Category: SECURITY LAWS & REGULATIONS

January 12th, 2016 by Texasnews

Can armed security guards provide service in a night club or bar? That has been a question floating around the security guard industry for many, many years. Some guard companies have declined business because of this; some companies have been reported because of this; even law enforcement was unsure if and how to enforce this.

Texas Penal Code section 46.02 (a-2) (c ) Unlawful Carry of Weapons: An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the offense is committed on any premises licensed or issued a permit by this state for the sale of alcoholic beverages.

However…

According to Merideth Muñoz, TABC Information Officer, the Security Laws Texasfollowing code overrides and provides an exemption to security against being in violation of TPC 46.02.

 

Can armed guards work in clubsIs it Legal for Armed Security Guards to Work in Clubs?

Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.15. NON-APPLICABILITY

(a) Sections 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to peace officers and neither section prohibits a peace officer from carrying a weapon in this state, regardless of whether the officer is engaged in the actual discharge of the officer’s duties while carrying the weapon.

(a) [amended 9/1/97] Sections 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to:

(1) peace officers and neither section prohibits a peace officer from carrying a weapon in this state, regardless of whether the officer is engaged in the actual discharge of the officer’s duties while carrying the weapon;

(b) Section 46.02 does not apply to a person who: Private Property

(2) is on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control , the person is an employee or agent of the owner of the premises and the person’s primary responsibility is to act in the capacity of a security guard to protect persons or property, in which event the person must comply with Subdivision (5);

 (5) holds a security officer commission issued by the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies, if:

(A) the person is engaged in the performance of the person’s duties as a security officer or traveling to and from the person’s place of assignment;

(B) the person is wearing a distinctive uniform; and

(C) the weapon is in plain view;

(7) holds a security officer commission and a personal protection authorization issuedArmed security in bars

by the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies and who is providing personal protection under the Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act (Article 4413(29bb), Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes); or

(8) holds an alcoholic beverage permit or license or is an employee of a holder of an alcoholic beverage permit or license if the person is supervising the operation of the permitted or licensed premises.

 And there you have it in Black and White!

It is NOT a violation…  

Legal for armed guards to work in barsArmed security guards can legally provide service in a night club or bar.

Bar or Night Club Owner: Still Apprehensive?

Not sure if TABC will cancel your permit for allowing firearms in your bar or club, (which is normally a violation)?

Sec. 11.61 CANCELLATION OR SUSPENSION OF PERMIT

(e) Except as provided by Subsection (f) or (i), the commission or administrator shall cancel an original or renewal permit if it is found, after notice and hearing, that the permittee knowingly allowed a person to possess a firearm in a building on the licensed premises.

This subsection does not apply to a person:

(1) who holds a security officer commission issued under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, if:

(A) the person is engaged in the performance of the person’s duties as a security officer;

(B) the person is wearing a distinctive uniform; and

(C) the weapon is in plain view;

No worriesNo worries…

Your bar is covered and protected, and the “licensed, armed security guard” is protected as well under these codes.

With that said: what are you waiting for… 

SRS is more than happy to service your bar, club or event, trouble-free; our security officers can legally work inside your bar or club with NO violation at all. Give us a call now!

Posted in BODYGUARDS, BUSINESS SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY LAWS & REGULATIONS, SECURITY TRAINING, SPECIAL EVENT SECURITY Tagged with: , , , , ,

Licensing for Security Texas
November 19th, 2015 by Texasnews

When visiting a night club or bar, or attending an event, you tend to see bouncers and event security staff. Most concerts and special events have a number of individuals that can be spotted in event or security T-shirts. The question is: Are there security license requirements for bouncers, event security, bar and nightclub security?

It takes much more than a person putting on a shirt that reads “security” to become or act in Security Licensethe capacity of a security officer. Proper training, education and licensing is “required” in order for anyone to perform the duties or present themselves as a guard.

Is a security license required to work security in Texas?

