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Utah Legislators, Police, FOP, decry Private Security in Hearing

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  • Vinnie-UT
    replied
    It is interesting that you all should be discussing Mr. Tallent and his efforts regarding Utah laws regulating the private security industry. I happen to be Mr. Tallent's former employer. He is no longer with All American Security, however I must state the following for those of you who might be interested:

    I watched Mr. Tallent work on his proposed legislation for months on end. I initially did not support the proposal but as our clients got on board, I slowly came around. I am of the opinion as citizens, we have all of the necessary authority needed to our our job. Our clients are the ones who really grant us the authority, so extended "police like" powers are not necessary. We are not police. What Mr. Tallent was trying to do was simply add some clarification to numerous grey areas in Utah State Statute regarding what we as Security Officers are or are not able to do. We interact with police on a daily basis and we have noticed that numerous LEOs are not familiar with what we can and can't do. I believe there should be a block in the police academy (which I have attended) that discusses LEO interacation with Private Security, but until then there needs to be some clarification on how things can be done. Mr. Tallent was attempting to introduce a method of clarification. Unfortunately, much of what he introduced was taken not for what it could do, but rather what it could do based on a stereotypical understanding of the role and training of private security.

    I agree that stringent hiring and training standards should be employed before any "additional" power is granted to private security, however I believe we don't need more "power." We can do our jobs just fine. I am however, a firm believer in training and hiring standards. We employ rigorous hiring and training regimen, which severely eclipses what the State of Utah requires.

    Regarding the comments on titles my company employs the following:

    I am referred to as the Chief, this was actually started by my employees. I was initially the Director.

    I employ Lieutenants, who are regional supervisors. At any given time there will be no more than 3 of them. They must also have been with the company for a minimum of 2 years. Regions are Northern Utah, Southern Utah, and Southern Nevada.

    I employ 3 Sergeants, one for each region. They must be with the company for atleast 1 year before a promotion is available.

    I employ 2 Corporals under each Sergeant. Corporals must be with the company for atleast 12 months and are considered senior Officers/Training Officers. They have limited supervisory functions.

    Rank and file Officers are 1st Class, obtained after a 180 day probation period; and 2nd Class/Probationary, upon completing our FTO program.

    We DO NOT employ anyone under the age of 21 years of age. All employees are screened at four different points in the hiring process and must undergo a complete background investigation. Many of our Officers have college degrees or are working towards their degree. In fact, I would say roughly 75% fall into that category. I also employ many retired LEOs.

    Something to consider.

    Leave a comment:


  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Originally posted by LavianoTS386
    ^ There's an interesting article from the "Legal Affairs" website, here's an small section:



    For the rest of the article go Here
    A week after Officer Carmody explained his feelings about Mayor Wyant's capers, he announced that another citizen's arrest, this time not involving Wyant, had occurred in the town. After a motorist ignored the red stop signal on a school bus, another motorist followed the offender into a doctor's office parking lot and blocked her car in until the police arrived. Carmody would have felt differently if the incident had ended in a high-speed chase or a violent confrontation, but he acknowledged that, all things considered, the crime-fighting motorist had acted properly. No one was injured, and the careless driver learned that someone who cares was watching.
    Generally, police officers do not want citizens involving themselves in police business except to call 911.

    In the situation illustrated above, the motorist committed unlawful arrest and kidnapping in most states, as running a stop sign is not a breach of the peace, violent, a felony, OR a misdemeanor - its a traffic infraction!

    Leave a comment:


  • LavianoTS386
    replied
    ^ There's an interesting article from the "Legal Affairs" website, here's an small section:

    ...Citizens and corporations continue to be disenchanted with the services provided by public police departments. The result, according to David Sklansky, a professor of criminal law at the UCLA School of Law, is that over the last three decades, the number of private police forces has increased significantly. By 1999 there were roughly three private guards for every two sworn-in officers in the country. Private police are now patrolling everything from the grounds of corporations like Microsoft to theme parks to gated communities. Even the New York Stock Exchange employs private security police who man blockades protecting the exchange and inspect vehicles in its vicinity.

