|SYNOPSIS:||Existing law does not provide a professional licensing board for security officers employed in the state.|
|This bill would create the Alabama Security Regulatory Board and would provide for membership, powers, and duties of the board.|
|This bill would subject the board to the Alabama Sunset Law.|
|This bill would provide for the certification of security officers and trainers, would provide fees for licensing and certification, and would provide training requirements.|
|This bill would provide for the reciprocity between states regarding the employment and deployment of security officers, minimum standards, and the licensing and regulating of nonexempt persons and entities engaged in security work or operating security companies in the state.|
|This bill would provide for the carrying of firearms by certain security officers.|
|This bill would provide for uniform and motor vehicle identifying insignia for security officers.|
|This bill would provide for a revolving fund for use by the board.|
|This bill would provide for certain exemptions and prescribe fines for violations.|
Relating to security officers; to create the Alabama Security Regulatory Board; to provide for membership, powers, and duties of the board; to subject the board to the Alabama Sunset Law; to provide for certification of security officers and trainers; to provide fees for licensing and certification; to provide training requirements; to provide for the reciprocity between states regarding the employment and deployment of security officers, minimum standards, licensing, and regulating of nonexempt persons and entities engaged in security work or operating security companies in the state; to provide for the carrying of firearms by security officers; to provide for uniform and motor vehicle identifying insignia for security officers; to provide for a revolving fund; to provide that existing laws or rules regulating contract security companies would be superseded by this act; and to provide for certain exemptions; to prescribe fines for violations.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
Section 1. For the purposes of this act, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) ARMED SECURITY OFFICER. An individual whose principal duty is that of a security officer and who at any time wears, carries, possesses, or has access to a firearm in the performance of his or her duties. This definition does not include an off duty law enforcement officer employed by and working for a public entity.
(2) BOARD. The Alabama Security Regulatory Board.
(3) CERTIFICATION CARD. The identification card issued by the board to an individual as evidence that he or she has met the basic qualifications required by this act and is currently certified with the board to perform the duties of a security officer.
(4) CERTIFIED TRAINER. Any person approved and certified by the board as qualified to administer, and certify as to the successful completion of, the basic training requirements for security officers required by this act.
(5) CONTRACT SECURITY COMPANY. Any individual, firm, association, company, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, institution, or similar business entity engaged in the business of providing, or which undertakes to provide, a security officer on a contractual basis to another person or entity. The security officer provided by a contract security company is a contract security officer. In addition, any person who provides security services for more than one employer in any one week period, except for a permanent change of employment, shall be deemed to be engaged in the contract security company business and shall be licensed pursuant to this act.
(6) EMPLOYER EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP. The performance of any service for wages or under any contract of hire, written, oral, expressed, or implied by an individual, provided the employer has control or direction over the performance of the employee and provided the service is performed personally by the employee. This definition does not include the employer employee relationship between a law enforcement officer and the public entity employing that law enforcement officer.
(7) LICENSEE. Any person or contract security company to which a license is granted in accordance with this act.
(8) PUBLIC ENTITY. The federal government, the state, or any political subdivision, agency, department, branch, or service of either the state or federal government, or any county or municipality, or any other unit of local government.
(9) SECURITY OFFICER. A person employed under contract, whose principal purpose is to protect a person or persons or property from criminal activity, and whose duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. The detection and prevention of unauthorized intrusion or entry, larceny, vandalism, abuse, arson, or trespass on private property.
b. The prevention, observation, or detection of any unauthorized activity on private property.
c. The control, regulation, or direction of the flow or movements of individuals, whether by vehicle, on foot, or otherwise.
d. Wearing a uniform prescribed by his or her employer identifying him or her as a security officer. Persons whose duties are limited to custodial duties or the reporting of violations of inhouse administrative regulations only, and who do not wear a security uniform, are specifically excluded from this definition. This definition does not include an off duty law enforcement officer employed by and working for a public entity.
(10) SWORN PEACE OFFICER. Any individual who derives plenary or special law enforcement powers from, and is an employee of, or certified by, the federal government, the state, or any political subdivision, agency, department, branch, or service of either, or of any county or municipality, or of any other unit of local government.
Section 2. (a) The Alabama Security Regulatory Board is created. The board, the membership of which shall reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban and rural, and economic diversity of the state, shall consist of the following members:
(1) Two members appointed by the Governor. The appointees shall be residents of the state who are not qualified to be licensed under this act, who have not been engaged in the rendering of contract security service for a minimum of three years prior to appointment, who are not employed by or affiliated with any other member of the board, and who have served for five or more years in a supervisory position in law enforcement in any municipality, county, state, or district attorney's office. The members appointed by the Governor shall be selected from a list of names submitted by a recognized security association such as the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS), the National Association of Security Companies (NASCO), or any state or private security service association which may be organized. The initial term of one of the members appointed by the Governor shall be two years and the initial term of one of the members appointed by the Governor shall be three years. Subsequent terms shall be for three years.