In the state of Texas, it is a criminal offense to carry out any scope of service regarding security-related work without a license – this includes courtesy officers, event staff, and bouncers; if individuals are caught, they can be arrested.

Security licensing requirementsOCC §1702.3875. IMPERSONATING SECURITY OFFICER; OFFENSE.

“A person commits an offense if the person: (1) impersonates a commissioned or non-commissioned security officer with the intent to induce another to submit to the person’s pretended authority or to rely on the person’s pretended acts of a security officer; or

(2) knowingly purports to exercise any function that requires registration as a non-commissioned security officer or a security officer commission. (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.”

“In Texas, class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both jail time and a fine.”

Some club owners/managers and event planners don’t see the potential threat of what could go wrong if patrons or event goers are injured or claim “assault” by any of their security staff members performing guard detail without licensing.

Class A MisdemeanorIn this day and age, lawsuits are flying everywhere; it behooves all parties involved to spend the extra time and money necessary to obtain all that is required to become a security officer or have those providing security services legally licensed.

Your establishment or brand (e.g. event/wedding planners) could end before it even takes off; you could be slapped with both criminal and civil suits, and the individuals acting as guards could face imprisonment and so on…

The reputation of a business is completely tarnished once the rumor mill begins about lawsuits filed against the business and unlicensed guards arrested for alleged assaults and wrongful detainment, etc.

Nightclub security license requirements in Texas

Club sued for bouncer assaulting patron

In the news:

A nightclub bouncer of San Antonio was arrested for using excessive force. He was charged with aggravated assault (a 2nd degree felony) and may face up to twenty years in prison.

More Security News:Security Guard News Texas

A bouncer was arrested for allegedly stabbing a patron; he was charged with aggravated assault.

Security license requirements for bouncers and event staff in Texas

security training AustinFormal training will greatly reduce the odds of having overzealous guards at your establishment; it will also provide them with the necessary skills to be able to respond correctly when met with unruly individuals.

Some of the most valuable lessons are learned in hindsight; however, businesses who hire “security” and those whom assume the duties of security officers can’t afford to approach this situation in hindsight. Ensure all those who are performing guard work are licensed to do so.

If you are unclear of laws and regulations and would like more information on licensing requirements, contact SRS Services for security consultation.

Posted in BODYGUARDS, BUSINESS SECURITY, PERSONAL SECURITY, SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY LAWS & REGULATIONS, SECURITY MANAGEMENT, SECURITY TRAINING, SPECIAL EVENT SECURITY Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Guard Accused of Stolen Valor
May 10th, 2015 by Texasnews

Now that Iraq and Afghanistan wars are over, many Veterans and overseas contractors flood the private security industry in search of security details, instructor positions and even booking writing opportunities.

So what do you do if a veteran misrepresents himself to your security company, claiming to have credentials that he does not have, yet presenting augmented documentation that seems to back up his claim?

If a job candidate states he has a military background, to include Special Forces and Blackwater, seems squared away, has story after story detailing his past experiences… why would fiction or non-fiction cross your mind?

If this same candidate produced the necessary paperwork confirming his “falsified truth,” how then would you even consider this person to be a fraud or suspect him of stolen valor?

How do you know if the documentation is augmented or not, (without being a Document or Forensic expert); not to mention, who sends in documents to be reviewed without suspicion or cause on a normal application process?

Who do you contact to verify the background of someone claiming to have an elite, secret military background? What steps do you take as a security guard company to weed out these individuals, while also not offending or questioning the integrity of a real veteran?

Proof of Stolen Valor

Background checks, MMPIs, drug testing, and fingerprinting simply aren’t enough when someone’s governmental background is in question, and often difficult to verify quickly for civilian companies hiring vets. If a presented DD214 is the document in question itself, contacting the VA or asking the government for a 201 file could take weeks to receive any information on the vet in question.

Private contractors such as Blackwater seldom speak with anyone outside of their “clique,” and many times may not confirm or deny an employee’s existence – keeping in mind, they are a private company and don’t have to disclose anything to anyone in many cases.