    Private police forces, though, lack the regulatory oversight that has helped expose problems like racial profiling among traditional police forces. Their ascendance represents a return to the way of doing business in the 19th century, when catching criminals was a private affair entrusted to citizens, or to forces hired by the wealthy. "The rise of private security is a throwback to the old days of constables and night watches," Sklansky explained.

    Yet there are plenty of communities where policing is still public work and where individual citizens consider it their duty to intervene when someone breaks the law. No one wants a nation of tattletales, but even the Phillipsburg police admit that there are situations when citizen law enforcers help protect the community. A week after Officer Carmody explained his feelings about Mayor Wyant's capers, he announced that another citizen's arrest, this time not involving Wyant, had occurred in the town. After a motorist ignored the red stop signal on a school bus, another motorist followed the offender into a doctor's office parking lot and blocked her car in until the police arrived. Carmody would have felt differently if the incident had ended in a high-speed chase or a violent confrontation, but he acknowledged that, all things considered, the crime-fighting motorist had acted properly. No one was injured, and the careless driver learned that someone who cares was watching.
    For the rest of the article go Here

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackhole
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    That's interesting under New York. You know, I'd say this is how it is everywhere, legally speaking. Theft is a misdemeanor offense, the police officer did not witness the theft. Granted, they'll never tell you this, only "are you willing to prosecute?"
    Exactly. Literally, you are supposed to tell the suspect "you're under arrest," but I've only seen a few police officers do it. It's a technicality, but one that could get someone hung up in court if they were smart enough.

    Leave a comment:


  • N. A. Corbier
    replied
    Originally posted by Jackhole
    Same here in New York. The only person that can arrest someone for a crime committed against them (or the property owner, in the case of security) is the victim themselves. Someone stole something from your shop, you are the only person that can arrest the suspect - no one else, not even the police. If the police later find the suspect, they detain them and bring them back to you, so YOU can place them under arrest.

    In summary, no one else besides the victim of a crime can arrest the suspect, not even the police.
    That's interesting under New York. You know, I'd say this is how it is everywhere, legally speaking. Theft is a misdemeanor offense, the police officer did not witness the theft. Granted, they'll never tell you this, only "are you willing to prosecute?"

    Leave a comment:


  • Jackhole
    replied
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
    But the storekeeper detaining someone for retail theft is conducting an arrest.
    Same here in New York. The only person that can arrest someone for a crime committed against them (or the property owner, in the case of security) is the victim themselves. Someone stole something from your shop, you are the only person that can arrest the suspect - no one else, not even the police. If the police later find the suspect, they detain them and bring them back to you, so YOU can place them under arrest.

    In summary, no one else besides the victim of a crime can arrest the suspect, not even the police.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sampson
    replied
    Arresting for theft 3

    [QUOTE=Michael Ledgerwood]
    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier

    You make sense N.A. but this state doesn't see it that way. Believe me 4 days of sitting through this one topic in my police academy was enough to pound it home. Security as well as private citizens can detain but not arrest. A shopowner detaining a kid for stealing a candy bar is not arresting them. Infact shoplifting is not an arrestable offense in this state (unless amount totals $250.00 or more then its a felony). In the case of detention as long as its lawful and on your property you can detain.
    Yes, shoplifting less than $250.00 (theft 3) is an arrestable offense in Washington State if the jail will take them. It is up to the officer (and his/her department SOP's) to decide if the suspect is cited or booked. It may be a bit different at the department you work at.

    Leave a comment:


  • aka Bull
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Caesar
    One thing I've been wanting to say about training. you just can't get too much IMO.

    Some folks have said that S/Os don't need the same training as police (or as much of it). I disagree totally. You never know what reality is going to throw at you.

    My job is actually more "security" than "enforcement", nad yet I had to complete an academy and be certified before I could even get the job, and have to have continuing education to keep that certification.