(2) One member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor. The appointee shall represent consumers and shall be a citizen of the United States, a resident of this state, not have been engaged in the rendering of contract security service, and not employed by, related to, or affiliated with any other member of the board or licensee of the board. The initial term of the member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor shall be one year. Subsequent terms shall be for three years.
(3) One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The appointee shall be from an entity that employs, or has an employer employee relationship with, a contract security company.
(4) One member appointed by the Attorney General. The appointee shall reside in the state and shall be selected from a list of names submitted by the Alabama Sheriff's Association.
(b) Unless otherwise provided in subsection (a), board members shall serve three-year terms of office. A vacancy in any board position shall be filled for the duration of the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. Should an appointing authority fail to make an appointment to fill an unexpired or new term within 60 days after receiving notice from the board of the vacancy, the board shall make the appointment of a qualified person within the appropriate category by majority vote of the board members present. The board shall annually elect a chair from among the membership of the board at its first meeting. The board shall meet on a quarterly basis at a date, time, and place designated by the chair. No compensation shall be paid to members of the board. Actual expenses incurred by board members in the performance of duties on behalf of the board shall be reimbursed from the funds of the board. Decisions of the board shall be determined by a majority vote of the board members present and voting.
(c) The Alabama Security Regulatory Board shall be subject to the Alabama Sunset Law, Title 41, Chapter 20, Code of Alabama 1975, as an enumerated agency as provided in Section 41-20-3, Code of Alabama 1975, and shall have a termination date of October 1, 2010, and every four years thereafter, unless continued pursuant to the Alabama Sunset Law.
Section 3. (a) The board shall have the following powers:
(1) In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, to promulgate rules not in conflict with the laws of this state which are reasonable, proper, and necessary to carry out the functions of the board in the regulation of persons engaged in providing security officers within this state. Any interested person may petition the board to adopt, amend, or repeal any rule and the board shall prescribe by rule any necessary forms for petitions and procedures for submission, consideration, and disposition of petitions.
(2) To enforce compliance with this act.
(3) To establish rules and procedures for the preparation and processing of examinations, applications, license certificates, certification cards, renewals, appeals, hearings, and rule making proceedings.
(4) To determine the qualifications of licensees, certified trainers, and security officers consistent with this act.
(5) To levy and collect fees in amounts determined necessary by the board for licensing, application processing, background checks, including fingerprints, inspections, investigations, and hearings.
(6) To employ or contract for necessary personnel, including a director, and provide for necessary offices, supplies, and equipment to fulfill the requirements of this act.
(7) To delegate its power and duties by resolution to a named designee.
(8) To enter into contracts and expend funds of the board to fulfill the requirements of this act.
(9) To borrow money.
(10) To work with the Attorney General and other law enforcement agencies to prohibit and punish any violation of this act.
(11) To establish volunteer procedures for those persons or businesses that are exempt from this act.
(12) To engage in dialogue and to enter into reciprocal licensing agreements with governmental entities in other states that supervise and regulate the provision of private contract security services in order to ensure that security officers and armed security officers licensed by the State of Alabama have full reciprocity to operate in other states.
(b) All powers granted in this act and any other powers granted to the board are public and governmental functions, exercised for a public purpose, and matters of public necessity. No board member or employee of the board shall be liable for injury or damages resulting from any official act performed in his or her capacity as a member or employee of the board.
Section 4. (a) Commencing on January 1, 2009, any security guard, armed security guard, or contract security company providing private security services in this state shall apply to the board for a license. Any security guard, armed security guard, or contract security company providing security services in this state before January 1, 2009, that files an application for a license before January 1, 2009, may continue to engage in business operations pending a final determination by the board. This act shall not abrogate the terms of a contract existing on the effective date of this act.
(b) An application for licensure shall include all of the following information:
(1) The full name, home address, post office box, and actual street address of the business of the applicant.
(2) The name under which the applicant intends to do business.
(3) The full name and address of any partners in the business, principal officers, directors, and business manager, if applicable.
(4) The names of at least three unrelated and disinterested persons to be used as references for board inquiries regarding the character, standing, and reputation of the applicant.
(5) Such other information, evidence, statements, or documents as may be required by the board.
