Other Laws and Regulations Governing Private Security

Uniform: Badge Regulations.

A security officer’s badge and patch must be approved by the Chief of the BSIS. Unapproved badges and patches are not to be worn.

Firearms: Weapons Regulations

A security officer may not carry a firearm or replica firearm unless the officer possesses a firearm’s qualification card. To obtain a firearm qualification card, the applicant must be a licensed officer or PPO and filed a completed application with the Bureau. The application must include proof of payment of the fee and proof of successful completion of a training course for a firearm, including passage of a written examination and proof of qualifying on an approved firearm’s range. The Bureau must also determine that the carrying of a firearm presents no apparent threat to the public safety.

Authorized Defense Weapons

To carry a baton on the job, a licensed security officer must pass an eight hour training course from a certified instructor. (Bus. & Prof. Code 7585.9) A two hour training course is required for a officer to carry tear gas on duty.

Mandatory Reporting to BSIS for Violent Incidents

The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services requires a written report of an incident involving any physical altercation or use of a deadly weapon while a security officer is on duty. The report must be prepared within seven days of the incident. (Business and Professions Code Sections 752.15(b), 7583.2(h) and 7583.4.)

A deadly weapon includes any instrument or weapon commonly known as a blackjack, slingshot, billy club, sandclub, sandbag, metal knuckles, any dirk or dagger, any firearm, any knife with a blade longer than five inches, any razor with an unguarded blade and any metal pipe or bar used or intended to be used as a club. (BSIS Report of Incident form revised 03/2002)

Role of the Security Officer

The security officer’s role is typically defined by the contract with the client and the approved post orders. The security officer is usually required to observe and report, provide a visual deterrent and at times act as a liaison between the public and the client. Although the security officer’s actions may assist in deterring criminal activity, the officer may reduce but not prevent risk of injury to persons or damage to or loss of property. The officer reports suspicious activity. The officer acts in self-defense and defense of others, if required. The officer’s role is not normally to detain or arrest, but will assist in de-escalating situations and managing aggressive behavior.

Since your role may change from post to post, it is best you refer to your company’s policies and post orders.


“Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws – but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted – when we tolerate what we know to be wrong – when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened – when we fail to speak up and speak out – we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.”

– Robert F. Kennedy

  1. S. Attorney General (b. 1928 – 1968)