    It's like a College education, most people don't use 90+% of the crap they learn in college, and most folks don't go into the field they have a degree for. Just graduating high school should mean you are functional enough to get by. But the fact that you went through the whole college thing means alot (rightly or wrongly, I've met plenty of stupid college grads).

    Same with training protective service workers. Which would you rather have protecting you, people who have been trained "just enough", or people who were over trained???
    I don't disagree that training is important, and regularly reoccuring too. I think officers should have required certifications and that they get recerted on a regular basis.

    Yet, this is security work - we are not trying to be police officers and there is not the need to have a full leo academy. After all reserve leos don't necessarily take the full academy (dependent on states and variables of how the state POST sets up reserve programs and the requirements) because they're not doing fulltime leo work.

    There is a balance that can be met that would make security personnel fully trained to work within the professional sphere of security. At this point in time it's all in the fetus stage (unborn). Anything that comes down the road to improve and grow the standards will be piecemeal as well, we won't get a full grown adult at birth, so to speak.

    Leave a comment:


  • Black Caesar
    replied
    One thing I've been wanting to say about training. you just can't get too much IMO.

    Some folks have said that S/Os don't need the same training as police (or as much of it). I disagree totally. You never know what reality is going to throw at you.

    My job is actually more "security" than "enforcement", nad yet I had to complete an academy and be certified before I could even get the job, and have to have continuing education to keep that certification.

    It's like a College education, most people don't use 90+% of the crap they learn in college, and most folks don't go into the field they have a degree for. Just graduating high school should mean you are functional enough to get by. But the fact that you went through the whole college thing means alot (rightly or wrongly, I've met plenty of stupid college grads).

    Same with training protective service workers. Which would you rather have protecting you, people who have been trained "just enough", or people who were over trained???

    Leave a comment:


  • aka Bull
    replied
    Originally posted by histfan71
    Ok, I'm back. The call was nothing serious, just a theft report. Has anyone here had the experience of taking a report at 3:30 A.M. from a woman who was so drunk that she had to think for several seconds to remember her own name? Fun and games.
    Gotta love dealing with a drunk.

    The only other thing I wanted to add to my original reply is that the police would gladly support increasing the "powers" and responsibilities of security guards once the industry has shown, through increased training and screening, that it is capable of handling increased responsibility. So it is up to the security industry as a whole to clean it's own house so to speak, much as the police had to do in the late 1950's when the various states began to create POST programs. The push to create a more professional police force came from within police organizations, such as the International Association of Chief's of Police. I think that something similar would work for the security industry; I know there are a few security organizations out there now such as ASIS, IFPO, and CALSAGA. These are all steps in the right direction.
    While groups like ASIS and IFPO have their place I see them more oriented (at least is ASIS) to the management level of the industry. I'd really like to see groups that are working to make the changes that involve the line corps of officers. Any efforts should be encouraged, but I just have a hard time believing companies, at the management level, will want anything that increases their difficulty in deploying officers and potentially cuts away from their bottom line.

    Bull, I find myself totally agreeing with your comments about security guard screening and training. That is exactly what I would like to see the industry adopt. No, the screening and training should not be the same as for police officers because security guards are not doing the same job as the police, but it should be similar. I also do not feel it is necessary to have unarmed guards go through psychological testing, only armed guards.
    Psychological testing for unarmed officers can be discussed for sure. The first question will be the definition of unarmed (I feel a topic thread coming ). More to follow from me on this in all likelihood.

    I, too, would like to see a thread dedicated to what training topics should a security guard training program include.
    Coming to a forum board near you very soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Security Guard Training

    Many companies offer additional training (other than the minimum required to be licensed) at no cost to the employee. I have availed myself of that training, which consisted of 40-60 hours, written testing (not open-book), and certification.