(c)(1) A contract security company applying for a license shall include proof that the business entity has at least one person in its employ serving as a qualifying agent that, in addition to meeting the requirements of subsection (d), possesses three years of experience as a manager, supervisor, or administrator with a contract security company or possesses three years of supervisory experience with any federal, military, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency.
(2) No person may serve as the qualifying agent for more than one contract security company without prior written approval of the board.
(3) A contract security company shall notify the board within 10 working days if the qualifying agent for the company ceases to perform his or her duties as qualifying agent and shall obtain a substitute qualifying agent within 30 days after the original qualifying agent ceases to serve. The board may grant an extension to the company for good cause, for not more than three months.
(d) Every applicant for licensure shall provide the following to the board:
(1) Proof that the applicant is 21 years of age or older, or 18 years of age if the person is not allowed to carry any type of firearm in the course of his or her employment with the contract security company.
(2) Proof that the applicant is a citizen of the United States or a resident alien.
(3) A statement of the applicant, made under oath, declaring all of the following:
a. That he or she has never been convicted in any jurisdiction of the United States of any felony or crime involving moral turpitude for which a full pardon has not been granted.
b. That he or she has never been declared, by any court of competent jurisdiction, incompetent by reason of mental defect or disease, and competency has not been restored.
c. That he or she is not suffering from habitual drunkenness or from narcotics addiction or dependence. The board may require certified results of medical tests for drug or alcohol use.
(e) In addition to the requirements of subsection (d), an applicant for certification or renewal shall submit to the board a form, sworn to by the applicant, containing the name, date of birth, Social Security number, and two complete sets of fingerprints of the applicant, any other identifying information as determined necessary by the board, and a signed statement by the applicant consenting to a criminal background check. The board shall forward the completed form to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, and the department shall then conduct a criminal background check of the applicant. The results of the background check shall be sent to the board for its consideration.
(f) Applications for licensure shall be filed with the board on a form developed by the board. The board shall prescribe the procedures and methods of submission, consideration, and disposition of applications. An applicant corporation incorporated under the laws of this state or any other state shall be required to qualify with a certificate of authority issued by the Secretary of State and shall designate an agent for service of process. The applicant shall be issued a license or denied a license in writing within a reasonable period after receipt by the board of all required information.
(g)(l) Each contract security company requesting or renewing a license shall pay a security license fee of two hundred dollars ($200) to the board upon application. If the license is not issued or renewed, the board shall refund one hundred dollars ($100) of the fee to the company. A license shall expire on September 30 and an application for renewal shall be submitted to the board before October 1. A renewal application may not be accepted by the board after October 31. The board may impose a reasonable late fee on renewals not filed by October 1. The board shall promptly notify an applicant if the board refuses to issue or renew a license. An applicant or licensee may appeal any decision of the board and may request a hearing, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, on the decision of the board to refuse to issue or renew a license. A licensee may continue to engage in the security business while his or her renewal application is pending.
(2) Each security officer or armed security officer requesting or renewing a license shall pay a nonrefundable security license fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) to the board upon application. The license issued to a security officer or armed security officer shall expire two years from the date of issuance. If the board refuses to issue or renew a license, the applicant or licensee shall be promptly notified. The applicant or licensee may appeal any decision of the board and may request a hearing, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, on the refusal of the board to issue or renew a license. A licensee may continue to serve as a security officer or armed security officer while his or her renewal application is pending.
(h) No license issued pursuant to this act shall be assigned or transferred by operation of law or in any other manner. A new license for an assignee or transferee of a business shall be applied for using the same procedures and requirements as set forth in this act for an initial license applicant. The security operation of a security company may continue until the final disposition of the pending license application.
(i) The current license certificate or duplicate copy of the certificate shall be posted and displayed at all times at all business offices of the licensee within the state.
(j) The board shall be notified within 30 days of any changes in officers, directors, or management of a licensee or any changes that may reasonably affect the right of a licensee to hold a license under this act.
Section 5. (a) A license may be revoked or suspended by the board for any violation of this act.
(b) In the event of revocation or suspension of a license, a licensee shall be notified of the action of the board. The licensee may request a hearing and appeal the decision of the board in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The licensee shall cease to provide security services to clients immediately upon receipt of a final notice from the board of revocation or suspension of its license.
(c) The board may grant a stay or postponement of a revocation or suspension under certain circumstances and with certain conditions attached, upon a majority vote of the board.
Section 6. (a) Contract security company licensees shall file certificates of insurance with the board certifying coverage. The minimum amount of coverage shall be four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000) for bodily or personal injury and one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for property damage. There shall be included endorsements for general liability, personal injury, and workers' compensation.
