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Which states give the most power to security officers?

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  • Which states give the most power to security officers?

    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!

  • #2
    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.
    "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
    "The Curve" 1998

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    • #3
      I've heard South Carolina gives SO's alot of authority, but I'm not sure if that granted authority is really exercised.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Execpro_Sequal View Post
        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.
        "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
        "The Curve" 1998

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        • #5
          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.
          I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
          Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lawson View Post
            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.
            Wow! Look at this link Letter from SC State attorney general

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            • #7
              Ohio can give a crap less.

              Im loving the letter from the SC AG's office.
              "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

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              • #8
                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.
                Certified Protection Professional
                Currently Working in So. Cal.
                California Security News Blog

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Reverend Red View Post
                  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!!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by caguard View Post
                    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.
                    -Jedi-
                    Semper Paratus

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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.
                        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

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Det. John Shaft View Post
                            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?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by caguard View Post
                              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.

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