    Many officers fail to take the additional training for a number of reasons, chief among them being laziness, a lack of initiative, or minimal recognition/reward by the company. I agree with Bull and hisfan71, that the more training we can get, the better. In addition to book knowledge, we need more hands on training with simulated emergencies.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ok, I'm back. The call was nothing serious, just a theft report. Has anyone here had the experience of taking a report at 3:30 A.M. from a woman who was so drunk that she had to think for several seconds to remember her own name? Fun and games.

    The only other thing I wanted to add to my original reply is that the police would gladly support increasing the "powers" and responsibilities of security guards once the industry has shown, through increased training and screening, that it is capable of handling increased responsibility. So it is up to the security industry as a whole to clean it's own house so to speak, much as the police had to do in the late 1950's when the various states began to create POST programs. The push to create a more professional police force came from within police organizations, such as the International Association of Chief's of Police. I think that something similar would work for the security industry; I know there are a few security organizations out there now such as ASIS, IFPO, and CALSAGA. These are all steps in the right direction.

    Bull, I find myself totally agreeing with your comments about security guard screening and training. That is exactly what I would like to see the industry adopt. No, the screening and training should not be the same as for police officers because security guards are not doing the same job as the police, but it should be similar. I also do not feel it is necessary to have unarmed guards go through psychological testing, only armed guards.

    I, too, would like to see a thread dedicated to what training topics should a security guard training program include.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Warnock
    replied
    Originally posted by aka Bull
    Thank you for the complement histfan71. I enjoy our discussions and hope that they add to the value of the topics. I will be interested in reading the rest of what you wish to add to finish out your post. Be safe on your call.

    In the meantime I would like to comment on what you’ve written so far.

    I find that I can not argue with the first paragraph at all. I agree with you.

    I’d very much like to see officers have the training, the knowledge and the qualifications necessary to make a professional force. This would lead them to becoming experienced as they then worked in the profession.

    What will be open for discussion first is exactly what standards will make the qualifications officers must meet to enter the profession. Here there will be debate of many levels. Does the qualification standard need to be equal to that of a police officer? I would readily agree that officers initially meet these minimum qualifications:

    Be 18 years of age (possible 21 for armed positions)
    Have a High School Diploma, or state equivalent
    Pass a written examination
    Pass a background investigation
    Pass a psychological examination
    Pass a medical examination
    Have a valid State issued Driver’s License

    You’ll note I have not said anything concerning a physical agility test – yet. I’ll discus that later in this post (or possibly as a separate post – depending on how long this one becomes).

    Now, the above requirements are to be considered for hiring. The next aspect would be attending the required training program and successfully passing the program. I will not, at this time, go into what I feel that program should contain. I think that is a topic deserving a separate thread of its own. Let it be said that I do believe there must be a training program that greatly exceeds what we find generally now.

    I find that the responsibility of potentially taking a person’s freedom (through arrest), or in those extreme situations their life, should not be taken lightly by anyone under any circumstances, nor do I feel it is by anyone I know. Within the security profession this should be just as seriously concerning to an officer as it is to a police officer.

    Security officers should, and would benefit from, a proper FTO program. I don’t believe a new officer to an agency or security department should be cut loose in handling his duties without successfully proceeding through a FTO program (yep, I have been a field training officer). FTO programs, during probationary periods, are one of the keys to finding out whether or not you have an officer that has learned during his training course, is demonstrating, under guidance, the abilities of translating that training into field operations, and is gaining the initial experience needed to further in the profession after the FTO program.

    Having said this though, I wish to caution that then we must also look at what the primary duties and functions of the positions the officer will be working. Obviously, if an officer is not, and will not, carry firearms then we must concentrate more intently on the aspects of taking a person’s freedom through arrest – i.e. the law and the proper application of the law in the context of protecting the client’s property and those utilizing that property.

    Let me interject a belief here. I do not believe or advocate that a private security officer should pass beyond the legal boundary of the client’s property in accomplishing his/her duties. If you’re chasing a suspect and that suspect gets off the property before you stop him/her, then contact the police and file your report. I don’t believe there should be any “buffer zone” either. If the suspect is standing on the sidewalk across the street from the property line, this is as good as being a mile away from the property. That suspect is outside of your “jurisdiction” and you bring the police into the situation at this point.