Stolen Valor

Fake DD214

Recently, SRS confronted an individual who applied with our company stating he had Special Forces background; we of course requested a DD214 (as we do with anyone claiming veteran status), and was promptly provided with a copy of a DD214 in the individual’s name. While DPS conducted their background check and processed this individual’s licenses, we became concerned when a fellow Blackwater ex-employee came forward with information that disputed this applicant’s Blackwater stated experience.

Those questions brought the applicant’s DD214 back under review and a request through the government was made for the applicant’s actual government 201 file. Several weeks later that 201 file arrived which indicated the applicant was a Military Veteran, but not Special Forces, nor had the stated awards or rank as contained on a fake DD214.

Flabbergasted” is a complete understatement!

Why would someone go through great lengths to misrepresent himself when only applying for a guard position?

What really makes a person go out of his way to the point where legal actions can be taken against him?

Is it Ego, Greed, or Both?

You can never really get into the minds of those who prey on others.

When SRS confronted the guard with the proof provided by and contained in the government 201 file, his response wasn’t to argue or deny anything or even stand up for himself; his response wasn’t to provide pictures or his original forms or show anything else….

Quite frankly, he didn’t have a response and walked away, which a true Special Forces solider that is being questioned, to include addressing his integrity, would have never done and would have cleared the air immediately.

Stolen valor in TexasHow should a guard company deal with Stolen Valor?

 

All too often, we hear of stolen valor but what do you do when it arrives at your place of business? You want to trust people until they give you a reason not to, but in today’s society, you just can’t do that anymore. And in the guard industry, you can’t take anyone’s word for it.

There are a growing number of people who want the attention, the acknowledgement, acclamation, or higher paid positions that choose to lie about their background and even falsify documents, which is despicable and dishonors those with real backgrounds and experiences.

If someone is presenting themselves as a decorated soldier or military expert, due diligence is necessary; once they provide their paperwork, go a step further (especially if it exceeds a normal, basic no frills solider), and ensure they have the credentials they say they have. Don’t trust what they hand you, seek additional help and checks.

SRS has since worked with www.professionalsoliders.com, www.stolenvalor.com and will be filing paperwork with DPS on this issue, while other options are being explored as well.

Security companies can contact http://www.stolenvalor.com or www.professionalsoldier.com and share their story there; if they or someone else suspects a guard of providing false information, they can double check their information here: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/ and ask for a 201 file.

If you suspect someone of stolen valor or would like more information on this topic, click here.

Posted in SECURITY LAWS & REGULATIONS, SECURITY MANAGEMENT, SECURITY TRAINING Tagged with:

April 23rd, 2015 by Texasnews

There are convicted criminals working security jobs right now…and every business who has a security guard service should be aware of this.

Did you know the state of Texas will allow and license convicted criminals to work security? Yes, It’s true.

If you are a convicted criminal and your crime is over ten years old, the state of Texas deems you are safe and will license you. The only permanently disqualifying crimes are a sexually violent offense, as defined by Article 62.001, Code of Criminal Procedure, or a conviction for burglary of a habitation.

If you have a misdemeanor conviction which is over five years old, the state of Texas will license you to work security and safeguard individuals and their property.

Some security companies that claim they conduct background checks actually rely on the State’s findings, and if the State says the applicant is “OK,” then those security companies will then “OK” the applicant. The problem is the state does find the prior conviction on the record and does nothing about it if it falls within their very broad guidelines.

Why these low standards exist is unknown???

In an industry such as “security,” where guards are providing services at all types of locations such as retirement homes, schools, apartment complexes, banks, jewelry stores, etc., one would think the standards would be significantly higher.

Jobs are hard to come by, but should convicted criminals work security jobs?

When a client is contracting with a security agency, they assume and are told that background checks are done, and assume that every guard showing up on their property is “clean as a whistle;” sadly, this is not true and a large amount of guards working in the industry have criminal records.