(b) An insurance policy may not be modified or cancelled without 30 days' prior notice to the board. The insurance company shall be licensed in this state, or in the state in which the insurance is purchased, with the name of a designated agent for service filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
Section 7. (a) Within 30 days after initial employment, a security officer or armed security officer shall apply to the board for certification. On or before January 1, 2009, all security officers or armed security officers not exempted under Section 17, shall apply to the board for certification in accordance with this act. A certification card issued by the board shall be carried by each security officer and armed security officer while performing his or her duties. A temporary card may be issued by the board pending the completion of training. Certification shall be renewed every two years on the date which original certification was granted.
(b) Each applicant for certification or renewal of certification shall submit to the board, within 30 days after initial employment or 30 days before certification expiration, the appropriate form as developed by the board, a fee of fifteen dollars ($15), and proof of completion of a certified training program or refresher course.
(c) Certification shall be denied or may be revoked if a security officer or armed security officer does not meet the standards of a security officer or armed security officer established by the board pursuant to this act. In the event of denial or revocation of certification by the board, the applicant may appeal the action of the board. Upon receipt of a notice of appeal from the applicant, the board shall set a hearing date and promptly notify the applicant of the hearing date. The hearing shall be held in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
(d) A contract security company shall notify the board within 10 days after discovering any adverse information pertaining to the eligibility of an individual to be certified as a security officer or armed security officer.
(e) The board may issue a certificate to a security officer who has been certified as a security officer in another state if the board determines that the applicant is currently a resident of this state and the qualifying and training requirements of the issuing state are equivalent to those required by this act.
Section 8. (a) A person seeking certification as a security officer or an armed security officer shall have completed at least eight hours of board approved classroom training with a certified trainer. This training shall include, but may not be limited to, fire prevention, legal information relevant to providing security services, detention procedures, methods of handling crisis situations, methods of crowd control, and the use of equipment needed in providing security services. Training shall be completed as follows:
(1) Security officers and armed security officers employed as such on or before the effective date of this act shall have until January 1, 2009, to complete the first four hours of training. The second four hours of training shall be completed by July 1, 2010.
(2) Persons hired as security officers or armed security officers after the effective date of this act shall complete the first four hours of training within 30 days after their initial employment, and the second four hours of training shall be completed within six months after their initial employment.
(b) After initial certification in accordance with this act, security officers and armed security officers shall complete eight hours of board approved refresher training before submitting an application for certification renewal.
(c) In addition to the requirements of subsections (a) and (b), a person seeking certification as an armed security officer shall initially complete four hours of board approved firearms safety training and annually complete two hours of board approved firearms refresher training.
(d) The following persons are exempt from the basic training requirements of subsections (a), (b), and (c), except to the extent set forth below:
(1) Any security officer or armed security officer who, within three years before applying for certification, completed basic security training through a military, government, or security training institute that meets or exceeds the training required by this act. The board shall examine proof of training before declaring an applicant exempt. An initial exemption granted pursuant to this subdivision does not exempt an applicant from annual training requirements.
(2) Any security officer or armed security officer employed by a contract security company that has a training curriculum and standards that the board determines, upon presentation of proof of training, meet or exceed those required by this act.
(3) Any person who is employed as a sworn peace officer or who is a retired sworn peace officer.
(4) Any person who has a minimum of five years of continuous experience as a security officer or armed security officer is not subject to the eight hours of classroom training required in subsection (a). Notwithstanding the foregoing, such individual shall be required to complete annual training pursuant to subsections (b) and (c).
(e) The minimum training standards provided in this section are in addition to any qualifications required by an employing contract security company.
Section 9. Any person conducting training of security officers shall be certified as a trainer by the board. Any person seeking certification as a trainer shall meet all of the following qualifications:
(1) Be 21 years of age or older.
(2) Have a minimum of two years of supervisory experience with a contract security company, a proprietary company, or in federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement.
(3) Have a minimum of one year of experience in teaching security-related courses or have attended a board approved two-week instructor's course.
(4) Submit proof of compliance with all instruction and training requirements established by the board.
Section 10. (a) A contract security company, at the request of a security officer in its employ, may withhold from the wages of the security officer those amounts necessary to pay for the certification fees, uniforms, or other required equipment of the security officer.
(b) A reasonable deposit may be required of a security officer by an employer to ensure the return of uniforms and equipment. The total amount of deposit required under this section may not exceed the actual cost of uniforms and equipment provided to the security officer.