    If the officer is going to be armed, then it is imperative that quality firearms training be a part of the overall training program. There are officers I work with now that would give me chills if we began carrying firearms. I don’t even want to think of them carrying the awesome responsibility a firearm represents.

    I will leave the discussion of other required training for that inevitable topic thread.

    Hopefully this gives you the start of the idea of what I mean by training a professional force. I would love to see a security field POST type organization in each state.

    Ultimately I don’t believe the training requires the same depth as that of a police officer. I do see the need for it to parallel in some areas, but recall we are creating a professional private security officer – not a law enforcement officer. The two fields should be separate, but can and should be supportive to each other.

    Which brings me to the point wherein this professionalizing of the field could move forward in a positive manner if law enforcement groups (FoPs, associations, etc) supported and helped push forward improving the security field. There will be a need to create viable programs, enact new laws, modify existing laws, and set standards that could benefit from law enforcement input and assistance when dealing with the companies, clients, lawmakers, and agencies of the states and federal governments.

    I’ll put a stop here for now. I apologize - I got wordy in this post. I’ll address the physical agility issue in another post. I hope I haven’t bored anyone at this point.
    aka Bull:
    You and Mr. Security have not been wordy in the least.
    When working for private security companies while employed full time as a Security Police Technician for the Ohio Air Guard, I have had police stop on their rounds when they first saw me to ask my background. You tell them and they are happy to have someone who will report what they have seen and provide detailed reports they can append to their report. With some of folks they have met in private security they had to rewrite the report for the guard before it was ever filed. They knew from hard learned experience the DA would not even consider some of the reports from private security. They knew their case go poof.
    They were also glad to see someone who was physically fit. Why are you doing this stuff was an often asked question? The answer was to learn the ins and outs of the private security world.
    As I've mentioned in previous posts the days of qualifications limited to "warm to the touch, see lightning and hear thunder" slowly disappearing.
    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

    Leave a comment:


  • aka Bull
    replied
    Originally posted by histfan71
    Bull, I enjoy debating with you. Unlike so many others on this forum you present your arguments in a logical, well thought out, and intelligent way without resorting to personal attacks on individuals. I also like your signature line, you practice what you preach.

    To answer your question, most (by no means all, but the vast majority) cops are not threatened by increased training and responsibility for security guards. Quite the opposite. We welcome a highly-trained, professional, and credible security industry. Three areas that we all agree are sorely lacking in the security industry right now. As has been pointed out, the police lack the necessary manpower and resources to prevent every single crime from occurring. Having a significant number of TRAINED individuals who can act as the eyes and ears of the police would make our neighborhoods a much safer place, IMO.

    What we object to are security guards who lack the training, the knowledge, the experience, and the qualifications of police officers going around acting like they are police officers. Police officers are entrusted with the power to take someone's freedom away; in extreme situations police officers can take someone's life away. Being entrusted with these two awesome responsibilities is why police officers are extensively screening prior to being offered a job; why police academy training is demanding and grueling and many recruits fail out of the academy; why most police agencies have a field training program for police officers who make it through the academy, and many who survive the academy cannot handle actually working the streets and fail FTO.

    I want to write more on this topic but I just a got a call and I have to go handle it.
    Thank you for the complement histfan71. I enjoy our discussions and hope that they add to the value of the topics. I will be interested in reading the rest of what you wish to add to finish out your post. Be safe on your call.

    In the meantime I would like to comment on what you’ve written so far.

    I find that I can not argue with the first paragraph at all. I agree with you.

    I’d very much like to see officers have the training, the knowledge and the qualifications necessary to make a professional force. This would lead them to becoming experienced as they then worked in the profession.