Guard companies are well aware of this matter, as they are employing these individuals often for lower wages and therefore remain silent regarding this issue – which enables some guard companies to offer extremely low rates because they’re paying their guards an extremely low wage if not minimum wage.

Private Security Contractors should educate the Client

Convicted criminals cannot posses a firearm and thus, cannot work as a Commissioned Officer or even a Level-4 Bodyguard (as a Commissioned license must be possessed with the Level-4), so most remain (or hide) at a Non-Commissioned Level-2 for that reason and don’t seek additional training.

Convicted criminals cannot take the Level-3 class for educational purposes, as they cannot not possess the firearm required to complete the course, additionally Ex-felons cannot, by state law, wear body armor.

⇒⇒⇒FYI, Security Companies:

It does a client no good to show them what nice uniforms or patrol cars equipped with GPS, dash cameras and laptops you have if you’re allowing convicted criminals to drive your vehicles on their property.

Offer proof of drug tests and criminal backgrounds of your staff

Security clients across the state who assume all their guards have a clean background would be shocked and horrified to learn they might have a convicted criminal working as a security guard with a criminal background on their property.Ex-felons working security

Security Associations, Homeland Security, DPS, the Governor’s office, and the Board should address this issue… Indeed; It Is An Issue!

In the News: Security guards caught stealing laptops from Facebook – see more here.

“How do we raise the standards in the industry?” 

Increase the level of professionalism and public perception/trust; weed out the problem individuals (lackluster performance, not personable, not customer-service driven), and do away with archaic training methods – times have changed.

100% drug tests at pre-employment – random and quarterly; should be done by an outsourced location, not the company (conflict of interest). *DPS should require proof of a current drug test for all security applications and renewals – they currently do not.

Establish a zero-tolerance for hiring convicted criminals regardless of how many years ago the conviction took place; there are numerous amounts of out of work individuals with clean backgrounds to employ in the state of Texas.

Regardless if you are an armed or unarmed security company, insist that all your officers/guards have gone through the full 40-hour Commission class prior to applying with your company; this provides you with a better-trained officer who possesses more education than the six hour, Level-2 trained guard.

What can Clients do?

  1. Stop going for the lowest bidder; these guard companies make cuts in areas you don’t want cut (drug test, background checks and good officers).
  2. Demand a copy of a recent drug test and a background check from each guard working on your property, to include a copy of the licenses (pocket cards) each guard is supposed to carry with them at all times (state law).
  3. Demand quarterly drug test results.
  4. Demand those drug tests are done by an outside source and not some discount kit performed in the security company’s office.
  5. Insist that you see (in writing) that the company you hire has a “zero-tolerance” for criminal background at their company and that they will NOT hire or place any guard on your property with a criminal background.*Run away from companies that refuse this; there are many that won’t refuse and want your business.
  6. Insist all guards on your property obtain more training than the State’s minimum of six hours; insist the training is completed by a licensed training academy and not some in-house training… who’s checking the standards?

There are many companies willing to provide the industry and their security officers with higher standards; SRS SERVICES is one of them. Don’t allow your focus to be on a patrol car, the gadgets it’s equipped with, or a salesperson; to earn your business and trust, you should be focused on who the guard on your property is and what the guard’s background and level of training is.

Should guard companies hire ex-felons?Security guard jobs austin

Convicted criminals should be able to find employment but the security guard industry should NOT be the particular field in which employment is given. With so many individuals putting their trust in security to protect their properties, staff and customer-base; this shouldn’t be the industry that is relaxed when sifting through background checks and determining individuals to “guard” others and their belongings… convicted criminals should not work as security guards.

If you agree that allowing felons to provide security guard services is deceitful and would like to have a hand in raising the industry’s standards, contact DPS at (512) 424-7293, then hire a company that will NOT have a convicted criminal on your property.

Click here for a guard service with your best interest in mind.

Posted in SECURITY GUARDS, SECURITY LAWS & REGULATIONS Tagged with: , , , ,