Section 11. An armed security officer shall apply for and have his or her pistol permit issued by the sheriff of the county of his or her residence. It is a violation of this act for any security officer to carry a firearm in the performance of his or her duties without holding a valid certification card for an armed security officer issued by the board.
Section 12. (a) It is unlawful for any person or entity to do any of the following:
(1) Issue a shield or badge not in conformance with this act. Except for sworn peace officers, no person or entity shall wear or display any badge, insignia, device, shield, patch, or pattern containing words which would indicate that he or she is a sworn peace officer. The words "security officer," or a similar term, shall be displayed on any badge, insignia, device, shield, patch, or pattern worn by a security officer or armed security officer. Except for the vehicle of a sworn peace officer, no vehicle used by a security officer or an armed security officer shall have any equipment or markings denoting a law enforcement vehicle.
(2) Publish, advertise, use printed letterhead or circulars, or give statements, or use words or phrases which in any way suggest or imply that the security guard, armed security guard, or contract security company is a law enforcement organization or sworn peace officer, or an official of the state or federal government.
(3) Designate an individual meeting the definition of a security officer or armed security officer as anything other than a security officer or armed security officer.
(4) Knowingly quote false statements or omit any document or information required to be filed with the board.
(5) Falsely represent a person to be a holder of a license or a certification card.
(6) Engage in criminal conduct that would prohibit licensing or certification.
(b) In addition to subsection (a), it shall be unlawful for a security officer or armed security officer to do any of the following:
(1) Fail to comply with this act and the published rules of the board.
(2) Divulge to anyone other than his or her employer, unless required by law, any information that would jeopardize the property for which he or she is providing security.
(3) Fail to return his or her certification card to the board, if required.
(4) Possess a certification card issued to any other person.
(5) Use a badge or shield not in conformance with this act.
Section 13. A violation of this act shall be punishable by a fine of not less than seventy-five dollars ($75) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) per violation and may result in the revocation or suspension of the license or certification, or both, of the violator.
Section 14. Any person or entity aggrieved by any final action of the board may appeal to any circuit court of this state.
Section 15. There is created in the State Treasury, with funds expended by the board to defray the expenses of administering this act, a special revenue trust fund designated as the Security Certification Fund. All receipts collected by the board under this act shall be deposited in the fund and shall only be used to implement this act. Receipts deposited into the fund shall be disbursed only by warrants of the state Comptroller drawn upon the State Treasury on itemized vouchers approved by the board. No funds shall be withdrawn or expended except as budgeted and allotted according to Sections 41-4-80 to 41-4-96, inclusive, and 41-19-1 to 41-19-12, inclusive, Code of Alabama 1975, and only in amounts as stipulated in the general appropriations act, other appropriations acts, or this act. At the end of any fiscal year following the effective date of this act, any unencumbered and unexpended balance in the fund shall not revert to the General Fund of the State Treasury under Section 41-4-93, Code of Alabama 1975, but shall carry over to the next fiscal year.
Section 16. To the extent that other states which provide for licensing and certification of any security guard, armed security guard, or contract security company provide for similar action for citizens of this state, the board may grant a contract security license to a nonresident who holds a valid contract security license of the same type from another state upon satisfactory proof furnished to the board that the standards of licensure and certification in such other state are at least substantially equivalent to those prevailing in this state.
Section 17. The following persons and entities, including affiliated entities under common control, are exempt from this act:
(1) Any person or entity which uses their own employees for security services.
(2) Any employee who provides security services only for his or her employer and not for any third party.
(3) A sworn peace officer who only provides security services within the scope of his or her employment with a public entity and who does not contract for or otherwise provide in any manner private contract security services.
(4) Any person who is employed with a contract security company which employs, or has an employer employee relationship with, collectively less than 100 security officers or armed security officers, or both.
(5) A contract security company which employs, or has an employer employee relationship with, collectively less than 100 security officers or armed security officers, or both.
(6) Any person 65 years of age or older who works as a security officer, seeks employment as a security officer, or contracts to provide security services directly to an individual business or businesses.
Section 18. (a) Commencing on the effective date of this act, no governmental subdivision of this state shall enact any legislation, code, or ordinance, or promulgate any rule relating to the licensing, training, or regulation of contract security companies or individuals functioning as security guards, other than for the imposition of a bona fide business tax or occupational tax, or both.
(b) Commencing on the effective date of this act, any provision of any legislative code, ordinance, or rule promulgated by any local governmental subdivision of this state, relating to licensing, training, or regulation of contract security companies or security guards, shall be superseded by this act.
Section 19. This act shall become effective immediately upon its passage and approval by the Governor, or upon its otherwise becoming a law.