    What will be open for discussion first is exactly what standards will make the qualifications officers must meet to enter the profession. Here there will be debate of many levels. Does the qualification standard need to be equal to that of a police officer? I would readily agree that officers initially meet these minimum qualifications:

    Be 18 years of age (possible 21 for armed positions)
    Have a High School Diploma, or state equivalent
    Pass a written examination
    Pass a background investigation
    Pass a psychological examination
    Pass a medical examination
    Have a valid State issued Driver’s License

    You’ll note I have not said anything concerning a physical agility test – yet. I’ll discus that later in this post (or possibly as a separate post – depending on how long this one becomes).

    Now, the above requirements are to be considered for hiring. The next aspect would be attending the required training program and successfully passing the program. I will not, at this time, go into what I feel that program should contain. I think that is a topic deserving a separate thread of its own. Let it be said that I do believe there must be a training program that greatly exceeds what we find generally now.

    I find that the responsibility of potentially taking a person’s freedom (through arrest), or in those extreme situations their life, should not be taken lightly by anyone under any circumstances, nor do I feel it is by anyone I know. Within the security profession this should be just as seriously concerning to an officer as it is to a police officer.

    Security officers should, and would benefit from, a proper FTO program. I don’t believe a new officer to an agency or security department should be cut loose in handling his duties without successfully proceeding through a FTO program (yep, I have been a field training officer). FTO programs, during probationary periods, are one of the keys to finding out whether or not you have an officer that has learned during his training course, is demonstrating, under guidance, the abilities of translating that training into field operations, and is gaining the initial experience needed to further in the profession after the FTO program.

    Having said this though, I wish to caution that then we must also look at what the primary duties and functions of the positions the officer will be working. Obviously, if an officer is not, and will not, carry firearms then we must concentrate more intently on the aspects of taking a person’s freedom through arrest – i.e. the law and the proper application of the law in the context of protecting the client’s property and those utilizing that property.

    Let me interject a belief here. I do not believe or advocate that a private security officer should pass beyond the legal boundary of the client’s property in accomplishing his/her duties. If you’re chasing a suspect and that suspect gets off the property before you stop him/her, then contact the police and file your report. I don’t believe there should be any “buffer zone” either. If the suspect is standing on the sidewalk across the street from the property line, this is as good as being a mile away from the property. That suspect is outside of your “jurisdiction” and you bring the police into the situation at this point.

    If the officer is going to be armed, then it is imperative that quality firearms training be a part of the overall training program. There are officers I work with now that would give me chills if we began carrying firearms. I don’t even want to think of them carrying the awesome responsibility a firearm represents.

    I will leave the discussion of other required training for that inevitable topic thread.

    Hopefully this gives you the start of the idea of what I mean by training a professional force. I would love to see a security field POST type organization in each state.

    Ultimately I don’t believe the training requires the same depth as that of a police officer. I do see the need for it to parallel in some areas, but recall we are creating a professional private security officer – not a law enforcement officer. The two fields should be separate, but can and should be supportive to each other.

    Which brings me to the point wherein this professionalizing of the field could move forward in a positive manner if law enforcement groups (FoPs, associations, etc) supported and helped push forward improving the security field. There will be a need to create viable programs, enact new laws, modify existing laws, and set standards that could benefit from law enforcement input and assistance when dealing with the companies, clients, lawmakers, and agencies of the states and federal governments.

    I’ll put a stop here for now. I apologize - I got wordy in this post. I’ll address the physical agility issue in another post. I hope I haven’t bored anyone at this point.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Security
    replied
    Originally posted by histfan71
    Then why was it necessary to create full-time, regular, professional police forces if the security guards of the times were so good at their jobs? Could the corruption and incompetence of those same security guards have anything to do with it?
    Police forces have also had to sift out undesirable individuals from among their ranks. During the 1800's, it wasn't uncommon for the sheriff and his deputies to be a part of the problem of lawlessness. US Marshals, Texas Rangers, and other agencies had a positive effect in setting standards of professionalism. Security too is beginning to take steps in the right direction with regard to training, licensing, background checks and the like. Hopefully, security will continue to tighten the standards for those of us who view it as a profession, and not just a job.

    Leave a comment:

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