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MN security faces more restrictions under 'impersonation' bill in state House

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  • MN security faces more restrictions under 'impersonation' bill in state House

    Legitimate Minnesota Protective Agent businesses could get the squeeze under Minnesota bill HF 839.

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bil...9&ssn=0&y=2017

    Many of the provisions add stricter penalties for wannabes caught in the act of impersonating LE or military. But there's also a fair amount of stuff proposed here that would make licensed protective agents' lives unnecessarily harder.

    For instance, gray would be the only legal squad car color. Right now, silver or gray is about the only practical color, but I suppose you could choose safety orange. "Cop" colors (you know, like black, white, blue, maroon, green, gold...) are already off limits.

    Worse, they propose that the only legal uniform colors shall be gray and white. Why does black need to be off limits? And where will I buy gray pants?

    There's some ambiguous language about the use of stars, badges and shields on cars, and they want to outlaw the use of the word Agent on insignia, vehicles, and business material. Really? Protective Agent is the State's own official term for our business!

    When I wrote the authors, I pointed out that the impersonators in the news typically aren't bona fide security, but other weirdos. I also stated that the public, LE, and gov't ought to place a bit of trust in us, given that companies are State-licensed, agents are background-checked and adhere to state initial/annual training, and we increasingly deter/detect/report/respond to a lot of bad stuff.

    We're not the problem.

    If you run a company in MN (or just don't want to have to buy new pants), I'd encourage you to also drop the authors a line. And if you are represented by a member of the committee this bill has to go through, pass your concerns on to them too. A handful of thoughtful contacts at this point could have a big impact!

  • #2
    Ah, more regulations...got to keep those chairborne rangers busy at the state capital. Sounds liek they are going a bit overboard; there is no need to write new regs, just enforce the ones they have, or tweak them a bit if needed.

    The "agent" ban may be because federal officers are agents, and they want to avoid the confusion. I'm on the fence about the color issue, both vehicles & uniforms. Black is associated with LE and SWAT; on the other hand, as long as you have proper patches / ID I don't see a problem. Likewise, as long as the vehicle has the proper color light bar and "Security" (or the company name) in large enough letters, the average person will be able to tell the difference.

    As long as you aren't deliberately matching the police's look, there should be no confusion. Only once in my career have I mistaken a security car for a police car; that co. deliberately made their cars look like our State Patrol. They changed to bright yellow and put their co. name in large letters on the cars about a year later.
    Last edited by Condo Guard; 04-08-2017, 05:57 PM.

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    • #3
      "Cop" colors (you know, like black, white, blue, maroon, green, gold... REALLY BLUE GREEN and GOLD colored police cars......yikes, how ugly. It is very easy to make your patrol cars look different than police without that kind of limitation.

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      • #4
        Yes, Minnesota has already made a wide array of colors off limits to security.

        HOWEVER, and this is important too, nobody's enforcing the current regs, and this bill won't add any code enforcers. I see plenty of white, black, and blue security squads in MN. One company even has the State Seal in the center of its door shields, implying state authority. The cops either don't know or don't care about these laws, and the PDPA board doesn't have the staffing to enforce their rules.

        About 'Agent': unlike Sheriff or Police, I think it's too general a term to disallow. Most of the people who can legitimately be called agents are not peace officers.
        Last edited by Hardway; 04-11-2017, 10:25 AM.

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        • #5
          Agreed - it occurs to me that bounty hunters have a legitimate right to call themselves "Bail Enforcement Agents." I've just noticed recently (through purely anecdotal stories) that the Feds don't like others to use the "Agent" term.

          And enforcement is the key - my story on the other thread (about "P.O.I.I.C.E." security) is a perfect example - that guy was driving around in his unmarked black patrol car and using his badge all over the place. He only got caught because when he pulled the gun on the motorist, a real cop was driving by.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hardway View Post
            Legitimate Minnesota Protective Agent businesses could get the squeeze under Minnesota bill HF 839.

            https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bil...9&ssn=0&y=2017
            And where will I buy gray pants?
            http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/1517603...&ul_noapp=true



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            • #7
              I wonder how this applies to security departments that are in-house security for various companies (Target, 3M, Best Buy, Allina Hospitals, etc.) When I contacted the MN Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board and asked about vehicle colors and in-house security departments, they told me that those departments don't fall under their jurisdiction because they don't provide protective services to anyone except their own properties.

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              • #8
                Those proprietary 'security guard vehicles' should still adhere to the color and marking statutes under 169.98, because proprietary guards are still 'security guards.' But since proprietary guards aren't 'licensed protective agents', the state PDPA Board doesn't have regulatory authority over them. The Attorney General or local authorities would have to take up the case (as if they don't have other things to do, right?).
                Last edited by Hardway; 04-24-2017, 04:39 PM.

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                • #9
                  Seems to me that a better option is to require the word "security" to be more visible if you're wearing police-style uniforms. Want to wear navy blue military-style shirts? No problem, just put "security" on the front and back and it'll be clear what you are (and what you're not). Don't want to be so conspicuous? Wear a dress shirt and slacks, or a suit.

                  While I think that the police have a legitimate concern in not wanting security to look like them, I think that they have to make efforts to standardize their own uniform. If you look at various police uniforms in the United States, it seems like they come in just about every colour, including white (usually for senior police, or for detention officers). I think they have to look at Canada as a good example, where the police are increasingly having the word "police" in big letters on the front and back of their uniforms, and are mostly wearing dark navy blue shirts (RCMP being the main exception).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hardway View Post
                    Those proprietary 'security guard vehicles' should still adhere to the color and marking statutes under 169.98, because proprietary guards are still 'security guards.' But since proprietary guards aren't 'licensed protective agents', the state PDPA Board doesn't have regulatory authority over them. The Attorney General or local authorities would have to take up the case (as if they don't have other things to do, right?).
                    I was thinking the same way. I work security as proprietary security officer and all of our vehicles have always been a white before graphics being applied. As far as local authorities go, we checked with our local PD many years ago and the Chief at the time said we could run Red & Blue lights for all he cared (we don't btw, we run Amber). We are receiving a new vehicle and to stay in compliance of the current law, our new vehicle will be a light gray (or silver if want to call it that.)

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                    • #11
                      In California L.E. has basically standardized uniforms. local PDs are typically midnight Navy Blue, Deputies are typically Tan and Green sometimes all green. and CHP is Tan on Tan with blue piping on the legs

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Consolewatcher View Post
                        ... I think that they have to make efforts to standardize their own uniform. If you look at various police uniforms in the United States, it seems like they come in just about every colour, including white...
                        You make a point.

                        MN LE: 10,527 officers.
                        Uniform colors: brown, blue, maroon, green de jure; tan & white de facto.
                        Car colors: black, white, blue, brown, green, maroon, gold.

                        MN security: 10,950 officers.
                        Uniform colors under this bill: white, gray.
                        Car color: gray.

                        I watched the initial committee hearing on this bill. It was obvious the committee members either hadn't read the bill by that point, or didn't understand what they had read. They thought it would ban private ownership of a retired, debadged black-and-white.

                        I still think the far more important factor is behavior. It doesn't matter much what a guard is wearing or driving, so long as the guard isn't exerting unlawful authority over another person. Besides, in low light, charcoal gray looks just like midnight blue.

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