20. Use of blue and red lights and alternating flashing headlights.
    (2) It is unlawful for any person to use or display red lights on a motor vehicle except as provided for in Section 63-7-19. It is not unlawful for the red lights authorized for private or department-owned vehicles used by firemen of volunteer fire departments, as provided in Section 63-7-19, to remain mounted on such vehicles when the lights are not in use.

    (3) It is unlawful for any vehicle to use alternating flashing headlights except an emergency vehicle as provided in Section 63-7-19.

    (4) A person violating this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).

    ... in other words, have fun with amber, white, and green. If your vehicles ever enter Tennessee, white to the front is prohibited by statute.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

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    New post since the last one was mostly citation.

    People, when you are looking for "what colors can I use in private security," do not look at the state security statute first. Look at the state's traffic code, specifically something called "flashing lights," "emergency vehicle lights," or other such wording. Everyone just borrows, with little exceptions, from model laws.

    Some states regulate the lights security, as a licensee, may have. Others don't care. Usually when security, as licensees, are regulated, its because someone got a law passed to prevent security from doing something.
    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

  7. #7

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    Thanks, N.A. Corbier for such a detailed response. You definitely went above and beyond. I will print out this thread and take it to our director for him to look over. He can then use those codes you cited if he wants to refer to them. Would our vehicles technically be considered a type of emergency vehicle, since it lumps tow trucks into the same category? In asking, I was wondering about this part concerning wig wags.

    (3) It is unlawful for any vehicle to use alternating flashing headlights except an emergency vehicle as provided in Section 63-7-19.

    Thanks again for the great response!
    Brent

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    It’s still a good idea to talk with the local authorities. A local court’s interpretation, of a given statute, may differ slightly from what you read in a book. The court’s interpretation, if it varies, could very well be in your favor. You should get their input before investing in costly equipment you might not be authorized to use.
    I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
    -Lieutenant Commander Data

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent311 View Post
    I also wanted to add the color codes for emergency vehicles in Mississippi: blue/blue is law enforcement(some agencies use blue/red; some also have blue/amber). Red/red, red/white, and similar are usually fire and ems. Security is typically amber, green or white. After looking at others posts about their state's strict color codes, it seems that we are very lax here is MS!
    This is also the same as Louisiana. Genereally the rule is anything but blue and you won't have any problems. We use a red minibar on teh roof of the EMT partol van at my site.
    Truthfully, even the ban on blue lights is not a big deal in some places if the vehicle never leaves private property. At a chemical plant where I was posted we patroled in a Ford station wagon which had no license plate or inspection stickers. It never left the gates of the plant. I had a blue dash light flashing everynight I went on patrol and the local cops never had a problem. When every forklift and pickup in a plant has a flashing light on top the use of the blue or red made our patrol vehicles stand out better.
    Hospital Security Officer

  10. #10
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    As others have said, you'll want to speak to the traffic guys in the local PD to get a clarified answer. But a big question here for you is whether or not your vehicles ever leave private property. I can't speak for Mississippi, but in most states the traffic code doesn't apply on private land. So technically you could run whatever color you want if the vehicle never leaves. (Yes, even for fueling up) If you have to drive up the street to get gas, or leave your property for any reason, you're probably gonna want to make sure your lights are of the legal colors only. But again, this depends on whether or not traffic code applies on private property, and you'll want to get that clarified by someone local to you who is "in the know."
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    BANG, next thing you know Bob's your Uncle and this Sgt is seemingly out on his a$$.
    Shoulda called in sick.
    Be safe!

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